Lucas stood in the bathroom starring in the mirror. It was very visible that he was emotionally drained. He looked exhausted and unhappy. It was hard for him to sleep. He couldn’t stop thinking for a moment long enough to fall asleep. All he could think of was her. Lucas leaned on the counter and sighed. He looked back up to the mirror and saw reflections of Anya walking behind him. Of course she wasn’t really there. He only came in here to brush his teeth but couldn’t help but be distracted by his thoughts.

“Lucas, I need help tying my shoes!” Lynn called from her room.

He walked over to Lynn’s room and got down on one knee to tie her shoes. The whole time he did this she kept her eyes on him. He looked horrible. She wondered what she should do, what she should say. Over the past week both her and Jessica had been nagging him to find some sort of peace. She knew how much he hated it. After some consideration, she decided to go about a different approach. She tapped on her bed right beside her to get him to sit.

She placed a hand on his while looking at him. “I love you.”

“What?” He was caught off guard. “Umm, I think you’re gonna be late for work…”

“As a brother, as a brother,” she blushed realizing how she had said it. “We’re not blood I know. Although, my baby technically is part of your family. If Mike would have stuck around we could have eventually been cousin-in-laws. But I think of you as a brother. I had no siblings. My dad kicked me out and my mom wouldn’t even bother sticking up for me. You’re the closet I have to family.”

“Why do I feel a lecture coming on?” he asked.

“No lecture,” she promised with a smile. “I just want to know that you understand that.”

He nodded as he lowered his shoulders. She placed a hand under his chin to guide him into a kiss on the cheek. He stood up and held a hand out to help her up. They passed Elizabeth who was watching television in the living room.

“Lizzy, vamos,” he called to her while picking his keys off a kitchen countertop. “You do speak Spanish right?”

“Sí, un momento,” she said turning off the television. “Are you really going out like that? You look like crap.”

“I was right,” he thought back to something he said once before. “You speaking is a bad thing.”


Written by:


Mania walked through the new lair of the Cult of the Tarantula. They knew they couldn’t use their old base of operations along the East River. That would lead Lucas to their doorstep. She entered a room where new recruits of the Cult were being trained. They were being trained by a familiar man with an ethereal appearance.

“Mania, would you care to step in and give our new recruits some special training?” asked the man known as Misterioso.

Mania remained silent as Misterioso shrugged his shoulders and continued on with his teaching. A large figure dropped from above landing next to Mania. It was Spidercide who was now wearing an all black costume with a white tarantula symbol centered on his chest.

“Oh, you should know better,” he said. “The Spider-Girl’s too good to take part in training.”

A punch was thrown by Mania so fast that it almost appeared as if she didn’t move. Spidercide was hit on the side of his jaw which sent him crashing to the ground. She didn’t even bother looking at him. The new recruits watched on nervously as she walked further into the lair. Nina saw Mania come in and let her come to her.

“I never got a chance to praise your work toward the capture of the Bee Hunter.” Nina motioned to a pillar of magical energy that imprisoned Caitlyn Sierra. “With this we are short only three Hunters. I am sure it will be only a matter of time before we run into the Scorpions. And as far as I know the only Spider Hunter is my brother, whom we will deal with when the time’s right. That leaves a Wasp Hunter, which my brother also has but is of no use to us. It’s no matter. I’ve found an alternative. This one will be harder. Are you ready?”

“Just tell me who my target is,” replied Mania.

“You will never guess who we’re going after.” Nina let out a wicked grin.

Moments later, Mania walked into a vacant room. She just stood there in the center of the room. We enter her mind and found Anya standing before the Spider Hunter. The Spider Hunter was turned into a blue light and was cast out to have the spot taken over by the Mania symbiote. Anya closed her eyes and reopened them to find herself floating. Above her she saw Lucas stretching out an arm toward her. He called out to her but his voice was silent. Next she saw the image of the person she must go after next. It was Lucas’s younger sister Elena. An overhead view showed Anya floating in a sea of darkness which she began to sink into.

Mania snapped back to reality. “She will be ours.”


Lynn walked in as she tied her apron around her back then proceeded to head behind the counter. Lucas came in and took a look around. Two women behind the counter took notice of him. One, who appeared to be Lynn’s age, showed interest in him while the other, an older woman, just shook her head.

“Lynn, who is that guy you came in with?” asked the one who was interested.

“That’s my brother Lucas,” she answered. “He’s feeling a little down so I told him I’d buy him something to lighten up his day.”

“Well, what’s his story?” asked the girl. “Does he have a girlfriend?”

“It’s kind of a touchy subject to go on, so it’s best we not talk about it,” insisted Lynn. “He’s driven me to and from work everyday since we moved out to the city. He’s pretty much taken all the responsibilities my ex should have been handling.”

“He sounds like a fine young man,” said the older woman.

“You should totally introduce me to him.” The younger woman was then pulled to the back by the elder.

Lynn laughed to herself as she grabbed what she wanted for Lucas. She walked over to him and handed a single plastic container. He saw inside was a single muffin.

“It’s raspberry lemonade flavored,” Lynn pointed out. “I know that’s your favorite drink so I figured you’d like this.”

“Thanks, I’ll see you later,” he said before receiving a hug.

He went outside and sat in the driver’s seat of his car. Elizabeth peeked over the front seat and looked at the muffin. There was an expression on his face that said he wasn’t surprised. A knife popped into his hands which Elizabeth was impressed by. He used it to cut the muffin in half to share with her. She smiled and climbed over to the passenger’s seat. Together they eat and enjoyed the muffin.

“Wow, I remember these Aunt Lynn used to buy these for you all the time,” she said between bites. “It was your favorite flavor.”

He stopped eating and looked at her. “Was?”

“I shouldn’t have said that.” Elizabeth turned away upset with herself. “Just ignore what I said.”

“I died?” he asked. “Was that why you collapsed in my arms when we freed you?”

“Daddy, please forget I said it.” She tried to hide she was tearing up.

Seeing the tears he decided to drop the conversation. After finishing the muffin he put the key in the ignition and drove off.


Lucas walked down the hallway after leaving the elevator with Elizabeth following not far behind. He knocked on his sister’s apartment door, which she quickly opened.

“Oh, damn,” she said as she placed a hand to her forehead. “Lucas I totally forgot. We were gonna spend time together. Something’s come up.”

“What?” Lucas threw his arms out at his sides a bit annoyed. “You’re gonna blow me off again? What is this like the fifth time? The only times I ever see you is if we just happen to show up at mom’s at the same time.”

“I know, I know.” Jessica quickly hugged Elizabeth. “But I wouldn’t do this if something big didn’t come up. Look I’ll make it up to you.”

“That’s what you said the last time.” Lucas felt let down and took a step back from his sister.

Jessica was conflicted. She saw in his eyes how bad he needed to be with someone. Her roommate Rocky came to the door to greet Lucas and Elizabeth.

“Lucas, you look horrible,” she said much to his displeasure.

He grabbed Elizabeth’s hand and began walking to the elevator. “Yeah, I like being reminded of that. Whatever I don’t care. I guess I’ll see you around sometime. Maybe dinner at mom’s house…around Christmas time.”

“Okay, bad choice of words,” said Rocky. “I’m kicking myself now.”

Jessica closed her eyes. “Now I feel really bad. He probably would have understood if he wasn’t in such a bad place right now.”


Lucas hadn’t intended to stop by Rome’s apartment but saw him standing outside the building. He pulled up and put the car in park. Elizabeth waved. Rome had no idea who the girl was. Lucas stepped out of the car.

“I thought you and Jessica were spending time together?” Rome was confused by Lucas being here.

“Our plans fell through,” explained Lucas. “You up for anything right now?”

Rome scratched the back of his head. He really didn’t want to tell him what he was up to at the moment. Jessica, his girlfriend after all these past months, told him where her brother was emotionally at the moment as well as the incident when he crossed paths with Anya and his father.

“Bro, you know I’d love to hang,” Rome started. “But I need to meet my parents somewhere and I’m already running late. You understand right?”

“Yeah.” Lucas backed away. “No problem. This was kinda out of nowhere anyway.”


Araña was in a crouching position across from the Crimson Spider who was also in a crouching position. Elizabeth who was in her Avispa costume stood behind her father not sure of what was happening.

“Ahh, just forget it.” Araña got up and left.


Erika stepped outside her home to check the mail. It was late into the evening now. As she shifted through the mail she felt something strange. She didn’t even bother to look. Whatever she was feeling, she knew was close.

“Are you gonna keep me waiting?” she asked. “If you think I’m gonna wait for you to invade my home, you’re sorely mistaken.”

From the shadows Mania dropped onto the sidewalk. Erika assumed it was Anya based off the information her children had told her. She walked down the front stoop and stood across from her.

“Anya, let me guess you’re not here to finally come home?” asked Erika. “You know Lucas misses you. To the point I think it might be affecting his health. He grew up feeling alone even though he had Jessica. He didn’t have a father and I… I wasn’t the best mother I could be. When he met you he finally felt a connection that meant something to him. You’re the most important person to him. He doesn’t know how to exist without you.”

“He tried pleading his case to her himself,” said the Mania symbiote using Anya’s voice. “If it didn’t work for him what chance do you think you’d have to get through to her?”

Erika waved a hand with magical energies pouring from it. “So she’s fallen that far? I can feel the darkness in her heart. No matter how much I try there will be no changing it.”

“Finally someone who understands!” Mania followed with a laugh. “Now if you don’t mind we’re here for a reason. We seek the last active Wasp Hunter. Hand her over peacefully or if you want to make things difficult we can.”

“Wasp Hunter?” questioned Erika. “If you want Lucas’s Wasp Hunter you’re in the wrong borough. Not to mention it was sealed away.”

“It is not his we seek,” answered Mania. “It’s your youngest.”

“Elena?” Erika opened her right hand and summoned a fireball. “I won’t let you near her.”

She threw the fireball which Mania dodged. The symbiote was well aware of the fire that Erika could generate. Mania thought it was best to keep her distance. She fired two web-lines that Erika would catch one in each hand and light on fire. The flames rushed down the webbing, giving Mania no choice but to release them.

“If you will not release Anya, then I will free her myself!” exclaimed Erika.

She clapped her hands together and folded a couple of her fingers. Magical energies enveloped her body which faded quickly. She opened her mouth to fire out what looked like molten lava. The molten lava spouted upward and came back down as if it were coming out of a fountain. Mania tried to protect herself by creating a dome-shaped wall of webbing. Despite being as strong as steel, the webbing was no match for the attack.

“Foul Ant!” yelled Mania. “You are nothing but mere food for an arachnid!”

“You are no arachnid, creature,” said Erika feeling insulted. “Just a parasite that isn’t strong enough to live on its own.”

A mouth grew on Mania’s featureless face with razor sharp fangs. It opened to hiss loudly at Erika with a long red tongue stretching out. A line of webbing shot passed Erika and connected with a potted plant that was tugged in her direction. Erika went to defend herself which Mania took as an opportunity to draw out talons on each fingertip then swoop in for a killing blow. Erika looked back too late. The sound of one slash was heard and blood flew toward the sidewalk.

“…?” Erika was left speechless.

Before her stood her ex-husband and father to her children, the sorcerer Hechicero. There were claw marks that went through his robes. He appeared dissatisfied as he used his magic to heal his wounds. Mania withdrew remembering what the sorcerer was capable of. He then shot a sonic blast at her. In full retreat, Mania’s ability to camouflage herself allowed her to meld with the shadows around to disappear.

“Anthony, you are the last person I ever expected to save me,” said Erika still in disbelief. “What are you doing here?”

Hechicero turned and looked upon his former love for the first time in years. “I will not allow some puppet to bring harm upon my daughter. Come, we may not see eye to eye but we do have things to discuss about our children. Plus, you don’t want to bring anymore attention on yourself after that display.”

“Please, the people on this street didn’t see anything.” Erika was annoyed in her ex’s lack of faith in her abilities.

The two walked into the house where Elena would be introduced to her father the first time.


Araña sat on a ledge of a rooftop just staring out to the moonlit sky. Nothing seemed to be working for him. He couldn’t sleep. He couldn’t keep focused on anything. His friends and family didn’t have time for him to spend with them, well aside from the daughter he was now required to take care of a little earlier than expected.

“Ha, ha, ha!” a strange voice laughed from above.

Araña sprung up quickly as a reaction to his spider sense going off. Once both of his feet touch solid ground he became disoriented. He didn’t expect exhaustion to set in like that. He shook his head and tried to regain some form of composure to find out what was going on.

“Trying to shake some cobwebs loose?” questioned the voice.

The voice had come from the new goblin known as Menace. She hovered above Araña on a silver glider with its jet portions designed like the end of a broomstick. In her right hand she lightly tossed up a pumpkin bomb so it would fall back into her palm.

“So where’s the blonde computer geek?” she smiled looking at the clearly annoyed Araña.

He looked away for a second. “You’ve gotta be ******* kidding me.”

“How are we gonna handle this?” Menace continued on. “You’re the first spider I’ve come across. You know of the storied history between spiders and goblins, don’t you?”

“Those stories were boring,” answered Araña. “It was always the same thing. The Green Goblin would show up to try and make Spider-Man’s life a nightmare. They would eventually fight and the Goblin would be sent off sulking and shouting, ‘we’ll meet again Spider-Man!’. Are we really gonna do this?”

“Only difference is I won’t be the one sulking in the end,” Menace boasted before chucking the pumpkin bomb at him.

Araña flipped backwards out of the way of the blast. As he got back to his feet, Menace flew by while she drew out an axe that she carried behind her. She swung it only for it to be deflected by Araña’s sword that was part of his original Avispa costume.

“I can still summon my weapons,” he thought to himself. “Of course that was all Jessica’s magic and had nothing do with the Wasp or Ant Hunters.”

“What spider carries a sword with him?” she asked.

He pushed forward. “What goblin carries an axe? Why don’t you answer me that?”

They clashed their weapons again. Araña bounced back and shot a webline at her axe. He pulled it away and swung it to a wall nearby to be webbed down on. Menace grunted before trying to glide into him. He tackled her off her glider making her land on her back. She looked up to see him sitting over her with his right arm cocked back.

“I’m against hitting women,” he said. “But if you want to push it, I won’t hold back.”

“Oh, such a respectable man,” laughed Menace. “If you’re not willing to do what’s necessary then you’re weak.”

“Ahh!” Araña yelled as he was shocked by an electrical current that came from her gloves.

Araña’s body collapsed to the ground on the left side of Menace where she took a chance at striking him with the spikes on her gauntlets. He simply rolled out of the way as the spikes scratched the pavement letting off sparks. Araña kicked up. Menace leapt back to her feet and threw a number of razor bats at him. Using his spider sense, he was able to dodge every last one. However, he wasn’t able to get away in time from a pumpkin bomb that followed.

He flew back and slammed into a wall letting out a low groan. Menace inspected the rooftop to figure out what to do next. She jumped on her glider to fly to a small billboard that she was able to shoot down. Araña staggered a bit forward before his spider sense warned him of the falling sign. He caught it and struggled to keep it from crushing him. Menace took this time to collect her axe.

“I wish someone would create an axe that would come back to you like Thor’s hammer,” said Menace. “It would be so much easier. Of course only gods have the cool weapons. I could be a goddess. Don’t you want to worship me?”

“Sorry, gray chicks aren’t my thing.” Araña had to dig deep but was able to drop the billboard to his side without hurting himself. “And if you ask me you’re more like a devil than a god.”

As Menace dove in on her glider, Araña ran up a wall and landed an overhead kick to the side of her head. She spun around wildly on her glider eventually regaining control. He then sprung up again to strike with a punch. She threw a punch of her own and they both hit at the same time. A couple more blows were traded before Menace started getting bored. She opened her satchel that hung from her shoulder and emptied its contents down toward Araña. A number of bombs and other devices dropped toward him which he tried his best to dodge. While he was distracted she swooped in and struck with her axe right across his chest.

“I thought spiders were supposed to be more entertaining,” Menace sounded disappointed. “I bet your predecessor was fun. Oh well, have fun dealing with that.”

She left leaving Araña bleeding out on the ground. Time went by and no one had found him laid out on the roof. He just laid there with a glazed over look in his eyes. After some more time passed he snapped out of it and realized the situation he was in. He tried his best and somehow was able to trigger a device in his left boot that was used to call for help. The help he would receive was not what he was hoping for. His daughter flew down dressed in her version of his Avispa costume.

“Oh, my God!” yelled Elizabeth. “Daddy!?”

“Don’t…yell…,” he muttered. “Jessica…Your aunt…get her.”

Elizabeth searched through the pouches on his costume. In one of them she found his cell phone. She tried to call her aunt but she didn’t answer. She looked down at her father who seemed like he was losing consciousness. She placed the phone in one of the pouches on her costume and pulled out a stone from another. The stone had a spiral image on the center.

“Hmm…” She remembered placing another stone upon the rooftop of her father’s apartment building. “I have an idea of what to do but my magic isn’t that great. I know you don’t die here. I know you don’t die here. But what if me being here causes it?”

Extremely uncertain of herself, she kneeled down and placed the stone before her. She recited some words in Spanish making a light shine over the stone. It then began to duplicate itself. She took the multiplied stones and placed them in a circle around Araña. Then she got back down on her knees to once again recite a magical incantation in Spanish. With a number of hand motions, the stones all began lighting up. A minute went by and nothing happened.

Elizabeth slammed her fists on the ground in anger. Her magic like she suspected wasn’t enough to move her father from one location to another. Tears dripped on the paved rooftop. She started thinking that her presence here in fact did alter her father’s fate. It was just then when she felt a tap on her back. The stones began lighting up again. She turned to see who touched her but no one was there. With a flash they were gone.


Lynn sat in the living room with Rocky watching television in the dark unaware anything was happening.

“I’m glad you came by when you did,” said Lynn. “I really don’t like walking around this city alone like this late at night. Hopefully, Lucas is all right. He usually calls me if he’s can’t make it in time which in itself is very rare. I also hope Elizabeth is with him.”

“From what Anya told me of him, he seemed like someone who was very good at taking care of himself,” Rocky was trying to help her friend not worry. “Tell me what’s the story about this girl Elizabeth? How can Lucas and Anya have a ten-year-old daughter?”

Lynn wasn’t sure what to say. “It’s kinda hard to explain.”

“You don’t have to worry,” said Rocky. “I’ve had my fair share of experiences with super-powered people. I lost my parents when they got caught in the middle of a fight between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin. Ever since our freshman year at Milton Summers High I suspected Anya was too strong for a girl her size. And that energy Lucas used to emit. That wasn’t normal. Is the girl a time traveler?”

“Not intentionally,” answered Lynn.

The apartment door swung open with a loud thud. It caught the young women off guard. Rocky got to her feet quickly just in case she had to defend Lynn but eased up when Elizabeth ran up to them completely out of breath.

“Aunt Lynn…” she struggled.

“Baby, catch your breath.” Lynn struggled to get to her feet. “What’s going on?”

Elizabeth pointed outside. “Daddy’s on the roof. He needs help.”

The girls all went up to the roof to find Araña still laid out. Lynn, despite being weighed down, found the strength to run over to him. She cupped her hands over her mouth and nose when she saw the large gash across his chest. Rocky ran up and got down on one knee to check his pulse.

“He’s still alive.” Rocky’s eyes measured the distance from this spot to the roof exit and then thought about how many flights of stairs they would have to climb. “Maybe if we work together we can all get him down to the apartment. Lynn, I don’t want you to over exert yourself so if it’s too much you let go.”

“I’ll be fine.” She surprised Rocky by showing her arms grow more muscular and then she picked Araña up placing an arm over her shoulder. “The benefits of having a magical baby, I guess. It won’t last for long so you’ll have to get his other arm.”

It took some effort but they were able to bring him downstairs. They laid him down on his bed which Lynn sat down on to catch her breath. She pulled out her cellphone and tried to call Jessica, only to get the same result.

“Where is she at a time like this?” asked Lynn.

“Well, what else could we do?” Rocky had grabbed a towel the she pressed onto his wound. “We gotta do something, he’ll bleed to death. I don’t know what we’re gonna say if we call 911.”

“He wouldn’t want us to do that,” Lynn suggested. “The hospital would figure out he has powers.”

Lynn and Rocky watched as Elizabeth climbed on the bed. She placed both her hands over Lucas’s spider tattoo and closed her eyes. They weren’t sure what she was doing but found out when his costume reverted back to his normal clothes.

“My mom showed me how to do that,” said Elizabeth. “I wish she was here. She’d be able to help us.”

“We could call your grandmother,” suggested Lynn. “Of course I don’t know how long it would take her to get here from Brooklyn. There is another option, but I don’t like it.”

“Lynn, if it could help Lucas you gotta do it.” Rocky continued applying pressure to Lucas’s chest.

Lynn took a breath before looking into the other option.


Mania stood before Nina. Nina appeared to be contemplating something. She then looked at Mania who stood ready for instructions.

“This is quite the development,” said Nina. “My father actually showed up? There was no word of what happened to him after the collapse of his dominion. This is something I’ll have to discuss with my brother. In the meantime, there is another problem I need you on while we sort this out. I need little Anya to do what she does best. Play superhero. The new goblin known as Menace has put our plans in jeopardy. She severely wounded the current host of the Spider Hunter. I’m sure Anya wouldn’t stand for such a thing.”

“We will find this goblin,” Mania responded. “And show her a spider is the least of her worries.”

Nina smiled.


Tears ran down Lynn’s cheeks as she stood in the kitchen by herself. Lucas’s current state was a big reason for this but wasn’t the main reason she was crying. She placed her cellphone on the counter with the screen reading ‘Mom’. She took a moment to reflect on the past eight months. When her parents found out she was pregnant they threw her out on her own. Really it was her father’s doing but her mother didn’t even do anything to put a stop to it. Moments went by before she heard a knock at the front door. She opened it and there was her mother.

“Oh, my God, Lynn look at you.” Her mother, Doreen Johnson, was stunned at her daughter’s appearance. “You’re huge.”

“Great, I haven’t seen you in months and that’s what you open with.” Lynn turned away from her mother. “I like being reminded of how fat I’ve gotten.”

“Honey, you’re not…” Doreen was cut off.

Lynn sighed. “Look I’m not interested in your motherly insight. I called you for help for someone else. You said you would help me.”

“Yes.” Doreen nodded. “Your friend was hurt.”

Lynn brought her to see Lucas. Rocky removed the towel from his chest wound so that Doreen could examine it. She was shocked at how bad it was.

“Is he the father?” Doreen tried to think back to when she met Mike. “He kind of resembles him.”

“No mother.” Lynn appeared annoyed. “He was Anya’s boyfriend before she disappeared on us. Since then we kind of adopted each other as siblings. Please. He means the world to me. He took up Mike’s responsibilities when he decided to disappear on me. I know you’re gonna say we should take him to a hospital but Lucas won’t go for that. It’s best for him and them if we don’t do that.”

“He’s a mutant isn’t he?” questioned her mother as Lynn shook her head no. “It’s okay I won’t judge. If you really trust him. I’ll do my best but that wound has to be sealed.”

“He isn’t a mutant,” answered Lynn. “Sew him up, he can take it. I’m pretty sure he seared a wound shut once.”

Lynn sat in the living room waiting for her mother to finish patching up Lucas. Finally, she walked out and joined her daughter.

“It’s done,” she said to Lynn. “The rest is up to him. If he’s strong I think he can bounce back from that.”

“He is.” Lynn looked on a bit saddened. “He’s the strongest person I know.”

Doreen sat next to her daughter and pulled up her shirt slightly to get a good look at her. Lynn quickly pulled her shirt back down and got up to sit away from her mother. Doreen was clearly ashamed of herself.

“You’re right to be mad at me,” she said. “I admit that I was very disappointed in you. You’re too young to be a mother. But your father shouldn’t have thrown you out. I should have said something. We both know it wouldn’t have made a difference. His image is more important to him then we are. That’s why I left him. I moved out to Manhattan on my own hoping for a new start. Lynn I’m sorry for what happened. I’m not asking you to forgive me right away but I’m hoping over time maybe we can repair our relationship. It’s good to know you have such good friends looking out for you. Take care of your ‘brother’ and let me know if you or him need help. I love you, baby. Oh, it might be good if I knew if I was having a grandson or granddaughter.”

“I’m naming him Nicolas,” Lynn replied.


Mania dropped on the roof where Araña and Menace had fought. She inspected what was left behind including Araña’s blood which she ran her fingers through and sniffed.

“It is definitely his,” said Mania. “If you behave and do as I say I might let you out to get the revenge you want so bad.”

NEXT: Comatose!