And the rest of him as well... Limbs akimbo. Almost like something tried to stretch him past Spidey’s limits...Hmm... Perhaps this is a murder mystery, and Spider-man is the victim. What you see in that picture is not actually Spider-man, up in the air, slinging webs. Alive. The stark white spot from the street light rather makes clear, irrefutably so, that what we are seeing is New York’s beloved hero, a post-super-battle corpse. It’s a crime scene now.
He was beaten to death, and anyone could tell that with a glimpse. His neck, arms and legs look completely wrong. Even this old guy, me here, I’ve seen my share of horrors, but it cracks my rocks. It makes me grind my back jaw stones when I picture it.
The villain felt guilt. It was an accident. None of Spidey’s gallery would do him like this. This guy figured that Spider-man was supposed to be the strongest one there was. I know that ain’t exactly true. So this guy must’ve been a rookie, didn’t know her own strength. She goes into shock. From within the shock, her mind doesn’t move but her body does, slowly at first, but then with greater urgency as reality begins to take hold. Perhaps out of regret, perhaps something else entirely, she positioned the vic’s body in order to emulate how Spidey always looked when web-swinging above ya through the air. The perp fled the scene of the crime, away from the terrible sounds of the emergency cellular circuits in Spidey’s mask pinged out for help, too late, and the display from an incoming call from Johnny pops up on the suit’s HUD. Yeah, that Johnny. My Johnny.
As the criminal runs, panting and sweating in places she thought ya could only sweat when yer flopped out sick with a 104 temp, her leather shoes flapping asphalt fast, whipping that concrete with her leathers, every single slap step echoing down the streets and into the alley ways, exiting as a fiery orange spot appears as a burst in the night sky and roars straight toward the deceased. Toward Spidey. Pete.
By the time Johnny roars onto the scene like an engine on a F-14 Tomcat, those distant footsteps are long gone, and no witness had seen the crime. I can’t stand to see those tears in Johnny’s eyes when he turns his face ta look at my ugly mug as soon as he heard the rumble of my lumbering shuffle as I come at him.
I’m wearing my usual disguise of a trench coat and fedora. I feel like they make me look stupid now. Embarrassing. My cheeks’d be flushed if I had... What am I thinking here, ya big idiot. Spidey. Friggin’ Spidey. Get it together.
Of all the guys, how many hundreds, geez… I never thought the day would come, no, no. NO. Not Peter. His body is right in front of me, but my mind can’t reconcile that he’s gone. Johnny’s sobbing, holding me so hard that he’s heated me up a few hundred degrees. My tears don’t fall. They sizzle on the crumbling sands that are my eyelids and become steam, and they rise straight up, up into this, this, the worst night. The night that a member of our family died.
-Written by The Grim Ben Grimm, excerpt from “Yancy Street Cases & The Grim Chronicles” Volume 5
[Photograph of the Author & Excerpt from Back Cover: “Hah, I bet I scared ya witless with that one, Webs! Gonna make millions off a this book. Readers and reporters eat it up whenever I kill off a major character. Everybody and their sweet Aunts’ Petunia gonna wanna a copy. Heh.”]