Charles Magnus says his farewells to S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Jerry Hunt, and Jessica Drew. Hunt, also, must depart Drew's company, as he has been called in, on an assignment, for S.H.I.E.L.D. Hunt gives Drew his apartment. As night falls, Drew heads out on patrol, as the Spider-Woman, foiling a purse snatching. The next day, the Spider-Woman, as Drew, applies for employment at a temp agency. Through the agency, Drew lands several jobs, none of which, ultimately, work out for her. Something about Drew repels people, making it difficult for her to form social bonds, or maintain gainful employment. While watching late night television, Drew learns of the Hatros Institute, an facility engaged in emotional research.
After undergoing a trial examination, Drew is found to be unique. Upon learning that Drew cannot, financially, afford to continue with the program, Doctor Leaman offers her a receptionist's position, with the institute. Leaman reports to the institute's founder, Adrienne Hatros, regarding Drew's unique case. Hatros fires the current receptionist, to make room for Drew. Hunt receives his assignment from S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Barth Bukowski. Two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Jeffrey Cochren and Margaret Huff, have vanished, while investigating the Cult Of Kali. Hunt is paired with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Laura Brown, to investigate the disappearance of Cochren and Huff.
While waiting for her shift to end, Drew notices the reception room growing dark. Ultimately, the room is plunged into complete darkness. Drew moves to check on a possible power failure, only to be rendered unconscious, by the Shroud. While moving through the institute, the Shroud reflects on his past. When the Shroud was a child, his parents were murdered, by a small-time criminal, right before his eyes. The Shroud trained himself to the peak of physical perfection, while also studying law and criminology. Finally, the Shroud journeyed to Nepal, where he learned certain secret arts from the Priests of Kali.
After years of study, the priests deemed it time to bestow upon the Shroud the "Kiss Of Kali". Though the Shroud's eyes were burned away, he found he now possessed a mystic sense perception. Thus was born the Shroud. To begin his one-man war on crime, the Shroud set about ending the dictatorial reign of Doctor Doom. The Shroud failed, ultimately finding himself siding with Doctor Doom, against the bigger threat of the Red Skull. The Shroud foiled the Red Skull's plan, at nearly the cost of his own life. Rescued by Captain America, the Shroud found that he now possessed the ability to project abject darkness.
The Spider-Woman confronts the Shroud, blasting at him with her bio-venom. The Spider-Woman locks the Shroud in an observation room, and waits for him to emerge. The corridor outside the observation room plunges into darkness. The Shroud makes a run for it. The Spider-Woman peppers the corridor with her bio-venom, but never strikes the Shroud. Using a fire extinguisher, the Spider-Woman sprays the floor with chemical foam. The Shroud loses his balance, giving the Spider-Woman the opportunity to subdue him with her bio-venom. The Spider-Woman carries the Shroud into a physical therapy room, where they are ambushed by the Cult of Kali.