Spider-Woman #2

    Spider-Woman » Spider-Woman #2 - A Sword in Hand released by Marvel on May 1978.

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    A snafu at the Natural History Museum leads Spider-Woman to battle with Excalibur, a warrior endowed with the mystic powers of Morgan le Fay! In her civilian identity, Jessica finds that a life spent with the High Evolutionary has left her ill-adjusted. And S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jerry Hunt continues to obsess over the woman who frightens, and excites him! Jessica departs for America, searching for clues to her past.

    Spider Woman is in the British Natural History Museum searching for clues to her father's whereabouts. She knows that he worked in the museum after her mother died and wants to find him, yet at the same time she wonders what good could possibly come of it. She is alone in the world and feels that finding her father won't change that.

    Unbeknownst to her, she is not alone in the museum. A thief--"Slapper" Struthers--has hidden himself in the shadows and is watching her progress, waiting for her to move on so he can begin his heist.

    As she explores the museum, Spider Woman comes across a sword embedded in a stone. The display identifies it as "Morgan Le Fay's Excalibur", and Spider Woman instinctively knows who Morgan Le Fay was, as well as her association to King Arthur and the wizard Merlin. This knowledge confuses her, since she can't remember ever reading any books on the subject.

    Jessica Drew puzzles over this mystery a moment too long--a pair of policemen patrolling the museum enter the room and immediately move to arrest her. Spider Woman easily evades capture and flies from the room. The policemen pursue her, leaving a confused Slapper alone to make his move. The thief sets his sights on the sword examined by Spider Woman only moments before. As Slapper takes hold of the sword's hilt, Morgan Le Fay awakens. She deems Slapper worthy of wielding her sword, and the spirit of Excalibur enters the thief, transforming him into a green-garbed knight with mystical powers.

    The policemen, having lost Spider Woman's trail, re-enter the room hoping that she has doubled back to "finish the job". They find the Excalibur possessed Slapper instead, who is more than eager to show off his new powers.

    Jessica, well on her way to freedom, hears the shouts of the policemen and quickly returns. She is surprised to find Excalibur attacking the men with some sort of mystical power and quickly joins the fray. Morgan Le Fay urges Excalibur to finish her off--he fires a bolt of energy at one of the policemen and Jessica leaps in front of the blast. As she recovers Slapper makes his escape.

    The next morning finds Jessica no worse for the wear. She is turned down applying for yet another job and thinks that she now knows the reason for it: after spending most of her life with the High Evolutionary she has no idea how to communicate with regular people, and that they must somehow sense this about her.

    As she contemplates this possibility, she is approached by an elderly man. He offers her a palm reading, referring to her by her real name. Intrigued, Jessica agrees. The man knows exactly who and what she is and what she's looking for. But what she seeks is not in London.

    In Scotland Yard, S.H.I.E.L.D agent Jerry Hunt is still obsessing over the mysterious Spider Woman. He admits to a confused fellow agent that his obsession is, in fact, fueled by love.

    Slapper is walking along the subway, puzzling over the events of the previous night. To him it all seems like a dream, though he knows that it's not--it's like another person is now living in his body. As a train approaches, Excalibur suddenly takes control, leaping into the tracks to slay the oncoming "dragon". Morgan Le Fay reprimands her champion--he must learn to live in the modern world if he wishes to continue to serve her. Excalibur humbly apologizes, then spots something he is familiar with: a horse. He hurls the mounted policeman from his steed, then uses his sword to equip the horse with a saddle and armor that matches Excalibur's own and rides off to heed Morgan Le Fay's call.

    Meanwhile, Jessica Drew sits alone in her apartment, contemplating everything the old man told her. He insisted that her search for answers must begin in America, but Jessica is not so sure. She decides she needs to try to get more information from the palm reader and quickly heads back to his shop. As she walks, she encounters Excalibur riding his new-found horse and terrorizing the city. Jessica quickly changes into her Spider Woman costume and attacks, only to find that her venom blasts have no effect. Suddenly, the elderly palm reader enters the fight to aide Jessica's efforts.

    Excalibur seems to know the old man. He refers to him as Magnus and demands that he give a book to Morgan Le Fay. Magnus refuses. Spider Woman, realizing that Excalibur's powers are generated by the sword, knocks it from his hand. Excalibur suddenly changes back to Slapper and Jessica quickly knocks him out before he can get to the sword again.

    She turns to Magnus and demands an explanation. Magnus agrees, but first they need to go: the two of them are going to America together. He is accompanying her because, for the moment, their destinies are following the same current.

    The two depart and moments later Jerry Hunt arrives on the scene. He finds a note left on Slapper's unconscious body that says simply "America-Spider Woman". Jerry immediately turns to his fellow officer and demands a plane ticket to the United States immediately, and asks that the man tell S.H.I.E.L.D that he is taking an extended leave of absence.



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