DCM Knights
Detective Comics

Spiders and Shadows
Part Four: Gang on the Gridiron
by Chip Caroon

Peter Parker
Victor Cranston
Natalie Casswell
Jimmy Olsen
Harry Osborn
Emil Hamilton
Norman Osborn

Emil Hamilton was working in his lab and didn't hear Spider-Man enter through the window.

"Professor?" Spidey asked.

Hamilton jumped, startled. He turned around. "Spider-Man!" he exclaimed. "It's been a while since I've seen you. How are you?"

"I'm fine, but kinda busy."

"What can I do for you?"

"I want to make some changes on the costume. The buckle is kinda bulky. Can I change it around so the suit comes out of a watch or something?"

Hamilton stroked his beard, thinking. "I should be able to do that, and without you having to unmask."

"Great!" Spidey replied. "Are you available to do so now?"

"Of course," Hamilton answered. "Just come over here."

About thirty minutes later, Hamilton completed his work. He handed the watch to Spidey.

"Here you go," he said. "Next time you take the costume off, the nano-machines should go into the watch."

"Thank you, Professor."

"Oh, and I made another change. I know that you must refill your web cartridges occasionally. Now, all you have to do is place the cartridge right here . . . " Hamilton pointed to the top of Spidey's hand, " . . . and it will be absorbed into the suit."

Spidey put his hand out. Hamilton shook it. "Thanks, Professor Hamilton," Spidey said. "You've been a tremendous help. I don't know what I would have done without you. It would have taken quite a bit of time for me to do this myself. And even then, I might not even have a proper costume."

"Anything else you need?" Hamilton asked.

"Well, could I borrow the programming device? I want to add a web cape."

"Sure," the professor replied. He walked over and grabbed the device from a shelf. "Here you go."

Spidey quickly redesigned his costume, and downloaded it into the watch. Handing the device back, he said, "Thanks again. I'll see you around."

With that, he climbed out the window, shot a web, and flew out.

Norman Osborn sat in his office, looking out his window, staring at the Daily Planet building. The only thought in his head was I want it!

The phone rang. Osborn quickly pressed the speakerphone button. "Osborn," he said.

"Norman," the voice on the other end said. "You know who I am, right?"

Norman nodded. "Yes, sir."

"You know what I want."

"Same as me, the Daily Planet."

"Right," the other man replied. "I know you've been going after it, and, well, I kinda helped you out."

"You also stopped all of your ads?"

"And a few others. But that's not my point. I called because I know we share a common goal. You're a businessman, Norman. You know how it works."

"You want to partner up?" Osborn asked.

"Of course. Two heads are better than one."

Osborn wasn't too thrilled about this at first, however, as he ran the scenarios through his mind, he was starting to like it. He smiled. "Of course, I'll work with you. Shall we meet sometime?"

The man on the other end of the line smiled. "Yes, if you could come to my office sometime . . . "

In most cities and towns around the country, if it was Friday night, the high school football team was playing a home game, and you're in high school, then you're at the football game. Peter Parker, Jimmy Olsen, Victor Cranston, and Natalie Casswell are no exception. Vic and Natalie were hanging out, walking around the stadium. They were enjoying the night, but Vic was also keeping an eye out for trouble.

Peter was on the other side of the stadium. He was actually doing some investigating. Thanks to a tip that Spider-Man had received the day before, Peter knew that Intergang would be at the game, doing something that they probably shouldn't be doing.

Jimmy, on the other hand, had no real idea of what was happening. He knew that Intergang was around, but he wasn't sure if they would be at the game. Peter seemed to have said something about it, but he was real cryptic. So, Jimmy was just having a good time, enjoying the game, and the music that the band was playing in the stands.

As Peter passed the home stands, he heard some strange noise under the bleachers. He couldn't really tell what, since the band was playing. He decided to investigate.

Odd, he thought. Usually there are a bunch of little kids playing their own game of football here.

Creeping up, he peered around the edge of the bleacher. Underneath, he saw several people underneath, talking quietly, and passing bags back and forth. Peter turned around and ran out. As he came back to the main walking area, he spotted Victor and Natalie together.

Hate to break them up, Peter thought, but . . .

"Vic!" Peter said aloud.

Victor turned around. "What's up?"

"Wish I didn't have to tell you this, but I found Intergang."

"No!" Victor exclaimed. Just once, can't I have a decent evening? he thought. "Where?"

"Under the home stands. I'm guessing we should call up the heavy hitters."

Vic turned to Natalie and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. "You understand?"

Natalie smiled. "Of course. Now hurry back."

Victor and Peter ran out of the stadium. When they were sure they were out of sight, they transformed and doubled back. Peter activated his nano-machines and Victor became invisible.

"You've done some upgrading," the Shadow said, noticing the gossamer cape flowing on Spider-Man's back.

Spidey nodded. "Like the cape?"

"Makes you look more heroic."


"I guess. Enough talking, let's kick Intergang's butt!"

{Vic,} Spider-Man thought.


{Should we call Lois? So she knows what is going on?}

{Not yet. Don't want to get any more people in danger than already are.}

Just then, the two heroes were back in the stadium.

{Shadow,} Spider-Man said. {You sneak around back. I'll come from above, and attack them.}


The Shadow walked around the bleachers. He was stood right behind an unsuspecting member of Intergang. Spider-Man, meanwhile, climbed up the back of the stands, and crawled under. He looked down and Intergang.

"Hey, guys!" he said, switching on his light.

All of the gang members stopped what they were doing, and turned towards Spider-Man.

"Get him!" one of them shouted.

No one at the game heard him, because at that moment, the Midtown High had just scored a touchdown, and the crowd was cheering heavily. However, that didn't keep Intergang from rushing the amazing wallcrawler.

The Shadow only had seconds to act. He picked up a weapon that had been dropped by the Intergang member standing in front of him. The owner didn't seem to notice it was missing. He also didn't seem to care. The Shadow picked it up and threw the knife at the most concentrated area. About three gang members fell to the ground.

Spider-Man leapt down and landed on his feet. Immediately, several gang members were on top of him. The Shadow ran around, and grabbed the knife again.

Why aren't they aware of me? he thought. Oh, well. Gives me the advantage.

He threw the knife again, and it lodged itself into the neck of a large male. As he turned around, the Shadow thought that this must be some sort of leader. Not of the whole operation, but maybe of this little faction.

"Alright! Who was the little piece of crap that threw the knife at me?" he growled.

The Shadow laughed.

"What the--? That laugh! Who are you? Why can't I see you?"

"I am the Shadow. You can't see me because I am invisible." The leader was then knocked down to the ground. The Shadow followed that up by another punch to the face, knocking him out.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man had gained enough strength to stand up and knock the pile of Intergang off of him.

"Whew!" he exclaimed. He then noticed that many members were on the ground. He quickly webbed up as many gang members as he could.

{Shadow,} he thought, {Anytime you want to broadcast a general SOS, you know, get some cops down here or something, that's fine by me.}

The Shadow pressed the stone of his ring. Across the stadium, Natalie's ring lit up. The Shadow knew her mind was open, and easy to communicate to.

{Natalie. Please, bring the police over underneath the home stands.}

{Yes, Vic,} Natalie replied. {Right away! Are you okay?}

{I'm fine.}

The Shadow broke contact, and turned back to his partner. "The cops are coming. I think we should go."

"Good idea," Spidey replied, firing a webline. "Wanna lift?"

"Sure," the Shadow replied.

"Hang on," Spidey said as the Shadow grabbed his back. "We'll be out of here soon."

One websling later, Spider-Man landed and the Shadow let go. He quickly became visible, and Spidey deactivated his costume.

"That's enough action for one night, don't you think?" Peter asked.

Victor smiled.

Norman Osborn sat outside his partner's office. He looked at his watch. It read nine minutes after nine.

There's somewhere I must be. Why can't I remember it? he thought.

Just then, the door to the office opened up. A female stuck her head out. Osborn placed her at about age twenty-eight. "You may come in now, Mr. Osborn," she said.

Norman walked in, and tipped his hat to her. "Thank you." Walking in, he noticed that the room was dimly lit. This is beginning to become some sort of theme with us conniving businessmen. We really do need to light our offices better.

Osborn's partner was sitting in a large chair, facing out his own large picture window, overlooking New York City.

"Mr. Osborn," he said. "Please, sit down." Osborn did so. His partner continued. "Do you see that city out there?" he asked.

"Yes," Osborn replied.

"There is very little in that city that I don't know about. There is very little that I don't control, but not as much as that which I know nothing of. You will help me achieve another goal."

"The Daily Planet."

"Of course. With that, I will have one more piece of the puzzle. I will control the news. And that can ultimately benefit you, or ultimately destroy you."

"You'll make us come off looking very good," Osborn said.

"Exactly. I know reporters. They are easily manipulated. I am the ultimate manipulator."

Osborn was starting to get wary of this partnership. However, he really had no choice. If he didn't willingly agree to partner, then he would be forced to later on. He knew what this man was like.

Just then, Osborn's cell phone rang. "It's mine," he said, before his partner could wonder if it was his own.


"Mr. Osborn," a feminine voice on the other end said. It was his secretary.

"Yes? Can this hurry. I happen to be in an important meeting."

"You wished to be updated of the football score every once in a while."

"Football score?"

"Yes, sir. The Midtown High game?"

Oh, no! Osborn thought. That's what I forgot. Harry'll never forgive me if I'm not there.

"Never mind the score, I'm on my way to the game," Osborn said, ending the conversation. He closed the phone, and put it back in his jacket as he stood up.

"I'm sorry, I must go. My son is on the football team, and well, I kinda promised that I would come to at least one of his games."

"I understand," the partner said. "Even though I have no children of my own, I realize how important they are, and how they should be treated. Go. I will be in contact by Monday."

Osborn walked out.

The cops came, and quietly apprehended Intergang. They didn't want to disrupt the game. As most of the crowd could tell you later, they must have done their jobs, since no one really noticed that they were there.

No, they were too busy watching the Midtown High football team take the field at the fifty-yard line, the best starting field position they had all night. Everyone watching had a feeling that this drive would be awesome. Midtown was down by five late in the fourth quarter. This drive could change the momentum of the game.

The quarterback shouted to the team. The ball was snapped. The quarterback ran back, looking for eligible receivers. Finally, with no other option, he tossed it up, as high as he could go. One of the opponents saw this, and tried to position himself under the ball. He stretched his arms out and waited.

He could fell the ball come close, but it never reached his hands, because at the last possible moment, Harry Osborn came up and grabbed it out of his opponent's reach and began running. The crowd went crazy.

"Osborn has the ball! He's at the twenty, the fifteen, the ten, finally stopped just shy of the five yard line!" the announcer shouted through the PA system.

I hope Dad saw this! Harry thought.

Alas, Harry's wish would not be fulfilled, for at that moment, Norman Osborn was caught in traffic, only five miles from the football field.

"Come on, people!" he shouted. "I don't have all night!"

Back at the stadium, the crowd was roaring. "Go Harry!" Peter and Jimmy shouted.

"Man, that was the best play I've ever seen," Jimmy said.

"Did you get a shot?" Peter asked.

"I think so. I got the camera up just as he came in. With my position, I have no real way of knowing, though."

The offensive line was getting in position once more. They were all quiet, which confused the other team. Finally, the quarterback shouted, and the ball was snapped. He took it, ran back three yards, followed by Harry Osborn and three other players. He handed the ball to one of them; which one, the defense couldn't tell you. They went after all five. However, they didn't put their best players on the man with the ball.

"Osborn has the ball," the announcer said. "He's running in, chased by a very confused defense, and he's in for the touchdown!"

The crowd cheered again. "Midtown High is now up to 34 points!" the announcer continued. "They have a one point lead!"

Norman was still caught in traffic. However, by now, he was on the road that would take him right up to the stadium itself. He could almost hear the cheers.

"Osborn goes in for the two point conversion!" the announcer shouted. "And only ten seconds left on the clock! Can Midtown High start the season off with a win?"

The Midtown High kickoff team lined up. The kicker raised his hand. The drum line had already begun their drumroll. The team ran forward, and the kick went very high, but not so far. The team stopped suddenly at their position. The kick returner called fair catch, and put his hands out to catch the ball. However, since he really wasn't supposed to catch it (after all, the kick had only gone about ten yards), he dropped it. Immediately, Harry Osborn was on top of the ball.

"I don't believe it," Victor said. "Osborn has single-handedly saved the team here!"

"How did he manage?" Peter asked.

"I guess he has something to prove," Jimmy replied.

The crowd continued cheering, and the band began playing. The game was essentially over, since all the quarterback had to do was kneel.

"And Midtown wins it 36-33!"

Harry stood on the sideline, and turned around. "Dad!" he shouted to his father, who was just running up. "Did you see it?"

"See what?" Norman asked.


"Well, uh . . . "

Harry put his head down. "You didn't. You know, this is typical. You're never around for anything."

"But, Harry, you know I'm proud of you."

"You say that, but if you really were proud, then you would have been here."

"Harry, something came up."

"You really are full of crap, Dad. You say that every time." With that, Harry turned and walked back to the team.

Across the stadium, Peter and his friends were looking over. "Who's that?"

"Harry's dad, Norman," Jimmy replied. "He's in charge of Oscorp, second biggest company in New York, behind LexCorp and related companies."

"Looks like they don't get along too well," Victor said.

"Yup," Jimmy said. "Come on, let's go. I'm sure there are plenty of things we could do right now! Let's celebrate."

"That's an idea I like," Natalie said.

Next: The story concludes in Spider-Man #9! Spider-Man and The Shadow face off against Intergang once more and learn some of their secrets.