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Slingers #3:  With Friends Like These...

by Joseph Harris and ChrisCross

And we're off to a running start...or is that a digging start?  That's what Ricochet is doing at the start of this issue, making a futile attempt to dig out Hornet from the massive amount of rubble that he was buried under at the end of last issue.  He's not doing to well, and feels useless.  Hornet himself isn't in much better shape, though he is still alive.  He seems unconscious.  Just as Ricochet gives up, Dusk appears among the rocks with Hornet.  He mutters something, as he probably faintly realizes it's her but isn't in the best of shape to do anything about that.

Back at the old movie studio, the Black Marvel is once again watching a movie.  His own movie, as it turns out.  While he's watching, two kids break into the place.  As the movie ends, the Black Marvel turns the projector off, and...puts on his old costume.  The kids are wandering through the studio, see the Black Marvel staring down at them from the rafters, and get the heck out of there.

In the rubble-filled tunnel, Ricochet sits on the rocks, crying because he thinks Hornet's dead.  He calls himself a nothing, but is told that he's not by...Hornet, who doesn't look too good but is alive.  The two of them make their way out of the tunnels, and emerge from the drain pipe that they entered last issue.  Ricochet sits down and immediately jumps back up, as he's sat on something.  That something turns out to be a Spider-Tracer.  Guess who's watching them?  That's right, it's your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!  He wants to talk to them, but Hornet takes off.  Spidey tries to catch him with webbing, but gets yanked into the air.  The two of them fly off over traffic, with Ricochet in pursuit.  While Spider-Man tries to get them to calm down, they cause an oil tanker has tipped, and it's going to go over.  The three of them make a valiant save, and just when Spidey is going to have a chance to talk to them, they take off on top of a bus, Rico's usual mode of transportation.

Later that night, Eddie is at the library at the university, being the studious type that he is.  I'd imagine the hero thing can cut into your schoolwork.  Anyway, he's looking up stuff about the Grand Royale Hotel, trying to figure out exactly what the deal with that place is.  A librarian - who knows him by name - tells him he has to leave.  As he heads out, a girl, Susan, bumps into him, making him drop his books because of his arm.  She knows him, but her total jerk of a boyfriend drags her along.  Eddie returns to his room, trying to make some sense of the whole hotel thing.  Guess who's there?  That's right, Dusk is there waiting for him, looking rather nice in black and glowing purple.  Eddie can't believe it.  She reaches out and touches him, talking about how cold she feels, and pleading with him to not be afraid.  Just after he touches her, she teleports out of there.  Eddie breaks down crying.  Dusk re-forms herself outside on the roof.

Quick cut to a video store.  Johnny is there, asleep at the counter and drooling.  By the way, check out the posters...they're amusing.  Anyway, his girlfriend Kathy walks in, wakes him up, and tells him about getting attacked a few nights ago.  She describes Ricochet, and all the things that he and Johnny have in common...  She makes a grab for his bag, and gets it.  What's inside?  A videotape - "The Black Marvel Strikes."  Johnny yells at her, and she leaves, very sad.  Nice job, Rico.

Once again at the movie studio, Prodigy and the Black Marvel are there.  Prodigy tells the Black Marvel about leaving the others behind.  The Black Marvel understands, he seems to be saying that a hero should be emotionless.  Prodigy doesn't know why the Black Marvel isn't upset, as they both know that the others weren't quite cut out for this.  Black Marvel comments that Prodigy will be the one to have "the praise -- the adoration."  Interesting.  He then sends Prodigy out again, telling him that he has a busy day ahead of him.....