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EDGE OF THE SPIDER-VERSE #3

 

aaronPart of the Spider-Verse event ‘Edge of the Spider-Verse #3’ focuses on Aaron Aikman, a scientist who used his knowledge of chemistry and biology to give himself the powers of a spider. These powers were further augmented by an armored suit he built himself.

The story concerns the Spider-Man hunting down the elusive Naamurah, responsible for kidnapping over a hundred people in their sleep. He discovers her true origin and uncovers his plan to take over the world but before he can do anything about it Morlun telling him his story is over.

Although only one issue the narration, mini-profiles and ‘Did You Know?’ fact boxes fill in a lot of detail about this world. This gives enough material to run Events in this location.

The following datafiles can also be found here

AARON AIKMAN, THE SPIDER-MAN

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On Earth-31411, at the age of 24 years old, Doctor Aaron Aikman secretly administered a treatment that inserted cloned spider genes into his own DNA. The villain Redeye (see below) is given as the reason that he became Spider-Man, suggesting that he did it to protect the city.

In Redeye’s profile it indicates that Rick Landress, the man who would become Redeye, appears in ‘The Spider-Man #1’ but the monster itself doesn’t appear until ‘The Spider-Man #3’. This indicates a very decompressed story, spending a lot of time establishing the characters before the hero makes his first appearance.  Alternatively his origins might be explored in flashback over those three issues.

Three years later, in the present of this story, Doctor Aaron Aikman continues to work at the Ikegami Medical Center and Research Institute, using its facilities at night.

Aaron is well-off, cool and suave. A marked contrast to Peter Parker. He is brilliant and a leader in the fields of bioengineering and molecular chemistry with the focus of his research being the medical applications of insect venom.

We might suppose that this is how he transferred the spider powers. Rather than the arachnid biting him he injected its venom directly into his body.

His genius makes him think that he knows everything. This can frustrate others, especially as he is usually right. Aaron is capable of humility and can questions whether he made the right choices.

The one important relationship in his life was with his boss and love interest, Doctor Kaori Ikegam. When that relationship broke down Aaron dedicated more of his time to his vigilante activities.

From what little we see this Spider-Man is well-regarded. Aaron marks the location of a rescued civilian for the police to find them, suggesting that he is well used to working alongside the authorities.

Aaron takes full advantage of his armor’s technology to monitor police frequencies and scan the environment using motion detection. He even has rear-view display to alert him to attacks from behind.

In his secret lab there are numerous different helmets, chest units and other armor parts (not to mention a possible Spider-Cycle). These could all be previous versions of his costume but given the short time span it is also possible that these different parts serve unique functions, allowing Aaron to customise his costume depending on the current situation.

These could allow Powers to be switched in the Spider-Armor Power Set.

Like most Spider-Men Aaron uses webbing, which he calls silk. This is bluish in colour, used both to entrap his opponents and to swing around the city. The formula can be adjusted, making it stronger and possibly giving it other qualities.

His other means of movement are his catapult propulsion boots,capable of launching him high into the air giving him a better view of the surrounding area. Spider-Man can use this added momentum to allow him to swing more quickly through the city.

USING THE SPIDER-MAN

If Morlun is to be believed this is the end of this Spider-Mans story but since his death doesn’t occur on page it is entirely possible that he could survive. Either he could escape or one of the inter-dimensional rescue teams of Spider-Men might rescue him.

If that is the end of his story there is still 3 years of adventures to explore within your own campaign.

Aaron’s work at the the Ikegami Medical Center and Research Institute is an opportunity to present plenty of medical drama.

This could be a good place to introduce this universes versions of Marvel characters, whether they be heroes or villains. Aaron might be called upon to treat the Fantastic Four after their fateful first space mission imbues them with cosmic radiation or he might be the first to identify the mutant race or Inhumans.

Given that he works with spider venom his research might be targeted by criminals who want to use the poison to blackmail the city. If the spiders have been treated to allow them to transfer their abilities one of these villains might be bitten, creating this Earth’s version of Venom.

His work at the Medical Center is very likely to be vital to saving lives, making it an even tougher decision when the city also needs Spider-Man at the same time. How can Aaron balance both lives?

A version of Aaron might exist on Earth 616. His knowledge of how Spider DNA can affect the human body could be of great interest to Peter Parker. If this version of Doctor Aikman doesn’t use the process on himself he might reveal its secret to the world, meaning anyone could potentially gain the same powers of Spider-Man (whether they’d want to after the events of ‘Spider-Island’ is another matter).

This version of Aaron Aikman could be entirely evil. There is a lot of potential for a villain who has Spider-Man’s power combined with those similar to Iron Man and also possessing a knowledge of spider venom.

REDEYE

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We have little more than two panels of information about Redeye. Thanks to his detailed profile we know that he was originally Rick Landress, an astronaut on one of the first manned missions to the moons of Jupiter.

The crew turned on each other when one of the astronauts was mysteriously murdered. During this Rick learned the true purpose of the mission and tried to escape in an escape pod. The ship was bombarded with cosmic radiation and the pod crashed into Jupiter.

We can only speculate about the purpose of the mission and the cause of Rick’s transformation. It could be that the purpose of the mission was to deliberately expose the astronauts to the radiation, initiating a transformation. The crew could be analogous to the Fantastic Four. We might further speculate that the murderer was a version of Victor Von Doom, attempting to ensure that only he was alive to be bestowed with powers.

In Earth-31411 it might be that the Eternals settled on one of the moons of Jupiter, rather than Saturn. This could mean they are responsible for saving Rick’s life by transforming him into a creature that could withstand the environment of Jupiter.

Redeye is an imposing figure, backed up by the fact that out of 9 conflicts he has a 77% win percentage. Able to summon and control wind and storms Redeye can likely cause much destruction.

The  ‘Did You Know?’ trivia indicates that Redeye is currently believed dead after the Spider-Man managed to trap him beneath a barrage of falling buildings. This is accounts for his 1 loss, indicating that his first fight with the Spider-Man was a tie, with his wins being between then and their last encounter.

Redeye is intelligent enough to talk, making it clear that his goal is to destroy everything. His membership to a group called the Apocalyptics further establishes that the mutated monster wishes to bring about doomsday.

USING REDEYE

This villain’s durability and elemental mastery makes him a force of nature. His rampages would put whole cities in danger, forcing heroes to spend as much time evacuating people to safety as they would fighting the villain.

You can explore why Redeye is fixated on destruction. Is it because he is angry at his transformation and wants others to suffer? Does he feel betrayed by the space agency that sent him into danger on false pretences? Was Redeye specifically transformed for this purpose and, if so, by who?

Rather than fighting him the PCs could try to find a cure for his transformation. If this is due to cosmic radiation an analogue of Reed Richards might be able to help. Could the radiation be drained? Might they at least find a way to allow Rick to regain control of his body?

The space agency might not want Redeye to reveal their secrets. They could try to eliminate Redeye, attempting to exterminate the monster they created. This would make Redeye similar to the Hulk in this setting (although the Hulk does exist on Earth-31411.)

NAAMURH

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Nammurah is the true villain of this story. We know little for certain about her origin but the Spider-Man theorises that she comes from a dimension accessible in the realm of the deep subconscious. This may or may not be related to the Dimension of Dreams.

During the brief period in which her eventual host, Hannah, is awakened she is obviously afraid of Nammurah, horrified that she can see her as she thought Nammurah was just a dream.Moments later Nammurah possesses Hannah, causing her eyes to glow.

For a year Nammurah would kidnap people while they were sleeping. It is likely that she has powers to keep them asleep as she used her spider-like legs to leap across rooftops. While her profile indicates that she is superhumanly fast there is no indication of this in what we see.

Nammurah forced Kaon Ikegami to apply the same cybernetic upgrades to them. The Spider-Man fights one of these victims, who now calls himself Daarroh, his eyes also glowing. It is likely then that in addition to the physical modifications they are also possessed by creatures from the same dimension as Nammurah, demonstrating similar powers.

At the end of the issue over a hundred of these victims are unleashed on the city. They will kidnap more victims to prepare for the next wave. Presumably their numbers will increase exponentially with each wave until the whole world is converted or their army is large enough that they can conquer any opposition.

The flaw in their plan is that Doctor Ikegami was only agreeing to convert people because she believed that Nammurah was still her daughter. The Spider-Man convinces her that her daughter is dead so it is unlikely that she would continue to convert people. Even if she did agree the process would take longer and longer, making it doubtful that the plan could be completed before mankind as able to respond.

In her mini-profile it is indicated that Nammurah’s first appearance was in ‘The Terrible Hulk #50’. Few have seen Nammurah so it is likely that this was a fleeting appearance. She was probably a shadowy figure glimpsed in various Marvel comics until finally being identified in ‘The Spider-Man’.

USING NAAMURH

With an origin based in the realms of the deep unconscious, where she apparently tormented a girl in a coma, Naamurh is literally the stuff of nightmares. She is an elusive foe, rarely seen and snatching innocent people from their beds only to turn them into vessels for her people.

When using her try to make her as mysterious and elusive as possible. There should be a slow build up, with mysterious disappearances and people having the same terrible nightmares in the local area (usually the first warning that Nammurh is active).

When the PCs do meet Naamurh her main focus should be getting away (getting the Doom Pool to 2D12). Use her reactions against the actions of the PC to demonstrate her powers so they know they are dealing with a tough opponent.

Each time Naamurh escape the PCs should know that she is ever closer to completing her mysterious plans, whatever they may be. When she is ready to strike it should be almost too late for the PCs to stop her.

Remember that Naamurh also furthers her plan through the converted victims. PCs might initially realise this until they get close enough to see the face of the victim. This means that while they can stop one of her agents Naamurh remains free.

You can create an adventure which is a direct sequel to ‘Edge of the Spider-Verse #3’ with the PCs stopping the wave of Naamurh’s victims and then stopping the villain herself. They might want to take Doctor Ikegami into custody to ensure that she can’t carry out the operation necessary to augment the new victims.

Given Naamurh’s other-dimensional origin she could find her way to Earth 616. With one world already fallen can the PCs prevent it happen in their reality? If a supporting cast member or even an established super-being (hero or villain) falls into a coma they could serve as Naamurh’s next host.

Naamurh would make a good villain for mystically inclined heroes, such as Doctor Strange, to deal with. This could allow you to explore the connection between her realm and the Dream Dimension. Does she have a connection to Nightmare (as her grey skin and spiky black hair suggests)?

All characters need to sleep and even if Naamurh isn’t physically in their dimension PCs might still encounter her while in her dark realm of the unconscious.

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One comment on “EDGE OF THE SPIDER-VERSE #3

  1. I sort of vacillate between loving all the different iterations of Spider-Man (including this very Japanese horror-comic themed one) and hating the way they keep dragging out this story with the slow and often pointless main Spider-verse title.

    I love that you’re doing MHR write-ups, though. I like the RPG a lot and ran for over a year, stopping only recently to do something different.

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