Appearing in "Sin of Pride"Edit
- Ernie Popchik
- Hugo Kelsey (First appearance)
- Emil Gregg
- Reverend Tolliver
- Joy Mercado
- Judge Horace Rosenthal (Appears in Flashback) (Death)
- New York Police Department (Only appearance)
- Celia Weatherby
- Reverend Bernard Finn (Death)
- Charles Bronson (Only appearance) (Topical Reference)
- Nick Fury (Photo)
- Jean DeWolff (Photo)
Synopsis for "Sin of Pride"Edit
Years ago, when Matt Murdock was still studying law, there was a guest lecture by Judge Horace Rosenthal. After the lecture, Matt approaches Rosenthal and thanks him for the lesson. However, Matt points out that there was an error in the judgment of one of the case studies he provided. Horace points out that Murdock should have said so during the lecture, not after. He tells Matt that to be a lawyer you need guts and you need to be true to yourself. This was the first time Judge Horace Rosenthal met Matt Murdock.
Judge Rosenthal has been fatally shot in his office by the Sin Eater in front of Matt Murdock. The Sin Eater managed to escape in the confusion and his shotgun blasts draw a crowd. Vowing to avenge the death of his colleague, Matt storms out of the courthouse determined to find Horace's killer as Daredevil. Not far away, Peter Parker, his Aunt May and Ernie Popchik are still upset about how the men who attacked Ernie were released on their own recognizance. Ernie can't understand it, and wonders if the judge has something against war veterans.[Continuity 1] Despite Peter's assurances that isn't the case, Ernie thinks that pretty soon the streets won't be safe. Suddenly, people on the street are in a panic because the Sin Eater is fleeing down the street. The Sin Eaters assurances that he will harm nobody fall on deaf ears. As the crowds flee in a panic, Peter is separated by his Aunt May.
In the confusion, Peter changes into Spider-Man to try and stop the Sin Eater. When he orders the masked man to put down the shotgun, the Sin Eater opens fire anyway. Instinctively, Spider-Man leaps out of the way. Suddenly he hears screams and realizes that the people behind him were struck by the Sin Eater's bullets. This horrifies Spider-Man, especially because his aunt is somewhere in the crowd. When the Sin Eater reloads his gun, Spider-Man webs the barrels shut. As the two trade blows, Spider-Man notices that the Sin Eater has a gavel and police badge clipped to his belt and realizes that this is the man who murdered Jean DeWolff. Admitting this, Sin Eater plans on making Spider-Man his next victim. The wall-crawler's anger gets the better of him allowing the Sin Eater to pummel the hero with his gun. During the battle, Spider-Man is distracted when he sees Aunt May facedown on the ground and he fears the worst. This gives Sin Eater a chance to flee when the wall-crawler tries to stop him, he realizes that his web-shooters were damaged in the brawl. When he tries to tag Sin Eater with a spider-tracer, the killer notices and brushes it off.
With the Sin Eater having escaped, Spider-Man changes back into Peter Parker to check and rushes to Aunt May's aid. She is okay, but Peter gets scolded by Ernie by not being by her side the whole time. Not long after, Daredevil arrives on the scene to discover that he is too late to stop the shooting spree. There are too many erratic heartbeats for Daredevil to zero in on the Sin Eater's heartbeat. As Daredevil chastizes himself for being too slow, the Sin Eater makes his escape in a passing city bus. The Next day, Spider-Man pays a visit to Stan Carter who just learned from ballistics that the gun that killed Judge Rosenthal was the same one that was used to murder Jean DeWolff. Spider-Man explains that he wants to help, especially after he failed to stop the Sin Eater. Now that their killer has a name, Carter explains that a Sin Eater is something that comes out of a folklore. Spider-Man is surprised to see a photo of Nick Fury on Stan's desk and learns that he is a former agent of SHIELD. When Spider-Man asks to check out Jean's apartment, Stan declines it, knowing that it will make the other officers more critical of him. When the wall-crawler asks what Stan's partner thinks about all this, he learns that Carter's partner was killed in the line of duty six months previously and that Stan brought their killers to justice. However, Stan implies that he will turn a blind eye if Spider-Man wants to check out the apartment anyway.
Later, at a church, the bespectacled man who came to confess his sins returns to Reverend Finn to confess again. He tells the priest that he still hears voices telling him to do terrible things. Meanwhile, Spider-Man arrives at Jean DeWolff's apartment and begins looking around, hoping that his spider-sense will pick up on something that the police might have missed. The masked hero finds nothing until he searches Jean's drawers. There he finds newspaper clippings that are all about him. When he sees one of the articles had the Black Cat clipped out of it, Spider-Man realizes that Jean had feelings for him. This hurts Spider-Man who removes his mask. He thinks how Jean DeWolff was always stern with him and regrets that she never made her feelings known, and considers what sort of future they could have had together had she said something. Later, two burials are being conducted at once, one for Jean DeWolff and the other for Judge Rosenthal. At the DeWolff funeral, Jean's mother blames her stepfather for the death of Jean, as he encouraged her to become a police officer. Attending the Rosenthal burial is Matt Murdock. As the attendees of both services begin to filter out, Matt detects the Sin Eater's unique heartbeat. Unfortunately, there are too many people around for him to pinpoint who exactly who it is. Also among the attendees is Reverend Tolliver who criticises the lack of attention that murdered African-Americans get from the police. Stan Carter makes an off-color joke, wondering if the Sin Eater could do requests. It is received poorly. Meanwhile, Matt Murdock decides that he can't keep the knowledge that the killer is among them a secret and tries to warn everyone, but by the time he speaks up, everyone is gone. Peter Parker takes a ride home with J. Jonah Jameson. He somberly vows to himself that Spider-Man will catch the Sin Eater in the next forty-eight hours.
Back at the church, the Sin Eater goes into Reverend Finn's confessional for advice. He tells the priest that he has lost his resolve in his mission to right wrongs, fearing that nobody will understand. Unaware of who he is talking to, Finn tells him to follow his convictions and to do what he thinks is right. Hearing this, the Sin Eater loads his shotgun and opens fire on Reverend Finn.
- ↑ Among the people walking the street is actor Charles Bronson, this is a nod to his role of Paul Kersey in the Death Wish film series, about a police officer who becomes a vigilante taking the law into his own hands. His appearance here is a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Also during this scene, Ernie Popchik states that he fought in World War II. This should also be considered a topical reference.
A flashback in this story affects the chronologies of the following characters:
- This issue is reprinted in other comics and books, see references for more info.
Spidey slugs it out with the Sin-Eater while Daredevil stands helpless to avenge "The Death of Jean DeWolff!"
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