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The issue opens up with the Amazing Spider-Man dropping down on Ben Urich, and together, the two of them heading over to see if Nova is available.
The scene shifts to the Corruptor sitting at a desk, while a woman by the name of Ellen tells him that it will take hours to put the make up on him to cover his features.
Elsewhere, Nova is looking at the very same newspaper that Corruptor had been looking in; with the headlines of “Super Hero Disgrace – Nova goes Ballistic In Lower Manhattan.”
The scene shifts again to Braggatello Construction Firm, where they’re building a Lindsey Children’s Hospital – but both Ben Urich and Peter Park suspect there is more to this than meets the eye; and rightfully so when they are greeted by several men who take and destroy the film on the camera.
Later in J. Jonah Jameson’s office, Peter’s “spider sense” goes off just seconds before Nova bursts through the wall, telling those in the Daily Bugle to back off the Braggatello Construction Firm’s work on the Lindsey Children’s Hospital. Immediately, Peter Parker notices Nova’s gestures seem stiff and suspects that there may be more here than meets the eye.
Spider-Man and Ben Urich meet Nova inside, where Nova explains that while he did do it – it wasn’t by his own choice. He explains that it began on a Tuesday when he had gone to the construction site looking for a job; they had declined, and he had gone across the street for dinner. There, a man touched him on the shoulder and told him essentially everything he had wanted to hear, and how he could get Rich a job; the whole nine yards. Rich explained this is how he and Spider-Man came to blows as Rich Rider, as Nova, began destroying the Lindsay Children’s Hospital. Nova then managed to beat Spider-Man with a “Nova Blast” and left the scene.
Ben Urich speaks with Nova and tells him that a man by the name of Jackson Day profited greatly with the fall of Braggatello’s Construction. At that moment, Nova realizes that it was the Corruptor who had been behind all of his recent action.
Nova confronts Corruptor and Corruptor explains that he only allows Rich to act without inhibitions; indicating these are things that Rich had wanted to do. He also explains that now that Bragatello’s Construction has fallen, his company, Hope Foundation, won the contract and that he could offer Nova the job he had promised him at the diner.
The issue ends with the first prologue – someone watched him as he flew into his place. The second prologue ends with Bird-Brain, from New Mutants fame, talking to a vulture about changing them into a bird-mammal.