Spencer Smythe was hired by industrialist Norman Osborn to destroy Spider-Man. In exchange, Norman would construct a hover-chair for Spencer's paralyzed son Alistair. To capture Spider-Man, Spencer created a "Spider-Slayer" robot, the Black Widow. However, it accidentally kidnapped Flash Thompson, who was impersonating Spider-Man. When the Kingpin's (who had secretly hired Osborn) men arrived at Oscorp, they shot Flash dead.
When the Kingpin realized that the real Spider-Man was still at large, he kidnapped Norman's son Harry and tried to force Norman to defeat Spider-Man again. However, Spencer wasn't interested in building any more Spider-Slayer robots for Norman since Norman had already supplied Alistair with a hoverchair.
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