Ralph Rider, an ingenious inventor, was murdered when a trio of dastardly men wanted to obtain his latest creation. Jason Dean, a member of the criminal conglomerate, the Maggia, went to the police claiming a man calling himself Photon was the assassin who ended Rider's life. A young man, looking for a phone to call his uncle happened to overhear the conversation and was stunned to find out his uncle was the victim of a madman. This young man was none other than Richard Rider, the deceased’s nephew and super powered crime fighter known as Nova.
Richard accompanied the police detective and Dean back to his uncle's home only to find a bevy of suspects: Harry Daze – a man belonging to the criminal organization A.I.M., Franklin Risk – a ruthless businessman willing to do anything to get what he wanted, Michael Lincoln – Ralph Rider's disgruntled lab assistant who hated Rider for never recognizing his contributions, and finally, Peter Parker – mild mannered photographer for the Daily Bugle when he’s not swinging around town as the amazing Spider-Man.
Rider immediately switched into his alter-ego, as did Parker, but the two found themselves locked in combat when Nova remembered how the newspapers accused Spider-Man of being a criminal too. Both heroes finally decided they were on the same side and actively began looking for the actual killer. It wasn't long before Ralph Rider's butler came forward stating he had information leading to the murderer’s identity, and while he was privately speaking with the detective, Photon appeared seeking to take the butler's life. Spider-Man and Nova did their best to stop the vile villain, but Photon got the better of them and was able to permanently silence the butler before making his escape. After that, Dean, Risk and Daze had all disappeared, leaving the heroes stumped.
The terrible trio, still suspects of the pending investigation, were awaiting to be transported away by the forces of A.I.M. when Nova and Spider-Man confronted them, but a battle against overwhelming odds, and a timely appearance from Photon, left the do-gooders in dire peril. Chained to an anchor and dropped into the sea, it looked like it was the end for Nova and Spider-Man, but tenacity and super strength proved to be too much for their bonds. They broke free and renewed their pursuit of Photon. They traveled back to Ralph Rider’s home and aided the local law enforcement in defeating A.I.M.'s soldiers, but they were almost behind the eight ball again when Photon took a hostage. The two heroes thought fast and acted even faster, and soon Photon was subdued before he could take the life of another.
Using the clues left at the scene, especially a revealing anagram left by the deceased Ralph Rider, the mystery of Photon's true identity came to an end when he was exposed to be none other than Jason Dean – now in police custody where he'll presumably remain for the foreseeable future.