The death of police officer Captain Jean Dewolff came as a shock to everyone who knew her including the superhero known as Spider-Man. Wanting to help in the investigation, Spider-Man met Sergeant Stan Carter, the lead detective on the case, in order to trade information. The police were stumped as to who committed the crime, but were determined to find her killer. Later that day, Daredevil, in his civilian identity as lawyer Matt Murdock, was threatened at gun-point by a man calling himself the Sin-Eater. Playing like he was a helpless blind man, Matt tried to speak with the intruder until he could get the drop on him. Unfortunately, Judge Horace Rosenthal, a friend of Murdock’s, walked in on them, and even though he begged for his life upon seeing the Sin-Eater, the judge was shot dead in front of an unusually helpless Matt Murdock. The Sin-Eater, still holding his shotgun, caused a riot as he ran from the court building into the crowded New York streets, but he tried to reassure the people that “only those who have misused their power need fear the Sin-Eater’s wrath.” The commotion brought Spider-Man to the scene, and as the two men traded blows, the Sin-Eater confessed to killing Jean Dewolff. Shocked by the news, Spider-Man was caught off-guard and the Sin-Eater beat him down and escaped just before Daredevil arrived.
The next day, Spider-Man went to see Stan Carter and told him that he knew who Captain Dewolff’s killer was, and he could prove it because the Sin-Eater took her badge along with the judge’s gavel as trophies. Spider-Man then went to Jean’s apartment to search for clues the police may have missed. The funeral services of Captain Dewolff and Judge Rosenthal were held the same day at the same cemetery. Peter Parker, Stan Carter, Matt Murdock, and a slew of others attended each respective memorial service. Matt Murdock identified the Sin-Eater’s heartbeat among all those in attendance, but the perpetrator got away before Murdock could confront him. Sometime later, the Sin-Eater continued his murderous ways when he killed Reverend Bernard Finn during confession. Both Daredevil and Spider-Man turned the city upside down in search of any information leading to the identity of the Sin-Eater, but no one, including the Kingpin, was able to help. Later at the Daily Bugle, the Sin-Eater burst through the door looking for J. Jonah Jameson, who happened to be on vacation, and was taken down by a typewriter roller thrown at him by Peter Parker. However, at the police precinct, Daredevil identified the mentally disturbed man, Emil Gregg, by his heartbeat and told Spider-Man that it was the wrong guy. The man without fear and the wall crawler went to Gregg’s home and made the startling discovery that Gregg’s apartment was attached to the apartment of Sergeant Stan Carter. When they searched Carter’s home they found the Sin-Eater’s weapons, costume and a recorder containing a diary, which is how Gregg knew the next victim to be the publisher of the Daily Bugle. Fearing for the lives of Jameson’s wife, Marla, and Betty Leeds who was staying with her, Spider-Man made a phone call to warn them, but the Sin-Eater had gotten to them first.
Racing to the Jameson’s home, Spider-Man busted through a window just in time to save Betty's life. Sin-Eater attacked Spider-Man, but this time Spider-Man didn’t pull any punches. Feeling as if Stan Carter was mocking him the whole time by pretending to catch Jean Dewolffe’s killer, Spider-Man continued to beat the Sin-Eater even after he was unconscious. Daredevil had to forcibly stop Spider-Man, but this only led to a brief confrontation between the two vigilantes. It was explained to police officials, who now had the Sin-Eater in custody, that Carter may not have been in his right mind at the time he committed the murders because of some experimental drug testing that went on while he was an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. The drugs were supposed to increase strength and stamina, but there were numerous negative side-effects to the drug such as violent outbursts and potential personality disorders, so the program was discontinued. It was also surmised that when Carter’s partner was shot and killed a few months back that the trauma of the event caused him to snap and left him determined to wipe away the sins of humanity. Meanwhile, word leaked to the press that the Sin-Eater would be transferred from the precinct to Riker’s penitentiary, and a mob, led by Jean Dewollfe’s father, formed in order to deliver the type of justice they thought he truly deserved. Daredevil tried to stop the death of the former police sergeant, but there were too many assailants, and he was overwhelmed. Spider-Man ignored the plight of his ally, feeling that Carter would now get his just punishment, but once Daredevil called him by his real name, Spider-Man jumped into the fray and saved both Daredevil and Carter. After the crowd was dispersed, Carter was taken to prison.
After a year in a mental institution, Stan Carter was deemed rehabilitated and was allowed to be a part of the world once again. Spider-Man, along with a host of others, wasn’t particularly happy knowing he was set free. Spider-Man went to Carter’s apartment, and was surprised to see what he had become. Speaking with a stutter, walking with a cane and now partially deaf, Stan Carter was far from the man he once was. Spider-Man thought that he was mistreated while in the institution, but Carter told Spider-Man that his condition was a result of their last encounter. Feeling guilty over the pain he caused Stan, Spider-Man had to get out of there. A short while later, Spider-Man came across his old sparring partner Electro, but he was defeated because he pulled too many punches not wanting to damage Electro as badly as he injured Carter. Unable to defend himself and at the mercy of an unappreciative crowd, Spider-Man had to be saved by Stan Carter who held everyone at bay with a toy shotgun. Carter was arrested and questioned, but even though Carter claimed he was cured, he was constantly haunted by his past as the Sin-Eater.
Carter reluctantly went on a talk show to talk about a book he was writing, detailing his crimes as the Sin-Eater, but he was interrupted by an irate Spider-Man. It was at that time that Carter revealed to the nation his remorse for killing Jean DeWolff and the shocking news that the two of them were lovers. Spider-Man didn’t have time to react to the news as Electro showed up at the station and publicly challenged Spider-Man to a fight. Spider-Man was branded a coward by the media when he didn’t accept (although he would have a chance to correct the media’s thinking when Electro held the city hostage). Stan lost his battle with his alter ego as he snapped, once again, while attempting to write his book. Spider-Man defeated Electro even as the Sin-Eater returned and opposed the police while holding a child hostage. The Sin-Eater released the boy and turned his gun toward the officers, but he was gunned down in a hail of bullets. Spider-Man arrived too late as Stan slipped away claiming that he finally defeated the Sin-Eater. Spider-Man determined that Stan thought he and the Sin-Eater were two different people, and the lead officer at the scene remarked that if that was the case, then Carter had the last laugh because he never loaded the Sin-Eater’s gun.