While witnessing a battle between Spider-Man and the Rhino, Carl King continued to tell himself that Peter Parker stole the life that should have been his. The adventures, the superhero showdowns and the glory should go to Carl – at least that is what he’s recited through the years. Never forgetting the years he bullied Parker in school, Carl was proud of himself for all the times he tortured young Peter before he got his spider powers. King followed Peter to the Daily Bugle, and once everyone had gone home for the evening, he ambushed a young Jess Patton who had worked late that night. Miss Patton never stood a chance against the horror that is the Thousand, and her identity was stolen by her murderer. King, in the skin of Jess Patton, sought Peter out and took advantage of his good nature with a bogus sob story. He persuaded Peter to take him back to his apartment, and that was when he decided to strike. A confused Peter was easily taken off-guard, and King began to trounce Parker both before and after he changed into his Spider-Man costume. During the scuffle, Peter was bitten by the Thousand, and a poison injected into Spider-Man's blood stream caused him to black out. It wasn't long before Spider-Man was tied up and at the mercy of the Thousand.
King continued to taunt Peter with the fact that he knew him intimately until Peter guessed who he was. Carl told his captive how he followed him around from the first moment he was bitten by the radioactive spider at the nuclear physics exhibit until he finally saw him leave from the apartment belonging to his Aunt May dressed in his Spider-Man outfit. Then, after he was satisfied Peter knew enough, King revealed what it was that now inhabited the skin of Jess Patton as – literally – a thousand spiders emerged from her hollow shell with the intention of taking over Peter's body, so Carl could claim the life he believed was rightfully his. Fortunately for Peter, his super, Mr. Ambrose interrupted Carl's feeding. Unfortunately for Mr. Ambrose, he became the Thousand's next meal. Now in the guise of Mr. Ambrose, King told Peter the rest of his tragic tale. He wanted the same abilities granted to Peter and crept back into the exhibit looking for that same radioactive spider to bite him. However, the spider was not cooperating, so Carl simply ate the spider. Over the next few days, Carl's body began to change, and one morning he instinctively ate his mother and assumed her identity. That night he wanted to see if he could do it again and repeated the act with his father. Over the years, King ate approximately a dozen people a year – mostly bums and even children. With each victim, the Thousand grew stronger and more capable of killing Spider-Man. Carl talked so much that his poison wore off, and Spider-Man freed himself from captivity. A tremendous skirmish ensued, but King still seemed to have the upper hand. King was momentarily stunned when he found out Peter was no longer afraid of him and his intimidating ways. Peter pounded away at Carl, but he was violently thrown into an electrical box. King pursued and delivered a punch into the box – despite Peter's warning – and the Thousand was electrocuted right before Parker's eyes.
Sometime later, a single spider emerged and revealed that only one spider needed to survive in order to hold King's essence, and it can begin the cycle all over again until he grows strong enough to challenge Spider-Man once more. That spider was soon squashed by a pedestrian stopping for a cigarette, but it has yet to be revealed if any other arachnids that made up the Thousand survived their ordeal and are biding their time.