|This article is about a/an chapter in Kamen Rider Spirits.|
|WARNING: This manga chapter contains scenes of blood, mutilation and smoking. Viewer discretion is advised!|
Skyscraper Gale (超高層ビルゲイル Chōkōsōbiru Geiru) is the first chapter of the Kamen Rider Spirits Manga which was featured in the first tankobon. The story introduces readers to FBI agent Kazuya Taki and features the debut of his alternate superhero persona, Skull Rider.
Agent Kazuya Taki goes to America to investigate a series of bizarre murders in New York City, where victims are drained of their blood and the corpses are dropped on top of skyscrapers. He uncovers a plot by an evil priest to create an army of vampire bat monsters to take a big bite out of the citizens of the Big Apple!
On the streets of New York City, a young blonde woman is fleeing in terror as a man in the shadows stalks her and speaks about sinners and "God". He corners her in an alley and then changes into a bat monster, grabbing the woman and biting her neck until she is nearly dead. He then tells the dying girl that those who are sinners should repent and then perish, for they are unloved.
The next morning, at the FBI Building, there is a briefing on the murder. The latest victim was Ellen Dennison, a prostitute and she was the thirteenth of a series of murders in the Harlem district with a similar connecting method: all the victims were drained of ninety percent of their blood. The only image they have that is connected to the murders is of a strange shadow, most think it is a bird but one agent laughs at that idea: Kazuya Taki. He think it is a kaijin but he his scorned by his superior for believing in such "nonsense". One agent asks why they are not going public with the murders to warn the people but the director says that it would cause widespread panic and disrupt the flow of a city that is the financial heart of the United States. Kazuya gets under the director's skin after being told he is not assigned to the case and should leave by implying there is political interference from an elected official preventing the public from being warned. The director angrily states that there is nothing further to discuss. Kazuya laments that in America, there is no Kamen Rider before saying he was joking about the accusations and leaves. The agents question what a Kamen Rider is and the director says it is some urban legend Agent Taki "made up" and that someone like that cannot exist in reality.
At a diner, Kazuya talks with a man named Hopkins about his predicament as he is not allowed to partake in the investigation before heading out. The waitress, Bridget, asks Hopkins why Agent Taki is just an observer instead of trying to help. Hopkins says that despite Kazuya's heroism in defeating enemies like Shocker and Gel-Shocker, the man has become disillusioned as time went on.
Kazuya rides into Harlem to see a young kid named Spike sing outside a youth center, the children watching then excitedly greet Kazuya and the agent gives Spike a handful of change and puts it in a hat. A priest named Father Petrescu applauds Spike's performance and asks if he can sing gospel for a Sunday mass. Spike isn't sure about it and calls him strange for picking an abandoned church in East Harlem to set up his congregation. The adults berate him for that but the Father kindly asks the homeless adults if they would like to stay for the night in his church for warm food and shelter. Kazuya is amazed by the Father's kindness, to which the preacher says that everyone should accept God's love.
At a junkyard, Spike shows off his collection jar of money to Kazuya and says he dreams of going to the Apollo Theater for Amateur Night to perform in the hopes of making life better for himself and his friends by getting the attention of a music producer. The younger kids excitedly gather around Kazuya and ask him to tell the story of Kamen Rider again. Kazuya agrees and tells the kids about Kamen Rider, a man who fought scary monsters like vampires and ghouls and could throw a punch that could break solid rock and destroy the monsters with the Rider Kick. He puts dramatic emphasis on this story by breaking a wooden plank Spike holds up with a single punch and slicing a leaf in half with one strike of his foot. The kids cheer and say what a cool story it is, but it makes Kazuya a bit sad as he wonders where his old friends are and where they were fighting. Before leaving he tells the children to get home safe, with the kids saying it is okay because if something bad happens, Kamen Rider will protect them. Spike thinks the way Kazuya talks about Kamen Rider, the character might just be based on him.
At the Church, the homeless people who took refuge writhe in pain and cry out to Father Petrescu that they are starving and must feed. Petrescu says that of course they need to feed as they are "reborn" and soon they will feed on "the blessed bread and sacred wine" with ominous inhuman eyes on his face. Petrescu then hears a noise and sees Kazuya eavesdropping, but he fakes innocence as he is questioned by the FBI agent. He claims to know nothing and satisfied, Kazuya walks off and Petrescu stands near the door, a large group of bat monsters hanging on the ceiling. At the Apollo Theater, Spike is signing up for his performance. He flashes back to his time with Kazuya telling him that he is going to be the dream of the people of Harlem as he will use his fame to keep kids away from gangs and make people realize that people who live on the street are not trash. Petrescu then shows up and greets Spike.
At the diner, Kazuya asks for some Ume-Konbucha, which confuses Bridget as she does not even know what that is. Hopkins bursts in startling Kazuya and tells him that Spike is in danger as the monster that took him is cornered by the police. At a hospital, one of the children named Emelio has been attacked and is being rushed to critical care. Emelio's friends ask the nurse where Kamen Rider is and why isn't he coming to help.
At the Apollo Theatre, the FBI director witnesses a bat monster on the roof after using searchlights and sees Agent Taki disobeying orders and getting involved in the case, on the roof with the creature. The bat monster trembles, as if it is afraid and Kazuya realizes in horror that this monster is Spike. Spike is confused and afraid, crying as he thinks he hurt Emelio and worries that he might have killed him. Kazuya asks him if he went to the church and Spike reveals that Father Petrescu took him in and then altered him with some kind of drug and surgical devices and when he woke up he craved blood. Spike panics as he starts losing his mind to the alterations and a psychic link to Father Petrescu. The FBI try to snipe Spike but Kazuya is in the way of a clear shot. Kazuya begs for Spike to fight it as the alterations make him more feral, telling him about Kamen Rider and how despite being a monster on the outside, he can retain his humanity just like Kamen Rider did and still follow his dreams. Spike seems to snap out of it and stops attacking only for Father Petrescu to interfere by using his psychic link to reawaken Spike's feral state. Taki gets injured by a sonic blast to the face and knocked out. Coming to his senses, Spike is horrified and upset at what he has done and flies off leaving his bandanna behind.
Kazuya gets berated by his superior and is asked why he didn't kill the monster. Kazuya replies that it is because Spike told him his dreams, holding up Spike's bandanna. As he walks away, he remembers what Spike said about Kamen Rider being based off of himself and a determined look comes on his face.
At the Church, Father Petrescu inquires why Spike did not finish off the FBI agent but Spike does not answer and writhes in pain as he has not fed on any blood. Father Petrescu dismisses him as useless and leaves him to dry away and die and gathers his Vampire army to fly into New York and feed, only for a figure to burst in through a window on a motorcycle. Father Petrescu demands to know who the biker is and the black leather clad figure addresses himself as Kamen Rider, wearing Spike's bandanna on his arm, revealing that this is Kazuya in a costume. "Kamen Rider" shoots one of the vampires with a shotgun blast which causes some of the other vampires to feed on their dead comrade, then Kazuya uses a modified brass knuckle with shotgun shells to execute a Rider Punch on another vampire. He then runs at yet another vampire and uses modified boots with tasers built into them to execute an electrified Rider Kick. Kazuya's helmet is sliced open revealing his face which causes Spike to fly away. Father Petrescu uses his enhanced speed to immobilize and critically injure Kazuya by slicing up his left leg, a gash on his torso and one of his arms. Father Petrescu picks up the defeated man and mocks him for thinking he was a Kamen Rider as he cannot protect anything, transforming fully into his bat monster form. As he is about to kill a weakened Kazuya, the sound of a motorcycle engine breaks the silence and a biker bursts through the door and blinds the vampires with his headlights.
Father Petrescu only exclaims in horror: "YOU! NO! NOT HERE!"
The biker is revealed to be Takeshi Hongo, who apologizes to his old friend Kazuya for being late and then transforms into Kamen Rider 1. Kamen Rider then gives his old friend a pep talk: "A lot of enemies are here Taki, but that isn't important, for tonight you and I will be Double Riders!". Father Petrescu tries to use his wings to kill Kamen Rider but his hand easily deflects it and the attack ends up killing some of Father Petrescu's vampire army. Kamen Rider then vanishes and Father Petrescu frantically tries to find where he is, with Kazuya having a sly sinister grin on his face. Father Petrescu then looks up and sees Kamen Rider 1 clinging to the ceiling preparing to do a Rider Kick, the force of his legs pushing forward causing the ceiling to burst a hole in the roof of the church. Father Petrescu panics as Kamen Rider uses his Rider Kick to tear the vampire's arm off. Bleeding and in fear of being destroyed by the superhero, Father Petrescu flies out of the church with the remnants of his army. Kamen Rider 1 chases after them while Kazuya limps to get onto his bike complaining that Takeshi is always "the last to arrive but always the first to leave".
In Times Square, a swarm of vampire bats descend to feed on civilians, only to hear the roar of the New Cyclone. Kamen Rider 1 deploys the Cyclone Cutters and uses his bike to make quick work of the vampires, even riding on the side of a skyscraper at full speed to take on the ones trying to escape by flying higher. Kamen Rider 1 kills one more vampire by jumping off the New Cyclone and using his Rider Punch and two more by ripping them apart with his bare hands. In the diner, Bridget and Hopkins witness Kamen Rider 1 fighting the vampires and are shocked, wondering if the stories Kazuya told are true.
Father Petrescu, in a weakened state, flies toward the Brooklyn Bridge stating he must return to "He who loves me". He then sees Kazuya who jumps off the road on his bike onto the bridge's steel cables and chases after Father Petrescu. The demonic bat tires to sonic blast Kazuya, but his attack is stopped by Spike, who used his own sonic blast to cancel out Father Petrescu's. Spike gets hit by an enraged Father Petrescu who slices the boy's throat. Angered, Kazuya leaps onto Father Petrescu and weighs him down with his motorcycle, getting him into position as Kamen Rider 1 arrives. Kazuya and Kamen Rider 1 work in tandem, as Kazuya jumps off and 1 uses his Lightning Rider Kick to tear the bat apart. Before dying, the crazed Father Petrescu exclaims how sad it is that "those forsaken by God" will die soon, laughing maniacally.
The next morning, Takeshi asks Kazuya if he is still mad about him being late, which he is and the two engage in small talk about how they have been doing until Bridget tells Kazuya that Spike is about to perform. The two see his performance and Kazuya thanks him for the Vampire vaccine to cure Spike. Takeshi says that he barely stopped its progress but now Spike can live as a human and follow his dreams. He then tells his old friend that he feels a new battle may be coming soon, asking if he can rely on Kazuya when the time comes. Without hesitation, Kazuya replies that he will help him any way he can for humanity's peace and freedom.
|Kamen Rider 1||Takeshi Hongo|
|Taki Rider||Kazuya Taki|
- To be added