- I drank the potion-- even though it was untried-- it was untested-- because I wanted it to change me but-- not like this! NOT LIKE THIS!
- -- Peter Parker
Appearing in "The Spider or the Man?"
- Aunt May (Dream)
- Gwen Stacy (Dream)
- George Stacy (Dream)
- Daily Bugle Staff (Dream)
- Goblin Glider (Dream)
Synopsis for "The Spider or the Man?"
Spider-Man is patrolling the streets of Manhattan looking for crime. Just when he thinks it is going to be a quiet night, he spots a bank robbery in progress. Spider-Man quickly stops the crooks. After wrapping them up in webbing, Spider-Man leaves them for the police. As he observes the arrest, he wonders what it will take for the people of New York to stop seeing him as a criminal. Swinging away, the wall-crawler comes to realize that being Spider-Man isn't as thrilling as it once was. Watching New Yorkers milling about in the streets he envies them for the normal lives that they live. Returning to his apartment, Peter decides that he wants to spend the rest of his life with Gwen Stacy. With the constant danger of being Spider-Man, he decides that in order for Peter Parker to have a life, Spider-Man must die. Peter then gets to work to create a serum that will strip him of his spider powers. Once complete, Peter drinks the potion and instantly begin getting dizzy. With his head pounding, Peter decides to go to bed and try to sleep it off.
Peter begins to dream, his first thoughts are of how he feels guilty for the death of his Uncle Ben. How, with his Aunt now a widow, he was forced to find a source of income to help support himself and his aunt. To this end, he ended up getting a job as a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle, whose publisher -- J. Jonah Jameson -- often uses Peter's photos to discredit and demonize Spider-Man. He then recounts how his romance with Betty Brant was lost due to his alter-ego, and how she eventually became engaged to Ned Leeds. However, he now loves Gwen Stacy. He thinks about how Gwen blames Spider-Man for the death of her father.
In this dream, Spider-Man calls out into the sky, asking why he has to constantly live a life of tragedy. Suddenly, he hears a familiar voice calling out for help and begins traveling the rooftops to help. Suddenly, he is attacked by the Vulture who swoops in from the skies. Although the villain has the element of surprise, Spider-Man is easily able to incapacitate his longtime enemy. As the Vulture falls to the ground, Spider-Man snares him with a web line, but no sooner has he done this that he is whipped in the face by the Lizard's tail. Spider-Man struggles with the Lizard, wrapping webbing around the man-monster's mouth. He then flees his new attacker to try and find the person calling for help. He is then attacked by the Green Goblin, who Spider-Man knocks off his glider. Moments later, he is attacked by Doctor Octopus. Like with the other foes, Spider-Man knocks out Doctor Octopus and continues on his trek across the rooftops. He is then attacked by the Kingpin, but despite the villain's great strength, Spider-Man defeats him in hand-to-hand combat.
Spider-Man reaches the voice and is surprised to see the spirit of George Stacy floating in the air. George tells Spider-Man that he knows that Spider-Man is really Peter Parker. He emplores Parker to keep his powers to continue fighting against the forces of evil. His final words is that Peter is Spider-Man, and therefore not entitled to a normal life, which is a blessing and a curse. Suddenly, Peter wakes and realizes that it was all a dream. He begins regretting drinking his formula without testing it first as his sides have become incredibly itchy. Removing his sweater, Peter is shocked to discover that he has grown four additional arms in his sleep.
The greatest of the great! The sensational, sense-shattering 100th-anniversary issue! Featuring the most unbelievable ending of all time! Truly a must!
Peter's dream covers a number of key moments in the life of Spider-Man:
- The death of his Uncle Ben at the hands of a Burglar in Amazing Fantasy #15.
- Uncle Ben's funeral in Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #1.
- Peter getting a job as a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle happened in Amazing Spider-Man #2.
- Peter had a relationship with Betty Brant. Their romance started to blossom circa Amazing Spider-Man #9, however it became strained since Betty began to blame Spider-Man for the apparent death of her brother in Amazing Spider-Man #11. The couple drifted apart and Betty eventually began seeing Ned Leeds in Amazing Spider-Man #18 and ultimately got engaged in Amazing Spider-Man #30.
- Peter and Gwen started seriously dating circa Amazing Spider-Man #54.
- George Stacy died during a battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus in Amazing Spider-Man #90.
- The Ultimate Spider-Man #100 variant cover by Mark Bagley paid homage to Amazing Spider-Man #100's cover.
- The cover of this issue appears in the comic galleries from the video games The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin (Sega CD version only) and Spider-Man.
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