Appearing in "The Sandman Always Strikes Twice"
Synopsis for "The Sandman Always Strikes Twice"
While out on patrol, Spider-Man interrupts some muggers who are attempting to rob a woman in an alleyway. Still furious over the death of Bradley Bolton, Spider-Man gets rougher with the crooks than usual. He almost kills one of the muggers but is stopped by their would-be victim. Realizing that he almost went too far, Spider-Man departs. He collects his camera, realizing that he can't sell these pictures to the Daily Bugle, as it would justify everything J. Jonah Jameson claims about Spider-Man. He decides to call it quits and decides to go home and get some sleep. Elsewhere, a prison van is transporting the Sandman off to prison. However, the vehicle is attacked by armed thugs, allowing the Sandman to break free from his restraints. The Sandman escapes the vehicle and agrees to accompany his rescuers to meet their employer.
Meanwhile, in the Bowery, the mysterious bum trips up a passerby in order to rob him and buy the booze he craves to keep his demons at bay. Hating himself for stooping so low, the bum suddenly sees something that horrifies him. Demanding to be left alone, the homeless man flees from the scene, leaving the man and his wallet behind. While elsewhere, the Sandman meets with his mysterious benefactor. He has been re-equipped with his technological uniform. Thanking the man for his rescue, he is about to leave when he is threatened with utter destruction. The Sandman is forced to agree to help his mysterious new employer to steal a special mechanism. The Sandman decides that it is for the better since he will be able to get back at those who imprisoned him.
A half-hour later, Spider-Man is still swinging across the city thinking about his failure to save Bolton and the troubles he has been having with Mary Jane. Suddenly, he picks up a signal from one of his spider-trackers, much to his surprise. The wall-crawler follows it to Coleman Research where he spots armed men wearing similar outfits to those who shot Bolton to death. Spider-Man takes out the two guards inside and sneaks inside. After setting up his automatic camera, the wall-crawler begins looking around when he is attacked by the Sandman. Spider-Man is shocked to see his old foe after fighting him so recently. He attempts to wrap up his enemy in webbing, but the Sandman turns into sand form and seeps out of the trap. Swarmed by a cloud of sand, Spider-Man struggles best as he can, but the Sandman manages to knock him out.
When Spider-Man awakens, he finds himself strapped to a table with a strange cannon pointed at him. The Sandman explains that this is a cryogenic device that is used to freeze the terminally ill in the hopes of finding a cure later. Before the Sandman can blast him, the wall-crawler uses his strength to flip the table over so the freeze ray makes the table brittle enough to break free. The two fight once more, with the Sandman gaining the upper hand thanks to the devices and chemical mixtures built into his costume. However, this works against him, when the Sandman slips on his own oil slick toward the path of the cryo-beam. Before Spider-Man can leap over to the shut-off switch, the Sandman is frozen solid. The frozen foe almost falls to the ground, but Spider-Man prevents him from shattering on the ground. With the battle over, Spider-Man considers himself lucky that he won the battle and got the photos he needed. Gathering up his camera, the web-slinger swings into the night.
- The mysterious Bowery bum's identity is revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #157.
- Likewise, the identity of the Sandman's mysterious employer is revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #163.
- The Sandman remarks how he has not worn his technological costume in a while. This costume was built by the Sandman in Fantastic Four #61. The Sandman was last seen wearing it in Marvel Team-Up #2.
- Spider-Man recalls his last battle with the Sandman alongside the Human Torch and the Sons of the Tiger. That happened in Marvel Team-Up #39-40.
- This issue contains a letters page, The Spider's Web. Letters are published from Peter Sanderson, Dean Mullaney, Steve Andrews, Charlie Boatner, and "Howard's Planet".
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