Appearing in "Options!"
- Universal Liberation Army (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Options!"
Mary Jane Watson has returned to New York and walked in on Peter Parker and Amy Powell. Powell has been trying to kiss Peter, leaving him in a compromised situation. Peter awkwardly introduces Mary Jane to Amy when suddenly Lance Bannon arrives as well. He demands to know what is going on, but Amy storms out of the apartment. Lance is incredibly confused, so Peter puts it bluntly by telling Lance to go after her. Left alone with Mary Jane, Peter explains that strange love triangle he found himself in between Lance Bannon and Amy Powell. After hearing Peter's explanation, Mary Jane tells him that she had come by to let him know that she was back in town and to also return his extra pair of keys. When Peter asks Mary Jane how long she will be in town, MJ tells him he isn't sure and leaves. This leaves Peter even more frustrated than ever. Seeing that Amy Powell left her picknick basket behind and helps himself to the food inside. Peter then decides to investigate the android that attacked him earlier in the day and changes into Spider-Man. Taking the shard of the battledroid's armor, Spider-Man brings it to the campus of Empire State University where he finds his ally, Curt Connors and asks him to examine the shard. Connors is impressed with the sophistication of the Android technology. Spider-Man however, wants to know where it came from and who made it.
Just then, Morris Sloan comes into Connors lab, prompting Spider-Man to leap onto the ceiling. Sloan has just finished grading his biophysics exams and is shocked to see Spider-Man there. While Morris is warning Connors about what the trustees would think about his "friend", Spider-Man takes the opportunity to sneak a peak at his exam mark and is surprised to see that he has an A. Sloan is upset that the wall-crawler is peeking at his work, but Spider-Man is too excited to care and leaps out the window and bounds around the city to celebrate. At that very moment, at a coffee shop, Lance Bannon and Amy Powell express their feelings for one another and decide to take their relationship to the next level. Meanwhile, Spider-Man is still excited that he passed as this means he can continue his graduate studies. Thinking this over he realizes that he will have to spend more time in the lab and determine dissertation. His thoughts are interrupted when he overhears a news report coming from a television in an apartment below him. Poking his head into the window, Spider-Man learns that the Universal Liberation Army has taken hostages at Our Lady of Grace and decides to head there and see what he can do.
At the scene, the ULA makes their demands to the police outside, however, the hostage negotiator has no authority to grant those requests. With the situation getting tense, Spider-Man slips unseen into the chapel and beings quietly taking out members of the terrorist group while their leader is busy listing off his demands. With all the other members of the group taken down, Spider-Man sneaks up on their leader and knocks him out once he finishes making his demands. After he is thanked by the hostages, Spider-Man takes his leave so the police can round up the terrorists. Outside, the wall-crawler collects his camer which snapped photos of the situation so he can sell them to the Daily Bugle. There, Peter develops his film and turns in the usable photos and gets paid. He stops by Ben Urich's desk to see how the ace reporter is doing. Urich is working on a fraud story and is in a grumpy mood because his word processor is not operating properly.
Peter leaves the Bugle and as Spider-Man pays a visit to Felicia Hardy at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital to see how she is coming along with her recovery. Felicia is doing well, but the medication is making her groggy and she is getting stir crazy being confined to a hospital bed. The wall-crawler reminds her of how serious her injuries were and recommends that she stay in bed until she is fully healed. She is also worried how she is going to pay her medical bills, but Spider-Man tells her that they will worry about it later. When Felicia calls him "tiger", it reminds the web-slinger of Mary Jane, and he asks her not to call him that again. After kissing Felicia goodnight, Spider-Man goes out webslinging. His mind focuses on his relationship with the Black Cat and his past romance with Mary Jane. He also worries about where he will get the money to pay for Felicia's hospital bills, survive, and look after his Aunt May. He considers giving up being Spider-Man to focus entirely on his career as a photographer, but he finds that he cannot give up his double-identity.
Up all night, Peter finds himself back at Empire State University in the morning. He is greeted in the lab by his frequent lab partner Roger Hotchberg. Peter has spent the entire night thinking and hands Roger all of his notes because he has decided to leave the graduate program. This comes as a shock to Roger, who is speechless as Peter leaves the lab. On his way out, he is stopped by one of the secretaries who has a letter for him from registrar's office. It's a letter of congratulations telling Peter that he has been accepted to continue his studies in the graduate program. Grimly reading this letter, Peter then crumples it up and tosses it into the garbage before leaving the campus of ESU.
The return of everyone's most fantasized-about redhead, Mary Jane Watson. Also Peter Parker learns how he did on exams and then makes a decision that will forever affect his career as he weighs his "Options."
- Peter Parker states that he and Mary Jane were "engaged, sort of". He is referring to the time that he proposed to Mary Jane in Amazing Spider-Man #183, but she turned him down.
- Peter mentions the recent break-in at his apartment. That happened in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #72.
- Curt Connors mentions how much he owes Spider-Man. The wall-crawler has helped Connors with his occasional transformations into the Lizard since Amazing Spider-Man #8.
- Spider-Man mentions how he has previously met Morris Sloan. Peter interacted with his professor as his alter-ego in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #36 while trying to stop the Swarm's rampage on the campus of Empire State University.
- The type of computer being used by Ben Urich in this story, and his comments of previously using a Smith-Corona typewriter prior to it should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
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