Appearing in "By Myself Betrayed!"
- Daily Bugle Staff
- Aunt May
- Nathan Lubensky
- Mr. Varley (First appearance)
- Mr. Johnston (First appearance)
- Ray Nesters (Only appearance)
- Tony Nesters (Only appearance)
- Babyface Bob Clayton (Only appearance)
- Coach James Albertson (Only appearance)
- Ben Parker (Recap)
- The Burglar (Recap)
- Black Cat (Vision)
Races and Species:
- New York City
Synopsis for "By Myself Betrayed!"
Peter Parker has been assigned to accompany Daily Bugle sports reporter, Wendy Thorton, to cover the game between New York Mammoths and the San Francisco Skyhawks. So far, the Skyhawks are winning the game and the Mammoths' star-quarterback Ray Nesters appears to be doing more poorly than usual. As Peter tries to figure out how to work the sports camera that was lent to him by the sports editor, he is approached by Nesters' younger brother Tony, who attended classes at ESU and when Peter was a teacher's assistant. When the game ends, Wendy doesn't understand why the Mammoths lost. She takes the sports camera back and goes to the locker room for post-game interviews. Peter leaves and realizes that he is running late for dinner at Aunt May's. Slipping out of view, Peter wills his street clothing to change into his Spider-Man costume. Peter is still amazed by the ability the new costume he got from Battleworld. Still, the costume still has its mysteries, as he swings out of the football stadium he wonders where this costume generates its webbing. He reminds himself that he should have Reed Richards examine the costume as soon as possible. As he swings away, the people below don't recognize the wall-crawler on account of his new look. It reminds him of the early days when he first became Spider-Man. This gets him thinking about his failed attempt at showbiz that ultimately led to a burglar killing his Uncle Ben.
Meanwhile, Ray Nesters and his brother return home, Ray tells Tony to go inside and that he is going to get a newspaper. However, he is actually meeting with two underworld enforcers named Mr. Varly and Mr. Johnson. They represent a mobster named the Rose, who has Ray on the take. They give him a bonus and instruct him to throw the game again the following week. However, Ray refuses as the playoffs being that week and he can't afford to lose any more games. When Ray tries to strong arm Mr. Johnson, Mr. Lester pulls a gun and threatens to shoot him. When Ray relents, they warn him to follow orders or he will be killed. When Ray returns to his apartment, Tony notices that his older brother seems tense, but Ray tells the youth to mind his own business.
Later that evening, Peter Parker is finishing dinner with his Aunt May and Nathan Lubenski. Left alone with his Aunt to clear the table, Peter chooses this opportunity to tell his Aunt May that he has quit school. This upsets May who thinks Peter is throwing his future away. Her upset is noticed by Nathan who demands to know what Peter had said to upset his aunt in such a way. Later, Peter goes out web-slinging as Spider-Man to get his mind off of Aunt May's reaction. Spider-Man can't help but think how nothing in his life appears to be turning out right. Particularly his relationship with the Black Cat, which appears to be going sour. He can't help but think that the Cat is keeping some secret from him. Elsewhere, Mr. Varley and Johnson report back to the Rose about Ray Nesters, and the Rose assures them not to worry about the athlete, as he will assure that he stays in line.
Tuesday morning, Ray is practicing with his teammates the big game. His coach tells him that he has a feeling that this year is going to be the Mammoths year. Later, after practice, Ray returns home to find an envelop that was slid under the door of his apartment. Inside he finds a note from the Rose telling him how to throw Sunday's game along with a cash advance. He is soon called by Mr. Varley who wants to confirm Ray's cooperation. However, Nesters refuses to reply, which the Rose deeply regrets as he did not want to have to resort to violence. On Thursday, Peter Parker is waiting to meet Joe Robertson at the Daily Bugle. He is lost in thought, thinking that perhaps his Aunt May was correct. Going in to see Joe, he is told that his sports photos were not good, and how Peter's work has been slipping lately. Robertson warns Peter to shape up, reminding him that he is not the only freelance photographer that works for the Bugle. When Peter leaves, he asks Joe's secretary, Betty Leeds, why Joe is being such a hard case. Betty points out that he is running a tight ship as the new editor-in-chief of the Bugle since taking over the position from J. Jonah Jameson. They are joined by Wendy Thornton who has arranged an interview with Ray Nesters with Tony. Since she made the connection with Tony thanks to Peter, she offers him to come along and snap photos. She then calls to confirm the appointment with Tony, who lets her go to answer someone knocking at the door.
Meanwhile, Ray is returning home from another practice. He is thinking about where things went wrong in his life. However, the fame of being a pro athlete led to becoming indebted to the Rose and going on the take. When he returns home, he finds a note from the Rose telling him that they have kidnapped Tony and that they need to talk. He rushes out of his apartment to go find the Rose, bumping into Peter Parker and Wendy Thornton on the way out. When Wendy wonders what's wrong, Peter shows her the state of Ray's apartment. As the sports reporter wonders what happened, she doesn't see Peter slip away. Changing into Spider-Man, the wall-crawler follows after Nester's car and follows him to a nearby warehouse. Ray slams through one of the garage doors, crashing into the Rose's goons. He struggles one of the goons and gets a gun from him, and demands the Rose to let his brother free. The Rose appears and brings out Tony, distracting Ray enough for the mobster's minions to jump him. After setting up his automatic camera, Spider-Man leaps through the window and makes short work of the Rose's men. While the wall-crawler is busy, Ray goes to rescue his brother. Tony demands to know if Ray has been intentionally throwing games, furious with his brother when he deduces the truth.
While everyone is distracted, the Rose takes the opportunity to flee the scene. Spider-Man spots this and tries to go after the Rose. When the villain tosses a gas bomb at the wall-crawler, it has no effect as his new costume filters out the gas. When the Rose tries to flee, Ray attempts to stop him, but the criminal easily overpowers him and sends some massive wooden crates toppling down on him to cover his escape. Spider-Man manages to swing down in time to shield Ray with his body, but the Rose manages to escape. In the aftermath of the battle, Tony fears that the Rose will not leave his brother alone now. However, Ray realizes that there is only one way to handle this. Ray then gives a full confession to the Daily Bugle putting an end to his career. Reading the article later, Peter Parker congratulates Wendy on the scoop. However, Wendy wonders why someone with such a promising career would throw their life away like Ray Nesters did. This gives Peter some hard thinking to make of his own.
- Spider-Man recounts the events that led to him obtaining his new black costume. That happened in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8.
- The wall-crawler also recalls his brief career in showbiz when he first started being Spider-Man, and how it stopped after the death of his Uncle Ben. That happened in Amazing Fantasy #15.
- Peter tells his Aunt May that he quit grad school, a decision he made in Amazing Spider-Man #243.
- He also recalls the trouble that his relationship with the Black Cat has been having. This started when the Black Cat was injured during their battle with Doctor Octopus in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #76. After her recovery, she was at risk of serious injuries in subsequent battle. The secret she is keeping from him at this point is the fact that she obtained superpowers from the Kingpin in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #89.
- Betty Leeds mentions how Joe Robertson has taken over as editor-in-chief of the Daily Bugle. This happened after Jameson revealed in involvement in the creation of the Scorpion. As seen in Amazing Spider-Man #251.
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