Appearing in "Trade Secret"
- New York City
Synopsis for "Trade Secret"
Spider-Man has webslinger to Newark International Airport to get photos of the President of the United States who is scheduled to arrive in New Jersey that day. While the wall-crawler finds someplace to change into Peter Parker, other photographers congregate in the airport arrivals. Among them is Jake Jones, a sleazy tabloid photographer who hopes to get an embarrassing photo of the President. As he walks toward the luggage carousel, Jake bumps into a woman causing her purse to spill open. Although Jack appears to help her gather up her things, he uses the opportunity to steal her wallet. He then goes into a storage room to ditch the evidence where he bumps into Spider-Man changing out of his costume. Seeing the hero with his mask off, Jack snaps a photo and bolts. With his identity compromised, Peter tries to go after Jones but realizes has to stop to put his costume back on. Despite the wall-crawler's efforts to stop Jack Jones, the wily tabloid photographer is well trained in evading capture and manages to escape in a luggage cart. Spider-Man chases after him, but Jack sends the cart speeding toward a shuttle bus. While Spider-Man is stopping the collision, Jack Jones manages to escape.
Later, back at his apartment, Jack Jones realizes what a stroke of luck he has on his hands. Unfortunately, Jones doesn't know how to match the face with a name, given the massive population in New York City. However, he realizes the value of the photo in question and decides to sell it to a criminal instead. While downtown, Peter Parker frets over what might happen if his identity is exposed to the world. He worries what will happen if the photo is sold to a newspaper, or worse, to one of his foes like the Kingpin. Not knowing the identity of the photographer, Peter hopes Ben Urich can identify him from Peter's description. Peter then goes to the Daily Bugle where he learns all about Jake Jones and his unethical practices. He goes over the Bugle's file on Jones and hope it is enough to track him down. Urich warns Peter to be careful, as Jake Jones is nothing but trouble.
Meanwhile, Jake Jones is attempting to sell the photo of Spider-Man's face to someone in the criminal underworld. He starts at a sleazy bar and believing that Jake is some crank, the thugs who run the place throw him out. Out on the street, Jake decides to sell the picture to a newspaper, after all, deciding that perhaps the Daily Bugle will be interested. Meanwhile, in the backroom of the bar, the thugs tell their boss, mobster Roberto DeNatale, about what just happened. He is interested in the validity of Jones' claims and tells his men to follow after him and force him to give up the photo. Meanwhile, Spider-Man is swinging across the city trying to find a trace of Jake Jones.
By this time, Jake has returned to his hotel room where he is assaulted by DeNatale's men who threaten to kill him if he doesn't turn over the photo. Before they can kill Jones, Spider-Man comes crashing through the window. While Spider-Man is busy with DeNatale's men, Jake Jones escapes the room via the fire escape. Outside, Roberto DeNatale is informed of Spider-Man's involvement and thinks that this was all just a set up to lure him into a trap. Roberto and his men corner Jake in an alley. Seeing this, Spider-Man considers leaving Jake Jones to his fate, but he remembers the lesson he learned when his Uncle Ben was killed due to his inaction. Reminded again that with great power comes great responsibility, Spider-Man swoops down to save Jake Jones. As Spider-Man is thrashing the mobsters, Jake Jones tries to escape again. Having finished up DeNatale and his men, Spider-Man webs up the alleyway, preventing Jones from escaping. Spider-Man puts on some theatrics to frighten Jones into turning over the negatives.
In the aftermath of this fiasco, Jake Jones laments about losing the negative. Although he lost the photo, Jones memorized Spider-Man's face and figures he'd know him to see him. However, he once again thinks about the massive population in New York and realizes that the task of tracking down Spider-Man is next to impossible.
- A number of elements in this story should be considered topical references per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. These elements are:
- That the photographers are going to take photos of Ronald Reagan, who was the President of the United States at the time this story was published. This is more so topical since Reagan died in 2004.
- References to TWA being an airline, particularly since Trans World Airlines went out of business in 2001.
- Jake Jones' claims to have taken a compromising photo of former First Lady Jackie Onassis. Particularly since Onassis passed away in 1994.
- All references to the population of New York City is 8 million people, as this figure is subject to change.
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