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Appearing in "Whatever Happened to Crusher Hogan?"

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Synopsis for "Whatever Happened to Crusher Hogan?"

Years ago, the wrestler known as Crusher Hogan was challenging people to last three minutes in the ring with him. One of these contestants was a young man with spider-like abilities. This youth managed to survive in the ring, and Crusher Hogan took him under his wing. Hogan trained the youth to make use of his agility and strength. He also helped create web-shooters and the costume for the young man who would later become the hero known as Spider-Man. Crusher Hogan taught the wall-crawler everything he knows, at least that's how Hogan tells it now. Times haven't been good to the former wrestler, now that he is a janitor at a gym. He spins his tale about Spider-Man to a young boxer named Bobby Chance, although the other men training at the gym think Hogan is a washed up fool, Bobby buys into the story. As they converse, the owner of the gym, a muscle-bound thug named Manslaughter Marsdale comes out of his office and orders Hogan to get back to work. Marsdale then approaches Chance and asks about rumors that the young man won't be renewing his contract with his gym. Manslaughter warns the boy not to cross him, using his strength and ball knuckles to smash a punching bag, warning Bobby that if he leaves, it could be hazardous to his health.

Marsdale then goes back into his office where he meets with his associate Madam Fang and tells her about Bobby's decision to sign up elsewhere. She then orders him to deal with Chance in the usual manner. They then become aware of someone listening outside of the office. Marsdale goes outside and finds Hogan listening in. Manslaughter shouts at the lowly janitor and tells him to get lost and keep his mouth shut, or else. Later that evening, Crusher Hogan returns to his small apartment. He is worried for Bobby Chance and wonders what he could do. Looking at one of the many posters of Spider-Man hanging in his apartment, Hogan wishes he really did know Spider-Man so he could ask the hero for help.

At that moment, Spider-Man is attempting to return to his apartment, but unfortunately, his neighbors are sunbathing on the roof again. Desperate to get back into his apartment, the hero resorts to creating bats out of webs and tossing them at the women. The ploy works and Candi, Randi, and Bambi all flee for cover, allowing Spider-Man to climb back into his apartment through the skylight. As Peter Parker begins removing his costume, his thoughts on how to deal with this recurring problem is interrupted by a pounding on his front door. It's Peter's landlady, Maimie Muggins, who suspects that Peter had something to do with the girls screaming on the roof. Muggins has pegged Peter for a pervert, particularly after a recent screaming fit he had one night. Before leaving, she reminds Peter that his rent is due in a week, and she wants to receive it on time for once. After Muggins leaves, Peter worries about getting enough cash. He considers selling the solid gold notebook he recovered from a building that was turned into gold by the Beyonder but can't think of anyone who would believe it was real, let alone give him money for it. He still feels guilty about taking it to begin with.

That's when Mary Jane Watson comes knocking, she tells Peter that she just got a raise and a new modeling gig and wants to celebrate. As Peter is getting ready to go out, Mary Jane happens upon the golden notebook and is shocked to see such a thing. Peter quickly brushes it off as a gag novelty item. While at in Forest Hills, Aunt May and her fianceé Nathan Lubenski is spending the day together when the phone rings. Nathan answers it and is shocked to when it is the voice of someone who has been looking for Nathan for such a time. The voice on the phone tells Nathan to meet him at the usual place, or else. Aunt May, unaware of the threats being made, asks Nathan who that was on the phone. Nathan brushes it off, telling her that it was nobody. The next day Peter and Mary Jane go out shopping before Mary Jane has to go work at her new employer. Peter is surprised to learn that Mary Jane is modeling for Roderick Kingsley. Peter doesn't say anything, however, isn't sure he likes the idea of Mary Jane working for Roderick given his shady dealings in the past. Peter then goes to the Daily Bugle to see if Betty Leeds can provide him with a photo assignment.

There he sees her having an argument with her husband, Ned Leeds, and Peter worries about the marital problems the couple has been having lately. Suddenly, Peter's spider-sense goes off and he ducks, avoiding a pat on the back from rival photographer Lance Bannon. Lance tells Peter that he has been swamped with photo assignments given to him by the new city editor, Kate Cushing, and wants a night off, so he offers Peter his latest assignment. Kate isn't happy with the exchange but allows it. On his way out, Peter watches Ned Leeds storm out of the office leaving Betty behind in tears. By the time Peter gets back to his apartment he gets a phone call from his Aunt May. She is worried about Nathan and asks Peter to follow him while he goes to meet with someone that evening to find out what the trouble is all about.

At that moment at Marsdale's gym, Manslaughter is making arrangements with Madam Fang to convince Chance to stay with the gym. On his way out, Marsdale shoves Crusher Hogan out of his way, reminding the janitor to keep his mouth shut. When Bobby Chance bumps into Hogan moments later he asks Crusher what's wrong. Crusher brushes it off, telling Bobby that it is nothing. At that moment, back in Forest Hills, Spider-Man is staking out his Aunt May's home waiting for Nathan to make his late night rendezvous. As soon as Nathan gets in a taxi, Spider-Man begins to follow him. Meanwhile, back at the gym, Crusher Hogan decides to try and warn Bobby about Manslaughter Marsdale, but he is caught in the act. Marsdale orders Hogan to scram, but when his man tries to pull a gun, Crusher smacks him over the head with a broom. As fate would have it, Spider-Man is passing by and hears the gunshots. Finding himself in a conflict, Spider-Man decides to investigate the sound of gunshots. After setting up his camera, Spider-Man comes crashing in through a window to stop Marsdale and his men from roughing up Bobby and Hogan. While Spider-Man handles Marsdale's goons, Chance attempts to strike Manslaughter. To his surprise, it is like hitting a brick wall. Marsdale explains that he had an operation that eliminated his ability to feel pain.

While Spider-Man is busy fighting Manslaughter Marsdale, Nathan Lubenski arrives at a darkened alley for his late-night meeting. The men gathered there are upset that Lubenski hasn't paid back his gambling debts. They decide to motivate him by giving him a serious beating. Back at the gym, Spider-Man manages to knock out Manslaughter Marsdale thanks to an assist by Crusher Hogan. In the aftermath of the battle, Bobby Chance tells the wall-crawler everything that Crusher had told him. Finally, Spider-Man recognizes Crusher, and decides to go along with the tall tale, and confirms that Hogan taught him everything he knows. By the time Spider-Man leaves, the other boxers return back and find Marsdale and all his thugs webbed up. When they hear how Crusher did it with the help of Spider-Man, they find a newfound respect for Hogan.

Feeling good about himself, Spider-Man changes back into Peter Parker goes back to Queens to follow up with his Aunt May. He feels bad for not following Nathan but assumes that there couldn't be much trouble. However, when Aunt May answers the door she tearfully tells Peter that Nathan is in the hospital after being beaten within an inch of his life. Aunt May feels foolish for asking Peter to follow after Nathan, knowing that her nephew has a life of his own and closes the door. Depressed, Peter stands on the porch and feels horrible over what has happened and what it's done to Aunt May. However, he can't help but think what would have happened to Crusher Hogan and Bobby Chance if he hadn't have intervened. He wonders if this is the price his family will always pay as long as he is Spider-Man.

Solicit Synopsis

He was Spider-Man's first "enemy," now, years later, the story can finally be told — "Whatever Happened to Crusher Hogan?"


Continuity Notes

  • This story has multiple mentions of the time that Spider-Man faced Crusher Hogan in the ring. These events were first depicted in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  • Maimie Muggins reminds Peter Parker about his screaming fit he had. This was due to a nightmare he had in Web of Spider-Man #7.
  • Peter contemplates selling the solid gold note book he has in his possession. This came from a building that the Beyonder turned into solid gold in Secret Wars II #2. Spider-Man took the gold notebook in Web of Spider-Man #6 after he discovered that the Kingpin was helping the government dispose of the gold, for a price.

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