Appearing in "The Sinister Syndicate!"
- Sinister Syndicate (First appearance)
- Jack O'Lantern
- The Rose
- Ned Leeds
- Sha Shan
- Carlos Cassada
- Rosa Cassada
- Roberto Cassada
- Michael Cassada
- Daniel Kingsley (Poses as his brother Roderick)
- Mr. Varley
- Mr. Johnston
- New York City
Synopsis for "The Sinister Syndicate!"
Spider-Man and Silver Sable are on Coney Island fighting the Sinister Syndicate, a new group of supervillains consisting of the Beetle, Hydroman, Boomerang, the Rhino, and Speed Demon. The onslaught from the villains have the heroes on the defensive. While Sable deals with the Rhino and Boomerang, Spider-Man faces off against Boomerang and Beetle. When he is struck from below by Hydroman, the wall-crawler thinks back to how he first got into this mess..
Spider-Man has returned to New York City after being lost in Virginia for the past few days. He has just found out about the full page advertisement Silver Sable has put in the Daily Bugle asking for his help. Spider-Man decides to see what Silver Sable wants and makes his way to the Symkarian embassy. There, Silver Sable is entertaining a Middle Eastern dignitary, however she cuts the meeting short when Spider-Man makes his presence known. Sable gets right down to business, telling Spider-Man that he is going to help her take down the international criminal known as Jack O'Lantern. This is the last thing Spider-Man wants to do as he wants to give up his career as a superhero. When he asks why she doesn't ask the Avengers or the Fantastic Four for help, she explains that they do not approve of mercenaries like her. Spider-Man refuses, even though she is offering to pay him a substantial sum of money. Spider-Man says that he doesn't fight for money, and when Sable presses him for an explanation, he tells her it is none of her business and leaves.
Later, at the police jail, Flash Thompson pleads with his ex-girlfriend Sha Shan to help clear his name as he has been framed for being the Hobgoblin. However, Sha Shan refuses to help because Flash cheated on her with Betty Leeds. When Flash begs for her help, the guard tells him that this visit is over and he has another guest. As Sha Shan leaves the room she crosses paths with Betty Leeds, and gives her an icy stair. This is witnessed by Flash's lawyer, Sharon Banks, and when she ask to talk to Sha Shan, the scorned woman refuses to do so and leaves. That's when Peter Parker arrives and asks Sharon how things are going. Banks explains how bleak the situation looks. She also points out that a good defence will cost a lot of money for detectives to look into the true identity of the Hobgoblin. Later, Peter Parker comes to the conclusion that it doesn't matter if Flash is really the Hobgoblin or not, he is still Peter's friend and deserves a fair trial. With his mind made up, Parker changes back into Spider-Man and returns to the Symkarian embassy where he tells Silver Sable that he will accept her job. This is good news to Sable, who tells Spider-Man that the Jack O'Lantern just called her to tell her that he is hiding out on Coney Island. Spider-Man points out the obvious fact that this is a trap, Sable knows, hence why she wants Spider-Man to come along with her.
... This is what lead to the battle that Spider-Man and Silver Sable find themselves in. By this point the Sinister Syndicate has regrouped and confronted both Spider-Man and Sable. They're looking forward to killing Spider-Man since they all have a vendetta against him. They also explain that they took on the job to kill Sable so they can get recognition in the international community. Silver Sable makes a run for it, getting chased by Boomerang and Beetle. She tries to take cover in a nearby video arcade, by the Beetle uses his hydrolic fingers to rip the roof off the building. Meanwhile, Spider-Man is ambushed by Hydroman and Speed Demon. Although Spider-Man manages to clothesline Speed Demon, it leaves him open to attack from the Rhino. Elsewhere, Jason Macendale, the man who is Jack O'Lantern, rides in a limo. He is pleased everything is going according to plan. While the Sinister Syndicate takes care of his enemies for him, he has time to hunt up some new business.
At that moment, Betty Leeds is walking home after meeting Flash Thompson. All she can think about is how Sha Shan looked at her earlier and can't blame the woman. Despite this, she is torn between her marriage to Ned Leeds and her feelings for Flash Thompson. When she arrives at her apartment, she is shocked to see Ned leaving with a number of suitcases. Betty asks him to think about their marriage, but Ned points out that she hasn't. When he asks her if he is the man that she truly loves. When Betty can't give him a straight answer, it confirms the point Ned was getting at. He then gets in a cab and leaves his wife alone in her thoughts. Betty admits that she does love Ned Leeds, however she thinks that perhaps he didn't love him enough. While not far away from Coney Island, the Sandman has had another wonderful supper with his landlords, the Cassada family. After he offers to help the dishes, Mrs. Cassada tells "Sylvester Mann" that he already does enough around the house and that he should relax. The Sandman decides to take her up on this offer by going out to get some fresh air. As he walks down the street, the Sandman is happy with the peace he has found from going straight.
Back at Coney Island, Silver Sable manages to get the drop on Boomerang, knocking him out with a single kick. When she is dive bombed by Beetle, she tries to shoot him with her gun. However, the bullets cannot pierce the villain's armor, forcing her to flee while she thinks of a way to defeat him. Meanwhile, Spider-Man is busy dodging the charges of the Rhino, spraining his shoulder in the process. When the wall-crawler mocks Rhino's new costume, he explains that he has returned to crime to try and get his Rhino costume removed through illegal surgeries, which require a lot of money. When Spider-Man knocks the Rhino down, he is then ambushed from behind by Hydroman. At that moment, Jason Macendale meets with the Kingpin to offer his services. However, after the Kingpin's disastrous experience with the mercenary known as Nuke, he is not interested in hiring another soldier of fortune. While at Kingsley Limited, Mary Jane tries once more to contact Peter Parker. When she gets no answer, she wonders if there is another woman in his life and is surprised to discover that bothers her more than it should. When its time to rehearsing the next day's runway show, she is asked to get Roderick Kingsley. She knocks on Kingsley's door and he tells her he will be along in a moment. Mary Jane can't help but notice that Roderick seems to spend a lot of time in his workroom and wonders what he does there. What Mary Jane is unaware of is the fact that Kingsley is entertaining someone who has a cache of pumpkin bombs. This man warns Kingsley about being careful, as they could both land in jail should someone learn the truth about them.
In another part of the city, Jason Macendale tries to offer his services to the Rose. He offers the chance to either free the "Hobgoblin" from jail, or replace him. The Rose finds the proposition interesting and tells him that he will consider it. When Jason leaves, the Rose's minions ask if this was a wise idea. However, the Rose explains that he will use the situation to his advantage, such as using Jack O'Lantern and the Hobgoblin to kill each other. Back at Coney Island, Silver Sable is able to leap up and incapacitate the Beetle, however she is forced to land atop an elevating tower. Suspecting that she might have broke both of her ankles kicking the Beetle, Sable is too busy trying to control her pain to stop Speed Demon from activating the tower, sending her rocketing up to the top of the attraction. Despite his sprained shoulder, Spider-Man swings up and rescues her. They swing to the ground, evading attacks from Beetle and Boomerang. They take cover under an old wooden roller-coaster. Seeing this, the members of the Sinister Syndicate begin damaging the rickety old coaster in an attempt to bury Spider-Man and Silver Sable under tons of rubble.
Witnessing the collapse of the roller-coaster is the Sandman, who wonders what could have caused it. While at that very moment the Hobgoblin gets a phone call from the Rose who tells him about Jack O'Lantern's offer. The Hobgoblin assures the Rose that he will do something about this development and hangs up the phone. However, he knows that the Rose is trying to instigate a battle between himself and Jack O'Lantern, which the Hobgoblin find amusing because he is planning to eliminate the Rose as well. Walking out in his civilian guise, the Hobgoblin bumps into Mary Jane Watson who recognises him as someone she knows. When she asks what's up, he explains that his life has been rather chaotic recently. Mary Jane takes the man by the arm, and insists that he tell her all about it. While back at Coney Island, Spider-Man pulls himself and Silver Sable out of the rubble of the collapsed roller-coaster. They are quickly surrounded by the members of the Sinister Syndicate, who are coming in for the kill.
What do you do when a gang of super-villains gets together to make a lot of money out of crime? If you're Silver sable, Inc., which makes its money catching crooks, you hire Spider-Man! But will even Spidey be enough to stop Hydroman, Speed Demon, the Beetle, Boomerang and the rampaging Rhino?
- Spider-Man remarks about how he was absent from Manhattan for a few days. This was due to the fact that he was exposing an illegal Roxxon operation in Virginia. This also resulted in the destruction of his red and blue costume. These events occurred in Web of Spider-Man #16-18. Spider-Man will continue wearing his black and white costume (a cloth version made by the Black Cat in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #99) until Mary Jane insists that he stop wearing it after she is attacked by Venom in Amazing Spider-Man #300.
- Spider-Man thinks about how he has decided to give up being Spider-Man. Peter made this decision in Amazing Spider-Man #275 after coming to the conclusion that being Spider-Man has done nothing but hurt those he cares about.
- Flash Thompson was framed for the crimes of the Hobgoblin in Amazing Spider-Man #276. He mentions how he was almost killed because of it. He was targeted by the Scourge of the Underworld in Amazing Spider-Man #278, although he was saved by Spider-Man.
- There are multiple references in this story about Betty Leed's affair with Flash Thompson. Peter discovered this affair in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #109-110.
- The Sandman decided to go straight in Marvel Two-In-One #86 after a traumatic experience of being merged with Hydroman in Amazing Spider-Man #217-218.
- The Kingpin refuses to hire Jack O'Lantern due to his recent dealings with the mercenary known as Nuke. Those events took place in Daredevil #232-233.
- This issue drops a few clues to the identity of the Hobgoblin, but these are red herrings. This story presents itself as though Roderick Kingsley and the Hobgoblin are two different people. However, as revealed in Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #1-3, Roderick is really the Hobgoblin. In order to maintain a degree of separation between his two identities, Kingsley often had his brother Daniel pose as him, such is the case in this story. However, the person Mary Jane is talking to in this story is actually Ned Leeds. Leeds was brainwashed into thinking he was the Hobgoblin, also explained in the Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives series.
- Credits: layouts by Frenz, pencils and inks by Breeding.
- This issue is reprinted in Marvel Tales #288 and the trade Spider-Man vs. Silver Sable.
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