- New York is my home. My friends are here. My career is, too. I don't know if I could give all that up. Even to make a dream come true.
Appearing in "(Mid)American Gothic!"
- Martin Jacobi
- Ruth Cassady (Only appearance)
- Billy Cassady (Only appearance)
- The Wild Pack
- Rosa Cassada
Synopsis for "(Mid)American Gothic!"
In Emporia, Kansas, Peter Parker is shown around the research laboratories of On-Line Research by Martin Jacobi. Jacobi has offered Peter a job as the chief assistant of the experimental division. Peter isn't sure that he will accept the job, although he is very impressed with the facility as it offers him the employment opportunities he has been seeking since high school. Peter still can't get over how he was recommended for the position by Curt Connors, who was the Lizard, is as much a friend of Spider-Man as he is an enemy. Peter is then shown around the outside of the facility where a new wing is being built. Peter thinks how he couldn't get offered such a position in New York City, but wonders how huge a change moving to Kansas would create for his life. They soon come upon an argument between Doctor Royce Nero and construction boss Wes Cassidy. Royce, a former government employee, is upset that Cassidy's construction equipment is disrupting his delicate equipment. Suddenly, one of the acetylene torches backs up, threatening to cause a massive explosion. Wes Cassidy orders everyone to evacuate the site before it explodes. Peter Parker manages to slip away in the confusion and changes into Spider-Man to see what he can do to help.
Spider-Man is glad the area had been evacuated, saving Peter from explaining why Spider-Man is in the area. He sees the flames getting closer to the shed filled with more propane cylinders. Before Spider-Man can swing in and try to put the flames out, he is shocked to see Wes Cassidy running back onto the site at super speed. Right before Spider-Man's astonished eyes, he watches as Cassidy kicks open the back of a pick-up truck and kicks wall insulation into the flames, smothering them. With the danger over, both Cassidy and Spider-Man see each other and take off as neither want to be discovered. Later, back in his civilian guise, Peter Parker is assured by Martin Jacobi that these things don't regularly happen on site. Peter is sure that it was only an isolated accident. Thinking to himself he is surprised to discover someone with super-powers but hopes that is the only surprise waiting for him in Kansas. At that moment in Royce Nero's lab, the scientist begins a test of a new gauntlet that he has constructed. Firing a beam from one of its fingers, the gauntlet causes a rock at the other end of the room to explode. Nero is pleased with the results, confident that his new invention is nearly complete.
Meanwhile, back in New York City, Silver Sable has just finished a training session when her Uncle Morty comes in to inform her that the Wild Pack have returned from their mission. There is only one of the six soldiers who is able to stand and he tells her that they were able to locate the Neo-Nazi known as Fritz Kraus, but his organization is much larger than they expected. Hearing this, Sable decides it is time to call in a special operative. Later, at the Cassidy home in rural part of Emporia, Wes Cassady's family head in for dinner. Wes waits outside for a moment longer and is approached by Spider-Man. The wall-crawler explains that he is interested to know how Wes got his powers. As the only superhuman in the area, Cassady is grateful for someone to talk to. Wes takes Spider-Man into the garage and has the hero promise not to laugh when he reveals the source of his power.[Continuity 1] Wes explains that he was a foreman when On-Line's building was first built. During the construction job a jackrabbit escaped from its cage in a lab. With the creature running loose on the construction site, Wes tried to catch it. However, the jackrabbit bit him. Since then he has the ability to move at super speed.
Finishing his story, Wes asks why this is happening to him. Spider-Man suggests that he use his powers to do good. Was points out the idea of wearing a costume and calling himself something like "Bunny-Man" would be ridiculous. He then asks Spider-Man for advice on what to do, unfortunately, the hero has no suggestions to offer, but he promises to keep Wes' powers a secret. Back in Brooklyn, the Sandman returns to the rented room he's been living in under the alias of Sylvester Mann.[Continuity 2] Unfortunately, he discovers that he has locked himself out again and secretly uses his sand powers to unlock the door. Once inside, his landlady, Mrs. Casada tells "Sylvester" is told that he has a visitor. Going up to his room, he discovers that it is Silver Sable, who tells the Sandman that she has a job for him. While at Bedford Towers, Mary Jane gets a phone call from her husband. He tells her that he is excited about this job prospect and will tell her about it once he returns home in a few days. Mary Jane is afraid of this happening. The next day at On-Line Research, Mr. Jacobi is interrupted by Dr. Nero who comes busting into his office wearing his technological harness. Nero explains that he has come to get his dues, after being forced to retire from government work, he had been working on his riot control gear into an offensive weapon. He then demands that Jacobi hand over plans for a secret project from the safe.
At this moment, Peter Parker has arrived at the main gate when the security alarm goes off. Peter decides to sneak off and change into Spider-Man. He catches Nero trashing the facility. As Spider-Man battles Nero, Wes Cassidy watches from the crowd. When Spider-Man is knocked down, he asks Cassidy for help, but he can't bring himself to do it. Eventually, Spider-Man manages to regain the advantage when a test laser is activated during the battle. While Nero is busy dodging this blast, Spider-Man manages to land a blow that knocks his foe out. With the battle over, Wes apologizes to Spider-Man, as he couldn't bring himself to get involved. Spider-Man tells him he understands, telling Wes that we all have decisions to make and live with and walks away. Later, after changing back into Peter Parker, he offers a flimsy excuse about there being a team of Spider-Men given that the masked hero has been seen in England and Germany in recent months in order to explain his alter-ego being active in the country.[Continuity 3] Mr. Jacobi hopes that Peter's opinion of On-Line Research isn't soured by this recent experience. Peter assures him that it hasn't, but he has to talk to his wife before he accepts the job. When Peter returns to New York and is reunited with his wife, he tells her that the job offer is a dream come true. That's when Mary Jane tells him that she can't abandon her career and life in New York City, even for Peter's dreams. This leaves the couple at an impasse as they decide what to do next.
- ↑ Spider-Man says that he cried at the "Robin Williams concert last month". This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Particularly since Robin Williams died in 2014.
- ↑ The Sandman decided to give up his life of crime in Marvel Two-In-One #86. He moved into the Casada home in Marvel Team-Up #138.
- ↑ At the time of this story, Peter has been active as Spider-Man in both England and Germany as seen in Web of Spider-Man #20 and Spider-Man Versus Wolverine #1 respectively.
- This issue contains a letters page, The Spider's Web. Letters are published from Tom Dohman, Dave Pfeil, Chris Stencil, Jack Sutor, Vincent Schmitt, Mike Aragona, Jermoy Mson, Jason Russell, and David Metz. The letters page also contains Salicrup's Section with a letter from Tim L. Lyman and a response from Jim Salicrup.
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