Appearing in "California (State) Schemin'!"
- Ginny Edwards 🢒 (First appearance)
- Jonathan Caesar 🢒 (First appearance)
- 🢐 Prowler 🢒
- Uncle Ben (Referenced)
- Avengers (Mentioned)
- United States of America
- New York
- United States of America
Synopsis for "California (State) Schemin'!"
At the offices of the Daily Bugle, Peter Parker is shocked to discover that J. Jonah Jameson has made a deal with Wilton Books to publish Peter Parker's photos of Spider-Man in a book called "Webs". Peter can't believe that they are doing this without his permission, but Jameson informs Peter that his photos are owned by the Daily Bugle, per their contract. Although Jameson offers a pittance in a gratuity fee, Wilton Books offers to pay Peter to go on a book tour to help promote the book. They also willing to pay an appearance fee for Spider-Man. Peter tries to explain to them that he is not Spider-Man's "pal" and can't just call him up. Peter accepts the offer to do the book tour, but he insists on doing it alone. Still, J. Jonah Jameson offers to run an ad in the Daily Bugle to try and get Spider-Man in on the deal. Up on the roof, Peter changes into Spider-Man and realizes that he is jealous of his alter-ego. For the first time in his life, he is being recognized for the work he has done as Peter Parker and doesn't want Spider-Man to take that away from him. Still, he finds the idea of his name being on the cover of the book exciting.
As the wall-crawler web-slings across the city, he comes upon two men arguing over payment of a bet. When one of the men pulls out a knife, Spider-Man intervenes, stopping things before they get fatal. Back at Bedford Towers, Mary Jane has just finished unpacking her wardrobe into one of the condo's massive closets. Peter arrives home and tells his wife the good news.[Continuity 1] Mary Jane is happy to hear the news, especially since the first part of the tour will be in California. Peter then goes to Forest Hills to tell his Aunt May the good news. Aunt May is proud to learn that her nephew will have a book published.
In Beverly Hills, the Black Fox has arrived in the city, and breaks into the mansion of Osgood Hempstead, who has been away from his home for months. The Black Fox is delighted to be using such lavish accomidations for his latest operation. He figures he will be able to steal enough to finally retire to the French Riviera, and not have to deal with interference from Spider-Man, like he has in New York City.[Continuity 2] After helping himself to a drink, the Black Fox calls the police and, posing as Osgood Hempstead, tells them that he will have a guest staying in his home.
Days later, back in New York, Mary Jane is heading out the door of their condo when she bumps into Jonathan Caeser, the owner of Bedford Towers. Caeser tells Mary Jane that he admires her work and hopes to have tea with her some day. She then introduces Jonathan to her husband, Peter, and they head out for their trip to California, telling Caeser that they will see him when they get back. Jonathan is very certain that the will. After a flight to Los Angeles in a corporate jet, Peter and Mary Jane are wisked away in a limb with Ginny Edwards, a publicist hired by Wilton Books to assist Peter on his book tour. She goes over their itinerary, which includes an appearance at a gala hosted by Transcorp, which will also be displaying Valencia Chalice. With their afternoon open, Peter insists that they spend their day at Disneyland. That evening they arrive at the John Duncan Civic Center for the gala. Peter is star struck by the celebrities that are in attendence.[Continuity 3] While outside, the Black Fox manages to steal an invitation in order to get inside. His entrance does not go unnoticed, as he is quickly spotted by Peter Parker who slips away to change into Spider-Man.
Inside, the Black Fox changes into his costume and knocks out the guards in the security room. After putting the cameras on a loop, the then takes out the guards who are protecting the chalice. His attempt to steal it is interrupted by Spider-Man who gives the Black Fox chase. The thief manages to get away with Spider-Man thanks to the hero's concern with protecting the other artifacts on display. Disorientated by a smoke bomb, the wall-crawler runs through a doorway and out into the ballroom. Mary Jane takes the cue and introduces Spider-Man to the crowd. As the wall-crawler is forced to play along, the Black Fox continues to try and make his escape. However, before he can escape he is confronted by the Prowler, who has come to take the chalice for himself.
Peter Parker's book of Spider-Man photos is hitting the stores, and Peter's off touring the country to promote it! But fun turns to danger when the web-slinger encounters that gentleman thief, the Black Fox, in sunny California!
- Peter and Mary Jane are identified as husband and wife in this story. Years later their marriage is erased from history by the demon Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As a result, Peter and Mary Jane were never married but are instead a common-law couple.
- The Black Fox last clashed with Spider-Man in Web of Spider-Man #14–15.
- Among the guests is Geraldo Rivera, this should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
Events in this story occur behind the scenes that affect the chronology of the following characters:
- 🢐 Page 1-9 🢒 - Peter Parker learns that his photos are being published in a book called "Webs".
- 🢐 Page 10-22 🢒 - Spider-Man battles the Black Fox in California while on his book tour.
Mary Jane Watson Parker:
- 🢐 Page 1-9 🢒 - Mary Jane learns that Peter's photos are being published in a book.
- 🢐 Page 10-22 🢒 - Mary Jane accompanies Peter to California on his book tour.