Appearing in "Humbugged!"
- United States of America
Synopsis for "Humbugged!"
Turning in some crooks, Spider-Man is accosted by a television crew at the police station who are trying to get an interview out of him. Spider-Man is fed up with the media attention and webs up the camera, he tells them to set up an interview with Peter Parker and leave him alone. The wall-crawler then physically moves the cameraman out of his way so he can leave out the window. Spider-Man chastises himself for letting his temper getting the better of him, as he has enough bad press as Spider-Man, but he can't help but feel jealous of the attention Spider-Man is over the book that has Peter Parker's name on it. While he can use the extra money on his book tour for Spider-Man appearances, Peter has decided that he should keep his alter-ego's presence minimal. Something made harder after his impromptu appearance in Los Angeles trying to capture the Black Fox. Arriving on the rooftop where he stashed his clothing, Spider-Man changes back into Peter Parker, thankful that he has a loving wife to balance out his double life as Spider-Man.[Continuity 1]
Meanwhile, Buck Mitty is returning to his apartment with a load of electronics he just recently purchased. He ignores the taunts from the neighborhood children, as he intends to use the equipment to build a new Humbug uniform.[Continuity 2] Meanwhile, at Bedford Towers, Peter Parker returns home with a rose for his wife, Mary Jane. She is delighted, however, their romantic moment is interrupted by Jonathan Caeser, the owner of Bedford Towers. He heard that the Parkers were back from Los Angeles and wanted to welcome Mary Jane back with a large bouquet of flowers. Caeser than invites Mary Jane to dinner, however, they are scheduled to go to Cleveland for Peter's book tour. Mary Jane and Peter agree to see him for dinner when they come back. Caeser agrees although he is less than happy about Mary Jane's husband joining them. After Caeser leaves, Mary Jane tells Peter that she is going to give Jonathan's flowers to the cleaning lady, and put his single flower in a vase. This reassures any worries in Peter's mind that she might have even the slightest interest in Jonathan Caeser.
That evening, the Black Cat has returned to New York City. She has decided that she does love Spider-Man and decides to pay him a visit.[Continuity 3] She goes to Peter Parker's old apartment in Chelsea and discovers that he no longer lives there.[Continuity 4] After an embarrassing encounter with the apartment's new tenant, the Black Cat leaves in order to figure out where Peter has moved. The next day, Peter is in Cleveland for a promotional appearance for his book, Webs. Backstage he signs a copy of his book for a fan who drops a bunch of old comic books on the floor. Picking up an issue of Action Comics, Peter recalls how he had that issue growing up. The kid tells him that he is selling his old comics to pay for tuition and leaves. Later, while Peter is signing autographs, Mary Jane surprises him for, she bought the comic book that he was admiring.[Continuity 5]
In Chicago, at the office high rise of William Dukane, the wealthy businessman is interrupted by a man who appears to be Ronald Carson. "Carson" informs Dukane that he is taking over the company. When William threatens to call security, he is shocked when "Ronald" suddenly changes into an exact copy of himself. This other "William Dukane" then shoots William with a dart that causes the businessman to collapse on his desk.
The next day, back in New York City, Buck Mitty has driven his van to Empire State University. Putting on his Humbug costume, he vows to get revenge against the university for cutting his funding in the study of insects.[Continuity 6] He decides to get revenge by stealing some expensive paintings that the university has in storage. Using his recordings of insect sounds, Humbug blasts open a door that he thinks leads to the paintings. Instead, he is embarassed to discover that he has broken into the women's locker room and is chased out by a bunch of angry women. That evening,[Continuity 7] Aunt May is visiting Peter and Mary Jane's new condo for the first time. Aunt May decides to leave as Peter and Mary Jane have to go to Jonathan Caeser's party. However, before she goes, she tells Peter that she is proud of him and his new home, and also because he decided to go back to school. When she asks him about his assistantship grant, Peter realizes that he hasn't finished his paper and it is due that evening by 9 o'clock. Even though Jonathan Caeser makes Peter uncomfortable, he has no choice but to web-sling to ESU to drop the paper off.
Later that evening, Humbug has returned to the university, this time he intends to try and steal a new experimental sonic electron extraction device. Underestimating how loud his insect sonic blast, Humbug not only blasts open the security door but also blows out all the windows in the building. This is spotted by Spider-Man, who goes to investigate the cause. There he tries to stop Humbug. When the villain tries to blast Spider-Man with his sonic weapons, the hero redirects the blast with a parabolic dish. The redirected blast send Humbug sailing out the window and onto the ground below. When campus security arrives on the scene, Humbug uses his powers to set the engine of their car on fire. Spider-Man has to stop to put out the flames before the car explodes, but he is informed by the people gathered that Humbug fled into the science building. Humbug has fled into the entomology lab, where he is chastised by a student who had a deadline to meet. When Spider-Man comes crashing in, Humbug takes the student hostage. However, the villain quickly surrenders when Spider-Man threatens to smash a bottle full of insects.
Later, Peter arrives at Jonathan Caeser's party and finds a man trying to impose himself on Mary Jane. When Peter tells the man to stop harassing his wife, he tries to get rid of Peter by using his martial arts moves on him. Peter easily deflects his kick and Caeser has the man thrown out of the party. Mary Jane decides to call it a night, as they both have to be up early, as Peter has an engagement in Chicago and Mary Jane has a modeling gig in New York. Hearing this, Caeser bids the Parkers a good night. Thinking to himself, Caeser vows to make Mary Jane his by Monday evening. While in Chicago, "William Dukane" meets with some shady underworld characters. However, this is not Dukane at all, but the international criminal known as the Chameleon.
Once, Empire State University cut off the funding for his insect research. Now, Humbug's back to take his revenge! And lurking in the background is one of Spidey's oldest foes! Plus, to top it all off, what are the sinister Jonathan Caesar's evil intentions toward Mary Jane?
- ↑ Peter and Mary Jane are identified as husband and wife in this story. However, years later, the demon Mephisto erased all existence of their marriage in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such, Peter and Mary Jane now exist in a common-law relationship instead of being married.
- ↑ The equipment that Humbug is depicted as using are portable tape decks. This technology should be considered topical relative to the date of publication.
- ↑ The Black Cat and Spider-Man broke up in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #100. She had recently left for Europe to sort out her feelings in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #129.
- ↑ Peter moved out of his Chelsea apartment to his new condo in Bedford Towers in Amazing Spider-Man #300.
- ↑ The issue in question is Action Comics #285 originally published in 1962. As revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #-1, Peter was given his Uncle Ben's old comic book collection.
- ↑ Mitty's funding, and his first outing as Humbug was ended by Spider-Man, as seen in Web of Spider-Man #19
- ↑ The depiction of the original twin towers at the site of the World Trade Center should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
The cover is an homage to DC's Action Comic #1, the first appearance of Superman.
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