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Appearing in "The Thief Who Stole Himself!"

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Synopsis for "The Thief Who Stole Himself!"

Peter and his wife Mary Jane are out shopping when they are interrupted by a woman who wants Mary Jane to sign a magazine that she is featured in.[Continuity 1]. When the woman thinks she recognizes, Peter tells her about his book, Webs, but she thinks he's actually someone she went to school with. When Peter tries to correct her, she thinks he is being rude and indignantly leaves the store. The couple laughs it up and then head home with their groceries. At Bedford Towers, they are in the middle of unpacking their groceries when Jonathan Caeser pays a visit. This rankles Peter, as he thinks the owner of the building is being too hospitable. Curious, he listens in on their conversation and overhears Caeser offering to do anything Mary Jane asks while Peter is in Chicago for a book signing. Peter's peeping is discovered by Caeser and he leaves. Mary Jane picks up on this and asks Peter if he is jealous of Jonathan. He tells her that he doesn't have a jealous bone in his body, but he crushes a can of soda into his face, suggesting otherwise. As Mary Jane assures her husband that he has nothing to worry about, Jonathan Caeser goes into a secret room in his condo where he has a shrine to Mary Jane and begins obsessing over her image.

Later, in Chicago, Peter Parker and his publicist Ginny Edwards are taking in the sights of the city from atop of the Willis Tower.[Continuity 2] Soon they go for a book signing at an upscale bookstore chain, where Peter's book is on display in the front window.[Continuity 3] Although Peter is delighted, once he meets his adoring fans, he begins to regret his notoriety. Meanwhile, at the office of businessman William Dukane, the man who has been posing as the businessman over the past few days leaves for the day. "William's" change in character has disturbed his change in personality.[Continuity 4] When the impostor returns home, he checks on the real William Dukane who has been tied up in his bedroom since the impostor stole his identity. He assures his prisoner that he will return Dukane's business once he has exploited the business connections it has. The Chameleon then changes back to his true form and decides to relax for the evening by watching an old Lon Chaney film. Lost in thought, the Chameleon thinks about his humble beginnings as a spy for the Russians. He recalls how he soon lost sight of his vision and soon got involved in petty criminal activities and his need for revenge against Spider-Man.[Continuity 5] Having decided his rededication to his original goals, the Chameleon underwent experimentation to make his entire body. With a specially created belt, he can now assume the likeness of anyone down to the most minute detail, negating his need for his old disguises. With these new powers, he is determined to bring about the ruination of the United States of America.

The next morning, Peter Parker and Ginny Edwards arrive at the Midtown Convention Center, where Peter is going to be named an honorary citizen of Chicago by the mayor. However, Peter is more interested in the science expo that is happening there. Particularly the guest speaker, Dr. Edmund Debevic, a leading expert on superconductivity. Meanwhile, the Chameleon intends to kidnap the doctor and assumes the guise of a Chicago police captain. At the scheduled time, some local crooks the Chameleon hired begin staging a robbery, allowing the Chameleon to utilize his disguise to sneak Dr. Debevic. In the ensuing confusion, Peter manages to slip away and change into Spider-Man. The wall-crawler easily dispatches the crooks and learns that Dr. Debevic is missing and goes looking for him. In the basement of the convention center, the Chameleon handcuffs Edmund to a pipe. He takes the scientists identity, explaining that he intends to steal Edmund's work for the government and sell them to foreign governments. He then prepares to set off an explosive to eliminate Debevic in order to make his infiltration complete. That's when Spider-Man comes crashing through the door. Seeing two Debevic's in the room, Spider-Man is briefly confused when the villain tosses down the bomb. Quick thinking, Spider-Man webs up the bomb and tags the fleeing Chameleon with a spider-tracer. Spider-Man then shields the real Edmund Debevic with his body to protect him when the bomb goes off.

As the police arrive on the scene, Spider-Man takes off to capture the Chameleon. The villain attempts to change his identity as he flees through the busy streets, but thanks to the wall-crawler's spider-tracer, Spider-Man keeps on him. Unable to shake Spider-Man, the Chameleon takes advantage when a beat cop tries to stop Spider-Man, thinking he is chasing an innocent civilian. While the officer is distracted, the Chameleon grabs his gun and takes hostages. He ushers them into a movie theater. There, the villain discovers the spider-tracer, figuring out how Spider-Man was able to follow him. He then disguises himself as one of the hostages and lets them all go. In all the confusion, Spider-Man finds his discarded spider-tracer. Meanwhile, the Chameleon disguises himself as a bus driver and escapes the scene. Unable to find the Chameleon, Spider-Man changes back to Peter Parker and returns to the convention center. There he gets the third degree from Ginny, who is upset that Spider-Man showed up unannounced, and asks Peter to have the hero coordinate with their publicity campaign. Peter wonders to himself if his wife ever has days like this.

At that moment in New York City, Mary Jane has finished her scheduled photoshoot and returns home to Bedford Tower. There, she discovers two intruders in her home. They are joined by Jonathan Caeser, who informs Mary Jane that he has come for her. Mary Jane tries to scream, however the soundproofing of her condo ensures that Caeser's kidnapping goes unnoticed.

Solicit Synopsis

Chicago (Illinois)! Spider-Man versus the Chameleon! And Mary Jane— kidnapped!


Continuity Notes

  1. Peter and Mary Jane are identified as husband and wife in this story. However, years later, the demon Mephisto erased their marriage from existence in Amazing Spider-Man #545. Since then Peter and Mary Jane should be considered a common-law couple as opposed to being married.
  2. This story refers to the building as the Sears Tower. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, particularly since it changed names in 2009.
  3. The bookstore is identified as Kroch's & Brentano's, this should also be considered a topical reference as the bookstore chain went out of business in 1995.
  4. The movies that are waiting in William Dukane's limo are depicted as being on VHS. This video format is yet another topical reference, relative to the time of publication.
  5. The events that the Chameleon recount is his first recorded spy mission in Amazing Spider-Man #1, the time he posed as George Stacy in Amazing Spider-Man #80, and his more recent attempt to get revenge against Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #186.

Chronology Notes

Events occur in a flashback that affects the chronology of the following characters:

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