Appearing in "Mysteries Of The Dead"
- Evan Swann
- Anne-Marie Baker
- Liz Osborn
- Normie Osborn
- Hobgoblin (Shadow only)
- "Peanuts" Mulroney (Only appearance)
- Hal (Modeling Agency Photographer)
Synopsis for "Mysteries Of The Dead"
While out web-slinging, Spider-Man is shocked to see the stone lions outside the main branch of the New York Public Library suddenly come to life and attack the people around them.[Continuity 1] This spectacle is a shock to Spider-Man, but he quickly swoops in to keep the stone lions busy while the civilians flee. With the area clear of innocent people, Spider-Man then smashes the stone lions into pieces. He is disturbed to see the fragments of the statues are still moving even though they have been reduced to rubble. Grabbing his automatic camera from a nearby building, Spider-Man then hears someone scream and heads for the source. In a nearby alley, he spots a small-time crook named "Peanuts" Mulroony trying to mug a couple. After setting up his camera again, Spider-Man swoops in and uses his webbing to pull the gun out of Mulroony's hand. As the crook flees, Spider-Man is caught off guard when the wall he is clinging to suddenly forms into a massive stone humanoid. As the wall-crawler tries to smash the creature, one of the mugging victims tries to help Spider-Man, only to be fatally crushed. Horrified to see the man killed, Spider-Man picks up a car and throws it at the brick monster, smashing it to pieces. However, this does little to change the fact that the man is dead. When the police arrive on the scene they ask Spider-Man to make a statement. However, he has nothing to say at that moment, telling them he will go down to the station tomorrow.
Peter returns home to the apartment he shares with his wife, Mary Jane.[Continuity 2] Mary Jane is sweltering in the heat after the air conditioner went on the fritz. She attempts to call a repairman, but instead of a dial tone, all she hears is a faint sound of cackling. That's when Peter returns home and tells her what happened. Peter is devastated that an innocent man died while he was trying to protect them. He was so disturbed by the fatality that he even left his camera behind at the scene. When Peter asks what he can do, Mary Jane has no answers. Thanking his wife for listening to him, Peter decides to go to bed and get some sleep.
The next day, Peter Parker tries to attend his class at Empire State University. However, he cannot get the thought of the dead man out of his mind and steps out of class. In the hallway, he runs into Doctor Curt Connors. As they exchange pleasantries, Peter notices that Connors appears to be distracted. Curt assures him that it is nothing but adjusting to the new term. However, as Peter goes away, Curt admits to himself that he has been feeling odd, but dismisses it as a reaction to the strange weather. Peter then goes to the lab where he operates as a research assistant for Doctor Evan Swann. Peter notes that Dr. Swann doesn't seem very into his work. Anne-Marie, his fellow lab assistant, tells Peter that it's because of the revelation that Swann never graduated from high school and purchased a phony diploma to continue his career.[Continuity 3] The university has kept Evan employed, but have stripped him of his tenure and privileges and has yet to get over it. Peter wishes he could be sympathetic for the doctor, however, he has many of his own problems to worry about.
That evening, Peter joins Mary Jane at a country-western bar called Mustang Ed's to attend a publicity bash for Le Derriére jeans, a company that Mary Jane had posed for. Peter just isn't into it, but tells Mary Jane that they couldn't just cancel at the last minute. As they plan to make a quick exit, thier attention is turned to a man named Hal who is furious that his agent hasn't landed him the acting role promised to him. When he gets violent, Peter restrains the man until the bouncer can throw him out. Pulling her husband away to the balcony outside, Mary Jane makes a parallel between the disturbance in the bar and the man who was killed the night before. She explains to him that Peter would have gotten involved even if he didn't have his spider-powers. She points out that Peter made a concious decision to help the agent, much like the man made a choice to try and help Spider-Man. Peter feels foolish for thinking only of himself, and agrees with the conclusion his wife has drawn. He goes out later to recover his camera as Spider-Man so he can move on with his life. There, Peter examines the scene and is surprised to see no sign of any rubble. Coming to the conclusion that what he saw might have been an illusion, Spider-Man decides to investigate further.
He goes to a seedy bar located on the docks where he confronts Peanuts Mulroony demands to know where he can find the man who paid the money Peanuts is flashing around the bar. Frightened for his life, Mulroony caves and agrees to give the wall-crawler the information. This leads Spider-Man to a warehouse on the East Side, where his suspicions that Mysterio was somehow involved are confirmed. His old foe explains that he orchestrated the events in order to make it look like Spider-Man was responsible for the death of an innocent person in order to shake the hero on a psychological level. Wondering why Mysterio is explaining his plans instead of fighting, Spider-Man remembers that the villain's mists dull his spider-sense. Spider-Man tries to catch Mysterio in his webbing, but the villain has already fled. Following Mysterio through the only door, Spider-Man finds himself on the set of a science fiction film. There he is attacked by two animatronic creature effects. In order to get away from the robots, Spider-Man smashes through the floor where he decides to cut the electricity Mysterio needs to power his illusions. As he searches for the electrical box, Spider-Man is confronted by what appears to be the spirit of the dead man, who accuses the wall-crawler of being responsible for his death. Spider-Man knows that this is yet another one of Mysterio's illusions and smashes the electrical box. With the power cut, Mysterio's costume short circuits, knocking the villain out and ending his threat.
Later, Peter Parker returns home to his wife and explains everything that happened. However, one thing that bothers him is the other bizarre incidents that happened prior to the death. Assuming that this was just another one of Mysterio's mad illusions, Peter figures that all the craziness will end. However, Peter cannot be further from the truth, as at that moment the Empire State Building is undergoing a strange transformation. A man waiting for an elevator inside the building is horrified when the elevator doors turn into a massive mouth with razor sharp teeth. Before he can scream, the man is eaten alive. While in Hicksville, Long Island, Harry Osborn wakes up screaming after having a nightmare about the Green Goblin. This wakes up his wife, Liz, who asks Harry what's wrong. He lies, telling his wife that his nightmare was a combination of workplace pressure and being a father. He decides to go and check on his son, Normie. The young Osborn child is still asleep, and Harry vows not to let his past affect his son as it has done to him. Harry says this completely unaware of the fact that the Hobgoblin is watching from the shadows outside the window.[Continuity 4]
This story is continues in Spectacular Spider-Man #146...
Inferno's taking over Manhattan! An innocent man dies trying to save Spidey! And waiting malevolently in the wings is... Mysterio!
|Amazing Spider-Man #311||Spectacular Spider-Man #146||Web of Spider-Man #47||Amazing Spider-Man #312||Spectacular Spider-Man #147||Web of Spider-Man #48||Amazing Spider-Man #313||Spectacular Spider-Man #148||Inferno Event|
- Inanimate objects have begun coming to life in New York City since the start of the Inferno event as first seen in Uncanny X-Men #239. This story occurs during the first chapter of the main Inferno storyline which began in Uncanny X-Men #240.
- Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife in this story. However, years later, the demon Mephisto erased their marriage from existence, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such, Peter and Mary Jane became a common-law couple in this story, as opposed to being legally married.
- Evan Swann's falsified scholastic achievements were revealed last issue/
- The "screwed up past" that Harry is referring to is the fact that his father, Norman Osborn, was the original Green Goblin. Harry learned this following Norman's "death", as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #123. What Harry doesn't know at this time is that his father is still alive, as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #410. More recently, Harry has been haunted by his father's legacy thanks to the appearance of the Hobgoblin, who has utilized the Green Goblin's technology since Amazing Spider-Man #238.
- The cover of this issue is one of the 32 that appear in the comic collection from the 2000 video game Spider-Man.