Appearing in "License Invoked"
Synopsis for "License Invoked"
At Empire State University, Peter Parker is testing out the strength of a new webbing formula by putting an acetylene torch to it. He is caught in the act by Doctor Evan Sloan. After offering an excuse as to what he is doing, Peter agrees when Dr. Sloan suggests that he does his independent research on his own time. After his shift is over, Peter changes into Spider-Man so he can test his new webbing while also hunting for photos he can take for the Daily Bugle. Meanwhile, in Forest Hills, Mary Jane gets a call from Harry Osborn who is asking for help with moving into his new loft in Soho. After Mary Jane finishes her call, she notices that Aunt May has been acting strangely all morning. At that moment, in lower Manhattan, Spider-Man happens upon a bunch of men laying on the ground outside a warehouse. Going inside, he finds the hired mercenary known as Paladin going through files. Spotting the wall-crawler, Paladin opens fire, but the hero dodges the shots. Before Spider-Man can find out what's going on, a bunch of armed men comes rushing into the warehouse with guns blazing. Spider-Man uses his new webbing to dump a pile of crates on them. Unfortunately, the webbing proves to be too good as the pinch valve in the wall-crawler's web-shooters can't cut through them. As a result, Spider-Man is yanked back when he tries to go after Paladin, allowing the mercenary to escape.
Deciding to learn what Paladin was looking for, he looks through the wreckage and comes across a guest list for a reception being thrown at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel hosted by the Life Foundation. Wondering why the catering business that is supplying the event would have heavily hard men, Spider-Man decides to go home and sort things out.[Continuity 1] When Peter returns home, he finds his wife, Mary Jane, in the middle of a workout.[Continuity 2] After telling Peter that they are going to help the Osborns move, Peter asks if she wants to go to a party. Mary Jane jokingly points out that she is only unemployed, not dead and wants to go.[Continuity 3] Peter then asks MJ to use her connections in the modeling industry to get them into the party at the Waldorf.
Soon, Peter and Mary Jane are at the Waldorf, where he quickly spots Paladin among the crowd.[Continuity 4] He also recognizes an elderly man in sunglasses, but can't place where he knows him. This is Carleton Drake of the Life Foundation. Peter then leaves his wife so he can get down to business. Changing into Spider-Man he tails Paladin, who is following a diplomatic limo. This led to an import car dealership in Brooklyn. There, Spider-Man watches as Paladin holds the diplomat at gunpoint. That's when Spider-Man steps in to stop Paladin from hurting the official. Suddenly, the diplomat begins shooting at Spider-Man. Then a group of paramilitary soldiers were swarming the area with guns blazing. They are then attacked by mini-tanks. While the pair is dealing with those tanks, the diplomat and Carleton Drake manage to escape. Paladin is furious by Spider-Man's interference. Suddenly, a helicopter arrives and drops a rope ladder and tells Spider-Man to join him in explaining why he failed his mission. Aboard the helicopter, Spider-Man is surprised to see that Paladin's employer is Silver Sable. Paladin was supposed to stop Carleton Drake from meeting with the diplomat until Spider-Man interfered. Spider-Man remembers his last encounter with Drake and the Life Foundation and their secret compound in New Jersey.[Continuity 5]
Silver Sable explains that she is investigating a foreign government that is conspiring against her homeland of Symkaria. The ramifications of which could threaten peace on a global scale. Spider-Man is apologetic for his interruption but offers to help Silver Sable for free. Sable tells him to contact the Smykarian embassy later. Sable then drops him off in Queens.[Continuity 6] The next morning, Peter wakes up and picks up the phone to contact Silver Sable. However, Aunt May is already one the phone. He overhears the doctor telling her that a diagnosis is complete. The prognosis is heart disease, and there is a six month life expetancy. Hearing this, Peter is led to believe that his Aunt May has only six months to live.
Paladin has a new client— Canton Drake of the life Foundation! Is money the only reason why Paladin's working for him? Spidey's out to find the answer to that, and to why Carlton Drake is secretly stocking his camp with every gun he can lay hands on! Guest-starring: Silver Sable
- Spider-Man wonders if they are throwing a party for Donald Trump. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife in this story. However, years later, the demon Mephisto erased Peter and Mary Jane's marriage from existence in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple as opposed to being husband and wife. Mary Jane is watching a Jane Fonda workout video. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- Mary Jane's modeling career is being affected by Jonathan Caeser. Caeser was obsessed with Mary Jane to the point where he kidnapped her in Amazing Spider-Man #307-309. Even though Caeser was sent to prison, he has been using his influence to get the Parkers evicted from their apartment and ruin Mary Jane's career as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #314.
- Peter saw Paladin with his mask off in Marvel Team-Up #109.
- Spider-Man raided the Life Foundation compound to rescue Chance in Amazing Spider-Man #298-299.
- The original twin towers of the World Trade Center are depicted in the New York City skyline. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- Felix the Cat appears on the cover (in the trash can). Todd McFarlane tried to hide Felix in every comic he penciled.
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