Appearing in "Sunday in the Park with Venom!"
- Nathan Lubensky
- Malcolm Forbes (Only appearance) (Topical reference)
- Jay Leno (First appearance) (Topical reference)
- Austin (Caesar's assistant) (First appearance)
- Saunders (First appearance)
- Jasmine (Baby)
Races and Species:
- New York City
Synopsis for "Sunday in the Park with Venom!"
Having recently escaped from the Vault Prison, Venom has returned to New York City to continue his mission to destroy Spider-Man once and for all. Since Spider-Man had enhanced strength to begin with, Venom needs to exercise in order to match the wall-crawler's natural strength. As such, Venom has broken into an abandoned fallout shelter below New York City and has been taking advantage of the exercise equipment there. While above the surface, Spider-Man is participating in a charity performance where he is using his strength to lift two celebrity guests on motorcycles.[Continuity 1] Soon the demonstration is interruption by the arrival of Styx.[Continuity 2] Dodging Styx's deadly touch, Spider-Man webs his bare hand. The villain escapes thanks to the arrival of Stone, who flies by on his skiff. Spider-Man chases after them, snagging the craft with a web-line, causing it to crash, spilling both villains off the vehicle. Since Styx is the more deadly threat, Spider-Man battles him on the terrace of a condo building, using the potted plants to knock Styx off the side of the building. Seeing his partner falling to his death, Stone rescues Styx and the pair retreat. Spider-Man recalls how Styx and Stone were hired by Jonathan Caesar, the man who briefly kidnapped Mary Jane and figures this attack was in retaliation to Caesar's recent imprisonment.[Continuity 3]
When Spider-Man returns home, he discovers his wife isn't there but finds a note asking him to meet her for dinner.[Continuity 4] Peter meets with his wife Mary Jane at the studio where they film "Secret Hospital" where they have a "romantic" dinner on a commercial set with a Paris backdrop. Mary Jane expresses her concerns about Felicia Hardy dating Flash Thompson in order to break his heart out of revenge to Peter for marrying Mary Jane.[Continuity 5] Meanwhile, at Aunt May's home, she and her fiancee Nathan Lubenski are watching television. When she tries to strike up a conversation, she notices that Nathan has nodded off due to his ill health.[Continuity 6] She catches a news report about Venom's escape from prison and recognizes Eddie Brock as "Peter's friend", and wonders if her nephew knows that Brock is a criminal.[Continuity 7] Suddenly, there is a knock at the door and when Aunt May answers it she is greeted by Eddie Brock.
Meanwhile, at Bedford Towers, Jonathan Caesar is watching "Secret Hospital" when his butler tells him that he has a visitor. At first, Caesar is enraged for being interrupted during his show, but he changes his tone when he realizes it is Mary Jane who has come to visit him. She has come to remind him that she escaped him on her own and that Spider-Man was an innocent bystander and to leave him out of their feud. He insists that Spider-Man needs to be punished anyway, and that's when Mary Jane notices that Jonathan is reading a script for next week's "Secret Hospital". She is shocked that he was able to get something so closely guarded and tells him to leave her alone and storms out. Styx and Stone come into the room and Styx suggests killing her, but Caesar wants no such thing, telling them that they are to kill only Spider-Man. That's when Stone tells them that their attempt to eliminate Spider-Man at the charity event was a failure. Caesar tells them to monitor radio reports and go after Spider-Man when he appears again. While back at their Soho apartment, Peter Parker is marking papers musing over how his wife is a well known actress. Suddenly, "Secret Hospital" is interrupted for a news bulletin about Venom's escape from prison. At that same moment, Aunt May calls Peter. She tells him about Brock's visit and how he wants Peter to meet him at Sheep Meadow in Central Park. Peter quickly ends the call and decides to go without calling the police fearing that Venom might take it out on his Aunt May.
Soon, Spider-Man arrives at Central Park but can't find any sight of Venom. Suddenly, he hears the hoofs of a police horse riding toward him and sees Brock riding on the horse disguised as a police officer. Leaping away, Spider-Man barely manages to avoid being struck while Brock turns into Venom. Fearing for the safety of the people in the park, Spider-Man tries to lure Venom to a more secluded spot.[Continuity 8] Unable to detect Venom with his spider-sense, Spider-Man is ambushed by his foe, who tries to suffocate the wall-crawler by making his symbiote wrap itself around his face. Struggling to get free, Spider-Man fires web-lines blindly and manages to snare some trees and pulls them into Venom, freeing himself.
Trying to lure Venom out of the park, Spider-Man dodges a taxi cab that the maniac throws at him. However, it hits the wagon of a handsome cab. While the wall-crawler is concerned for the passenger's safety, Venom manages to wrap the web-slinger in webbing. However, a baby falls on the side of the handsome cab and falls into the water below. Surprisingly, Venom leaves the wall-crawler to save the child, as the lunatic doesn't want to harm any innocent people. With police arriving on the scene, Venom decides to leave, willing to postpone his revenge against Spider-Man. The masked hero tries to follow after him, but his spider-sense warns him that the cab that Venom threw is about to explode, and shields the family from the handsome cab from the blast. In the aftermath of the battle, Spider-Man wonders what will happen next and swings away. Meanwhile, Styx and Stone have heard the reports of Spider-Man's battle in Central Park and are travelling there via the sewers in order to catch up with the hero undetected.
Venom returns! And to make things even worse for Spider-Man— Styx and Stone are back, courtesy of Mary Jane's nemesis, Jonathan Caesar!
- The celebrities are depicted as Jay Leno and Malcolm Forbes. Their appearances here should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Particularly since Forbes died a few months prior to this issue's publications.
- Spider-Man remembers Styx and his partner Stone from their last encounter in Amazing Spider-Man #309.
- Jonathan Caesar kidnapped Mary Jane from Amazing Spider-Man #307–309. However, even though he was in jail for his crimes, Caesar ruined Mary Jane's modeling career and had her and Peter evicted from their condo in Amazing Spider-Man #314. Caesar was recently released from prison, as revealed last issue.
- Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage was erased from existence by the demon Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. They should be considered a common-law couple here as opposed to husband and wife.
- Peter broke up with the Black Cat in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #100, shortly thereafter he married Mary Jane in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. Felicia found out about this in Amazing Spider-Man #316. Per the change to the timeline caused by Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545, one could assume that the Black Cat is upset that Peter and Mary Jane are engaged.
- It was revealed that Nathan has heart disease in Amazing Spider-Man #321.
- Aunt May met Eddie Brock in Amazing Spider-Man #301, at the time Brock told May that he is an "old friend" of Peter Parker.
- Peter recalls how Eddie Brock blames Spider-Man for ruining his life. This reasoning is two-fold, as explained in Amazing Spider-Man #301. Eddie Brock hates Spider-Man when he captured the real Sin-Eater in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #110, discrediting the man Brock was interviewing who claimed to be the shooter. On top of this, Venom's alien symbiote was Spider-Man's costume for a while until he rejected it in Amazing Spider-Man #258 and ultimately left for dead in Web of Spider-Man #1.