Appearing in "The Wagers of Sin"
- Vulture (Adrian Toomes)
- Kingpin (Wilson Fisk)
- Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius)
- Chance (Nicholas Powell)
- Raymond Trask (First appearance)
- Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange) (Cameo)
- Cable (Nathan Dayspring) (Cameo)
- Mister Grouper (First appearance)
Races and Species:
- Long Island
- New York City
- Spider-Man's Web-Shooters
- Vulture's Wings
- Doctor Octopus' Tentacles
- Cloak of Levitation (Cameo)
- Eye of Agamotto (Cameo)
Synopsis for "The Wagers of Sin"
The Kingpin and his men are watching a demonstration being put on by the Vulture. The costumed villain demonstrates how lethal his flying ability is by flying with a mannequin at high speed and smashes it into the ground. Impressed, the Kingpin hires the Vulture to go to Atlantic City to eliminate Raymond Trask. The Kingpin is confident that the Vulture will assure his victory. However, the Kingpin's minion Mr. Grouper who placed a bet on the outcome of this assassination and decides it may be time to get some insurance to assure that things go in his favor. Meanwhile, high above the 59th Street Bridge, Spider-Man is heading toward Queens. He is concerned about the large sum of money that Nathan Lubenski recently pulled out of the bank. Given his past history with gambling addiction and the fact that he is in ill health, the wall-crawler is concerned that Nathan might have gambled away Aunt May's savings.[Continuity 1] Changing into his civilian clothing, Peter Parker arrives at his Aunt May's house. Wanting to talk to Nathan, Peter asks his Aunt to make one of her famous oat brand milkshakes.
Alone with Nathan, Peter asks about the money. Although he is shocked that Peter knows about the money, he assures him that the money is legally his, as he cashed out his life insurance. Peter is upset to hear this, especially since Nathan is terminally ill. However, Nathan tells Peter that it is his own affair. Before they can discuss it further, Aunt May returns with his shakes. At that moment, at the penthouse of Nicholas Powel, Mr. Grouper pays him a visit. He tells about the bet he made on the assassination of Raymond Trask and wants to hire Chance as back up, offering to pay him 10% of his winnings. Chance accepts the offer, although he finds the wager of money so unnecessary. While back in Queens, Nathan is in bed questioning his own mortality. Aunt May tries to assure him that he will be with them for a long time still, although she isn't as confident as she wants to be and leaves him to rest so she can do some chores to hide the fact that she is in tears. With May out of the room, Nathan picks up the phone to speak to his bookie to see what the odds are on the Trask assassination. He is upset to hear that things are still even, but won't pull out of his wager, as he wants to build a nest egg for Aunt May for when he is gone.
At that same moment, Mary Jane is saying goodbye to her husband Peter as he goes into a cab.[Continuity 2] On his way to Hudson River, Peter hopes this photographing the of a luxury yacht owned by Raymond Trask will take his mind off his alter-ego, Nathan, and his concerns about the ley line experiment being conducted at Empire State University. Also among the people in the crowd are Aunt May and Nathan Lubenski. May insists that Nathan should be at home resting, but Lubenski refuses. Unaware that his aunt and her fiancee are in the crowd, Peter's spider-sense begins going off, but he doesn't see anything. He is detecting the astral form of Doctor Strange who is passing by. Finding the events below to be trivial, Strange continues on his way. As soon as Strange is gone, Peter's spider-sense stops and dismisses the warning.
When Raymond Trask makes his appearance to the public, the Vulture attacks. Before the villain can harm Trask, Spider-Man swings in. When the Vulture tries to escape, Spider-Man tags along with a web-line. The wall-crawler then uses his strength to force the Vulture into crashing to the ground below. Before Spider-Man can wrap this up, Chance arrives and begins opening fire on the masked hero. Spider-Man quickly webs up Chance's weapons and helmet. Rendered harmless, Chance considers this mission a bust and flees before he can be captured. By this time, the Vulture has recovered and grabs Aunt May as a hostage. As he takes to the air, Nathan Lubenski leaps up and grabs onto the Vulture's back. This shocks the Vulture enough to put May down. Soaring high into the air, Nathan realizes how high up he is and begins to call for help. Soon, the Vulture shakes Nathan free, and Spider-Man has to break off his pursuit to save Nathan from falling to his death. Meanwhile, police helicopters are arriving on the scene to apprehend the Vulture. Unfortunately, before they can capture him, Doctor Octopus arrives in his ship and offers to help the Vulture escape. The Vulture takes him up on the offer and they manage to escape. Seeing the craft fly away, Spider-Man recognizes it as the same one Doctor Octopus used to help Electro escape.[Continuity 3]
Seeing the crowd gathered around Aunt May and Nathan, Spider-Man realizes that he has other things to worry about. On the ground, Aunt May tells Nathan to hold on as paramedics are on their way. However, Nathan is dying and he apologizes for leaving her with nothing. May's final words with him were how he gave him everything.[Continuity 4]
- Nathan Lubenski is dying of heart failure, as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #321. He had a history of gambling problems dating back to Amazing Spider-Man #271. Nathan pulled a large sum of money out of the bank in Amazing Spider-Man #334.
- Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from existence by the demon Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple instead of husband and wife here.
- Electro and Doctor Octopus escaped from Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #334.
- Although Nathan dies here, he is later resurrected in Clone Conspiracy #5.
- The cover to this issue is a homage to Amazing Spider-Man #90.
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