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Appearing in "Death From Above!"

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Synopsis for "Death From Above!"

From their stolen amphibious tank, Doctor Octopus raises a camera to show them the space satellite they intend to launch into space. He tells the other members of the Sinister Six that they will be replacing a special dye being used in ley line studies with a poison that could decimate all life on Earth. Sandman once again mentions his unease about this idea.[Continuity 1] Electro suggests they get rid of Sandman as he could be trouble, however, Doctor Octopus assures him that Sandman will help them regardless of his feelings. While on the surface, Spider-Man stakes out the launching site knowing that Doctor Octopus and his allies are up to something. However, he has been waiting long enough and decides to go since he will be back tomorrow as Peter Parker to assist Empire State University in their ley line experiment. Leaving Long Island, Spider-Man decides to pay a visit to his Aunt May who is still reeling from the recent death of her fiancee Nathan Lubenski.[Continuity 2]

Arriving in Queens, Spider-Man changes into his civilian clothes and visits with his Aunt May. When he drops a cup of tea upon his arrival she begins chastising herself. Peter tries to comfort his Aunt but learns that she isn't sad about Nathan's passing, but angry at her self. Much to his surprise, Aunt May was wishing that Nathan would die so he wouldn't suffer anymore and that she feels guilty for feeling that way. Peter assures her that she has nothing to feel guilty about, as ending Nathan's suffering was only natural since there was nothing else they could do to save his life. Later, Peter returns to Soho, and as he walks back to his apartment he narrowly avoids getting struck by a falling chunk of concrete from the roof of a nearby building. With no time to change into costume, Peter slips into the alley and scrambles up the side of the building. He finds nobody on the roof but discovers that the chunk that fell was chiseled. Meanwhile, Mary Jane is in the apartment exercising while watching a daytime talk show where Mister Fantastic is being interviewed about the ley line project being conducted by ESU.[Continuity 3] When Peter comes in through the skylight he tells his wife about how he was searching for someone who was trying to kill him.[Continuity 4]

Sitting down with Mary Jane to talk about it, MJ wonders if this attempt on Peter's life wasn't the work of Jonathan Caeser.[Continuity 5] Peter doesn't think so given that Jonathan Caeser has never done anything so crude to eliminate someone in the past.[Continuity 6] Meanwhile, back at their New Jersey hideout, the members of the Sinister Six train together while Doctor Octopus working on the poison that they are going to put on a satellite. When the Hobgoblin checks on the status of the poison, he learns how incredibly deadly it is. While Otto is distracted with his work, he fails to see the Hobgoblin grab a vial of the poison and pocket it/ in his satchel. The next morning, Peter and Mary Jane depart to start their days. Although Mary Jane tells Peter that she is going to a rehearsal for "Secret Hospital", she actually goes to a gun shop where she purchases a .38 Special.

At that moment at Midtown Hospital, Jonathan Caeser pays a visit to "Secret Hospital" director Hal McGee. He threatens to inject Hal's IV with a toxic chemical if he doesn't sign a note asking Mary Jane to meet at a set that is not currently in use. Afraid for his life, McGee complies, but Caeser injects him with the poison anyway in order to cover his tracks. While at the Cordco facility on Long Island, Peter Parker waits for the satellite to be launched. However, his excitement turns to concern as his spider-sense begins going off. Suddenly, the Vulture and Hobgoblin storm the launch site while the other members of the Sinister Six smash through the front gate in their amphibious tank. Emerging from the tank, the Sinister Six quickly incapacitate the guards and make their way to the rocket. By this time, Peter has changed into Spider-Man and is shocked to discover that Doctor Octopus finally managed to bring together the Sinister Six again.[Continuity 7] Spider-Man leaps into battle, fighting Electro. Meanwhile, the guards at the base of the rocket are frightened off by one of Mysterio's illusions.

With the canister of poison, Doctor Octopus heads to the rocket, ordering the Sandman to guard the launch pad. Meanwhile, Spider-Man is being swarmed by Electro, the Vulture, and Hobgoblin. The wall-crawler manages to incapacitate them all and swing up to the rocket. He overhears Doctor Octopus gloating about loading canisters of poison into the rocket. However, when he tries to stop Otto, when his webbing begins to melt, thanks to Mysterio. The web-slinger falls onto the Sandman. However, when Doctor Octopus goes down to try and kill the hero, Sandman refuses to allow him to do so. However, Doctor Octopus has prepared for Sandman's eventual betrayal. Pulling a specially made gun out of his sports coat, Otto blasts Sandman with it, turning him into glass.[Continuity 8] He then orders the Sinister Six to shatter the Sandman's body. While Spider-Man is occupied with defending the Sandman, Doctor Octopus goes into the control room and demands they launch the rocket. When the technicians refuse, Otto kills one of them to ensure the others follow his orders. Suddenly, Spider-Man's spider-sense begins to go off, and he warns his enemies that the rocket is about to launch. Getting back to a safe distance, Spider-Man is distracted because he is carrying the Sandman's inert body. This leaves him vulnerable to the Hobgoblin who sprays he vial of poison gas in the wall-crawler's face, leaving him for dead.


Continuity Notes

  1. Sandman decided to go straight in Marvel Two-In-One #86. He was forced into rejoining the Sinister Six in Amazing Spider-Man #334 when Doctor Octopus threatened to harm the family who let him rent a room in their home.
  2. Nathan Lubenski died of heart failure in Amazing Spider-Man #336.
  3. Mary Jane states that she is watching The Phil Donahue Show. However, this should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Particularly since The Phil Donahue Show ended its run in 1996.
  4. 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 as opposed to husband and wife.
  5. Jonathan Caeser was obsessed with Mary Jane and kidnapped her from Amazing Spider-Man #307309. He was recently released from prison in Amazing Spider-Man #331 and has begun stalking Mary Jane again.
  6. The true identity of who tried to drop concrete on Peter is revealed next issue.
  7. Spider-Man first faced the Sinister Six early on in his career, as depicted in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, the Sinister Six was first formed roughly eight years prior to this story.
  8. Doctor Octopus states that he was inspired by one of Sandman's battles with the Hulk. He is referring to the events of Incredible Hulk #114.

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