Appearing in "The Hero Subtracter"
- Femme Fatales (First appearance)
- Chameleon (Disguised as Doctor Turner)
Synopsis for "The Hero Subtracter"
Spider-Man is chasing after a group of thieves in a department store who had just stolen the payroll. The wall-crawler webs up all except for their leader. Chasing him outside, where the thug tries to toss a tear gas grenade at the wall-crawler. Spider-Man knocks it out of his hand and wraps it up in webbing to smother the blast and knocks the ringleader out. Recovering his camera, Spider-Man hopes he can sell the photos to J. Jonah Jameson. Starting to cough, Spider-Man wonders if this is a side effect of the chemical that the Hobgoblin had sprayed him with. When Spider-Man returns to his apartment through the skylight window. Taking off his mask, Peter notices how dreadful he looks. When his wife Mary Jane asks him if he is done with the shower, it is because his Aunt May has come to visit.[Continuity 1] Putting on a bathrobe, Peter emerges from the bathroom to greet his aunt. May notices that Peter is sick and after the recent loss of her fiancee Nathan Lubenski, May tells Peter to call a doctor.[Continuity 2] He promises that he will if he's not well by the following day and sees her out. She reminds Peter that he promised to go to the opera with Mary Jane and asks him to tell her all about it.
Later that evening, after the opera, Mary Jane notices that her husband is in a distant mood. He tells her his concerns about the chemicals he was sprayed with by the Hobgoblin. She suggests that he runs a few tests on himself at Empire State University. Even though his expertise isn't biology, Peter agrees to do something. Peter arrives at the new digest that J. Jonah Jameson had set up after Thomas Fireheart bought the Daily Bugle to sell his photos.[Continuity 3] He walks in on a meeting between J. Jonah Jameson and a Doctor Turner.[Continuity 4] Turner has come to Jonah's publication looking for Spider-Man. Turner explains that he wants to run some tests on Spider-Man as the results could be beneficial to his crusade to help people. Jameson tells Turner that he has no connection to the wall-crawler and tells him to scram. Overhearing all this, Peter wonders what he these benefits could be and decides to go and seek out Dr. Turner as Spider-Man.
Quickly changing into Spider-Man, the wall-crawler catches up to Doctor Turner on the street and agrees to accompany him back to his lab. There, Doctor Turner shows Spider-Man a machine he created that can do a thorough scan of his powers to give the most detailed explanations possible. After taking a blood sample from the hero, Turner asks him to stand under a lens matrix that will scan his entire body. When the machine is turned on, Spider-Man's spider-sense begins to scream warning him of serious danger. Starting to feel weak, Spider-Man leaps out of the lens matrix's beam. When he tries to cling to the nearest wall, at first it doesn't work, but he soon finds purchase, much to his relief. Fearing that the machine was stripping him of his powers, Spider-Man orders Turner to destroy it and leaves. Doctor Turner notices Spider-Man's concerns over his powers and suspects he may come back for further tests if he is given the proper motivation, and he knows just who to hire.
The next morning at JFK International Airport, Spider-Man is among those welcoming the ambassador of a recently liberated Baltic country. Spider-Man muses about the situation, attributing it to the Daily Bugle's recent positive reports about the masked hero. When the ambassador disembarks from his plane. Suddenly, Spider-Man's spider-sense goes off warning him of danger. He notices that some unseen force is causing the plane to move forward. He quickly webs up the landing gear and carries the ambassador to safety. No sooner does Spider-Man have the ambassador away from the danger is he confronted by the Femme Fatales. He recognizes both Whiplash and Bloodlust, but is introduced to their other teammates Knockout and Mindblast.[Continuity 5] When the police arrive on the scene, they are slaughtered by Bloodlust. Spider-Man tries to stop her, but she manages to slash open his calf in order to break free of his hold. Put on the defensive, Spider-Man tries to get some distance between himself and his attackers. Exhausted and slowing down, he leaps onto the top of the ambassador's aircraft to catch his breath. Unfortunately, Bloodlust cuts open the fuel tank and while Mindblast uses her telekinetic powers to keep Spider-Man near the plane. When Knockout prepares to set the jet fuel on fire, Spider-Man manages to snare a wing with his webbing and slam it into Mindblast, allowing him to get clear before the plane explodes.
With reinforcements arriving on the scene, the Femme Fatales flee. Returning home, and telling his Aunt May that he is feeling better, he confides in Mary Jane. After nearly getting himself killed during the battle earlier that day, Peter fears over what his death would do to his Aunt May. After some thinking, Peter decides to strip himself of his powers. To this end, Spider-Man returns to Doctor Turner's lab and tells him to run his scanning machine again in order to take away his spider-powers for good.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Aunt May mentions the death of her husband Ben Parker (Amazing Fantasy #15) and the more recent death of her fiancee Nathan in Amazing Spider-Man #335.
- ↑ Thomas Fireheart purchased the Daily Bugle in The Spectacular Spider-Man #156 in order to use it to boost Spider-Man's publicity to repay a debt of honor he owed the wall-crawler.
- ↑ This man is actually the Chameleon in disguise as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #343.
- ↑ Spider-Man previously battled Whiplash and Bloodlust in Marvel Comics Presents #49.
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