Appearing in "Electric Doom"
Synopsis for "Electric Doom"
On his way to Empire State University, Spider-Man is web-slinging across the city when suddenly his spider-sense goes off.[Continuity 1] Spider-Man fears this might lead to an attack from yet another robot like the ones he fought recently. Deciding to get out of site, Spider-Man slips into a dark alley and once his spider-sense dies down, he changes back into Peter Parker and continues the rest of the way on foot. Not far away, a technician is running tracking equipment in an unmarked van and curses Spider-Man's speed. However, he is certain that they will be able to find the wall-crawler the next time he pops up.
Meanwhile, Peter arrives at Empire State University to meet with the couple alleging to be his parents, his wife Mary Jane, Flash Thompson and Felicia Hardy.[Continuity 2] Peter then shows his alleged parents around the ESU campus. Richard expresses how proud he is of Peter for continuing his education. Hearing Peter and Flash exchanging quips about their time in high school cause Mary to cry because it reminds her of how much time they lost while they were imprisoned for the last 20 years. Flash notices that Peter looks shaky, and asks what's going on. Peter quietly tells Flash that he isn't sure these people are really his parents. Flash understands, given the circumstances, and tells Peter to hang tough. Later, in the cafeteria, Peter overhears some students that Electro has been spotted fighting with a SWAT team two blocks away. Peter tells the others that he's going to go and take pictures for the Daily Bugle. When Felicia offers to come along, Peter tells her that there is nothing to do. This upsets Felicia who vows to herself that it will be the last time Peter ever tell her that.[Continuity 3] When Peter is gone, Mary Jane pulls out a cigarette and lights it up in the cafeteria.[Continuity 4] When one of the students tells her that she's not allowed to smoke inside, she tells him that she needs the cigarette more than he doesn't.[Continuity 5]
Outside, Spider-Man heads to the scene of the battle and spots FBI Agent Shaddock watching the school and wonders what he wants. With no time to waste he continues on unaware that he has been spotted by the man monitoring his movements. This technician reports to his master, the mysterious cyborg in a high tech wheelchair, who is operating out of a facility. Pondering the situation before a number of people who are strapped into special restraints, he decides to deploy a suitable unit to battle the wall-crawler. Back in the city, Electro is using his electrical powers to keep the police at bay after robbing a briefcase full of diamonds. Spider-Man swings in an staggers Electro with a blow to the face. He then webs up the villain, but before he can take him down for the count, his spider-sense goes off to warn him of something from above. He narrowly dodges a beam that is fired by a humanoid looking robot. While Spider-Man is dodging this new attacker, Electro uses his powers to burn through the webbing. Spider-Man finds himself on the defensive trying to fight off his two foes. In order to get away from the two killers, the wall-crawler leaps inside a building slated for demolition. The humanoid follows after him. Ultimately, Spider-Man manages to web up the humanoid enough to incapacitate it. When it starts burning through the webbing with its helmet mounted laser. Needing to get some space, Spider-Man leaps out the nearest window only to be blasted to the ground by Electro.
As Spider-Man recovers, he notices that Electro is standing over the wires that connect the detonator to the explosives wired into the building. When Electro fires another blast, Spider-Man leaps upward, and the electrical bolts strike the wires. this trigges the demolition charges, that building collapses. Pulling himself out of the rubble, Spider-Man can find no sign of Electro. Suddenly, the severed head of the other attacker tumbles to the ground, and Spider-Man discovers he was fighting yet another robot. As he leaves the scene, the only foe Spider-Man can think of that has that sort of technical expertise is the Tinkerer. Meanwhile, at the Tinkerer's hideout, Felicia Hardy meets with the criminal inventor. He has just finished creating new equipment for her. Felicia is pleased, especially when she can see the expression on the face of a certain spider...
Appearing in "More Bad News"
Synopsis for "More Bad News"
Liz Osborn has come to the Vault prison in Colorado to visit her husband Harry.[Continuity2 1] Two Guardsmen enter the visitation room with her husband, who is forced to wear a shackle that restrains his arms and torso. One of the guards warns Harry to behave himself, as they will be monitoring the visit from the other room. Upset by this, Liz points out that this man is her husband and that he won't hurt her.
Along with his wife, Harry begins breaking out in a sweat and asks Liz if she is afraid of him. She assures him that she is not, and kisses him when he asks for one. He wishes he could put his arms around her, if not for the high-tech straitjacket they force him to wear. When he asks where their son is, Liz explains that they don't allow children into the Vault due to the security risk. This angers Harry, who insists that he would never harm his son, that the boy is everything to him. Getting onto his legal troubles, Liz tells Harry that their lawyer is fighting to get him released from prison. However, the prosecution is trying to pin his father's crimes as the Green Goblin on Harry.[Continuity2 2] She also tells him that they want her to testify against her husband for kidnapping her, her step-brother Mark Raxton, and their son.[Continuity2 3]
She also tells him how Peter and Mary Jane have been very supportive of her, despite the fact that Peter is dealing with the return of his own parents. Hearing this, and the pity Liz has for Parker, causes Harry to go into hysterics. Liz tries to calm him down and asks if he needs a doctor because he is sweating so much. Osborn insists that he doesn't need help, that he is stronger than Peter Parker, and stronger than anyone realizes. To demonstrate this, Harry easily shatters the high-tech straitjacket. As he goes off on a rant about his the Goblin Formula has enhanced his strength and continues to change his mind and body, he grabs Liz by the throat.[Continuity2 4] That's when the Guardmen come in and tranquilize Harry. They then Harry and Liz out of the room through separate doors. As he is being dragged out, Harry tells his wife that he loves her. Back in restraints in his cell, Harry muses that Peter Parker's parents are still alive. Then, grinning, he laments for "poor Peter".[Continuity2 5]
- The original twin towers of the World Trade Center were depicted among the buildings in the skyline. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as these towers were destroyed in a terror attack in 2001 and a new tower has been built in its place.
- Peter's parents died on a mission for the CIA years ago, as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5. He recently met these people who have claimed to be his parents in Amazing Spider-Man #365. However, they are impostors, as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #388. Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from history as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here as opposed to husband and wife.
- At the time of this story, Felicia had just recently lost her powers in Amazing Spider-Man #343.
- Mary Jane started taking up smoking in Amazing Spider-Man #361 to cope with the stress of her husband being Spider-Man.
- The student specifically states that the cafeteria is a "designated non-smoking area", as if to suggest that there are places indoors where one could smoke on ESU campus. Since indoor smoking was made illegal in New York in 2003, this should be considered a topical reference.
More Bad News:
- Harry Osborn has been incarcerated after becoming the Green Goblin again and was defeated by Spider-Man in Spectacular Spider-Man #190.
- At the time of this story, Norman Osborn, the original Green Goblin, is thought to be dead after a battle with Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #122. The general public is unaware that Norman was the Goblin because Harry removed the costume from his body in Amazing Spider-Man #123. Norman, however, is very much alive as explained in Osborne Journals #1. He will resurface again in Amazing Spider-Man #412.
- Harry kidnapped his family in Spectacular Spider-Man #189.
- Harry exposed himself to the Goblin Formula in Spectacular Spider-Man #188.
- This comment is because that Harry Osborn was involved in the creation of the Richard and Mary Parker Simulacrums, this is revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #389.