Appearing in "Life Stings!"
Synopsis for "Life Stings!"
The Scorpion has just purchased a new tail from the Tinkerer with added features, including an electrified tail. After a test run, the Tinkerer insists on giving it another once over. The Scorpion allows for it, as he is willing to wait a little longer to finally kill J. Jonah Jameson.[Continuity 1] While at the Soho apartment shared by Peter Parker and his wife Mary Jane, Peter paces the ceiling.[Continuity 2] He has begun to worry about his career as Spider-Man, now that his parents are apparently back from the dead.[Continuity 3] He is worried about how they would feel if he was hurt or killed. Mary Jane responds to this sarcastically as Peter seems to care more about their feelings than hers. Peter reminds Mary Jane that she knows he's really Spider-Man and know what she signed up for when they got married.[Continuity 4]
When he asks for Mary Jane to be strong, he kisses her on the lips and is immediately disgusted by the taste of cigarettes on her breath.[Continuity 5] This is not received very well by Mary Jane, who tells him that she smokes in order to cope. After a moment of silence, Peter leaves to follow up on the leads he got on the Tinkerer. Peter suspects that his old foe might be responsible for the series of robots that have been attacking him recently. Arriving outside of the Tinkerer's lab, Peter changes into Spider-Man and as he stakes the place out, he is spotted by one of the many mechanical spiders that have been tacking the wall-crawler's activities in the city. Before he goes in, Spider-Man is shocked to see Felicia Hardy leaving the Tinkerer's warehouse headquarters.[Continuity 6]
Meanwhile, at the Department of Motor Vehicles, Richard and Mary Parker wait in line to get their driver's licenses reinstated. They make small talk until they realize that they are trying to avoid talking about Peter.[Continuity 7] On their way out, they bump into FBI Agent Charles Shaddock, who asks Richard if he remembers him. Richard says he doesn't because his memory is spotty. As they walk away, Shaddock wonders if he can trust the Parkers not remembering who he is and decides that he can't take the risk. While back at the Tinkerer's warehouse, Spider-Man confronts Felicia to know what she is doing seeing the Tinkerer. Felicia assures him that she is not going back into crime, but wants to be his partner again. She starts showing off the technology to replicate her lost powers, starting with special earrings that compensate her balance allowing her to always land on her feet. Before she can explain anymore, Spider-Man's spider-sense begins going off. He narrowly avoids tail blasts fired from the Scorpion's tail. The villain had spotted the wall-crawler when he came to get his costume and decided to destroy him once and for all.
Spider-Man dodges the Scorpion's tail and asks Felicia what other equipment she has on her other than the earrings. She tells her nothing, and so Spider-Man shoves her away and tells her to get to safety. As Spider-Man lures the Scorpion up to the rooftops, Felicia refuses to stand by and let the wall-crawler handle this situation by himself. On the roof, Spider-Man easily avoids the Scorpion's attacks. This changes when he is attacked by another robot with a flexible body. It wraps himself around Spider-Man's limbs and necks. He recognizes the design but finds it's creation impossible. As he struggles to get free, the Scorpion takes advantage of the situation and begins slugging the masked hero. That's when Felicia leaps in to his aid. The Hardy woman angers the Scorpion before leaping onto the robot on Spider-Man's back. She whispers to the web-slinger to hold still and trust her. Sure enough, the Scorpion tries to attack her with his tail. She leaps out of the way and the spike on the tail's end ends up sticking through the robot. The robot lets go of Spider-Man and wrap itself around the Scorpion's tail. When he tries the built-in electronic shocks, it causes feedback that makes the robot blow up, wrecking the Scorpion's tail.
Spider-Man explains that he was attacked by an amoeboid robot, recognizing the design because he fought one before in the past.[Continuity 8] The Scorpion tells the wall-crawler they'll meet again and he flees. After checking with Felicia, Spider-Man takes off to catch the Scorpion. Unfortunately, he loses track of the Scorpion and doubles back to meet up with Felicia. There, they discover that the Tinkerer split while they were fighting the Scorpion. Since Spider-Man remembers who designed the ameboid robot, Felicia suggests they go on and look for him. Unfortunately, it's not that easy, explains Spider-Man, since the inventor, a man named Mendel Stromm has been dead for years.[Continuity 9]
Appearing in "The Web"
- Albert Reilly
- Claire Reilly
- Richard Parker (Only in flashback)
- Mary Parker (Only in flashback)
- Mary Jane Watson Parker (Recap)
Synopsis for "The Web"
May Parker has taken a cab to Ridgewood Cemetery to visit the grave of her late husband. She tells the cab driver she'll be back in a few minutes and to wait for her. Some come to talk about how confused she feels about the apparent return of Ben's brother Richard and his wife Mary. She can't help but worry about family, as she had done so since she was a child. She relates to when her family was dealing with hard times and her parents argued a lot. She remembers the day that her father walked out on his mother, something that May's mother blamed on her.[Continuity2 1]
She recalls how much she was disinterested in children, particularly since she and Ben were dating and had to sometimes bring his younger brother Richard. She felt that she never felt like they had a moment alone, even after they married.[Continuity2 2] She talks about how she eventually got to like Richard and eventually attended his wedding to Mary. They soon welcomed the addition of young Peter. However, when Richard and Mary were seemingly killed, taking Peter into their home started off as a burden. However, as time went on, she grew to love and become proud of Peter as he grew up into a capable young man with a beautiful wife.
She admits that for the longest time she cursed Peter's parents for dying on them. However, now that they are finally back, she finds herself cursing them for coming back. She can't help but feel this way even though she should be happy for their miraculous return. She decides to accept this for what it is, and thanks Ben watching over her and helping her process recent events. She only wishes that he could be alive to experience them with her.[Continuity2 3] Feeling much better, May leaves the cemetery and takes her cab back home.
- The Scorpion has wanted to kill Jameson for giving him his powers back in Amazing Spider-Man #20.
- 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. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.
- Peter Parker's parents were killed while on a mission for the CIA as seen in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5. Recently a couple have surfaced claiming that they are Peter's parents, he met them in Amazing Spider-Man #365. However, these are impostors as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #388.
- Mary Jane revealed she knew that Peter was really Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #257. In the original timeline, prior to Mephisto erasing their marriage, Peter and Mary Jane got married in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21.
- Mary Jane recently took up smoking to cope with the danger Peter faces as Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #361.
- Spider-Man refers to Felicia as his ex-girlfriend. The pair dated from Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #75–100.
- Richard makes a comment about how the Japanese have "dominated" the automobile industry. This comment should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- Spider-Man first fought an ameboid robot back in Amazing Spider-Man #37.
- At the time this story, Spider-Man believed that Mendel Stromm was dead after he suffered a heart attack in Amazing Spider-Man #37. In reality, he survived thanks to an imperfect form of the Goblin Formula, as explained in Osborne Journals #1. He will resurface again in Amazing Spider-Man #411.
- According to Women of Marvel: Celebrating Seven Decades Handbook #1, May's parents were Albert and Claire Reilly. In this story, May's father walks out on the rest of the family when May was still a young girl. This is corroborated by the Marvel Women Handbook. It also depicts May as an only child at the time. The handbook does not specify if her parents were legally separated or divorced before their deaths. This raises some questions regarding the flashback from Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #4 which depicts May as a young woman living with two parents she calls mom and dad. Also at odds is the fact that May has two younger sisters named Jan and April as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #36. The Marvel Women handbook specifies that these sisters all share the same parents. In lieu of an official explanation, one could assume that after walking out, Albert Reilly eventually returned home.
- Here, May states that she never cared to have children. This is not entirely accurate, as explained in Amazing Spider-Man Family #7, May and Ben attempted to have a child she suffered a miscarriage. However, this miscarriage was not common knowledge and May kept silent about it for years. They didn't try for another child after that. One could presume that May's attitude toward children was due to this as yet unspoken reason.
- Ben Parker was murdered by a burglar back in Amazing Fantasy #15.
A series of flashbacks in the story Webs affects the chronology of the following characters:
- Page 3, Panel 2 - Ben takes May Reilly out on a date.
- Page 3, Panel 4 - Ben attends his brother's wedding.
- Page 3, Panel 6 - Ben meets his nephew Peter for the first time.
- Page 4, Panel 2 - Ben and May struggle to raise Peter.
- Page 4, Panel 6 - Ben watches as Peter wins a science award.
- Page 2 - May's troubled childhood.
- Page 3, Panel 2 - May goes out on a date with Ben Parker.
- Page 3, Panel 4 - May attends the wedding of Richard and Mary Parker.
- Page 3, Panel 6 - May meets her nephew Peter for the first time.
- Page 4, Panel 2 - May and Ben struggle to raise Peter.
- Page 4, Panel 4 - May is helped with her gardening by Peter.
- Page 4, Panel 6 - May watches as Peter wins a science award.
- Page 3, Panel 6 - Peter Parker as an infant meeting May and Ben Parker for the first time.
- Page 4, Panel 2 - May and Ben struggle to raise a young Peter Parker.
- Page 4, Panel 4 - Peter helps May with her gardening.
- Page 4, Panel 6 - Peter wins a science award.