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Quote1.png Spider-Man, you've been found guilty of crimes against humanity. The punishment, to be carried out immediately, is-- Death! Quote2.png
Orwell Taylor

Appearing in "Dreams of Innocence"

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Synopsis for "Dreams of Innocence"

A prisoner of the Jury, Spider-Man has been subdued and drugged to face a mock trial for his life. When one of the Jury tries to remove the wall-crawler's mask, Orwell Taylor orders him to stop. Since the members of Jury keep their identities secret, he will allow Spider-Man's secret identity maintained during the trial. When Spider-Man musters the strength to ask what he is being put on trial for, Taylor explains that he is being tried for creating one of the worst killers in history. When Spider-Man refuses to take the blame for such an accusation, Taylor asks the wall-crawler where his sense of responsibility is. This causes the web-slinger to think about how responsibility is exactly why he became Spider-Man to begin with. He thinks about the fateful day when Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider. Granted with spider-powers, Peter created the identity of Spider-Man to get into showbiz and cash in on his powers. One night he allowed a burglar to escape a television studio. This led to tragedy, as that same burglar went on to murder his Uncle Ben, something that Spider-Man only discovered when he tracked down and caught the killer. In this tragic moment, Peter Parker learned that with great power must come great responsibility.[Continuity 1] As he begins losing consciousness, Spider-Man begins muttering about responsibility. This angers Sentry, who accuses Spider-Man for the murder of his best friend, Hugh Taylor.[Continuity 2] Orwell calls a recess until Spider-Man is awake so he can hear the charges against him. As the Jury files out of the room, Ramshot pauses to think about the current situation.

Meanwhile, Mary Jane is at the office of television executive Reuben Triad, who tells her that the role of her character Sybil on "Secret Hospital" is being reduced because the role is not catching on as well as they thought. However, Triad tries to smooth things over by offering to arrange some mall appearances for her. Mary Jane takes offense to this, sarcastically wondering if he was going to book her for a monster truck rally next before storming out of the office. Later, Mary Jane is eating lunch outside, while smoking a cigarette.[Continuity 3] She is also upset that her husband Peter didn't return home the night before.[Continuity 4] She is particularly upset that he didn't come home without telling her, as she has to tell him how his Aunt May think the people claiming to be his parents are impostors.[Continuity 5] When a man sitting near her complains about her cigarette smoke, she tells him that she isn't in a non-smoking area and says she has rights as well, saying that if she wants to kill herself by smoking she has the right to do so. Hearing herself say this, Mary Jane stops and begins to wonder if killing herself is really what she wants to do.

Back at the Jury's hideout, Spider-Man has woken up and is given something to drink by Ramshot. When the web-head asks why he has been put on trial, Ramshot tries to explain why. In turn, Spider-Man tries to convince him to let him free, saying that this mock trial is wrong. That's when Orwell Taylor enters the room and orders Ramshot out of the room. In the next room, Orwell begins coaching Ramshot, telling him to be strong, reminding him that it is Spider-Man's the reason Venom's alien symbiote was brought to Earth.[Continuity 6] At that moment, in Queens, Aunt May gets a phone call from her private detective Bernard Scudder. He tells her that he is ending his investigation on Richard and Mary Parker, as his investigation has turned up nothing that suggests that they are impostors. When he tries to tell her that further investigation will be a waste of money, May loses her temper telling him that it is her money and he needs to get off his lazy butt and earn it. As she angrily slams down the phone, May realizes that she hasn't been acting like herself recently.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man gathers his strength and manages to break free from his bonds. Unfortunately, the Jury hears the commotion and easily stop his escape. With the wall-crawler secured again, Orwell Taylor decides to get the trial underway. He calls a witness named Irene Karnowsky. Irene begins her testimony by explaining that her normal life and that of her daughter Suzie was ruined thanks to Venom. Realizing what this has all been about, Spider-Man recalls how he brought the alien symbiote back from Battleworld thinking it was a high-tech costume. Not long after bringing the symbiote back home to Earth, Spider-Man learned from Mister Fantastic that it was actually a living organism that was trying to permanently bond to him. He instantly rejected it.[Continuity 7] However, the symbiote refused to be rejected, and came back for Peter, forcing him to try and kill it.[Continuity 8] The symbiote survived, however, and eventually bonded to Eddie Brock, becoming Venom.[Continuity 9] He then thinks of the time he thought the symbiote was destroyed once and for all during a battle against Styx and Stone.[Continuity 10] He didn't realize that the symbiote survived until after it freed Eddie Brock from Ryker's Island.[Continuity 11] The symbiote also laid an egg, which hatched into the symbiote who bonded to the serial killer known as Cletus Kasady to become Carnage.[Continuity 12] His mind finally stops at the memories of Carnage's recent killing spree across New York City.[Continuity 13] In his drugged stupor, Spider-Man realizes that all the deaths caused by Venom and Carnage are all his fault.

At that moment, outside the United Nations Building, Richard and Mary Parker are delighted to have gotten jobs as UN translator so they can finally become contributing members of society again. While back at Spider-Man's mock trial, the wall-crawler asks Irene why she hates him so much. She explains that her daughter Suzie was traumatized during Spider-Man's last battle with Venom not so long ago.[Continuity 14] So traumatized by the incident, the little girl hasn't spoken and it is suspected that she will remain catatonic for the rest of her life. With Irene's testimony is over, she storms out of the room. Orwell Taylor then asks Spider-Man if wants to say anything in his own defense. The wall-crawler doesn't, saying that he is guilty of all charges. When Orwell asks the web-head if he wants mercy, he also refuses. Hearing this, Orwell Taylor finds Spider-Man guilty and sentences him to death.


Continuity Notes

  1. Spider-Man's origins and the murder of Uncle Ben were originally recounted in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  2. Hugh Taylor was murdered by Venom during one of his escapes from the Vault in Amazing Spider-Man #315.
  3. Mary Jane started smoking in Amazing Spider-Man #361 to cope with the stress of being married to Spider-Man.
  4. Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, the demon Mephisto erased their marriage from existence in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.
  5. These people surfaced in Amazing Spider-Man #365 claiming to be Peter's parents, Richard and Mary Parker. May's suspicions turn out trust, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #388. The real Richard and Mary Parker have been dead for years as explained in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5.
  6. Spider-Man wore the Venom symbiote as a costume starting in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8, bringing it back to Earth in Amazing Spider-Man #252.
  7. Spider-Man learned the truth about the symbiote in Amazing Spider-Man #258.
  8. Spider-Man left the symbiote for dead in Web of Spider-Man #1.
  9. Brock hated Spider-Man for ruining his career as a journalist as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #300.
  10. The symbiote was seemingly killed by Styx's cancerous touch in Amazing Spider-Man #333.
  11. THe symbiote broke Eddie Brock out of prison in Amazing Spider-Man #344.
  12. Carnage's first reign of terror ran from Amazing Spider-Man #361363.
  13. Carnage's rampage was chronicled during the Maximum Carnage event.
    Maximum Carnage
    Spider-Man Unlimited # 1 Web of Spider-Man # 101 Amazing Spider-Man # 378 Spider-Man # 35 Spectacular Spider-Man # 201 Web of Spider-Man # 102 Amazing Spider-Man # 379
    Spider-Man # 36 Spectacular Spider-Man # 202 Web of Spider-Man # 103 Amazing Spider-Man # 380 Spider-Man # 37 Spectacular Spider-Man # 203 Spider-Man Unlimited # 2

  14. Venom frightened the little girl in Amazing Spider-Man #374.

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