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Appearing in "Rough Justice!"

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Synopsis for "Rough Justice!"

Put on a mock trial by Orwell Taylor and his Jury, Spider-Man is found guilty for bringing the Venom symbiote to Earth and is sentenced to death. Having listened to the accusations, which put responsibility for everyone Venom has killed on the wall-crawler, Spider-Man agreed. Although his mind is dulled by drugs in his system, he is ready to accept his fate. However, at the last moment, Ramshot stands between Spider-Man and his teammates. He cannot justify killing Spider-Man considering his past record of good deeds. Since Taylor's primary mission is to destroy Venom and decides that they will commute Spider-Man's sentence if he helps them take down a greater evil. When Ramshot points out that Spider-Man doesn't kill, the wall-crawler surprises them by saying that he promises to put Venom down for good if they let him free.

Meanwhile, Mary Jane has gone for to a dance club to get her mind off the stress of her husband being Spider-Man.[Continuity 1] She tries to dance with a regular, who tries to pick her up. When she tells him she's married, he reveals he is as well.[Continuity 2] Mary Jane scares the man off by threatening to light his face on fire. Taking a smoke break, she begins to worry about finding a new place since Liz Osborn announced she was evicting her and Peter from their loft in Soho.[Continuity 3] Without her husband to talk to about her worries, she decides to continue dancing. Back at the Jury's hideout, Orwell Taylor informs Spider-Man and his Jurors that they are going to infiltrate a government facility to obtain a teleportation device that they can use to spread Venom's atoms across infinity. Hearing this, Spider-Man thinks this great idea, however, no sooner as he has said this he begins to have doubts. Before they go on their mission, Taylor informs Ramshot that he is suspended until further notice.

In Forest Hills, Aunt May is awake when Richard and Mary Parker return home from their new job at the United Nations. When they ask why she is still awake, she tells them that she has been having trouble sleeping lately. Outside, Bernard Scudder, continues survailing the Parkers. He has been hired by May to tail Richard and Mary to confirm if they are really who they say they are. He hasn't found any evidence to confirm these suspicions, but May continues to employ him. As he thinks about this situation, he is interrupted by a police officer who has received complaints about him hanging around the neighborhood.[Continuity 4] Meanwhile, Spider-Man and the Jury are breaking into the government facility to steal the teleportation device. The wall-crawler uses his spider-sense to help them slip past the security system. When they come back to a keypad door, Sentry uses his armor's systems to hack into the door. On the other side, they run into a guard. Screech takes him down with a single blast. This upsets Spider-Man who thinks they killed the guard, but they point out that the guard is only knocked out as Screech was only using a sonic weapon.

Back in Manhattan, Ramshot is meeting with Orwell Taylor pleading his reasoning for trying to free Spider-Man. He reminds Orwell of his loyalty, that he joined the Jury to avend the death of Orwell's son, who was murdered by Venom.[Continuity 5] However, he couldn't bring himself to kill Spider-Man as part of their mission. Orwell Taylor explains that the whole trial was used as a trick to convince Spider-Man to work with him so they could exploit his spider-sense. Ramshot is relieved to hear this, however Orwell still punishes Ramshot for his insubordination reducing his capacity on the team to support. While back at the facility, the Sentry has taken the teleportation device and tests it out. Watching the demonstration, Spider-Man still can't shake the guilt he feels about going along with this plan. He then realizes that the drugs the Jury used on him altered his perceptions. Now in his right mind, Spider-Man strikes the Sentry, sending him slamming into a wall. This damages the power pack on the teleportation device causing it to explode. With only three members of the Jury left, Spider-Man easily takes out Firearm, Bomblast and Screech. With security arriving on the scene, Spider-Man slips out through the ventilation system.

Returning to New York City, Spider-Man finds no trace of Orwell Taylor and decides to head home. There he finds Mary Jane sleeping on the couch. Seeing all the cigarettes in the ash tray he decides to finally do something about Mary Jane's smoking.[Continuity 6] He wakes up Mary Jane and tells her that they need to talk, but first he has some unfinished business to deal with. He wakes Mary Jane up and asks her to accompany him to see Nick Katzenberg. Peter takes her to Blessing Hospital, where she learns that Katzenberg has been sick. When they go to see him, Mary Jane is shocked to see that Nick has lost a lot of weight and most of his hair. He tells Mary Jane that he has developed lung cancer, but he is certain he'll beat it.[Continuity 7] When Nick starts coughing up blood, Mary Jane becomes very upset and asks Peter how he could do this to her. Peter says it is because he loves her, but Mary Jane still storms out. Peter thanks Nick for his help.[Continuity 8] Going outside, Peter checks on his wife, who has taken a moment to process what she saw in the hospital room. She realizes the risk to her health that smoking has created and thanks Peter for forcing her to see it. She decides to quit smoking, crushing her pack of cigarettes and throwing them in the garbage.[Continuity 9]


Continuity Notes

  1. Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from existence by Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.
  2. In the new timeline where Peter and Mary Jane are not married, MJ likely said that she was engaged instead of married. As revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #639, although Peter and Mary Jane did not get married they remained engaged.
  3. Liz announced she was evicting the Parkers in Spectacular Spider-Man #204.
  4. In reality these are not Richard and Mary Parker as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #388. The real Richard and Mary Parker died while on a mission for the government decades ago, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5.
  5. Venom killed Hugh Taylor while escaping the Vault in Amazing Spider-Man #315.
  6. Mary Jane started smoking in Amazing Spider-Man #361 to deal with the stress of Peter being Spider-Man.
  7. Nick also mentions how he recently had a heart attack. That was in Web of Spider-Man #94.
  8. Nick Katzenberg is revealed to have died in Amazing Spider-Man #398. However, he will be brought back to life years later as seen in Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 4) #23.
  9. Mary Jane is depicted putting the crushed pack of cigarettes in a large ash tray. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as smoking in hospitals has been illegal for decades.

Chronology Notes

Events in this story happen behind the scenes that affect the chronology of the following characters:


Mary Jane Watson:

See Also

Links and References


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