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Appearing in "Behind the Walls"

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Synopsis for "Behind the Walls"

Upon learning that his friend, the late Harry Osborn, was responsible for creating the simulacrums that posed as his parents, Peter Parker goes to the Osborn estate on Long Island.[Continuity 1] In the mansion, Peter reflects on his on-going feud with the Osborn family. How Harry recently became the Green Goblin had perished due to his hatred of Spider-Man,[Continuity 2] much like his father Norman before him.[Continuity 3] Peter has come to the conclusion that Norman Osborn had won by distorting his own son into doing something so horrific. His anger getting the best of him, Peter rips apart a portrait of the Osborns and begins trashing the room until his anger is finally vented, he then sits in the darkness in total silence.

Meanwhile, at the Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane in Westchester County, Doctor Ashley Kafka watches security footage of the Frances Barrison, aka the woman known as Shriek. Of all her patients, Kafka finds her the most perplexing, given her violent behavior and her desire to form some kind of family unit. She believes that if she can reach through to Barrison, she will be able to help her find that which she craves.[Continuity 4] Ashley's thoughts are interrupted by her assistant Edward Wheland. He tells her that Malcolm McBride is ready for their next session. Learning that Malcolm is still agitated, she explains that he is still coming to terms with his guilt. Ashley then pays a visit to Malcolm in his room where he is being comforted by his mother. McBride tells her of the nightmares he has been having since he has been cured. In it, the city streets are filled with the bodies of all his victims until he himself is attacked by his alter-ego, Carrion. He warns her that in his dreams, Carrion has come for Malcolm to take the creature back.[Continuity 5] While in Forest Hills, Aunt May wakes up from a nightmare, shouting Peter's name. Looking over a photo of young Peter with his parents, taken before they died, she wonders why the two impostors came after her nephew and why. She also begins to wonder how she could have been so easily fooled and blames it on getting old. Either way, she resolves to be strong for Peter's sake.

While on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Mary Jane waits for her husband Peter to return home.[Continuity 6] As she waits, she strikes a match and contemplates lighting a cigarette.[Continuity 7] She wonders if Peter is aware of how much he hurts her. She then decides to stop using cigarettes to cope and snuffs out the match and tosses the cigarette into the garbage. When she hears Peter come in, Mary Jane approaches him. Finding her husband sitting on the bed, she tries to explain her feelings to him, but he doesn't even acknowledge her. She threatens to leave, but after a moment sits next to Peter on the bed. She tells Peter that she don't need to run away anymore, and says that their love is all they need. While she kisses Peter, she then drops her pack of cigarettes onto the ground.

Back at Ravencroft, Ashley Kafka continues her session with Malcolm as they walk through the facility. Malcolm reflects on all the death caused by his alter-ego and has concluded that he is insane. Kafka doesn't buy it and decides to show him what true insanity is by taking him down to Shriek's cell. When they enter, Shriek stops screaming as she feels Malcolm's presence and finds it familiar. Although he is no longer Carrion, she still recognizes him as her "son". She blasts the observation window, shattering it. The force of the blow sends Ashley falling to the ground. Shriek then picks her up and tosses her at a nearby wall. When McBride tries to flee but is easily caught by Shriek. Leaping out of a nearby window and taking to the air, Shriek assures him that his "mother" will take care of him. Hearing the noise, Malcolm's real mother rushes to the window to see Shriek carrying her son away. At that moment, Mary Jane wakes after a bad nightmare to discover that her husband has left. Mary Jane once more finds herself wondering if Peter fully understands how much his absences hurt her. Seeing the pack of cigarettes on the floor, she picks it up and angrily throws it out the open window.

Peter is swinging across the city, knowing that leaving his wife again so soon is going to cause problems in his marriage. He notices the look of fear in her eyes, that she is afraid that he is going to get hurt because of his double life. He is also afraid that he may lose her along with everyone else. With all these troubled thoughts, he decides he needs to speak to an expert, Doctor Ashley Kafka. As he heads toward Ravencroft, he is unaware that she has been seriously injured and is now receiving medical attention.


Continuity Notes

  1. Peter's parents, Richard and Mary, were government agents who were killed in action decades ago as seen in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5. Recently, circa Amazing Spider-Man #365, a couple surfaced claiming to be Peter's parents. They were exposed as impostors in Amazing Spider-Man #388. While hunting down the Chameleon during the Pursuit event, Peter learned of Harry's involvement.
    Spider-Man #45 Spectacular Spider-Man #211 Web of Spider-Man #112 Amazing Spider-Man #389

  2. At the time of this story, everyone thinks that Harry Osborn is dead following the events of Spectacular Spider-Man #200. However, unknown to everyone at the time, Harry survived as explained in Amazing Spider-Man #581. He will resurface again in Amazing Spider-Man #545.
  3. At the time of this story, everyone believes that Norman Osborn is dead following a battle against Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #122. His survival is explained in Osborne Journals #1. He will resurface again in Amazing Spider-Man #412.
  4. Shriek's need for a "family" unit was depicted 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

  5. Malcolm was transformed into Carrion in Spectacular Spider-Man #149. At the time of this story, he had just recently been cured in Spectacular Spider-Man #203.
  6. 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.
  7. Mary Jane started smoking in Amazing Spider-Man #361 as a means of coping with the stress of Peter being Spider-Man. At the time of this story, she had just recently quit, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #385.

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