Appearing in "The Burning Fuse!"
- United States of America
Synopsis for "The Burning Fuse!"
In Manhattan, Mary Jane sits by the window of the home she shares with her husband Peter Parker.[Continuity 1] She thinks about all the recent tragedies that have happened and fears how it is affecting their marriage. She wants things to get back to how they were but fears that Peter has drifted too far. While in Queens, Aunt May is also looking out of her own window thinking about her own hardships. With everything that has happened, she thinks about how troubled her life was before she met her late husband, Ben Parker.[Continuity 2] Since Ben was murdered, she has lived her life by his example, always believing that he is always looking over her shoulder.[Continuity 3] While at Ravencroft Institute, John Jameson thinks about the recent crisis at the facility when his thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of Spider-Man. As cheif of security, John begins berating Spider-Man for potentially breaching security by coming into the facility. That's when the wall-crawler reminds Jameson that he has a security pass allowing him entry, so he doesn't need to break in. Apologizing for his outburst, John tells Spider-Man what has happened. By the time they get to the infirmary to see Doctor Ashley Kafka, the wall-crawler learns how Ashley was injured when Shriek escapes with Malcolm McBride earlier that evening.[Continuity 4]
As soon as he hears who escaped, Spider-Man abruptly leaves to begin his search for Shriek. As he swings through the city, Peter continues to withdraw from his civilian identity, pushing all thoughts of his wife and Aunt May out of his mind. Instead, he focuses on finding and capturing Shriek.[Continuity 5] While down below on the streets, Beatrice McBride drives around Manhattan trying to find a sign of her son Malcolm. Elsewhere, Malcolm begs Shriek to tell him why this is happening. She explains that she isn't doing anything to harm him, in fact, if anyone harmed him it was Ashley Kafka. She intends to change Malcolm back into Carrion.[Continuity 6] She picks out a house where they will stay the night. While she is distracted, McBride tries to flee, but he is easily recaptured by Shriek. Forcing herself and Malcolm into the house, the awaken the owner. He demands to know what is happening and is tossed out the window in response to his demands. Shriek then tries to comfort Malcolm in an effort to bring out Carrion once more.
The following morning, Mary Jane pays a visit to Aunt May in order to talk to her about Peter. She quickly becomes angry when Aunt May begins doting over her instead of focusing on the serious issues, particularly the recent revelation that the couple claiming to be Peter's parents were revealed to be impostors.[Continuity 7] Mary Jane is furious that neither May, nor Peter, want to face the reality of the situation as though they are devoid of feeling. This finally cuts through May's doting exterior, and she tells Mary Jane that she does feel. Reminding her of all the losses she had to endure over the years: Peter's parents, her husband Ben, Gwen Stacy, and most recently, he fiancee Nathan Lubenski.[Continuity 8] She is furious that Mary Jane would accuse her of having no feelings, and points out that she is very well aware of what what is happening. As Mary Jane apologizes, Aunt May flips back to her usual doting self, asking Mary Jane what she wants for breakfast.
While back at their safehouse, Malcolm McBride insists that Shriek take him back to Ravencroft so he can continue his treatment and full purge the Carrion virus from his body. However, Shriek has no intention of doing so, violently reminding him that her whole purpose for bringing him was so Carrion could come back and she can reunite their "family" again. She lashes out at him, but stops herself and begins to apologize, saying that she is doing what she does because she cares. Malcolm then begins to beg her, demanding that if she would let him gp if she really cares. Before she can do anything, Spider-Man arrives and uses a web-line to slam her into a nearby wall. Shriek is furious at Spider-Man's interference, and wants to make him pay for taking everything away from her.[Continuity 9] Continuing to shed his own humanity, Spider-Man lays into her without a single word.
This works until Shriek begins begging him not to hurt her anymore, causing the wall-crawler to make an all-too-human pause. This was all a ploy by Shriek, who points out the web-slinger is no different than Ashley Kafa. Taking Spider-Man down with a single blast, she promises Spider-Man that when she is finally done with him, he will be exactly like her. At that moment, back in Queens, Aunt May sees Mary Jane out. Once Mary Jane is gone, May suddenly feels a gripping pain in her cheast, and tries to fight off the coming pain because Peter needs her. At this time, Shriek has finished mentally probing Spider-Man. She figures that he may make an idea replacement father for Carrion. She then realizes how she can use her power to bring back Carrion. Using her sonic powers she bombards Malcolm's mind, accellerating Malcolm's transformation into Carrion. Back in control of his body, Carrion proclaims that Malcolm McBride is dead, and soon, so will Spider-Man. With that, Carrion grabs the wall-crawler by the face, activating his deadly touch.
While back in Queens, Mary Jane has returned to Aunt May's house to talk to her some more. Calling out to May, she gets no response. Looking around, Mary Jane is horrified to discover Aunt May laying completely still on the floor.
- 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.
- May's troubled childhood has been glimpsed at in Amazing Spider-Man #370 and Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #4.
- Ben Parker was murdered by a burglar in Amazing Fantasy #15.
- John Jameson curses the fact that Ravencroft was opened before the staff was ready. This happened in Web of Spider-Man Annual #10.
- Spider-Man recalls Shriek's involvement in the Maximum Carnage massacre.
- Malcolm was transformed into Carrion in Spectacular Spider-Man #149 until he was recently cured in Spectacular Spider-Man #203.
- A couple claiming to be Richard and Mary Parker surfaced in Amazing Spider-Man #365. However, they were recently revealed to be impostors in Amazing Spider-Man #388. The real Richard and Mary Parker died on a government mission decades earlier, as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5.
- Gwen Stacy was murdered by the Green Goblin in Amazing Spider-Man #121 while Nathan died of heart failure in Amazing Spider-Man #336.
- She blames Spider-Man for the capture of her "husband", Carnage, who was incarcerated following his defeat in Spider-Man Unlimited #2. She also blames him for the apparent death of the Spider-Doppelganger. The creature was seemingly killed by Carnage in Spider-Man #37. However, unknown to anyone at the time, the creature survived and will resurface years later in Carnage #1.