Appearing in "The Cocoon"
- New York State
Synopsis for "The Cocoon"
Shriek has succeeded in changing Malcolm McBride back into Carrion, and the ghoulish creature's first order of business is to use his touch of death on Spider-Man.[Continuity 1] However, Shriek has other plans for the wall-crawler and forces Carrion off him. Carrion is confused and asks her what she intends to do with their mutual foe. Shriek has decided to use her power to change Spider-Man so that he becomes just like them so that Spider-Man can serve as a "new father" for her "family". Carrion is still confused and disorientated by the lingering memories of his alter-ego, but Shriek tells him to ignore those sounds and takes him away to continue the next phase of her plan. Shortly after their departure, Spider-Man tries to struggle back to his feet but begins to black out. Instead of fighting the sensation, the wall-crawler welcomes the feeling of oblivion.
Meanwhile, in Forest Hills, Mary Jane is at the hospital after Aunt May has suffered a stroke. Doctor Julia Caputo tells Mary Jane that May is in a coma and that they don't know if she will pull out of it, and what her state of mind will be if and when she does. Standing silently over Aunt May's comatose body, and pleads that the frail old woman not die. Meanwhile, in Greenwich Village, Shriek and Carrion have forced themselves into a clothing store to obtain new costumes to wear. While putting on her new outfit, Shriek begins to think back to when she was a child and how she was shunned by her family for being overweight. This causes her to suddenly lash out with her powers, destroying the whole store. In the aftermath of the emotional backlash, Carrion finally remembers that Shriek is not his mother and asks her once again to let him go. While at the McBride home, Beatrice McBride calls Ravencroft for an update. John Jameson has nothing new to report about her missing son and she promises to send out a prayer for Ashley Kafka. Getting off the phone, Beatrice looks at a photo of her son and begins to cry, telling herself that she will pray for everyone.
At that moment, Peter Parker returns home to his apartment and finds no trace of Mary Jane. Exhausted after his ordeals, he crashes onto the bed and sleeps. It's not until much later, when he wakes up, that he finds a note from his wife telling him about Aunt May's stroke.[Continuity 2] Spider-Man swings to the hospital where he looks into Aunt May's hospital room. There he sees Mary Jane waiting over May's unconscious body. Horrified by this sight, Spider-Man swings away, but not before being spotted by Mary Jane.[Continuity 3] Mary Jane returns to her home where she finds Peter in tears. When she tries to comfort him, Peter loses his temper and begins trashing the apartment until he runs out of energy. Exhausted, Peter allows his wife to cradle him in her arms, and tells her that this isn't fair.
While in Astoria, Beatrice McBride answers her door to find Shriek and Carrion waiting outside. Shriek wants to speak to the McBride woman about her "son". However, Beatrice points out that Malcolm is not Shriek's son. To prove her point, Shriek orders Carrion to murder his biological mother. Back in Manhattan, Mary Jane checks on her husband and is shocked to discover that Peter was webbed himself up in a cocoon, suspended above their bed. Deciding that her husband wants to be left alone, Mary Jane leaves him be. When she returns later that night, she discovers the cocoon in tatters on the bed and no sign of Peter. Swinging across the city, Spider-Man thinks of his emergency from a cocoon as the symbolic death of Peter Parker, leaving nothing left but the spider. In Astoria, Shriek continues to convince Carrion that he is her son, and to kill Beatrice. However, before the confused ghoul can make up his mind, they are interrupted by the arrival of Spider-Man.
- ↑ Malcolm McBride was transformed into Carrion in The Spectacular Spider-Man #149. At the time of this story, Malcolm had recently been cured in The Spectacular Spider-Man #203.
- ↑ 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. There is a wedding photo of Peter and Mary Jane on the night table here. In the original timeline, Peter and Mary Jane were married in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. In the altered timeline, as explained in Amazing Spider-Man #639, they did not get married. As such, one could assume that in the new timeline that photo no longer exists.
- ↑ The woman sleeping in the hospital bed here is not Aunt May. At some point during this issue, May was replaced with an impostor by the Green Goblin. This impostor was an actress who was genetically modified to resemble May and pretend to be Peter's Aunt. This is all explained in Spider-Man #97.
Events in this story happen behind the scenes that affect the chronology of the following characters:
- Page 1-14 - Spider-Man battles Shriek, learns Aunt May suffered a stroke.
- Page 15-23 - Peter decides to abandon his civilian identtiy and fully embrace the Spider.
- This cover is a homage of Amazing Spider-Man #50.
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