Appearing in "Before I Wake"
- Lt. Jacob Raven
- Nick Katzenberg (Spirit)
- Vulture (Adrian Toomes) (Referenced)
- Radioactive Spider (Referenced)
- God (Yahweh) (Mentioned)
- Venom (Eddie Brock) (Mentioned)
- Puma (Thomas Fireheart) (Mentioned)
- Green Goblin (Norman Osborn) (Mentioned)
- Richard Parker (Mentioned) (Vision)
- Mary Fitzpatrick (Mentioned) (Vision)
- Peter Pan (Mentioned) (Vision)
Races and Species:
- Purgatory (First appearance; vision)
- Astral Plane (Mentioned) (Vision)
Synopsis for "Before I Wake"
This story continues from The Spectacular Spider-Man #220...
Standing outside of a brownstone in Manhattan's Upper East Side, Doctor Octopus takes stock in the life of Peter Parker.[Continuity 1] He believes that Peter Parker has it all, a wonderful home, and a beautiful wife.[Continuity 2] Upon learning all this, Otto wonders if his old foe really wants to embrace death as much as he claims.[Continuity 3]
Meanwhile, inside the Parker home, Peter Parker has just heard that Mary Jane is pregnant.[Continuity 4] This brings great joy to Peter and he begins to leap around the room. Thinking to himself, he prays that Aunt May wakes up from her coma and live long enough to meet this child.[Continuity 5] With this new revelation, Peter doesn't want to give up and die anymore and wonders how he is going to tell Mary Jane about the poison that threatens to kill him. Seeing how sad her husband now looks, Mary Jane assumes that Peter is worried about their finances. Peter tells her not to worry about anything, once more excited by the news that they are going to have a baby. Even though Mary Jane notices he is feverish, Peter rushes to the shower, telling her that they need to go to the hospital and tell May the good news, hoping that this could snap her out of her coma. While her husband is in the bathroom, Mary Jane's mood goes from joy to concern. She is now considering Peter's altered DNA and wonders what sort of child she may have as a result.
Soon, Peter and Mary Jane are at the hospital where Aunt May now rests. Peter tells May that he is going to have a child and begs for her to come out of her coma so she can meet his child. Unfortunately, May doesn't come out of her coma, and the Parkers leave. However, this news has caused a stir in May, who is teetering on the brink of letting go and allowing herself to pass away. Although her mind is tired and wants to let go, she feels that something keeps her tethered to the world of the living. Later, Peter and Mary Jane go out for dinner at a fancy restaurant to celebrate the good news. However, Peter begins to feel dizzy and drops his glass on the ground. A man takes charge of the situation, suggesting that Mary Jane take her husband home. However, as the Parkers have come here often, she mistakes this man as a staff member that they have not met yet. The man corrects her, saying that he doesn't work at the restaurant and then abruptly leaves.[Continuity 6] Suddenly, Peter's spider-sense goes off and he sees Doctor Octopus standing on the roof from across the street. Despite Mary Jane's protests, Peter insists that he needs to go adn rushes off to change into Spider-Man.
Spider-Man is furious that yet another villain is invading his civilian life and is tired of it, and attacks Octavius.[Continuity 7] Although the wall-crawler is trying to attack him, Otto insists that he has come to try and help cure Spider-Man of the poison that is slowly killing him. Spider-Man begins to vaguely remember being in Octavius' lab recently. Growing weak again, Spider-Man asks the Doctor why he wants to help. Otto explains that Spider-Man gives him a sense of continuity and inspires and wants to save Peter Parker's life so they can continue their rivalry. With no other choice, Spider-Man accepts the offer and takes otto's hand.
Meanwhile, Stunner is spending her time away from her lover to test out her powers. As she exercises across Central Park. There she grinds to a halt when someone shouts a warning to stay away from Doctor Octopus. She looks around for the source of the warning but finds no trace of who said it. Not far away stands the assassin known as Kaine. He is satisfied with giving her his warning and leaves Stunner to her fate. At that moment, at Doctor Octopus' lab, the villain has crafted what he claims is an antidote for the wall-crawler. Despite his reservations, Peter drinks the antidote and fees better at first. However, he suddenly screams in pain and falls to the ground. Otto stands as his foe seemingly dies, and smiles. Suddenly, Peter's soul leaves his body and he finds himself among the souls swirling around the portal to the afterlife. Parker refuses to accept the fact that he is dead.[Continuity 8] That's when he is approached by the spirit of Nick Katzenberg. Nick reminds Peter that souls that are unwilling to accept that they are dead are stuck among the living until they finally resign to the fact that have moved on.[Continuity 9]
Refusing to accept the truth, Peter flies back to the city below. He finds himself drawn to the hospital where Aunt May has been in a coma since her stroke. There he is visited by her spirit, who tells Peter that he shouldn't be here and that he has a great adventure ahead of him. When he asks her where he needs to go, she points out a bright star in the sky. Reminding him of his favorite story, Peter Pan, May tells Peter fly to the second star on the right and keep on flying until morning. With these words echoing in his head, Peter flies up toward the star and enters the light.
... This story continues in The Spectacular Spider-Man #221.