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Appearing in "The Gift"

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Synopsis for "The Gift"

This story continues from Web of Spider-Man #123...

Spider-Man rushes to the hospital in Forest Hills where his Aunt May has been since she suffered a stroke.[Continuity 1] Quickly changing into Peter Parker, the hero meets with May's doctor and is brought into her room. There, Peter is surprised to see that his aunt has woken up from her coma. Although he knew May would snap out of her coma, Peter is brought to tears because he has so much to tell her. May wants to hear every word of it and is ready to go. However, Doctor Captuo insists that May remains in the hospital until they can run some more tests. No matter what the doctor and Peter say, May insists on going home. As this debate goes on, the Scarlet Spider listens from outside. When Peter catches a glimpse of the Spider outside, he gets annoyed. The Scarlet Spider gets the message loud and clear and leaves. However, Ben Reilly wonders what would happen if May did see him. However, he recalls how Aunt May used to hate Spider-Man whenever she saw him on television. As he thinks out in the rain, the Scarlet Spider catches a glimpse of Kaine watching from the shadows, but he quickly disappears.[Continuity 2] Meanwhile, at Ravencroft Institute, the Jackal rants and raves in his cell, attracting the attention of one of his guards. When he has succeeded, the Jackal drops the façade and explains that he was putting on a show. After explaining this, the Jackal goes back to ranting and raving like a lunatic.

The following morning, Peter brings Aunt May back to her home. After so much time away the place feels like a museum to May. She is greeted by Peter's wife Mary Jane who has been cooking breakfast in the kitchen.[Continuity 3] May is able to tell that Mary Jane is pregnant without them telling her, and congratulates them.[Continuity 4] The says that it is intuition, remembering how she was able to tell when Peter's mother Mary was pregnant with him. She is delighted that they are soon to be parents, telling them that she learned that this is the greatest responsibility when she and her late husband Ben Parker raised Peter after his parents died.[Continuity 5] That's when May begins to feel faint and decides to lay down for a bit. As Mary Jane helps May upstairs, Peter can't bring himself to be totally happy.

That's when the Scarlet Spider enters the room and tells Peter that they need to talk. Peter agrees, and the pair go out into the backyard. Thinking they are going out web-slinging, Peter changes into Spider-Man and insists they get going before someone spots them. After reminiscing about their childhood, the Scarlet Spider then tells Peter that he is leaving. This comes as a shock to Peter, as there are so many unanswered questions they need to get from the Jackal.[Continuity 6] However, the Scarlet Spider doesn't care, pointing out that it doesn't' matter for two reasons: The first is that with his Aunt May back and a baby on the way, Peter deserves some happiness. The other is the fact that Ben has been away for so long, that Peter Parker deserves to have this life. With that, Spider-Man bids the Scarlet Spider farewell and tells him to keep in touch. However, the Scarlet Spider insists that Peter will never see him again and leaps away.

Meanwhile, up in Aunt May's room, she and Mary Jane remains on how long it too May and Anna Watson to set the pair up on a date.[Continuity 7] Mary Jane remarks how long it took her and Peter to fall in love when their aunts both clearly knew that it was bound to happen. As she falls asleep, May once more expresses how much she is proud of them, and the fact that the child will be blessed to have them as parents. However, Mary Janes say that they are blessed as they have her in their lives. Later, Peter and Mary Jane are watching old family movies.[Continuity 8] Peter remarks that if it wasn't for these old movies, he wouldn't have any memory of this time at all. This gets him thinking about Ben Reilly, and wonders if they are exactly the same person. Mary Jane points out that Ben Reilly is an imitation, and that nobody can clone Peter Parker's heart and nobody can take that away from him.

Outside the Parker house, Mister Nacht who is observing these developments. He is contacted to his master, Judas Traveller and informs him of these recent developments and will give him full details when he returns. When Medea asks Judas if they are going into action, however, Judas wants more time to study Mister Nacht's report before he decides their next move. While at his apartment, Ben Reilly packs his few possessions. He is having second thoughts about leaving New York City. This reminds him of what a woman named Janie told him, about leaving the past dead. However, he reminds himself that Janie is dead.[Continuity 9] Looking at his old Spider-Man mask, Ben realizes that the past cannot be left behind. Elsewhere in the city, yet another Peter Parker tries to sleep on a park bench.[Continuity 10] He is confused and can't remember much about his past. He is woken up by a police officer who tells him he cannot sleep on the bench. When this other Peter Parker explains that he can't remember where his home is, he is accused of being drunk. When the officer tries to bring him in, his spider-sense goes off. Not understanding what's going on, this Parker skitters up the side of a building in order to get away.

A week passes, and Aunt May seems to be on the mend, but Peter still worries about her health. He takes her to the top of the Empire State Building, her favorite place in all of Manhattan.[Continuity 11] May tells Peter that she and her husband used to go here all the time.[Continuity 12] After a moment of reflective silence, May asks Peter what it's like to web-sling across the city. Peter is shocked that May knows that he is Spider-Man. She explains that she has known for years and kept it secret, but she is very proud of him. Suddenly, May grows weak and Peter has to catch her. Peter rushes May back home and gets her to bed, but she refuses his offer to call her doctor. She tells Peter that it is her time to pass on and that she is grateful that she had this time to reconnect with him.

As May begins to fade away, the Scarlet Spider watches from the window. Inside, Peter is joined by Mary Jane and her Aunt Anna. Peter tells May about the dream he had recently where he thought he was dying and May guided him into the light.[Continuity 13] When May finally passes away, Mary Jane and Anna comfort Peter. While on the roof, Ben Reilly cries by himself. Days later, a funeral is held for May and many of Peter and Mary Jane's friends are in attendance. Watching from the distance is Detective Jacob Raven, who has been very interested in Peter Parker.[Continuity 14] After May's body has been unturned to the ground and the mourners have left, Ben Reilly comes to pay his respects as well. The Parkers return home where a small wake is held in May's memory. After all the guest has left, Peter and Mary Jane are interrupted by a knock on the door. When they answer it, Peter is arrested by Detective Raven and his NYPD associate Detective Connor Trevane. Mary Jane is horrified that they would do this on the day they buried Peter's aunt, but the officers explain they had no choice and recommend she get her husband a lawyer. As Peter is loaded into a squad car, he sees the Scarlet Spider watching from the rooftops above.

After the police take Peter away, Mary Jane begins to panic over what to do next. She is then interrupted by the Scarlet Spider. He introduces himself as Ben Reilly, and after he takes his mask off, he tells her that it is about time they meet face-to-face.

... This story continues in Spider-Man #57

Appearing in "A Shock to the System"

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Synopsis for "A Shock to the System"

This story continues from Spectacular Spider-Man #217...

Moments ago, the Spider-Clone had returned to the home of Peter Parker and saw Parker in the apartment with Mary Jane. This gave the clone the realization that he is actually the clone of Spider-Man.[Continuity2 1]

Devastated by this revelation, the clone walks down the middle of the rainy streets of Manhattan. When a truck comes speeding down the street, he slams on the break when he sees the clone in the middle of the road. The Spider-Clone turns and smashes the braking vehicle. However, the clone did not do this because he wanted to stop the truck, but because he is angry that the driver slammed on the breaks instead of running him down.

With no life and no direction, the Spider-Clone wonders what to do next and ends up sleeping in an alley. As he tosses and turning, he decides that if the real Peter Parker won't let him die, he decides to create a life for his own. The following day, the clone sneaks into Peter's apartment. There he steals some clothing, money, and decides to take a Spider-Man mask and a set of gloves along with him. Getting what he needs to survive, the man who would eventually call himself Ben Reilly begins the long road of his new life.

... This story continues in Spider-Man #57

Appearing in "The Morning After"

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Synopsis for "The Morning After"

Peter Parker thinks back to the morning after he caught Uncle Ben's killer.[Continuity3 1] Early that morning, Peter has a nightmare of the moment when caught the killer and realized that it was the burglar he let get away days earlier.

Peter wakes up from this nightmare and briefly considers running away from home out of shame. However, he decides against this because his Aunt May needs him. Downstairs, May wonders why her beloved husband was taken away from her, remembering how he died in her arms. When Peter comes downstairs, May briefly mistakes him for his Uncle Ben. Peter comforts his aunt as she cries. He tries to cheer her up by showing her the front page of the Daily Bugle as it features the story about Spider-Man catching Ben's killer. However, instead of relief, May becomes angry, suspecting that Spider-Man likely did it for fame and publicity and tells him never to mention the wall-crawler to her again.

She apologizes for her outburst and decides to go upstairs and try to sleep. After May goes upstairs, Peter realizes that he has to make it up for failing to use his powers responsibly. He vows that one day he will also drive up the courage to tell his Aunt May that he is really Spider-Man.


Continuity Notes

The Gift

Players and Pawns
Spectacular Spider-Man #222 Web of Spider-Man #123 Amazing Spider-Man #400
  1. Although Aunt May suffered a stroke in Amazing Spider-Man #391, the woman here is actually an impostor. May was swapped with this impostor sometime during Amazing Spider-Man #392. This truth is revealed in Spider-Man #97.
  2. The Scarlet Spider recalls how Kaine has been haunting him for years. This is explored further in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #13.
  3. 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.
  4. Mary Jane revealed that she was pregnant in Spectacular Spider-Man #220.
  5. Peter parents died while Peter was still young, as explained in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5.
  6. The Jackal left Spider-Man and the Scarlet Spider questioning who is really Peter Parker and who is a clone, and the possibility that they are both clones. That happened in the Smoke and Mirrors story arc.
    Smoke and Mirrors
    Web of Spider-Man #122 Amazing Spider-Man #399 Spider-Man #56 Spider-Man The Clone Journal #1
    However, this is all a manipulation on the part of the Jackal, Ben Reilly is really the clone as explained in Osborne Journals #1.
  7. Aunt May and Anna Watson were trying to set Peter up with Mary Jane since Amazing Spider-Man #17. The pair finally met in Amazing Spider-Man #42.
  8. Peter and Mary Jane are depicted as watching these movies on a film projector. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as this is an obsolete technology.
  9. Ben dated a woman who called herself Janine Godbe during the years he was in "exile". Ben believed she is dead as seen in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #13. However, he discovers that she is alive and well in Spider-Man: Redemption #14.
  10. This is yet another Spider-Clone to further sew confusion between Spider-Man and the Scarlet Spider. This scheme is explained in detail in Spider-Man: The Jackal Files #1.
  11. The original twin towers of the World Trade Center are depicted as part of the New York City skyline here. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. The original towers were destroyed in a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, and have since been replaced by the Freedom Tower.
  12. Mention is made about how Peter's Uncle Ben was murdered. That happened in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  13. Peter had this near-death experience during the Web of Death story arc.
    Web of Death
    Amazing Spider-Man #397 Spectacular Spider-Man #220 Amazing Spider-Man #398 Spectacular Spider-Man #221

  14. Raven believes that Peter Parker murdered his partner years earlier. However, this was the work of Kaine, as detailed in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #13.

The Parker Legacy:

The Parker Legacy
Amazing Spider-Man #400 Spider-Man #57 Spectacular Spider-Man #223
  1. The Spider-Clone battled Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #149 and was left for dead in Amazing Spider-Man #151. How the clone survived is explained in Osborne Journals #1.

The Morning After

  1. This story states that Peter was 16 years old on the night that he caught Uncle Ben's killer. However, in Civil War #2, Peter states he was 15 years old when he first became Spider-Man. As such, one could assume that Peter had a birthday between the time he was bitten by the radioactive spider and when he caught the burglar.

Chronology Notes

Events in this story happen at different points of time and affect the chronology of the following characters:


Mary Jane Watson-Parker:


  • The cover of this issue is one of the 32 that appear in the comic collection from the 2000 video game Spider-Man.

See Also

Links and References


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