Appearing in "Down in the Darkness"
Synopsis for "Down in the Darkness"
This story continues in Web of Spider-Man #124...
Mary Jane is confronted by a man claiming to be the real Peter Parker.[Continuity 1] He tells her that he has been locked up for five years and the man that she married is not the real Peter Parker, but a clone.[Continuity 2] Mary Jane tells this Peter Parker that she can't deal with this new mystery right now because someone is chasing her. Before she can tell Peter who it is, they are confronted by the stalker himself -- the assassin known as Kaine. Kaine warns her that this is neither her husband, or Ben Reilly, but an escapee from the Jackal's lab.[Continuity 3] Although Kaine says that this clone is the real threat, Mary Jane tells Peter to prove otherwise by protecting her. Peter vows that he will always be there to protect her. Although Peter leaps to attack Kaine, he easily overpowers him. However, this distraction is long enough for Mary Jane to escape. Recovering from the attack, Peter is still reeling from everything that has changed and tries to follow after them.[Continuity 4]
Meanwhile, the real Peter Parker is sitting awake in his cell at Ryker's Island.[Continuity 5] He thinks about all of his recent tragedies, the most recent of which is being arrested for murder.[Continuity 6] He thinks about how he has been pushed to the brink and made it back and how he doesn't want to relive this again. His thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of the astral form of Chakra. She tells Peter that his wife is in mortal danger. Despite his questions, she disappears without telling him any more.
Meanwhile, Mary Jane manages to call Ben Reilly at Seward Trainer's home. She tells him that she is in danger from Kaine and another Parker clone. Unfortunately for Ben, she hangs up before telling him where she is. This is because Mary Jane has decided that she is going to stop running and fight back. While back at Ryker's Island, Peter Parker refuses to sit back and do nothing while his wife is in danger. Using his spider-powers, he manages to silently break out of his cell and sneak out of the prison. Reaching the edge of the island, Peter is about to leap into the water and swim to shore when he is stopped by Judas Traveller, who warns him that doing so would be a mistake. Peter isn't sure why Traveller cares, pointing out how during their last encounter he was toying with people like chess pieces.[Continuity 7] Judas fails to explain himself, saying that he has come to offer him a better way. At this moment he has created an illusion to make it look as though Peter Parker is still sleeping in his cell. That's when Chakra appears and offers her aid. Peter accepts the offer and is teleported away. Judas Traveller is then joined by Scrier who finds this entire situation amusing. When Scrier thinks that Traveller's interest in Spider-Man and his clone are perhaps because they remind him of himself. Traveller responds by telling Scrier that he doesn't know him as well as he thinks and walks away.[Continuity 8]
Meanwhile, Mary Jane has returned to her home where she has armed herself with a gun and is fully prepared to use it to protect herself. As she prepares to leave, she is stopped by someone wearing a Spider-Man costume. At first, she thinks it is her husband Peter, but when this Parker removes his mask and starts talking about the "impostor" who stole his life, she realizes that this the other Peter Parker that has been stalking her. Mary Jane orders him to stay back, but Peter continues to insist that he is the real Peter Parker. Even though his spider-sense is buzzing like crazy he continues to reach out for her. He is shocked when she actually shoots, but she missed hitting Parker, striking a photo framed on the wall instead.[Continuity 9] Still, this other Peter Parker still reaches out for her, but he is then knocked out by Kaine. He tells her to come with him in order to stay safe, but she refuses. When Mary Jane tries to shoot, Kain disarms her and the pain caused by twisting the weapon out of her hand causes Mary Jane to blackout. Hearing someone coming in through the skylight upstairs, Kaine then picks up Mary Jane and flees into the night.
When Mary Jane wakes up, she finds herself in Kaine's underground lair. Kaine tells her to get comfortable, saying that she is going to be here for a very long time.[Continuity 10] Back at the Parker home, the Scarlet Spider finds the Peter Parker clone. Thinking this is the real Peter, he asks what happened to Mary Jane. That's when the real Peter Parker comes bursting into the house demanding to know the answer to the same question.
... This story continues in Spider-Man #58.
- This is actually a deception on the part of the Jackal, as revealed in Spider-Man: The Jackal Files #1.
- 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.
- This Peter Parker clone escaped from the Jackal's lab in Spectacular Spider-Man #222. Peter Parker is currently in jail after being arrested for murder in Amazing Spider-Man #400 and Ben Reilly is with Seward Trainer as seen in Web of Spider-Man #124.
- This Peter Parker mentions how Aunt May has died. The woman everyone thinks is Aunt May died in Amazing Spider-Man #400. However, this was actually an impostor as revealed in Spider-Man #97.
- Peter has been accused of murdering Salt Lake City detective Louise Kennedy. THe real killer is revealed in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #1–3.
- Peter has been through a lot recently, these tragedies are: First, his parents seemingly resurfaced in Amazing Spider-Man #365, however, these people were revealed as impostors in Amazing Spider-Man #388. The real Richard and Mary Parker died decades earlier as explained in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5. He also mentions the return of his clone. Peter thought his clone had died in Amazing Spider-Man #149. How it survived was revealed in Osborne Journals #1. Ben Reilly resurfaced in Web of Spider-Man #114. Parker also mentions how he recently cheated death. He was poisoned by the Vulture in Amazing Spider-Man #396 but was cured by Doctor Octopus in Spectacular Spider-Man #221. He also mentions how he is an expecting father, Mary Jane revealed she was pregnant in Spectacular Spider-Man #220.
- Peter last encountered Traveller during the Power and Responsibility story arc.
Power and Responsibility Web of Spider-Man #117 Amazing Spider-Man #394 Spider-Man #51 Spectacular Spider-Man #217
- Judas Traveller states that he has lived for thousands of years. This is nothing more than a delusion he believes, as explained in Osborne Journals #1.
- This photo is of Peter Parker and Mary Jane on their wedding day. In the unaltered timeline, they were married in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. However, after the timeline change in Amazing Spider-Man #545, one could assume that this photo was replaced with a generic photo of the couple instead.
- The reason why Kaine is protecting Mary Jane is that he had a vision of someone killing her, as seen in Spectacular Spider-Man #221.