Appearing in "Crossfire, Part One"
- Aunt May (Illusion)
- New York City
Synopsis for "Crossfire, Part One"
This story continues from Web of Spider-Man #125...
Dressed as the Scarlet Spider, Peter Parker goes to visit Detective Jacob Raven, who has been staying at the Gotham Inn.[Continuity 1] He has come to talk to Raven about how Peter Parker is innocent for the murder of Raven's partner in Salt Lake City, five years earlier.[Continuity 2] That's when Raven turns and shows the Scarlet Spider the scar on his face.[Continuity 3] Raven reveals that after seeing this same mark on the face of his partner, Doctor Octopus and the Grim Hunter, he now knows that Kaine is responsible.[Continuity 4] Now that he knows that the wrong man is in prison, Raven vows to the Spider that he will not rest until he sees "Peter Parker" released from prison. Believing that Jacob means what he says, the Scarlet Spider thanks him and leaves. As he swings away, Peter wonders what Jacob Raven would think if he knew that Peter Parker switched places with his clone, Ben Reilly, so that he could be with his pregnant wife.[Continuity 5]
As the Scarlet Spider swings through the city, he is unaware that he is being observed by Judas Traveller. He continues to observe the two Spider-Men as part of an experiment into the nature of good and evil.[Continuity 6] Landing on the roof of the Top of New York hotel, Judas Traveller watches as the Spider swings away.[Continuity 7] He is joined by Scrier, who wonders how he can admire the wall-crawler when his plans are terrible, pointing out that they will work to break Peter Parker beyond the point of saving. Traveler tells Scrier that he doesn't want his advice, reminding him that he is nothing more than his servant.[Continuity 8] Telling Scrier that what he does is for the greater good, he leaps off the building and transforms into a bird, flying off to continue his observations.
By this time, Peter Parker returns home, waking up his wife. Mary Jane is upset that Peter went out without telling her, reminding him that he promised not to. Peter apologizes but tells her that he can't sit back and do nothing until he has found enough evidence to get Ben Reilly out of prison. He tells her that it is the least he can do after all the sacrifices that Ben has made for their family. This upsets Mary Jane, pointing out the sacrifices she made while Peter was hiding behind his mask recently.[Continuity 9] Then she mentions the recent attempts on her life by Kaine and yet another Spider-Clone.[Continuity 10] She tells him that while she is willing to endure a lot of her him, the situation is changed now that she is pregnant. She tells Peter that with a baby on the way, he needs to be there for her more so than ever before.
Peter notices that Mary Jane is still upset and wants to know what else is bothering her. She shows him the test she had done on her baby by Seward Trainer.[Continuity 11] She is concerned about the condition of their baby, fearing what Peter's radioactive blood may have done to the baby. Catching herself just as she blames her husband's biology, Mary Jane apologizes and says she is just concerned. Peter is shocked, but understand and says that he will love their baby no matter what happens. That's when the room begins to fill with mist, causing Mary Jane to pass out. Peter is then confronted by Judas Traveller. Judas explains that he has not come to fight the wall-crawler, but that he has merely come to observe what happens next. Not buying this, Peter puts on the Scarlet Spider mask and attacks Judas Traveller. However, with his nearly limitless powers, Judas manages to overpower the faux Scarlet Spider. He then begins his test by holding out a globe that he claims to contain the soul of May Parker.[Continuity 12] He tells Peter that the globe has the power to restore Aunt May to life and good health. However, this comes at a cost, telling him that in exchange it could snuff out a number of lives. He skirts around the actual number, telling the web-slinger that it could be as many as 100 people, or it could be only one insignificant soul.
However, the Scarlet Spider crushes the globe into bits, seemingly sending the soul of Aunt May back into the afterlife. He refuses to believe any of this has been happening, believing that this is merely a series of illusions. However, Judas says he is a being of great power, and decides to show him what the future has in store for him. Bringing him back to reality, he shows him a future where Manhattan is in ruins. He then tells Parker that it is his fault, and the cause of this disaster will prove that he is not quite the hero he always thought he was.
... This story continues in Spider-Man #59.
- The reason why Peter Parker is dressed in the Scarlet Spider costume here is that he was arrested for murder in Amazing Spider-Man #400. In order to clear his name, he swapped places with Ben Reilly, as seen in Spectacular Spider-Man #224.
- Raven's partner was murdered by Kaine in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #1–3.
- Raven got a non-lethal version of the "Mark of Kaine" in Spectacular Spider-Man #223.
- Doctor Octopus and the Grim Hunter were both murdered by Kaine as seen in Spectacular Spider-Man #221 and Spider-Man #55 respectively.
- 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. Mary Jane revealed that she was pregnant in Spectacular Spider-Man #220
- Judas Traveller has been testing Peter and Ben since 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
- 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.
- Scrier states that he has been Traveler's loyal servant for over 100 years. However, this is just supporting the delusional Judas Traveller into thinking he is thousands of years old. This is revealed in Osborne Journals #1.
- This story references the Back From the Edge storyline, but this withdrawal goes back further. Peter decided to abandon his civilian identity for a time after his Aunt May suffered a stroke in Amazing Spider-Man #391. He decided to be Peter Parker again following the Back from the Edge storyline.
Back From the Edge Spider-Man Unlimited #7 Amazing Spider-Man #395 Spectacular Spider-Man #218 Amazing Spider-Man #396 Spectacular Spider-Man #219
- This most recent attempt on Mary Jane's life happened during the Mark of Kaine storyline.
Mark of Kaine Web of Spider-Man #124 Amazing Spider-Man #401 Spider-Man #58 Spectacular Spider-Man #224 Spider-Man Unlimited #9
- Mary Jane had this test done in Web of Spider-Man #124.
- Everyone believes May Parker died in Amazing Spider-Man #400. However, this woman was an impostor as revealed in Spider-Man #97. This, however, is not the soul of the May Parker impostor, merely an illusion created by Judas Traveller. He is merely a delusional telepath as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #417.