Appearing in "Judgement at Bedlam"
- Vermin (Edward Whelan)
- Carrion (Malcolm McBride)
- John Jameson
- Blake Tower
- Detective Jacob Raven
- Mr. Locker
- Judge Sandra Franklin
- Mr. Nacht
- New York
Synopsis for "Judgement at Bedlam"
This story is continued from Web of Spider-Man #126...
Kidnapped by Judas Traveller, Spider-Man finds himself before a mock court within Ravencroft Institute. As the staff watches helplessly in the stands, the jury is filled with the inmates. Comprising this kangaroo court is Judas Traveller as the judge, Carnage as the prosecution, as well as Ashley Kafka and John Jameson in the defense. Among those watching the trial are Edward Whelan, Shriek, the Chameleon, and Kaine. Traveller tells the wall-crawler that he is standing trial for his life, and asks him how he will plead. Spider-Man doesn't know what's going on and demands answers. All Judas will tell him that is if the web-slinger is be sentenced to death if he is found guilty of time. Judas then begins the trial, stating that when he previously came to Ravencroft Institute he learned that many of the inmates held a great deal of hatred toward the wall-crawler.[Continuity 1] Judas wishes to learn if these inmates only exist because there is a Spider-Man and if his death would put an end to their insanity as well. This speech gets cheers from the lunatics in the jury. Traveller explains that while Carnage has been assigned to the prosecution, Kaine has been selected to work in the wall-crawler's defense. Forcing his will upon Spider-Man, he then demands that wall-crawler to enter a plea to the court.
Before Spider-Man can answer, Kaine leaps from the defense table and tries to attack Judas. He demands to know where Judas comes from judging a hero like Spider-Man. However, when he tries to give Traveller the Mark of Kaine, it doesn't work. Grabbing Kaine by the hand, Traveller demonstrates a show of power by growing in size and threatens to kill him.[Continuity 2] When Kaine expresses his desire to do whatever it takes to stop Judas Traveller for Spider-Man, reality snaps back to normal. Kaine is back behind the defense table as though he never tried to attack Judas to begin with. Traveller explains that his desire to fight for Spider-Man is the exact reason why he has chosen Kaine to be Spider-Man's defense attorney. When Judas warns Kaine against future outbursts, the assassin agrees to comply. When Traveller turns the floor over to Carnage, the symbiotic serial killer calls himself as his first witness.
This is not the only trial going on this day, as today is the trial of Peter Parker, who has been accused of murder. However, Peter Parker is not on the stand, but his clone Ben Reilly.[Continuity 3] On the witness stand is Peter Parker's wife, Mary Jane Watson.[Continuity 4] She is being questioned by Blake Tower, the District Attorney of New York. He wants to know where her husband was at the time of the murders. Although she notes that he is a photojournalist, he was not on assignment at the time of the murder. Tower suggests that this killing was actually personal business and demands to know where her husband was at the time. Mary Jane knows what happened as, at the time, Peter was buried alive by Kraven the Hunter, but can't tell the court this.[Continuity 5] When she can't answer Tower's questions, she is dismissed from the witness stand. She returns to the gallery where she tells her Aunt Anna that she feels that she did more bad than good. Anna tells her not to worry, assuring her that the truth will come out.
Back at Ravencroft, Kaine has another precognitive flash of Mary Jane being killed.[Continuity 6] However, this is ignored by the mock trial, as Carnage begins his testimony. Carnage accuses Spider-Man of his creation, saying to the court that it was the wall-crawler who brought the first symbiote to Earth.[Continuity 7] After his testimony, Carnage opens himself up for cross-examination from Kaine. Kaine points out that Kasady was a serial killer prior to becoming Carnage. When the lunatic denies this, Kaine lashes out with his Touch of Kaine. This hurts Carnage and the two come to blows until Judas Traveller has had enough with the disruption and uses his powers to stop them from fighting. Traveller warns them against such a disruption again and orders Carnage to call his next witness.
Next, Carnage calls Malcolm McBride to the stands to testify against Spider-Man. Ashley Kafka is concerned about this because Malcolm has been in a fragile mental state since he was cured of the Carrion virus.[Continuity 8] However, despite these concerns, John Jameson points out that there is nothing they can do. Carnage berates Malcom, getting him to admit that it was his own jealousy that led to the creation of Carrion, and that his jealousy toward his classmate Peter Parker. With this, Carnage rips off Spider-Man's mask, revealing that he is Peter Parker. Carnage then goes through a litany of those who died because of Peter Parker.[Continuity 9] Lastly, he suggests that Peter's life as Spider-Man also caused the death of his Aunt May as well.[Continuity 10] At this last accusation, Peter Parker has had enough and loses his temper. Accusing Carnage of twisting his life into something that it isn't, Peter breaks free from his bonds. Spider-Man refuses to surrender, pointing out that this is yet another effort to break him down.[Continuity 11] He refuses to allow this mock trial to continue as he needs to get Kaine to the courthouse and prove Peter Parker's innocence. While Judas finds this a beautiful speech, he orders the jury to make a verdict. The jury finds him guilty and sentences him to death. As they rush at the wall-crawler, both Malcolm McBride and Edward Wheland and forced to transform into Carrion and Vermin and join the frenzied mob.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Manhattan, Detective Jacob Raven and Stunner continues their hunt for Kaine. Unable to find their quarry, Stunner begins to lose her temper, but Raven manages to calm her down because he knows exactly what she has lost.[Continuity 12] Although she calms her down, Stunner has to go and promises Jacob that she will be back and suddenly fades away. While back at Ravencroft, Spider-Man has been restrained again. After hearing the jury, Judas Traveller has no choice but to find the wall-crawler guilty and sentences him to death and invites the jury to carry out the execution. With Carnage leading them, the other inmates rush at Spider-Man intent on killing him. Kaine leaps in to aid Spider-Man, but despite his efforts, the pair is swarmed by the inmates. Suddenly, the attack ends, and Judas Traveller explains that he sent all the inmates back to their cells and that Kaine is still alive. Judas explains that after their experience through space-time, he has detected a sense of nobility in Spider-Man that surprised him.[Continuity 13] Seeing how Kaine was willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of Spider-Man, Judas had decided that Peter deserves further observation and teleports away without further explanation. Spider-Man then finds himself and Kaine back in Manhattan.
There, as Kaine recovers, he is grabbed by Stunner who is determined to avenge the death of Doctor Octopus. Spider-Man pleads with her to spare Kaine's life, but it appears his words are falling on deaf ears. Meanwhile, back at Ravencroft, Carnage sits in his cell gloating over the fact that he knows Spider-Man's secret identity. That's when Judas Traveller appears in his cell and tells Kasady that what he has given he can take away and painfully erases the memory of Spider-Man's secret identity from Carnage's mind.
... This story continues in Spider-Man #60.