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Appearing in "The Face of My Enemy!"

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Synopsis for "The Face of My Enemy!"

Blood Brothers continues from Sensational Spider-Man #5

Seeking to learn the connection between Seward Trainer and the Multivex Corporation, Spider-Man, Peter Parker, and the Molten Man have entered the facility only to be attacked by robots created by the mystery man known as Gaunt.[Continuity 1] As it turns out they have interrupted Seward Trainer's attempts to restore Gaunt to normal health, a job that he was forced into doing. As the Molten Man keeps the robots at bay, Spider-Man pulls Peter to safety as he no longer has his spider-powers.[Continuity 2] Trainer warns Gaunt that if he doesn't stop Molten Man his attempts to restore Gaunt to normal will be in jeopardy. Gaunt leaps down to battle the Molten Man. As they battle, the Molten Man discovers that Gaunt knows his real name, prompting demands to know the connection with Multivex and the Osborn Industries. Gaunt refuses to explain the connection, only telling Raxton that it would horrify him and his step-sister Liz Osborn.

Meanwhile, Liz Osborn is entertaining Mary Jane Watson, the wife of Peter Parker.[Continuity 3] Liz apologizes for how she treated Peter earlier, fearing that the Daily Bugle might be trying to smear Osborn Industries again. She explains that there has been talk about a connection between Oscorp and Multivex, an organization that has been involved in some unethical practices. Given the criminal pasts of her late husband and father-in-law, she sent her step-brother the Molten Man to investigate.[Continuity 4] Unaware that her husband and Ben Reilly are already working with Molten Man, Mary Jane wonders how she can pass along this information without causing Liz any more distress. She assures Liz that everything will be okay. As she says so, Normie Osborn ominously pops the head off of a Spider-Man action figure.

Back at the scene of the battle, Spider-Man has finally gotten Peter to safety. When Parker insists on following after Seward Trainer, Spider-Man slams him against a wall. He reminds Peter that he no longer has his powers and that he needs to stay safe for his wife and unborn child.[Continuity 5] At this same moment, Gaunt revels in the opportunity to unleash his full strength, knocking out the Molten Man in the process. As Spider-Man continues his search for Seward Trainer, he is surprised that the man he once considered a close friend has been harboring secret of his own.[Continuity 6] When he finds Seward and demands answers, Trainer tries to explain that he is being forced into helping Gaunt. Suddenly, the wall-crawler's spider-sense goes off and he shoves Seward out of the away just as Gaunt tosses the Molten Man at them. This causes the web-slinger to take the full brunt of the impact. This leaves Spider-Man disorientated and open for attack by Gaunt. As Gaunt beats on the wall-crawler, Spider-Man thinks he recognizes his attacker. Gaunt admits that he knows the wall-crawler, but doubts he will be recognized in his current form.[Continuity 7] Not far away, Peter Parker wanders the facility, hurt that Ben would order him to stay on the sidelines, although he doesn't disagree. That's when security tries to reach him over the intercom. They order Parker to stand down, revealing that they caught his wife on the property and have her prisoner. Mary Jane came to warn her husband about what she learned from Liz Osborn, and regrets coming here. While fearing for the safety of his wife and unborn child, Peter agrees to surrender.

Not far away, Spider-Man continues to lash into Gaunt, wondering which one of his past foes it could be. He has grown tired of his enemies coming back from the dead to haunt him. Running through the list of his recently deceased foes, he even wonders if Gaunt could be Harry Osborn.[Continuity 8] That's when Seward Trainer tells Gaunt that his Rebirth Procedure is complete and he can enter the chamber at any moment. That's when Gaunt sprays Spider-Man in the face with gas. As the wall-crawler struggles with consciousness, Gaunt merely introduces himself by his current moniker. He then says that he and his employer -- another old acquaintance of the wall-crawler -- wish to remain their true identities a secret for the time being. With Spider-Man, Molten Man, and the Parkers as his prisoner, Gaunt allows them to witness as he enters the Rebirth Chamber and restores his body back to full health. Mary Jane insists that Peter do something, and in response Parker starts attacking Spider-Man, calling him a failure. However, this is all a ruse to distract the guards long enough for the wall-crawler to break free from his bonds.

Freed from his bond, Spider-Man then frees the Molten Man and the ensuing clash with the guards appear to damage that regeneration chamber causing it to reach critical mass. With the entire facility about to explode, the Molten Man and Spider-Man get Peter and Mary Jane to safety. The wall-crawler begs Seward Trainer to get to safety, but he insists on staying behind to try and contain the explosion until the others can get to safety. When the Parkers are brought to safety, Spider-Man tries to go back in and rescue Seward. However, before he can get inside the building explodes, leaving the wall-crawler to believe that Trainer died in the blast. In the aftermath of the battle, the Parkers offer their condolences to the web-slinger over the loss of his friend. Thinking back to the battle, Spider-Man wonders if the explosion was caused by his battle or if Seward tried to sabotage the process that could have cured Gaunt.

However, Seward and Gaunt both survived and the next day the Daily Bugle reports that the explosion at Multivex was due to industrial sabotage. When Gaunt suggests that Seward had something to do with the blast, he denies it. That's when Gaunt's employer, his identity obscured by shadows, expresses his anger with both Seward and Gaunt. Their activities have almost exposed his long-term plans that he has been cultivating for years. Satisfied by manipulating both Peter Parker and Spider-Man from the shadows, this mystery man cannot allow the destruction of Multivex to go unpunished and vows to destroy his two greatest enemies.

... The Clone Saga continues in Spider-Man Unlimited #12.


Continuity Notes

Blood Brothers
Sensational Spider-Man #4 Amazing Spider-Man #411 Spider-Man #68 Spectacular Spider-Man #234 Sensational Spider-Man #5 Amazing Spider-Man #412
  1. The narrative goes over the rather complicated Clone Saga up to this point. To clarify:
    • Originally, the Jackal created a clone of Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #149. That battle ended with Spider-Man seemingly killing his clone and he later disposed of the body in a smokestack in Amazing Spider-Man #151.
    • The supposed clone survived and left New York on a five-year self-imposed exile as seen during the Parker Legacy story arc.
    The Parker Legacy
    Amazing Spider-Man #400 Spider-Man #57 Spectacular Spider-Man #223
    • The alleged clone returned in Web of Spider-Man #117, calling himself Ben Reilly. This turned Spider-Man's life upside down.
    • After running some tests, it was revealed that Ben Reilly was the real Spider-Man and that the man calling himself Peter Parker all these years was actually the clone. That happened in Spectacular Spider-Man #226.
    • Things recently became even more confusing when a skeleton in a Spider-Man costume was recovered from the smokestack in Sensational Spider-Man #2.
    • The truth is far, far more complicated than all of this. As revealed in Osborne Journals #1, the Jackal intended to swap Peter and Ben so that it was Peter who was disposed of in the smokestack. However, the Green Goblin got involved, tricking the Jackal into thinking he succeeded in this switch. In reality, the real clone was dumped into the smokestack. Later, when Ben Reilly revived and left his would-be tomb, the Jackal then dumped the body of a failed clone into the smokestack in order to further confuse his enemies.
    • The photo of the Spider-Skeleton and Spider-Man on the newspaper was taken by Peter Parker last issue.
  2. Peter lost his spider-powers in Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #4. His powers will slowly begin to return in Spectacular Spider-Man #237.
  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. At the time of this story, everyone believes that both Norman and Harry Osborn are dead. When, in fact, both deaths were faked:
  5. Mary Jane announced she was pregnant in Spectacular Spider-Man #220.
  6. Although he doesn't know it at this time, Ben's longtime friend has been forced into the service of Norman Osborn as revealed in Osborne Journals #1.
  7. Unknown at this time, Gaunt is really the roboticist known as Mendel Stromm. At the time of this story, Stromm was believed to have died after being fatally shot in Amazing Spider-Man #37. How Stromm survived and came to become Gaunt is explained in Osborne Journals #1.
  8. Spider-Man's thoughts here run through a list of various foes who, at the time of this story, were dead. Aside from the aforementioned Norman and Harry Osborn these individuals are:

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