Appearing in "Bug Story"
- Peter Parker
- Mary Jane Watson-Parker
- Daily Bugle staff
- Hank Pym (Mentioned)
- Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards) (Mentioned)
- Doctor Doom (Victor von Doom) (Mentioned)
- Tinkerer (Phineas Mason) (Mentioned)
- Alistaire Smythe (Mentioned)
- NYPD (Only in flashback)
- New York City
- Portland, Oregon (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "Bug Story"
Spider-Man wakes up to discover himself in an impossible situation: He's trapped in a giant glass jar being carried by a young child. As the boy tosses the jar onto his toy covered bed, the wall-crawler scrambles to try and figure out what's going on. Has he been shrunk down in size? Or is this an illusion like when Mysterio once pulled a similar stunt? He isn't sure who is responsible since Mysterio was recently arrested.[Continuity 1] As he tries to make sense of this situation, he adds it to the list of complications his life has experienced lately.[Continuity 2]
Meanwhile, at the Daily Grind, Shirley Washington wonders what is keeping Ben Reilly, as he is running late for his first shift since the Grind re-opened.[Continuity 3] Buzz, one of the regulars, figures that Ben is likely stuck in the subway. That's when Shirley's ex-husband Garon Lewis comes to see how her business is doing. She is unhappy that he has shown up and tells Garon that her life is none of his business. He tells her that it is when they affect the life of their son Devon. That's when Devon enters the shop and is delighted to see his father has come by for a visit. While back in the boy's room, Spider-Man breaks free from the glass jar he has been imprisoned in. Leaping onto the floor, his tries to figure out a way to contact the Fantastic Four or the Avengers to get him out of this mess when suddenly the toys come to life and start attacking him. While at the Daily Bugle, Peter Parker has accepted a staff job working at the Daily Bugle now that he has decided to stay in New York City.[Continuity 4] Jonah isn't passing up the opportunity to put Peter to work again and pairs him up with Ben Urich and his nephew Phil. Suddenly, Peter is struck with a headache and dismisses it as getting sick and hopes he doesn't pass it along to Mary Jane.
While back in the child's room, Spider-Man continues to fight for his life. His hunch about Mysterio being involved turns out to be correct, as the master illusionist is observing the battle from a secret control room. He is joined by Armada, who is not happy that Mysterio has employed his robots to bring these giant toys to life as he did not agree to put his creations in harm's way. Mysterio asks Armada to be patient, remembering how much work they put into converting a warehouse to look like a massive child's bedroom so shortly after Armada's robots broke them out of their jail cell. A plan that came to fruition when Armada's robots were able to ambush the wall-crawler and gas him before he could recognize what they were. However, can barely bring himself to sit back and watch as Spider-Man destroys his robots. With the web-spinner gaining the upper hand in battle, Mysterio decides to ramp things up by activating all the robots all at once. Still, despite the overwhelming odds, Spider-Man continues smashing the robots, further upsetting Armada. That's when the wall-crawler smashes open a robotic toy that resembles the Juggernaut causing one of Armada's robots to tumble out. Spotting the drone-like automatic, Spider-Man instantly recognizes it. Having had enough, Armada smashes out of the control room in order to battle Spider-Man directly.
Spider-Man manages to take advantage of this, leaping onto Armada and using his jet boots to redirect them up into the control booth. That's when Mysterio fills the room with mist. This doesn't phase Spider-Man who begins using his spider-sense to navigate the thick mist. He then makes contact with what he thinks is Mysterio, but it turns out to be a robotic decoy. By this point, Armada is starting to throw a fit over being manipulated by Mysterio. No longer a threat, Mysterio's sidekick is easily webbed up for the authorities and the wall-crawler departs. Meanwhile, at Aunt May's old house in Queens, Peter Parker begins unpacking dishes as he thinks about how quickly they returned to New York from Portland. Suddenly, he is struck by another powerful headache causing him to drop a dish on the ground. When Mary Jane comes to see what's wrong, Peter brushes it off as being clumsy. However, he realizes to himself that there is something seriously wrong with him and he needs to find out what it is.[Continuity 5]
- Mysterio pulled a similar stunt like this in on the real Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #66–67. At the time of this story, this Spider-Man had just captured Mysterio during the Media Blizzard story arc.
Media Blizzard Sensational Spider-Man #1 Amazing Spider-Man #408 Spider-Man #65
- 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.
The narrative also mentions some fact about the life of Peter Parker:
- 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.
- It also mentions that Mary Jane is pregnant, she announced that she was expecting a child in Spectacular Spider-Man #220.
- The Daily Grind was recently set on fire during the Blood Brothers story arc.
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
- After retiring as Spider-Man in Spectacular Spider-Man #229 he and Mary Jane had moved to Portland to try and start a new life in Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #1. However, they were drawn back to New York in Spider-Man #66.
- At the time of this story, Peter recently lost his spider-powers in Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #4. These headaches are the result of complications of that process that finally come to a fore in Spectacular Spider-Man #237.
- This story was inspired by the film Toy Story which came out around the time this story was published. The robots in this story are designed to look like various children's toys. Other than the Marvel-owned characters the rest are all parodies of other commercial properties that were owned by other companies. These parodies are based off from: Buzz and Woody from Toy Story, Godzilla, Pinky and the Brain from Animaniacs, the Flash, one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a xenomorph from the Aliens franchise, a Tie Fighter from Star Wars, Stretch Armstrong, Goliath from Disney's Gargoyles, a Street Shark, Disney's Goofy, a Power Ranger, and Gumby.