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Quote1.png Stand still, Reilly! You're only being obdurate by trying to delay the inevitable. Quote2.png
Gaunt (Mendel Stromm)

Appearing in "Torment"

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Synopsis for "Torment"

Revelations continues from Sensational Spider-Man #11...

Mary Jane is being wheeled into the emergency room after she started undergoing painful labor while at the Daily Grind. With her is her Aunt Anna, who tries to comfort the pregnant woman who is afraid that something is happening to her unborn child. They are joined by Doctor Folsome, who tells Mary Jane that his regular doctor cannot be reached and he will be looking after her from this moment on. Also at the hospital is Daily Bugle photographer Angela Yin, who recognizes the Parker woman. As she snaps a photo of the scene Angela wonders why her husband Peter isn't here with her.[Continuity 1] She isn't the only one who is wondering where Peter Parker is, as Mary Jane is being wheeled into an operating room, Anna Watson wonders why Peter won't call her back on her cell phone.

At that very moment, Peter Parker and Spider-Man are fighting for their lives at the ruins of Midtown High as they are attacked by Gaunt and an army of robots fashioned to look like children. Peter is all too aware that Anna has been trying to get ahold of him, but can't pull himself away from the battle.[Continuity 2] As he gets another message, Spider-Man hears it and tells Peter to leave and go be with his wife and baby. However, Gaunt is intent on killing the wall-crawler and Peter doesn't think Ben will survive if he leaves and insists on staying. By this time, Angela Yin has called Joe Robertson at the Daily Bugle to tell him about Mary Jane's condition at the hospital. After hearing this, he relays the news to Glory Grant, and feels awful for Peter after everything that has happened to him recently.[Continuity 3]

Back at Midtown, Spider-Man and Peter Parker continue to fight against Gaunt and his robot army. While Ben destroys two of Gaunt's plastoid robots, Peter takes down the robots that have been fashioned to look like children. Meanwhile, at the hospital, Doctor Folsome and his team of doctors help Mary Jane through a very complicated and painful delivery. As she strains to give birth to her daughter, Mary Jane is unaware that a mysterious figure is watching from the operating theater above. Satisfied that everything is going exactly as planned, the mystery man then leaves to carry out the next phase of his plan. At Midtown, Peter manages to come across a telephone that still works and calls Anna to check in on Mary Jane. As he fights off the rest of the robots, he tells Anna that he has been stuck in a subway car. Learning that Mary Jane is having a difficult delivery and the doctors are concerned, Peter assures her that he will get there as soon as possible, saying that nothing will keep him from getting to his wife. Meanwhile, at the 28th Precinct, Detective Connor Trevan interrupts his colleagues, Francis Tork and Lou Snider, to introduce them to Arthur Stacy, the brother of the late George Stacy. Arthur tells the officers that he has called a meeting with them because the man who murdered his brother has not been brought to justice and wishes to speak to them all because of their occasional association with Spider-Man.[Continuity 4]

At that same moment, Spider-Man continues to dodge Gaunt's attack. Having just learned that he is Mendel Stromm, the wall-crawler asks how he managed to survive his brush with death and who his mysterious employer is.[Continuity 5] Gaunt ignores these questions and manages to wing the web-slinger. With Spider-Man at his mercy, Gaunt decides to tell him something about the wall-crawler's old friend Seward Trainer.[Continuity 6] Before he can finish off the web-head, Peter Parker leaps in and saves his life. Gaunt then tries to blast the two Spider-Men with knockout gas, but is surprised when it doesn't work. However, it soon becomes apparent that the gas neutralizes spider-sense. While back at the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson asks Joe Robertson what he knows about a surprise board meeting that has been called as well as an impromptu Halloween party organized for the staff. Joe doesn't know what the meeting is about but reminds Jonah that the staff could use a morale boost after the recent round of layoffs. He also suggests to Jonah that there won't be a disaster if the paper shuts down for a few hours so the staff can have some fun. As he says this, he is unaware that the man setting up decorations in the bullpen is also putting out jack-o'-lanterns that are rigged with explosives.

Back at the scene of the battle, Spider-Man continues launching attacks at Gaunt, demanding to know what he knows about Seward Trainer. Gaunt explains that Trainer was just another pawn, only a tool that was used to manipulate Reilly and that once his usefulness was over he was killed. Hearing how his best friend was murdered, Spider-Man loses his temper and begins ripping apart Gaunt's cybernetic armor. However, he stops short of killing Gaunt, reminding himself that he isn't a heartless killer like the Punisher. With the battle over, Spider-Man tells Peter to get going so he can be there when his daughter is born. Having destroyed the last of Gaunt's robots, Parker doesn't argue and bounds away. With Stromm disarmed, Spider-Man then begins demanding answers when he is suddenly blasted by someone standing behind him. Spider-Man instantly recognizes who this man is and can't believe it as he believed him to be dead.[Continuity 7] When the web-slinger tries to attack this man he is also blasted aside. With Spider-Man down, the mystery employer reminds Gaunt what happens when his minions fail him and blast Gaunt as well.

At the hospital, Mary Jane gives the final push to give birth to her baby. When she doesn't hear the baby crying, Mary Jane asks what is wrong with her baby. That's when Doctor Folsome begins making his apologies, making Mary Jane realize that he baby didn't survive. As she cries, one of the nurses, who turns out to be a woman by the name of Alison Mongrain, removes her surgical mask and wheels a cart out of the operating room. She later drives her car out to the waterfront where she meets with her mystery employer. Confirming that she has brought the package she was hired to bring, the man pays her a sizable amount of money and puts her on a private boat that is to take her to Europe with a generous bonus to cover her travel expenses. Lastly, he says that she may call him Norman… Norman Osborn.[Continuity 8]

... Revelations concludes in Spider-Man #75 and Spider-Man: Revelations #1.


Continuity Notes

Spectacular Spider-Man #240 Sensational Spider-Man #11 Amazing Spider-Man #418 Spider-Man #75 Spider-Man: Revelations #1 Osborne Journals #1
  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.
  2. Peter states that he is carrying a beeper. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as beepers are generally considered an obsolete technology.
  3. Of the recent tragedies that Peter Parker has faced recently, Joe mentions:
  4. George Stacy died during a battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus in Amazing Spider-Man #90. Although it appears that he blames Spider-Man for George's death, Doctor Octopus was really responsible. Unfortunately for Arthur, getting justice will be hard to come by at this point as Doctor Octopus was recently killed in Spectacular Spider-Man #221.
  5. Mendel Stromm was seemingly killed in Amazing Spider-Man #37. However, how he survived and lived to become what is here is revealed in Osborne Journals #1.
  6. Seward Trainer was murdered in Spectacular Spider-Man #240. His connection to Stromm and his employer is also revealed in Osborne Journals #1.
  7. The identity of this man is revealed to be Norman Osborn in Spider-Man #75. At the time of this story everyone thought Norman was died when he was impaled through the chest by his own Goblin Glider back in Amazing Spider-Man #122. How he survived and where has been all this time is explained in Osborne Journals #1.
  8. It is implied here that Mary Jane's baby actually survived and that Mongrain is taking it with her to Europe. About that...
    • It is later revealed in the Final Chapter story arc that the baby is truly dead and that the May Parker that is left in Allison's care is Peter's Aunt May who is thought to be dead at this time.
    The Final Chapter
    Amazing Spider-Man #441 Spider-Man #97 Spectacular Spider-Man #263 Spider-Man #98
    • It is also interesting to mention that per Spider-Girl #4650 and 52, this is the point where Earth-616 diverges with Earth-982. In that universe, May Parker survived childbirth and was put in the care of Alison Mongrain, sending history in a different direction.

Chronology Notes

Events in this story occur behind the scenes that affects the chronology of the following characters:

  1. Norman Osborn:

See Also

Links and References


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