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Appearing in "Choices!"

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Synopsis for "Choices!"

As Joe Robertson gets dressed for work, his with Martha tries to convince him that J. Jonah Jameson is exploiting him by having Joe work so many late hours. Joe tries to defend his old friend, telling her that the Daily Bugle has been having financial troubles and that they had to do a lot of lay-offs forcing him to pick up the slack.[Continuity 1] Martha tells Joe that the fate of the paper isn't his responsibility and he could always get another job. Joe brushes this off by checking to see if they are still on for lunch and promises that he will talk to Jameson, although he thinks to himself that trying to talk to Jameson will do little good.

Elsewhere in the city, Electro has been revitalized and feels more powerful and confident than ever before. After showing off his newly restored powers, he thanks the Rose and Delilah for making the arrangements to get him back into the game. While the Rose is happy for Electro, he reminds the villain that they had an agreement. In repayment for the restoration of his powers, Electro promised to eliminate the Black Tarantula. Unfortunately, with his new powers, Electro figures that an assassination like this is beneath him as he now feels as though he is as powerful as a god. Although Delilah takes this as an insult, the Rose orders her to stand down as he is certain that despite his sudden god-complex, Electro will follow through on his side of the deal. Meanwhile, Meiko Yin the Dragonfly of the True Believers continues her training under the supervision of Madame Qwa. Meiko wonders why the Black Tarantula would assign her to assassinate Joe Robertson when there are more worthy foes, like Spider-Man, out there to be crushed. This angers Madame Qwa, who asks if Meiko is questioning the Black Tarantula's orders. Meiko apologizes for offending her master, vowing that she will follow her orders. While at the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson has a meeting with Joe Robertson, where he admits that the current struggles of the Daily Bugle are his fault. He insists that he can turn things around one paper at a time by putting in more time and effort. Hearing this, Joe doesn't speak up about any of the issues his wife brought up with him earlier that day.

Meanwhile, at Empire State University, Peter Parker is busy tutoring Neil Aiken, who is struggling with his courses in bio-chemistry. The session is interrupted by Paul Stacy who comes by to tell Neil that he is tutoring Peter Parker in his studies as well and tells Neil that if he wants to get better assistance to look him up. When Neil asks if this is true, Peter doesn't deny it, prompting Aiken to wonder if he should take Paul up on his offer. After their session, Peter slips away to change into Spider-Man. As he checks his gear he wonders if he should give up tutoring Neil Aiken since he is having a hard time adjusting to his new classes. Webbing up his street clothes into a web-sack, Spider-Man swings away, wishing he could ease back into going to school as easily as his wife, Mary Jane.[Continuity 2] Web-slinging across the city, Spider-Man is hit with another headache, a residual effect of being bitten by Morbius the Living Vampire.[Continuity 3] He tries to get his mind off his worries as he has to find some crime to photograph and earn a living. While at the Daily Bugle, Joe Robertson checks in with Ben Urich's investigation into the Black Tarantula's attempts to enter the New York City underworld. Unfortunately, all Urich is able to learn about the Tarantula is rumor and innuendo. That's when photographer Angela Yin arrives for work and introduces Ben and Joe to her cousin Meiko. After exchanging pleasantries, Joe excuses himself so he can go meet his wife for lunch. As Joe packs up to leave, Meiko tells Angela that she too has to get going.

Soon, Meiko is stalking Joe Robertson from the rooftop. To psyche herself up to carry out her mission Yin tries to dehumanize Joe in her mind so she only sees him as a target. As she prepares to attack, Spider-Man happens by on his way to the Daily Bugle when Meiko's presence triggers his spider-sense. After his past encounter with Meiko, Spider-Man knew something was fishy about her and decides to follow, despite the fact that his migraine is pounding away at him. At that same moment, the rest of the True Believers begin an attack on another part of town. Learning this, the Rose sends Electro out to deal with them. When Delilah asks the Rose if he can trust Electro, the Rose reminds her that he doesn't trust anybody. At that moment, Dragonfly and the True Believers ambush Joe Robertson and his wife Martha. However, before Meiko can eliminate Joe, Spider-Man swings down to save him. Martha suggests that they get out of there, but Joe tells her to go to the Bugle and get a photographer as this could be the story that helps save the Daily Bugle. Martha does as she is told, but thinks her husband is out of his mind. Spider-Man continues to battle Meiko and the ninjas but his headache is starting to slow him down. To make matters worse, Electro arrives on the scene and ambushes the combatants. Electro is looking to repay Spider-Man for humiliating him. The wall-crawler is confused, reminding Electro that he helped save the villain's life months earlier.[Continuity 4] Before Electro can attack Spider-Man, the ninjas try to ambush him, but he blasts them away with a jolt of electricity.

By this time, J. Jonah Jameson has gotten a call from Martha Robertson and orders his staff to scramble and get the story. While down on the street, Martha Robertson has finished making calls to the police and the Bugle on a pay phone. The whole time she is wondering why her husband is willing to risk his life for a story and realizes to herself that she can't handle this anymore. While back at the scene of the battle, Meiko is blasted by Electro. While Spider-Man takes the attention off her, Joe Robertson drags her to safety. Because he saved Meiko's life, Joe is told that she now has a debt of honor to him. As such, Joe asks her to corroborate the information they have been compiling on the Black Tarantula. Meanwhile, Spider-Man is still on the defensive against Electro and smashes open a fire hydrant in the hopes that it will short his enemy out. However, Electro is too powerful and uses the heat created by his electrical charge to evaporate the water before it even strikes him. He then decides to try and something new and uses his powers to disrupt the electrical impulses in Spider-Man's brain, causing the wall-crawler extreme pain.

Electro continues to pour on the power, demanding that Spider-Man begs for mercy in order to spare his life. With no other choice, the wall-crawler begs for mercy much to Electro's satisfaction. This is sufficient for Electro who is proud that he finally defeated Spider-Man and departs. Once he recovers from the attack, the web-head learns that Joe allowed Meiko and the True Believers to escape. When Spider-Man asks why Joe didn't do something to stop them, he tells the wall-crawler that he had a story to follow and leaves to meet up with his wife.

Notes

Continuity Notes

  1. The Daily Bugle has been having financial problems since Amazing Spider-Man #416.
  2. 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.
  3. Spider-Man was bitten by Morbius during the course of Spider-Man #77-78.
  4. Spider-Man is referring to the events of Spider-Man #38-40.

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