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Appearing in "The Chump, The Challenge and The Champion!"

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Synopsis for "The Chump, The Challenge and The Champion!"

A young man is about to be mugged when he is saved by Spider-Man, who makes short work of the thieves. After this impromptu rescue, Spider-Man decides to head home as he is exhausted after spending all night out searching for Electro. Although the trail has dried up, he is confident that his old foe will come out of hiding sooner or later.

At that same moment, Electro and Delilah are attempting to rob an armored truck for the Rose whose cash reserves are getting low. Unfortunately, Electro unleashes a blast so powerful it destroys the armored truck and ruins the money. When Delilah tries to scold him for being so reckless, but he could care less. Meanwhile, in Queens, Spider-Man returns to his home as another migraine sets in.[Continuity 1] He realizes that he was out later than he told Mary Jane that he would be.[Continuity 2] Although he manages to slip in bed just as the alarm clock goes off, Mary Jane catches him by throwing off the covers to reveal that he is still wearing his Spider-Man costume. Mary Jane is very concerned about Peter's obsession with capturing Electro and his constant headaches.[Continuity 3] The pair argue until Peter screams in pain. As it turns out, popping aspring to deal with his headaches has upset his ulcer.[Continuity 4] Their argument is interrupted by Mary Jane's Aunt Anna, who comes in to check on the couple, prompting Peter to quickly cover up his costume in a housecoat. Peter Parker is not the only person having trouble at home that morning, as Joe Robertson argues with his wife while getting ready for work. Martha still thinks that Joe is putting too much of his time into trying to save the Daily Bugle from going out of business.[Continuity 5] She insists that he quit as working for the Bugle is no longer safe, reminding him that J. Jonah Jameson was recently beaten in the company elevator.[Continuity 6] When Joe won't listen, Martha accuses him of caring more for the newspaper than his own wife and storms out of the bathroom, leaving Joe speechless.

Meanwhile, the Rose has just acquired an abandoned power station to function as a place for Electro to operate from. However, the rose insists that Electro needs to pay by the considerable expense it has cost him to jumpstart Electro's powers and purchase the facility. Electro agrees to help but begins making more demands, much to the Rose's annoyance. Back in Queens, Peter is working on a batch of non-conductive webbing for when he goes back out looking for Electro again. Once again, he is interrupted by Anna, forcing Peter to quickly hide his Spider-Man gear before she stumbles upon it. When she gives him an ulcer remedy, he has to make a quick excuse to explain the strand of webbing he was testing. After Anna is gone, Peter is annoyed to discover that he stained his costume with ink while trying to hide it. While at Electro's hideout, the villain uses his powers to torture a rat and wonders how villains like Magneto and Doctor Doom hatch their schemes. Even after he humiliated Spider-Man in front of the whole city, Electro still feels like a loser. He thinks about how his father abandoned him because he was useless, how his wife divorced him for not being ambitious, and lastly his mother who thought he wasn't smart enough to make something of himself. Losing his temper, Electro unleashes a massive jolt of electricity, declaring that he will be treated like a loser no more and vows that everyone will remember his name, forever.

At Empire State University, Mary Jane walks around campus at lunch looking for her husband and hopes that he isn't off being Spider-Man again as he can't afford to cut any more classes as it is. She ends up having lunch with Phil Urich and is friend Meredith Campbell.[Continuity 7] They then begin talking about how Jameson was attacked recently. Phil doesn't feel much sympathy for his former employer, saying that he cares more about Spider-Man and all the villains he faces. Hearing the name of her husband's alter-ego causes Mary Jane to become nervous. Mary Jane's concerns are well warranted, as Peter -- feeling better after Anna's remedy -- is back out web-slinging even though he knows this will get him in trouble with his wife. However, the wall-crawler is jumpy, briefly and decides to seek out a friend who knows how he feels. Elsewhere in the city, the Rose and Delilah have just learned that not only has Electro destroyed the power station that they just bought, but he is planning on creating a massive electrical bomb and threatening to use it to destroy Manhattan. Delilah insists that they get rid of Electro, however, the Rose is suddenly is inspired and leaves to make the necessary arrangements to find a suitable replacement. While at the Robertson home, Martha refuses to give up on convincing her husband to quit his job at the Daily Bugle before it kills him. Back at Empire State University, Professor Mark Howard notices that Peter Parker is not present in his class. His rival, Paul Stacy, lies and says he saw Parker in the cafeteria, further reinforcing the teacher's opinion that Parker does not take his class seriously.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man meets with his friend Nate Grey -- the X-Man -- to ask for his advice on how to deal with Electro. To the wall-crawler's surprise, Nate suggests using his telepathic powers to fry Electro's brain. Spider-Man understands that Nate comes from a world where it was kill or be killed, but he reminds the young mutant that things are much different here and they have to rely on the justice system to punish criminals.[Continuity 8] Although Spider-Man admits that he was only interested in getting revenge against Electro to begin with, all he wants to do now bring the villain to justice. Looking at the time, Spider-Man tells Nate that he will meet up with him later after he makes some last minute preparations and checks a lead at the Daily Bugle. At that moment, the Rose is meeting with Master Zei of the True Believers. After discussing the terms of the Rose's request, Zei accepts the job. Delilah isn't happy that her employer is hiring the same clan of ninjas that are employed by the Black Tarantula, and finds that task at hand morbid. All that is left is dealing with Electro, but the Rose already has someone picked out to clean up his mistake.

When Peter Parker arrives at the Daily Bugle, he watches as Joe Robertson has an argument with his wife Martha. Watching them fight makes Peter realize that his obsession with catching Electro may be putting his own relationship with Mary Jane at risk. His thoughts are interrupted by Ben Urich who hands him a letter that was sent to the Bugle addressed to Spider-Man, figuring that Peter would be the best person to receive it. When Peter reads the contents he suddenly rushes out of the office, not telling Urich what the letter was about. Peter changes into a specially prepared Spider-Man costume that will protect him against Electro's powers. He then recruits the X-Man to join him in confronting his foe at a central switching station where Electro intends to hold the city ransom. Unfortunately for the two heroes, Electro is a lot more confident than Spider-Man expected. Still, Nate attempts to incapacitate Electro his his mental powers. Despite this, Electro has full control over electricity, including the electrical impulses of his own brain and is able to fend off this attack. The ambush on Nate takes both combatants up onto the street. The wall-crawler follows after them and noticing that Nate has been knocked out comes to his rescue.

Once the X-Man has gotten to safety, Spider-Man tries to convince Electro that they don't need to fight, reminding the villain how he saved his life once before.[Continuity 9] This does nothing more than anger Electro, putting Spider-Man on the defensive. Watching from the sidelines, Delilah realizes that Electro has become too powerful and she regrets not treating him with more respect. While at Cypress Hill's Cemetery, the groundskeepers watch as ninjas from the True Believers have dug up a grave and are staling the coffin buried there. After the ninjas have finished their grim deed and fled, they go up to investigate the scene. Reading the name on the headstone, they realize that this was no ordinary grave robbery. Back in Manhattan, Spider-Man attempts to restrain Electro with his non-conductive webbing. Unfortunately, Electro is able to increase his body heat enough to blast free from the webbing. When debris begins to fall on people on the street they are saved by the X-Man who uses his telekinetic powers to stop the falling rubble. Not far away, J. Jonah Jameson sees the smoke rising from the scene of the battle and demands to know what is going on. Unfortunately, the doctors refuse to tell the newspaper publisher anything, insisting that he needs to relax. By this point, Spider-Man's protective costume has taken a great deal of punishment and is beginning to crumble. Still, he manages to grab a rock from the ground and hit Electro in the head with it. The blow causes Electro to black out for a moment. When he wakes up, the villain finds himself getting slapped around by the wall-crawler who still wants to pay Electro back for his past humiliation.

This causes Electro to think of his father once more, and how the man used to call him a failure all the time. Deciding that enough is enough, Electro flies up to the top of the nearby building, intending on setting off the electrical bomb he had prepared. When Nate prepares to take the villain out with a psi-blast, the wall-crawler convinces him to stop as he still wants to bring Electro to justice. Using his webbing as a sling-shot, Spider-Man launches himself up into the sky and strikes Electro with enough force that it causes the villain to miss his shot at setting off the bomb with an electrical charge. Electro then tries to flee the scene, but Spider-Man follows after him and manages to land a powerful blow, unaware that the villain has been building up his electrical powers to critical mass. Both men begin falling to the ground below, but Spider-Man is rescued by Nate, who in turn manages to snare Electro with a web-line in order to save his life as well. Spider-Man pleads with Electro to hold on while they get him to a nearby building, the villain has decided that he is such a loser that he no longer deserves to live.[Continuity 10] Using his electrical powers to sever the web-line, Electro then falls into the water below and seemingly dies a powerful electrical explosion.[Continuity 11]

Later, Mary Jane leaves classes to find her husband Peter waiting outside for her. She is mad that he cut classes but they quickly make up. However, the mood is soured when Professor Howard spots Peter and scolds him for cutting class as well. At that moment, Doctor Octopus is working in her secret lab when she hears a radio report about how her predecessor, Otto Octavius, had just had his grave robbed.[Continuity 12] Horrified by this, Doctor Octopus becomes determined to find who was responsible.

Solicit Synopsis

Spider-Man's friendly neighborhood flagship title celebrates a milestone issue with a double-sized extravaganza! The revamped Electro - now charged up to a Magneto-like power level - has New York at his mercy! And it looks like Spidey - even with the help of X-Man - is helpless against this fiendish foe! Can the wondrous wall-crawler come back from his humiliating defeat in Amazing Spider-Man #423 to defeat this nigh unbeatable villain?!


Continuity Notes

  1. Spider-Man has been dealing with headaches since he was bitten by Morbius the Living Vampire in Spider-Man #7778.
  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. Peter wants to capture Electro after the villain humiliated him in Amazing Spider-Man #423.
  4. Peter has had an ulcer since Amazing Spider-Man #112.
  5. The Bugle has been in financial troubles since Amazing Spider-Man #416.
  6. J. Jonah Jameson was savagely beaten by Jack O'Lantern in Spectacular Spider-Man #246.
  7. Phil mentions how he and Meredith were interns at the Daily Bugle before they were laid off. This was in Green Goblin #13.
  8. Nate comes from Earth-295 a reality where the mutant Apocalypse had took over North American and began a mass genocide to determine who was the fittest to survive. Nate's time on that world were chronicled in X-Man #14. Nate found himself transported to Earth-616 following the events of X-Men Omega #1.
  9. Spider-Man saved Electro's life when his powers got out of control in Spider-Man #3840.
  10. The original twin towers of the World Trade Center are depicted as part of the New York City skyline here. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. The original towers were destroyed in a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, and have since been replaced by the Freedom Tower.
  11. Although Electro seemingly dies here, he will resurface alive and well in Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #12.
  12. Doctor Octopus was murdered by Kaine in Spectacular Spider-Man #221, leading to Carolyn Trainer taking up the mantle of Doctor Octopus in Amazing Spider-Man #405.

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