- Which is worse...? Staying behind while other guys are doing the fighting...? Or fighting in a war that nobody wants... against an enemy you don't even hate?
- -- Peter Parker
Appearing in "The Schemer!"
- Gwen Stacy
- Mary Jane Watson
- Flash Thompson
- Harry Osborn
- Daily Bugle Staff
Synopsis for "The Schemer!"
A new criminal known as the Schemer has risen in the ranks of organized crime and seeks to eliminate his primary competition for control of the underworld: The Kingpin. When the Schemer's men attack one of the Kingpin's trucks, Peter Parker is in the area and stops the violence as Spider-Man (taking much needed pictures) before departing when the police arrive. Meanwhile, at the home of the Kingpin, his wife Vanessa shows him a newspaper article about how their son, Richard, had gone missing in the Swiss Alps. The idea that their son committed suicide because of his father's connection to organized crime angers the Kingpin.
Meanwhile, Peter tries to sell his pictures to the Bugle, and is met with minimal success selling them. With money as tight as it is, he goes to see Aunt May's doctor to insure him that he's good for the bill, albeit eventually. Dr. Bromwell alleviates some of the stress on Peter when he tells him that Aunt May's health insurance will cover most of her medical costs.
As the Schemer gains a new ally in one of the Kingpin's men who has defected to the Schemer's organization, Peter and his friends bid farewell to Flash Thompson who is going back to Vietnam. Later as Peter and Gwen are strolling through the streets, Peter is about to confide in Gwen that he's really Spider-Man. At that moment, the Schemer's men attack another one of the Kingpin's trucks. When it's jackknifed off the road, it pins Peter and Gwen under it. Gwen is knocked out and Peter uses his spider-strength to get them out of anymore harms way.
After tagging the Schemer's getaway vehicle with a spider-tracer, Peter accompanies Gwen to the hospital. When Gwen is in stable condition, Peter goes into action as Spider-Man and uses his spider-tracer to track down the Schemer's lair. There Spider-Man fights off the Schemer's men, however, when he gets to the Schemer himself, the crook traps Spider-Man in a pressing device. Spider-Man manages to break free, but the Schemer managed to escape.
With no leads to go on, Spider-Man changes back into Peter Parker and goes back to Gwen in the hospital. Gwen has just come out of her coma and is upset that Peter wasn't there by her side. She asks her father to escort Peter away. As they are leaving, George tries to console Peter telling him that Gwen will be in a better mood the next day. Before leaving, Peter almost lets slip to George that he's really Spider-Man, before catching himself and quickly departing.
This story is continued next issue....
- Peter recount his "last" encounter with the Kingpin from Amazing Spider-Man #70. However, he faced him one time after that alongside the Sentry in Sentry: Spider-Man #1. However, everyone's memories of these events were erased when the Sentry eliminated all evidence of his existence as revealed in Sentry #1-5.
- References to Flash Thompson returning to fight in the Vietnam War should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Likewise, should references to Mary Jane and Harry going to see the movie Easy Rider in theaters.
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