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Appearing in "The Gift"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Spider-Man #400.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for "The Gift"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Spider-Man #400.

This story continues from Web of Spider-Man #123...

Spider-Man rushes to the hospital in Forest Hills where his Aunt May has been since she suffered a stroke.[Continuity 1] Quickly changing into Peter Parker, the hero meets with May's doctor and is brought into her room. There, Peter is surprised to see that his aunt has woken up from her coma. Although he knew May would snap out of her coma, Peter is brought to tears because he has so much to tell her. May wants to hear every word of it and is ready to go. However, Doctor Captuo insists that May remains in the hospital until they can run some more tests. No matter what the doctor and Peter say, May insists on going home. As this debate goes on, the Scarlet Spider listens from outside. When Peter catches a glimps of the Spider outside, he gets annoyed. The Scarlet Spider gets the message loud and clear and leaves. However, Ben Reilly wonders what would happen if May did see him. However, he recalls how Aunt May used to hate Spider-Man whenever she saw him on television. As he thinks out in the rain, the Scarlet Spider catches a glimpse of Kaine watching from the shadows, but he quickly disappears.[Continuity 2] Meanwhile, at Ravencroft Institute, the Jackal rants and raves in his cell, attracting the attention of one of his guards. When he has succeded, the Jackal drops the facade and explains that he was putting on a show. After explaining this, the Jackal goes back to ranting and raving like a lunatic.

The following morning, Peter brings Aunt May back to her home. After so much time away the place feels like a museum to May. She is greeted by Peter's wife Mary Jane who has been cooking breakfast in the kitchen.[Continuity 3] May is able to tell that Mary Jane is pregnant without them telling her, and congratulates them.[Continuity 4] The says that it is intuition, remembering how she was able to tell when Peter's mother Mary was pregnant with him. She is delighted that they are soon to be parents, telling them that she learned that this is the greatest responsibility when she and her late husband Ben Parker raised Peter after his parents died.[Continuity 5] That's when May begins to feel faint and decides to lay down for a bit. As Mary Jane helps May upstairs, Peter can't bring himself to be totally happy.

That's when the Scarlet Spider enters the room and tells Peter that they need to talk. Peter agrees, and the pair go out into the backyard. Thinking they are going out web-slinging, Peter changes into Spider-Man and insists they get going before someone spots them. After reminiscing about their childhood, the Scarlet Spider then tells Peter that he is leaving. This comes as a shock to Peter, as there are so many unanswered questions they need to get from the Jackal.[Continuity 6] However, the Scarlet Spider doesn't care, pointing out that it doesn't' matter for two reasons: The first is that with his Aunt May back and a baby on the way, Peter deserves some happiness. The other is the fact that Ben has been away for so long, that Peter Parker deserves to have this life. With that, Spider-Man bids the Scarlet Spider farewell and tells him to keep in touch. However, the Scarlet Spider insists that Peter will never see him again and leaps away.

Meanwhile, up in Aunt May's room, she and Mary Jane remains on how long it too May and Anna Watson to set the pair up on a date.[Continuity 7] Mary Jane remarks how long it took her and Peter to fall in love when their aunts both clearly knew that it was bound to happen. As she falls asleep, May once more expresses how much she is proud of them, and the fact that the child will be blessed to have them as parents. However, Mary Janes say that they are blessed as they have her in their lives. Later, Peter and Mary Jane are watching old family movies.[Continuity 8] Peter remarks that if it wasn't for these old movies, he wouldn't have any memory of this time at all. This gets him thinking about Ben Reilly, and wonders if they are exactly the same person. Mary Jane points out that Ben Reilly is an imitation, and that nobody can clone Peter Parker's heart and nobody can take that away from him.

Outside the Parker house, Mister Nacht who is observing these developments. He is contacted to his master, Judas Traveller and informs him of these recent developments and will give him full details when he returns. When Medea asks Judas if they are going into action, however, Judas wants more time to study Mister Nacht's report before he decides their next move. While at his apartment, Ben Reilly packs his few possessions. He is having second thoughts about leaving New York City. This reminds him of what a woman named Janie told him, about leaving the past dead. However, he reminds himself that Janie is dead.[Continuity 9] Looking at his old Spider-Man mask, Ben realizes that the past cannot be left behind. Elsewhere in the city, yet another Peter Parker tries to sleep on a park bench.[Continuity 10] He is confused and can't remember much about his past. He is woken up by a police officer who tells him he cannot sleep on the bench. When this other Peter Parker explains that he can't remember where his home is, he is accused of being drunk. When the officer tries to bring him in, his spider-sense goes off. Not understanding what's going on, this Parker skitters up the side of a building in order to get away.

A week passes, and Aunt May seems to be on the mend, but Peter still worries about her health. He takes her to the top of the Empire State Building, her favorite place in all of Manhattan.[Continuity 11] May tells Peter that she and her husband used to go here all the time.[Continuity 12] After a moment of reflective silence, May asks Peter what it's like to web-sling across the city. Peter is shocked that May knows that he is Spider-Man. She explains that she has known for years and kept it secret, but she is very proud of him. Suddenly, May grows weak and Peter has to catch her. Peter rushes May back home and gets her to bed, but she refuses his offer to call her doctor. She tells Peter that it is her time to pass on and that she is grateful that she had this time to reconnect with him.

As May begins to fade away, the Scarlet Spider watches from the window. Inside, Peter is joined by Mary Jane and her Aunt Anna. Peter tells May about the dream he had recently where he thought he was dying and May guided him into the light.[Continuity 13] When May finally passes away, Mary Jane and Anna comfort Peter. While on the roof, Ben Reilly cries by himself. Days later, a funeral is held for May and many of Peter and Mary Jane's friends are in attendance. Watching from the distance is Detective Jacob Raven, who has been very interested in Peter Parker.[Continuity 14] After May's body has been inturned to the ground and the mourners have left, Ben Reilly comes to pay his respects as well. The PArkers return home where a small wake is held in May's memory. After all the guest has left, Peter and Mary Jane are interrupted by a knock on the door. When they answer it, Peter is arrested by Detective Raven and his NYPD associate Detective Connor Trevane. Mary Jane is horrified that they would do this on the day they buried Peter's aunt, but the officers explain they had no choice and recommend she get her husband a lawyer. As Peter is loaded into a squad car, he sees the Scarlet Spider watching from the rooftops above.

After the police take Peter away, Mary Jane begins to panic over what to do next. She is then interrupted by the Scarlet Spider. He introduces himself as Ben Reilly, and after he takes his mask off, he tells her that it is about time they meet face-to-face.

... This story continues in Spider-Man #57

Appearing in "Aftershocks, Part One"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Spider-Man #57.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for "Aftershocks, Part One"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Spider-Man #57.

This story continues from Amazing Spider-Man #400...

Following the arrest of Peter Parker, the Scarlet Spider has come to Mary Jane to offer his help in freeing husband.[Continuity 15] In response to this, Mary Jane slaps Ben Reilly across the face. This is the first time she has met the Scarlet Spider, the clone of Peter Parker, and she blames him for Peter's arrest and tells him to get out of her home. Putting his mask back on, Ben tells Mary Jane that he is going to help free Peter with or without her help and leaves. Meanwhile, Peter Parker finds himself before an arrangement hearing. He cannot hear what the woman is saying, because he can't help but think about how he got himself into this situation. He remembers how he was arrested shortly after Aunt May's funeral.[Continuity 16] According to the arresting officers, Peter has been accused of murdering a police detective in Salt Lake City.[Continuity 17] Unfortunately, instead of paying bail and going back home to Mary Jane, Peter Parker is remanded into custody until trial.

Later, in a cell, Peter is confronted by Jacob Raven, who is confused why "Ben Reilly" didn't run from Raven when he showed up at his door. Peter legitimately doesn't know who Raven is, or who his partner was, as he has never been to Salt Lake City in his life. However, Raven isn't buying this but assures Peter that he will get Parker familiar with his "crimes" when he is shipped back to Utah to answer for his crimes. Peter Parker isn't the only person who finds this recent development impossible to believe. The staff at the Daily Bugle is reeling from the news that Peter has been arrested for murder. As Peter has been a freelance photographer at the Daily Bugle for many years, Joe Robertson sits down for a private meeting with J. Jonah Jameson to determine how the Bugle will report this story.[Continuity 18] Jonah callously says they are going to do nothing about it, pointing out to Joe that if Peter is guilty, he will get what he deserves. After sending Joe out of his office, Jonah answers a phone call the lawyer representing Peter Parker. After being reassured that Peter is going to get the best legal representation possible, Jameson reminds the lawyer that the legal fees are not coming from the Daily Bugle, but his own pockets.

Tim passes....

A man who resembles Peter Parker walks through Queens trying to determine why this neighborhood seems so familiar.[Continuity 19] While at One Police Plaza, Peter Parker, and Mary Jane meet with Peter's lawyer in the hopes that he help prove that Peter is innocent. While at the hotel room of Jacob Raven, the seasoned police detective finally finds himself doubting himself. After confronting Peter Parker face-to-face, he wonders if he arrested the right man. While elsewhere in the city, Kaine is haunted by another precognitive vision of Mary Jane getting murdered by some unseen assailant.[Continuity 20] To get his mind off the pain of these visions, he uses his wall-crawling abilities to rip down the side of a building. Later, back at the Parker home, Mary Jane cries over her recent miseries. She suddenly begins to worry about the baby growing inside her.[Continuity 21] For the first time, she considers what Peter's radioactive blood may have done to their unborn child. Starting to panic, Mary Jane runs out into the rain in order to get some fresh air and clear her mind. While at Ravencroft Institute, the Jackal is in a session with Doctor Ashley Kafka.[Continuity 22] After talking about Gwen Stacy for a moment, John Jameson and the security forces come in and tell Ashley that the session is over.[Continuity 23] He wants to get the Jackal back to his cell, wanting to avoid yet another break out at the facility.

Back in Queens, the man who looks like Peter Parker happens upon a thief running away with a briefcase he stole from a man on the street. Finding this familiar, this Peter Parker leaps in the way and stops the thief, knocking him out and giving back the stolen responsibility. Fleeing the scene, something this Parker said to the thief about having power and using it responsibly also strikes a chord in him.[Continuity 24] While in Manhattan, Mary Jane runs down the street trying to get her mind off of the thoughts in her head. She is unaware that the Scarlet Spider is swinging overhead keeping an eye on her. While wondering how to convince Mary Jane to accept his help, the Spider spots Judas Traveller and his minions lurking in a nearby alley. Judas tells his Host to wait in the alley and he approaches Mary Jane. He tries to convince her to talk to him as he is curious about how she views Spider-Man. Before he can get any answers out of Mary Jane, Judas Traveller is ambushed by the Scarlet Spider.

At that same moment, Jacob Raven has arrived outside the Parker home only to discover that Mary Jane is not home. Before he can leave, he is ambushed by Kaine who tells Raven that he has arrested the wrong person. Jacob refuses to believe a costumed madman without proof. Deciding to give Jacob the proof he needs, Kaine gives him a non-lethal version of his Mark of Kaine, leaving a horrible burn pattern on the side of Jacob's face.[Continuity 25] At that moment, Judas Traveller keeps the Scarlet Spider at bay by appearing to will the very streets around him to explode. This comes as a surprise to the Scarlet Spider who didn't realize how powerful Traveller was during their last encounter.[Continuity 26] Watching as the Scarlet Spider dodges all of the dangers put in his path by Traveller, she begins to wonder if he truly does care about the fate of her husband. When the Scarlet Spider makes it to Mary Jane, Judas is satisfied with the results of his latest test and leaves without further incident.

In the aftermath of the battle, Mary Jane decides to take the Spider's offer for aid but asks him to leave his mask off because the most unsettling thing about him to her is his face. At that same moment, Peter Parker's nightmare continues as he is being transferred to a new prison cell on Ryker's Island. While at Ravencroft, the Jackal is alone in his cell gloating about how his plan is going smoothly. While in Queens, the other Peter Parker sits on a rooftop vows to find out who he is and thinks he knows where to start looking.

... Aftershocks concludes in The Spectacular Spider-Man #223.

Notes

Continuity Notes

  1. Although Aunt May suffered a stroke in Amazing Spider-Man #391, the woman here is actually an impostor. May was swapped with this impostor sometime during Amazing Spider-Man #392. This truth is revealed in Spider-Man #97.
  2. The Scarlet Spider recalls how Kaine has been haunting him for years. This is explored further in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #1-3.
  3. 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.
  4. Mary Jane revealed that she was pregnant in The Spectacular Spider-Man #220.
  5. Peter parents died while Peter was still young, as explained in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5.
  6. The Jackal left Spider-Man and the Scarlet Spider questioning who is really Peter Parker and who is a clone, and the possibility that they are both clones. That happened in the Smoke and Mirrors story arc.
    Smoke and Mirrors
    Web of Spider-Man #122 Amazing Spider-Man #399 Spider-Man #56 Spider-Man: The Clone Journal #1
    However, this is all a manipulation on the part of the Jackal, Ben Reilly is really the clone as explained in Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal #1.
  7. Aunt May and Anna Watson were trying to set Peter up with Mary Jane since Amazing Spider-Man #17. The pair finally met in Aamzing Spider-Man #42.
  8. Peter and Mary Jane are depicted as watching these movies on a film projector. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as this is an obsolete technology.
  9. Ben dated a woman who called herself Janine Godbe during the years he was in "exile". Ben believed she is dead as seen in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #1-3. However, he discovers that she is alive and well in Spider-Man: Redemption #1-4.
  10. This is yet another Spider-Clone to further sew confusion between Spider-Man and the Scarlet Spider. This scheme is explained in detail in Spider-Man: The Jackal Files #1.
  11. 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.
  12. Mention is made about how Peter's Uncle Ben was murdered. That happened in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  13. Peter had this near-death experience during the Web of Death story arc.
    Web of Death
    Amazing Spider-Man #397 The Spectacular Spider-Man #220 Amazing Spider-Man #398 The Spectacular Spider-Man #221
  14. Raven believes that Peter Parker murdered his partner years earlier. However, this was the work of Kaine, as detailed in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #1-3.
  15. 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.
  16. Aunt May believed to have died in Amazing Spider-Man #400. However, this woman was an impostor who took the real May's place sometime in Amazing Spider-Man #392. This is revealed in Spider-Man #97.
  17. Peter is being accused of the murder of Louise Kennedy, who was murdered years earlier by Kaine, although Ben Reilly was accused of it. How this all came about is explored in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #1-3.
  18. Peter has worked for the Daily Bugle since Amazing Spider-Man #2.
  19. This man was released from one of the Jackal's cloning chambers in The Spectacular Spider-Man #222. It has been suggested that this might be the real Peter Parker. However, as revealed in Spider-Man: The Jackal Files #1, this is yet another Spider-Clone.
  20. Kaine started getting these visions in Spider-Man #55.
  21. Mary Jane revealed that she was pregnant in The Spectacular Spider-Man #220.
  22. The Jackal was incarcerated following Web of Spider-Man #123.
  23. The Jackal mentions how Gwen Stacy was killed by Spider-Man. That is a jaundiced view of events, as she was actually murdered by the Green Goblin Amazing Spider-Man #121.
  24. This scene reminds the Spider-Clone of the time that Spider-Man let a thief run past him early on his career. This act of ignorance led to Peter Parker's Uncle Ben getting murdered by the same thief, as seen in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  25. This is important because of Kaine's victims, including Louise Kennedy, as seen in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #3.
  26. The Scarlet Spider last faced Judas Traveller during the Power and Responsibility story arc.
    Power and Responsibility
    Web of Spider-Man #117 Amazing Spider-Man #394 Spider-Man #51 The Spectacular Spider-Man #217
    However, this show of power is yet another deception. Although he appears all-powerful, Judas Traveller is a telepath who suffers from delusions following a nervous breakdown as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #417.

See Also

Footnotes



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