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Appearing in "Crossfire, Part One"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Spider-Man #402.

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Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for "Crossfire, Part One"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Spider-Man #402.

This story continues from Web of Spider-Man #125...

Dressed as the Scarlet Spider, Peter Parker goes to visit Detective Jacob Raven, who has been staying at the Gotham Inn.[Continuity 1] He has come to talk to Raven about how Peter Parker is innocent for the murder of Raven's partner in Salt Lake City, five years earlier.[Continuity 2] That's when Raven turns and shows the Scarlet Spider the scar on his face.[Continuity 3] Raven reveals that after seeing this same mark on the face of his partner, Doctor Octopus and the Grim Hunter, he now knows that Kaine is responsible.[Continuity 4] Now that he knows that the wrong man is in prison, Raven vows to the Spider that he will not rest until he sees "Peter Parker" released from prison. Believing that Jacob means what he says, the Scarlet Spider thanks him and leaves. As he swings away, Peter wonders what Jacob Raven would think if he knew that Peter Parker switched places with his clone, Ben Reilly, so that he could be with his pregnant wife.[Continuity 5]

As the Scarlet Spider swings through the city, he is unaware that he is being observed by Judas Traveller. He continues to observe the two Spider-Men as part of an experiment into the nature of good and evil.[Continuity 6] Landing on the roof of the Top of New York hotel, Judas Traveller watches as the Spider swings away.[Continuity 7] He is joined by Scrier, who wonders how he can admire the wall-crawler when his plans are terrible, pointing out that they will work to break Peter Parker beyond the point of saving. Traveler tells Scrier that he doesn't want his advice, reminding him that he is nothing more than his servant.[Continuity 8] Telling Scrier that what he does is for the greater good, he leaps off the building and transforms into a bird, flying off to continue his observations.

By this time, Peter Parker returns home, waking up his wife. Mary Jane is upset that Peter went out without telling her, reminding him that he promised not to. Peter apologizes but tells her that he can't sit back and do nothing until he has found enough evidence to get Ben Reilly out of prison. He tells her that it is the least he can do after all the sacrifices that Ben has made for their family. This upsets Mary Jane, pointing out the sacrifices she made while Peter was hiding behind his mask recently.[Continuity 9] Then she mentions the recent attempts on her life by Kaine and yet another Spider-Clone.[Continuity 10] She tells him that while she is willing to endure a lot of her him, the situation is changed now that she is pregnant. She tells Peter that with a baby on the way, he needs to be there for her more so than ever before.

Peter notices that Mary Jane is still upset and wants to know what else is bothering her. She shows him the test she had done on her baby by Seward Trainer.[Continuity 11] She is concerned about the condition of their baby, fearing what Peter's radioactive blood may have done to the baby. Catching herself just as she blames her husband's biology, Mary Jane apologizes and says she is just concerned. Peter is shocked, but understand and says that he will love their baby no matter what happens. That's when the room begins to fill with mist, causing Mary Jane to pass out. Peter is then confronted by Judas Traveller. Judas explains that he has not come to fight the wall-crawler, but that he has merely come to observe what happens next. Not buying this, Peter puts on the Scarlet Spider mask and attacks Judas Traveller. However, with his nearly limitless powers, Judas manages to overpower the faux Scarlet Spider. He then begins his test by holding out a globe that he claims to contain the soul of May Parker.[Continuity 12] He tells Peter that the globe has the power to restore Aunt May to life and good health. However, this comes at a cost, telling him that in exchange it could snuff out a number of lives. He skirts around the actual number, telling the web-slinger that it could be as many as 100 people, or it could be only one insignificant soul.

However, the Scarlet Spider crushes the globe into bits, seemingly sending the soul of Aunt May back into the afterlife. He refuses to believe any of this has been happening, believing that this is merely a series of illusions. However, Judas says he is a being of great power, and decides to show him what the future has in store for him. Bringing him back to reality, he shows him a future where Manhattan is in ruins. He then tells Parker that it is his fault, and the cause of this disaster will prove that he is not quite the hero he always thought he was.

... This story continues in Spider-Man #59.

Appearing in "The Future is Now."

This story is a reprint of the comic
Spider-Man #59.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for "The Future is Now."

This story is a reprint of the comic
Spider-Man #59.

Standing before the ruins of Manhattan, Spider-Man demands to know what Judas Traveller has done to the city.[Continuity 13] However, Traveller states that he did nothing to cause this, that this is a possible future that is the fault of Spider-Man. The wall-crawler refuses to believe it, but Traveller assures him that this is not an illusion, but what is yet to come.[Continuity 14] Swinging among the ruins, Spider-Man is horrified by the sight of all the death and destruction. However, he's not surprised that this might be what happened, considering all the things that have been happening in his life recently.[Continuity 15] The web-slinger arrives at the apartment that he shares with his wife, Mary Jane, and discovers that it is still intact.[Continuity 16] When he calls out to her, a powerful wind picks up drowning out his voice. Judas Traveller catches up with him and tells the hero that he could have prevented all of this from happening.

At the snap of a finger, the pair is brought back to the present. Judas then warns Spider-Man once again that that was what may become and tells Spider-Man that he can stop this future from happening. Meanwhile, Jacob Raven arrives at Once Police Plaza where his appearance causes even the most seasoned police officer to stop dead in their tracks. He arrives at the office of Connor Trevane, who promptly ends his phone call because he is shocked that half of Jacob's face is horribly burned. Jacob has come to Connor to tell him that they have arrested the wrong man. Despite the fact that they have overwhelming evidence that Peter Parker killed his partner years earlier, his recent encounter with Kaine -- which resulted in the burns on his face -- have convinced him that Parker is innocent.[Continuity 17] Connor finds this difficult to believe that they arrested the wrong guy person. Still, Jacob intends to clear Peter Parker's name and needs Connor's help to do it. Back out front of the Parker residence, Spider-Man refuses to allow himself to be manipulated by Judas Traveller. However, Traveller insists that what he is telling the wall-crawler is true and tries to leave. However, Traveller suddenly appears on the rooftop next to him and presses the matter. He warns Spider-Man that events have already been set into motion that will see the destruction of Manhattan, provided Spider-Man does nothing. Traveler provides the web-slinger with an ultimatum: Take his wife and flee the city, sacrificing everyone in order to wipe away everyone who has been making his life miserable, or stay and stop the disaster from happening.

Deciding to finally listen, Spider-Man asks what is going to happen to cause this disaster. Judas explains that he has sent members of his Host to destroy a Geothermal Heating Station. This will cause sufficient destruction to destroy Manhattan. When Spider-Man asks why they are doing this, Judas explains that his Host is serving a greater purpose and teleports away, that this plays into his exploration of his research into the nature of good and evil. Judas then sweetens the pot, he promises that he will keep Mary Jane and their unborn child safe even if Spider-Man fails. Before he goes after the Host, the web-slinger insists on seeing his wife first. Judas allows it but warns Spider-Man that time is of the essence. Once the hero is gone, Judas is approached by Scrier, who warns him that he is pushing his powers too far. Judas lashes out at Scrier, warning him that despite their centuries-long companionship they are not equals, and he will not be questioned.[Continuity 18]

Downstairs, Peter visits his wife and tells her that he apologizes for anything that his radioactive blood may have done to their unborn child. After kissing her, Parker tells his wife that he loves her. That's when Judas Traveller appears before them and tells Peter it is time. Mary Jane asks what is going on, but all Peter can tell her is that he loves her before putting back on his mask and leaping out the window. Soon he arrives at the Geothermal Heating Station, Spider-Man finds the members of the Host preparing to attack the facility. Spotting the wall-crawler, Boone and Medea begin opening fire as Mister Nacht takes notes. Seeing that Chakra is channeling her energies, Spider-Man realizes that she is the real target, and knocks out Boone and Medea. He then knocks out Chakra's physical body, hoping it will shut down her astral form. His actions cause the rest of the Host to look over the city skyline in shock. When Spider-Man looks he is horrified to see a massive transpatial time vortex hovering over the city. This is apparently not part of the Host's plan, and upon further examination, Mister Nacht points out that when this vortex collapses it will cause even greater destruction than they had planned. While over the Parker residence, Judas sees what is going on overhead and wonders what is happening and is suddenly wracked with pain as the energy from the vortex strikes him. Scrier points out that this was the very thing he warned Judas about mere moments earlier.

When Spider-Man arrives on the scene, he demands answers. However, Traveller has no idea what is happening, and Scrier refuses to help. While he assures Spider-Man that his home will still be safe, Judas and the city is far from it. He explains that the temporal vortex will completely consume Judas Traveller, erasing him from all existence. As Traveller passes into the vortex, his mind is flooded with his centuries-long memories. How he walked the world throughout all recorded history trying to learn the true nature of good and evil. Traveller's observations stretch as far back as ancient Rome, the Crusades, the Salem Witch Trials, and World War II. Refusing to just let this happen, Spider-Man reaches out and grabs Judas Traveller by the arm, refusing to let him get sucked into the vortex. Surprisingly, the wall-crawler manages to pull Judas free, severing the connection and causing the portal to close harmlessly. Judas cannot understand why Spider-Man saved his life, but passes out before the wall-crawler can explain it. Scrier pucks up his master and warns Spider-Man that this is not over, that Judas will not rest until he fully understands how the heroes mind works. As Mary Jane rushes up to the roof to be with her husband, Peter tells Scrier that Judas' wants don't matter, that his foes always try to come back and get revenge, and that he should wait in line. As Scrier teleports himself and Judas away, Peter spends the momentary silence alone with his wife.

... The Clone Saga continues in The Spectacular Spider-Man #225

Appearing in "An Amazing World"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Fantasy #16.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:




Synopsis for "An Amazing World"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Fantasy #16.

In Patchogue, Long Island, a young person flies across the street firing energy blasts from their hand in order to blow up mailboxes as part of a prank.[Continuity 19]

Meanwhile, in Manhattan, Maxie Shiffman is in deep debt and tries to convince bill collectors that money is coming, pointing out that he has just taken on Spider-Man as a client.[Continuity 20] After getting off the phone, he checks with his secretary to see if Spider-Man has called back. Unfortunately, the only person who has called for Maxie is his bookie who is threatening to break his thumbs if he doesn't pay up. With no other choice, Maxie decides to put a classified ad in the newspaper in the hopes of reaching his arrant client.[Continuity 21]

While in Forest Hills, Peter Parker watches television with his Aunt May. They watch a news report about a sighting of the Human Torch, a member of the new group of super-heroes known as the Fantastic Four.[Continuity 22] It also recounts how the Fantastic Four's headquarters, the Baxter Building, was briefly pulled into space by Doctor Doom and the Sub-Mariner.[Continuity 23] This is also followed by reports about the Hulk on a rampage in the south-west, and rumors of an Asgardian god disposing of a South American dictator.[Continuity 24] Aunt May is disturbed by all of this violence and danger in the world, but notices Peter hasn't been very talkative.[Continuity 25] Peter tells her that he is thinking. Peter's is unimpressed about all of these stories about super-powered being, particularly since he became Spider-Man. This causes him to think about how he attempted to use his powers to make money, but his unwillingness to stop a thief led to that same burglar murdering his Uncle Ben.[Continuity 26]

Later at Uncle Ben's funeral, Peter Parker thinks about how he needs to find a way to use his powers in a way that will make up for the death of Uncle Ben. He thinks, his only saving grace in this regard, is that he still has his anonymity, and is glad that he did not reveal his true identity -- even to his agent Maxie Shiffman. After the burial, May tells Peter that her late husband was a good man and to never forget it, Peter assures her that he won't. The next day at school, Liz Allan gives Peter her condolences but quickly leaves to join her friends. Unsympathetic to his recent tragedy, Flash Thompson pushes past Peter to show his friends the classified ad that Maxie Shiffman put in the Daily Bugle looking for Spider-Man. Overhearing this, Peter is still determined to put that part of his life behind him. Meanwhile, Maxie Shiffman's ad has backfired. Instead of attracting the real Spider-Man, his office if flooded by impostors and fame seekers trying to convince him that they are the real wall-crawler. He tells the mob that they can prove that they are really Spider-Man by climbing onto the ceiling. When none of these phonies can comply, Shiffman orders them all out of his office. Once alone, Maxie breaks down into tears wondering what to do next.

After school, Peter Parker is still trying to figure out the best way to use his powers as he walks home from school. When he gets home, he finds his Aunt May talking to a salesman. He is telling her that Ben had purchased a new set of furniture for their home just prior to his death and he has come to collect the last of the payments. Unfortunately, May doesn't have the money to finish paying for the furniture. However, May doesn't want to pass up on this supposed "final gift" from her late husband and begs the salesman to give her more time to get the money. The salesperson understands and says he'll come by again in a week. However, May still doesn't know where she is going to get the money, as Ben's funeral cleaned them out. Peter assures his aunt that everything will turn out okay. However, when Peter goes up to his room he allows his true emotions to come out. He feels trapped, between wanting to use his powers responsibly in the memory of his Uncle, and how tight the money is since his death. Looking at a newspaper clipping about one of his performances, he thinks about the money he could bring in using his powers for entertainment. Still unable to think of a solution, Peter decides to go out web-slinging as Spider-Man in order to clear his head.

It is during this exercise, Spider-Man spots the salesman that was in his home earlier that evening at someone else's home. To his surprise, the web-spinner hears the salesman tell virtually the same story to another recent widow. Finding this incredibly suspicious, Spider-Man decides to follow after the salesman and is led to a warehouse in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Sneaking inside, he discovers that this is a fraud operation that has been taking advantage of the elderly by tricking them into buying insurance plans and purchasing shoddy furniture. This entire operation is run by Conrad Eisenstadt -- AKA The Undertaker -- who gloats over how easily he is bilking the elderly of their money. When Eisenstadt is alone in his office, Spider-Man confronts him and threatens to call the police. That's when the Undertaker summons his men. Before they can open fire, Spider-Man is warned when his spider-sense goes off for the first time, allowing him to leap to safety. Using this newfound ability in conjunction with his other powers, Spider-Man is able to overpower the armed men and web them up for the authorities. Hearing that Spider-Man called in the police, Maxie Shiffman arrives on the scene in the hopes of catching his client but just misses the wall-crawler as he leaves the scene. On his way home, Spider-Man spots a couple being mugged by a gang of men in an alley. He then swoops in and stops them as well, and as he resumes his trip home, realizes how he can start using his powers responsibly.

When the story about Spider-Man's recent activities reach the news, Aunt May believes that the wall-crawler's heroics are tarnishing the memory of her dear husband. When Peter returns home he sees how upset Aunt May is and suspects that she feels foolish for almost being swindled by Eisenstadt and his men. He then cheers her up by asking her to tell him a story about Uncle Ben.[Continuity 27] While in Manhattan, the strange teen from Long Island uses their power to lift a bulldozer and place it atop a building that is under construction.

Notes

Continuity Notes

  1. The reason why Peter Parker is dressed in the Scarlet Spider costume here is that he was arrested for murder in Amazing Spider-Man #400. In order to clear his name, he swapped places with Ben Reilly, as seen in The Spectacular Spider-Man #224.
  2. Raven's partner was murdered by Kaine in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #1-3.
  3. Raven got a non-lethal version of the "Mark of Kaine" in The Spectacular Spider-Man #223.
  4. Doctor Octopus and the Grim Hunter were both murdered by Kaine as seen in The Spectacular Spider-Man #221 and Spider-Man #55 respectively.
  5. 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. Mary Jane revealed that she was pregnant in The Spectacular Spider-Man #220
  6. Judas Traveller has been testing Peter and Ben since 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
  7. 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.
  8. Scrier states that he has been Traveler's loyal servant for over 100 years. However, this is just supporting the delusional Judas Traveller into thinking he is thousands of years old. This is revealed in Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal #1.
  9. This story references the Back From the Edge storyline, but this withdrawal goes back further. Peter decided to abandon his civilian identity for a time after his Aunt May suffered a stroke in Amazing Spider-Man #391. He decided to be Peter Parker again following the Back from the Edge storyline.
    Back From the Edge
    Spider-Man Unlimited #7 Amazing Spider-Man #395 The Spectacular Spider-Man #218 Amazing Spider-Man #396 The Spectacular Spider-Man #219
    .
  10. This most recent attempt on Mary Jane's life happened during the Mark of Kaine storyline.
    Mark of Kaine
    Web of Spider-Man #124 Amazing Spider-Man #401 Spider-Man #58 The Spectacular Spider-Man #224 Spider-Man Unlimited #9
  11. Mary Jane had this test done in Web of Spider-Man #124.
  12. Everyone believes May Parker died in Amazing Spider-Man #400. However, this woman was an impostor as revealed in Spider-Man #97. This, however, is not the soul of the May Parker impostor, merely an illusion created by Judas Traveller. He is merely a delusional telepath as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #417.
  13. Spider-Man is dressed up as the Scarlet Spider in order to operate in plain sight. Peter Parker was arrested for murder in Amazing Spider-Man #400. The real murderer was Kaine, as revealed in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #3. Although Peter was incarcerated at Ryker's while awaiting trial, he switched places with Ben Reilly during the Mark of Kaine story arc, hence the swapped costume.
    Mark of Kaine
    Web of Spider-Man #124 Amazing Spider-Man #401 Spider-Man #58 The Spectacular Spider-Man #224 Spider-Man Unlimited #9
  14. Despite the claims made by Judas Traveller here, this is actually an illusion. Traveller's claim that he is an all-powerful immortal being is a delusion spawned by a mental breakdown as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #417.
  15. Of the things he mentions: The return of his clone, Ben Reilly. He thought the clone died in Amazing Spider-Man #149 until he resurfaced recently in Web of Spider-Man #117). Mary Jane's revelation that she is pregnant with his child in The Spectacular Spider-Man #220. Lastly, he thinks about his recent battles with the Jackal and Kaine. These happened in the Smoke and Mirrors and Mark of Kaine story arcs.
    Smoke and Mirrors
    Web of Spider-Man #122 Amazing Spider-Man #399 Spider-Man #56 Spider-Man: The Clone Journal #1
  16. 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.
  17. Jacob Raven's face was scarred by Kaine in Spider-Man #57.
  18. As stated above, Traveller's claims of being near-immortal are a delusion. Scrier's involvement here is part of a grand scheme to manipulate Spider-Man by the Green Goblin as revealed in Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal #1.
  19. The identity of this individual is revealed next issue.
  20. Maxie Shiffman took Spider-Man as a client last issue.
  21. All of the technology depicted in this story: telephones, typewriters, black and white televisions etc. All appear to be commonly used technologies of the early 1960s. Although this story was published in 1995, it takes place shortly after the events of Amazing Fantasy #15, which was published in 1962. The creative team behind this story was going for a retro look for stylistic and nostalgia purposes. Modern readers, however, should consider all of these depictions as topical references per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 in much the same way as they would for such depictions in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  22. The Fantastic Four gained their powers in Fantastic Four #1.
  23. Doom and the Sub-Mariner attempted to slay the Fantastic Four by pulling their headquarters into space in Fantastic Four #6.
  24. The Hulk's rampage is from Incredible Hulk #3, while the Asgardian is Thor, who had just recently disposed of Santiago "The Executioner" Rivera in Journey into Mystery #84.
  25. May wishes that these heroes could be non-threatening like the Wizard. This story takes place prior to the Wizard turning to crime in Strange Tales #102.
  26. Peter's dabbling in entertainment and the murder of Uncle Ben happened in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  27. May begins telling Peter about the day she first met Ben Parker. This story was depicted in detail in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #4.

See Also

Footnotes



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