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Appearing in "The Return of the Green Goblin"

This story is a reprint of the comic
The Spectacular Spider-Man #225.

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Synopsis for "The Return of the Green Goblin"

This story is a reprint of the comic
The Spectacular Spider-Man #225.

This story continues from Spider-Man #56...

A costumed man with a flaming hand murders a homeless man named Sammy Skalek in the middle of an alleyway. Due to the poor lighting in the alleyway, eyewitnesses and officers can't make out who the killer is, but they believe it is the same lunatic that has been reported about in the Daily Bugle.

Meanwhile, Peter Parker pays a visit to the grave of his friend Harry Osborn.[Continuity 1] He has come to "talk" to Harry about his feelings following his encounter with the new Green Goblin.[Continuity 2] With all the madness with clones in his life at the moment, Peter doesn't know what to make of this new Goblin. Peter wonders if this is some trick Harry is playing on him from beyond the grave, or if Harry somehow cheated death.[Continuity 3] Peter half expected to find Harry's grave freshly dug up and is relieved that this is not the case. After his visit, Peter puts on the Scarlet Spider costume he brought with him. He feels strange wearing it, but all of his own costumes have been destroyed. He thinks about how he has been recently arrested for murder and how he thought Ben was responsible until Reilly offered to change places with him in prison.[Continuity 4] Ben did this so Peter could not only spend time with his pregnant wife Mary Jane, but also find the real killer.[Continuity 5] The only suspect that Peter can think of is the vigilante known as Kaine. He has his work cut out for him since he is also trying to hunt down the Jackal, this new Green Goblin, as well as the original Gwen Stacy clone.[Continuity 6]

Peter Parker is not the only one who is thinking about the new Green Goblin. In his secret lab, the Jackal is furious that this new Green Goblin was meddling in his plans. Since he can't deduce who the person is behind the Goblin mask, the Jackal decides to go and find out who this newcomer really is. While at the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson and Joe Robertson are in a private meeting. Seeing this, Ken Ellis asks Ben Urich what's going on. Ben tells him that they are arguing over how much coverage they should give Peter Parker's murder trial.[Continuity 7] Back at the Parker residence, Mary Jane has just finished up making a new Spider-Man costume for Peter. She is trying to keep her mind off of the concerns for her baby that have been raised when she agreed to be examined by Ben Reilly's friend Seward Trainer.[Continuity 8] That's when Peter comes home and he is happy to see her, however, his visit is going to be brief. With his trail coming up, he needs to find Kaine and bring him to justice. Mary Jane insists that Peter needs to take a break and spend time with her. That's when a news report comes on about the homeless people being murdered in the city. Resigning to the fact that her husband is going to go back out into the city, she realizes that he isn't ignoring their problems, that he needs to keep moving in order to prevent himself from giving into the fear that is rushing through his mind. As Peter leaves his home, he is unaware that he is being observed by the Jackal. Meanwhile, Mary Jane wishes she had someone she could talk to about everything that is going on in her life, when she suddenly remembers that she does -- it's Ben Reilly.

Meanwhile, Phil Urich puts on his Green Goblin costume. Upon putting on the Goblin mask he is jolted with the energy that activates his powers. He then uses his glider to go out looking for a homeless person. Finding an ideal candidate, he hovers over silently nearby, when he is suddenly ambushed by Spider-Man. The wall-crawler thinks that the Green Goblin is responsible for the death of the homeless. Put on the defensive, the Green Goblin tries to explain that he is innocent, but the web-slinger isn't willing to listen. Realizing that he is in over his head, and he wants to avoid hurting Spider-Man with his lunatic laugh, the Goblin flees. With this second encounter, Spider-Man is certain that this is not Harry Osborn, and wonders who this inexperienced new comer is and where his powers come from. Watching the battle is the Jackal who is very interested in seeing the outcome of this battle. As Spider-Man chases the Goblin, the real killer -- a costumed criminal calling himself Firefist -- selects another victim. At that moment, Mary Jane visits Ben Reilly in prison to ask for his advice on what to do about the baby. She wonders if she should get an abortion before it is too late. Ben surprises her by saying that he is pro-life. However, he tells her that the choice is ultimately hers, but she should wait until she gets all the facts before making a decision.

Back in the alley, Firefist is ranting about how America has been infested wit hthe weak and that he does what he does to make his country great again. Before he can kill the homeless man, the Green Goblin arrives and pulls him away. Taking a cue from the Goblin, Spider-Man swings in and attacks Firefist. The wall-crawler is quickly put on the defensive when Firefist begins whipping fireballs with his flamethrower gauntlet. Ultimately, Firefist damages the side of a building burying Spider-Man alive. Seeing this, the Jackal is about to step in since he still has a need for Parker, but that's when the new Green Goblin comes to Spider-Man's aid. Seeing this, the Jackal is convinced that this new Goblin is not another Osborn. While back at the Daily Bugle, Joe Robertson continues to argue with Jameson about the murder trial. He points out that they are being scooped by every other paper in New York and they need to report on this, otherwise all the awards the Bugle have won for journalism will mean nothing. With that, he storms out of the office leaving Jameson to think this over.

Meanwhile, the Goblin keeps Firefist on the defensive using his sonic laugh to confuse his foe. This gives Spider-Man time to dig himself out of the rubble, wondering why this new Goblin would risk his life to save Spider-Man. THe wall-crawler quickly knocks out Firefist, and while he is busy wrapping up the killer for the police, the Green Goblin flees the sene. As he heads for home, the Goblin can't believe that he was unable to take down such a pathetic villain and briefly considers giving up on being a hero. Once Spider-Man finishes wrapping up Firefist, his spider-sense briefly goes off, finally detecting the presence of the Jackal. However, as the villain slips away and the warning subsides, the web-slinger dismisses it and heads for home. Soon, the Jackal returns to his lab when he is joined by the Peter Parker clone. He is delighted, because he had been waiting for this clone to arrive.

...This story continues in Web of Spider-Man #126.

Appearing in "And He Strikes Like a Thunderball"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Spider-Man #248.

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Synopsis for "And He Strikes Like a Thunderball"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Spider-Man #248.

Thunderball has recovered the crowbar wielded by his former boss, the Wrecker from a prison armored car. With the crowbar and his own wrecking ball, Thunderball's strength has now doubled. The only person now standing in his way is Spider-Man, who is more concerned with getting Thunderball's former minions to safety. As Thunderball leaves the scene, Spider-Man gets to a phone and calls the authorities for help. Not far away, Thunderball marvels over his increased strength and considers himself a one-man wrecking crew. While he is distracted, Spider-Man gets the drop on him and manages to snatch away the Wrecker's crowbar. Although Spider-Man has taken the weapon away from Thunderball, it's power is still transferring to him.

Thanks to his enhanced speed and agility, Spider-Man is able to keep on the defensive, but the wall-crawler lures Thunderball out to an electrical transformer. There, he tosses the crowbar back to his foe. As Thunderball grabs the crowbar just as Spider-Man webs up a wire to the crowbar, sending thousands of volts of electricity into the villain. This doesn't stun Thunderball overly much and he tosses his wrecking ball at the web-slinger. Spider-Man dodges it and attaches another wire to that weapon as well. When Thunderball grabs it, it completes a circuit between him and the transformer. Although Thunderball continues to shrug this off, he is unaware that he is causing the transformer to overload. Spider-Man runs to cover, ushering the arriving police officers to safety. Suddenly, the transformer explodes with enough force to knock out Thunderball.

With the battle over, Spider-Man is swarmed by reporters who are less interested in the wall-crawler's battle with Thunderball, and more interested in his comments on creating the largest traffic jam on the nearby expressway. Unsurprised by the lack of gratitude, Spider-Man leaps into the back of a pick-up truck heading back to the city so he can get back home.

Appearing in "An Amazing World"

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

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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 9]

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 10] 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 11]

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 12] 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 13] 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 14] Aunt May is disturbed by all of this violence and danger in the world, but notices Peter hasn't been very talkative.[Continuity 15] 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 16]

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 17] 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.

Appearing in "Amazing Adventures"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Fantasy #17.

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Synopsis for "Amazing Adventures"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Fantasy #17.

Peter Parker thinks about his past when he was a child he had many friends. However, as he grew older and started to focus more on his studies in junior high, he and his friends started to drift apart. By the time they were all in high school, all his old friends gravitated toward Flash Thompson. Peter ended up being an outcast among his peers and was regularly bullied by Thompson.[Continuity 18] However, a few weeks later things completely changed for Peter Parker forever, he becomes Spider-Man.

Now singing across Manhattan, he spots a construction worker falling off some scaffolding and swings in and rescues him. When one of the girders from the construction site falls, the wall-crawler manages to snag it with a web line before it can land on anyone. As he is about to swing away, Spider-Man is called back by Maxie Shiffman, his agent. Shiffman tells the wall-crawler that all of his acts of heroism have been testing well with the public and he wants Spider-Man to come back and work for him some more, promising that they can make millions. Unfortunately for Shiffman, Spider-Man declines the offer saying that he has to live up to his responsibilities. As he swings away, the web-slinger knows that Maxie would never understand his quitting show business. It was because he was so absorbed in becoming a star that he let a burglar get away. This same burglar went on to murder his Uncle Ben. As he swings past one building, the wall-crawler's presence doesn't go unnoticed. He is being observed by Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime. He set plans into motion that led to the "accident" at the construction site. Although Spider-Man rescued the worker who fell, Fisk is confident that the message the intended message was received. His assistant assures Wilson that he will keep putting on the pressure but worries about Spider-Man interfering again. The Kingpin tells his assistant not to worry as he has a plan in place for just such a contingency.

That evening, Peter Parker is watching the evening news with his Aunt May.[Continuity 19] They watch a special news report about a mutant sighting. In it, they witness as a young man fires beams of energy from his eyes, destroying falling debris. Despite this, the young mutant is chased off by an angry mob.[Continuity 20] That's when Aunt May tells Peter that he has been too moody recently. He tells her that he is having a hard time dealing with the death of Uncle Ben, school, and their money problems. May tells Peter that he is too young to be so down on himself and that he should be out having fun with his friends. Peter tells her it's a lot more complicated than that, thinking about how he has no friends to speak of. Looking at the young mutant on the television, Peter finds that he can relate to him.

The next day, Spider-Man is out web-slinging when he is struck from behind by something. Recovering from the blow, the wall-crawler is surprised to see a young woman who appears to fly in a nimbus of energy. Hearing him speak, the youth is delighted to discover that Spider-Man is around the same age she is. Introducing herself as Joey Pulaski. The two become fast friends, and while Peter is ostracised and made fun of in school by Flash Thompson and the others, he spends his free moments as Spider-Man hanging out with Joey. He is happy to have met someone his own age with superpowers and after some time, he begins considering telling Joey his real name. He also begins wondering if Aunt May was right about taking life too seriously. Meanwhile, Maxie Shiffman tries to convince his secretary Gracie to stay on the job. However, with Shiffman deep in debt and with bill collectors and leg breaking knocking at his door, the unpaid secretary is tired of it and walks out on him. That's when he gets a call from a representative of the "It's Amazing" television show. He is asking if Shiffman was able to secure Spider-Man for the show, but he hasn't had much luck. That's when someone enters his office in a costume. Shiffman thinks this is another person auditioning to be a replacement Spider-Man. However, when the visit displays his power gauntlets, Shiffman tells the caller that he'll call him back, seeing a potential opportunity to get out of the hole.

Back at the Parker household, Peter catches a news report about a luxury office tower that has been plagued by setbacks and accidents. He realizes that he should do something about it and realizes that he doesn't have to do it alone. The next day, he meets up with Joey to tell her his plan. She suddenly becomes stupid, telling him that his idea is stupid. She suddenly begins using her powers to blast a nearby building. Quick thinking, Spider-Man webs up a net to catch the falling debris. Joey continues to rampage on the streets putting others at risk. When the wall-crawler stops her, earning her anger. Joey tells Spider-Man that she is tired of his constant droning about responsibility and has decided to he is boring. That's when she reveals that she is being paid to cause the construction project trouble. She is also being offered a bigger job and was going to ask the web-slinger to join her on the job but now she is having second thoughts. When Spider-Man tries to convince her of the lives she is negatively impacted doing with shady work. Pulaski becomes tired of hearing it and tells him that she doesn't want to see him anymore and streaks off, leaving the wall-crawler speechless. Hurt by this rejection, Peter Parker goes through the next few days almost in a trance. He once again begins questioning his commitment to his sense of responsibility. While walking across the school yard, Tiny McKeever decides to throw a football at Peter. Much to their surprise, he catches the ball without looking and tosses it back with enough force for it to reach it reach McKeever. Surprised at Parker's skills, Tiny invites him to play with them. That's when Flash Thompson arrives on the scene and begins berating his friends for considering letting Parker play football with them. Feeling the sting of rejection once more, Peter drops the football and walks away.

That night, Peter goes out on patrol as Spider-Man and overhears some crooks talking about what could only be Joey's new job. The wall-crawler then goes to the construction site and finds the Joey suspending the businessman behind the construction project over the air. The Kingpin's men are demanding that he enters a partnership with the Kingpin. Spider-Man interrupts the shakedown, saving the businessman and earning the ire of everyone gathered. The Kingpin's right-hand-man orders Joey to kill the wall-crawler. She tries encasing him in a telekinetic shield in an attempt to crush him to death, but Spider-Man breaks free. He is forced to strike the young woman he once called a friend, knocking her out. When the authorities arrive to arrest Joey and her employers, Spider-Man tries to explain him, but Joey isn't willing to listen, telling the wall-crawler that she hates him. When the Kingpin learns the news of Spider-Man's interference. He realizes that he underestimated the wall-crawler, something he won't do when goes up against the hero again. While in another location, Spider-Man clings to a wall trying to convince himself that he did the right thing, but still feels bad about it.

Notes

Continuity Notes

  1. The graves of Harry Osborn and his father Norman are depicted here. At the time of this story, everyone believes that both men are dead. Norman was believed to have been killed in a battle against Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #122. His survival is explained in Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal #1. He will resurface again in Amazing Spider-Man #412. Likewise is Harry Osborn believed to be dead here following the events of The Spectacular Spider-Man #200. However, unknown to everyone at the time, Harry survived as explained in Amazing Spider-Man #581. He will resurface again in Amazing Spider-Man #545.
  2. Spider-Man first encountered the new Green Goblin in Web of Spider-Man #125.
  3. This would not be the first time, as Harry was largely involved in a scheme that played out in the Pursuit storyline.
    Pursuit
    Spider-Man #45 The Spectacular Spider-Man #211 Web of Spider-Man #112 Amazing Spider-Man #389
  4. Peter was arrested for a murder in Amazing Spider-Man #400. This murder happened five years earlier, as detailed in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #1-3. Ben swapped places with Peter at Ryker's Island last issue.
  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 she was pregnant in The Spectacular Spider-Man #220.
  6. This clone of Gwen Stacy appeared in Peter's life between Amazing Spider-Man #144-149. He discovered that she is still alive in Web of Spider-Man #125.
  7. Among the chatter in the news room, someone says they should page Betty Brant's beeper and another person is complaining about the fax machine is not working. These should be considered topical references per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as both technologies are considered obsolete.
  8. Mary Jane agreed to undergo tests to determine if her baby is fine in Web of Spider-Man #124.
  9. The identity of this individual is revealed next issue.
  10. Maxie Shiffman took Spider-Man as a client last issue.
  11. 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.
  12. The Fantastic Four gained their powers in Fantastic Four #1.
  13. Doom and the Sub-Mariner attempted to slay the Fantastic Four by pulling their headquarters into space in Fantastic Four #6.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Peter's dabbling in entertainment and the murder of Uncle Ben happened in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  17. 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.
  18. In the flashback, there is a scene where Peter being abandoned by Flash and the others, this is taken directly from Amazing Fantasy #15.
  19. The television is depicted as an old black and white model. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
  20. This young mutant is Scott Summers, who would later become the X-Man known as Cyclops. The scenes that the Parkers watch on the news were originally depicted in X-Men #38.

Flashback

  1. Peter Parker:
  2. May Parker:
    • Flashback - May celebrates Peter's birthday.
  3. Joey Pulaski:
  4. Flash Thompson:

See Also

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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