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Appearing in "Reluctant Lazarus"

This story is a reprint of the comic
The Spectacular Spider-Man #231.

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Synopsis for "Reluctant Lazarus"

This story is a reprint of the comic
The Spectacular Spider-Man #231.

Kaine wakes up and finds himself in a strange room tied to a chair. No sooner has he come around is he ambushed by five individuals all at once. Moving quickly, Kaine easily frees himself and takes down all of his attackers in a matter of moments. He is applauded by a woman named Shannon Fitzpatrick -- aka Muse -- who welcomes Kaine back to the land of the living.[Continuity 1]

Meanwhile, Spider-Man swings across the city, enjoying every minute of this for the first time since the Jackal stole his life five years earlier.[Continuity 2] The wall-crawler soon arrives outside the Daily Grind where he works in his alter-ego of Ben Reilly. Changing out of his costume, Ben enters the coffee shop and is shoved out of the way by Desiree Winthrop and her entourage of hangers-on as they rush to her favorite table to discuss fashion. Walking to the front counter, Ben overhears Buzz talking to Jessica Carridine, Shirley Washington and her son Devon. He is opinionating on the dangers ouf mass media, reminding them of the recent trouble caused by Mysterio's Mystery Vision.[Continuity 3] When Jessica asks Ben for his thoughts, he tells her that he has nothing against television, and if he had one, he'd watch more of it out of spite.

At that moment, at a mansion in Tahiti, James Johnsmeyer is having a teleconference with Mister Wallace, another bankroller of the Great Game to make bets on the current event, pitting their operatives against the assassin known as Kaine. Since Johnsmayer lost the wager that Kaine would die in the opening battle, he agrees to pay up his wager in the bet. Much to the horror of Johnsmeyer's current lover, she is taken away to be given to Wallace in payment. That's when he is contacted by Muse who provides James with an update on Kaine's condition and warns that once he has recuperated he will be making demands as to what is going on. He reminds Muse of the purpose of the Great Game, to pit super-powered combatants against each other for the entertainment of the obscenely wealthy.[Continuity 4] Muse was Johnsmeyer's operative until an injury took her out of action, hence his desire to recruit Kaine into the Great Game. James concludes his audience with Muse by telling her to make sure Kaine remains comfortable until he can arrive in New York. Later, Muse goes to check on Kaine who wakes up from screaming from one of his precognitive flashes. She uses her hypnotic powers to lull Kaine and explains how she and her allies recovered Kaine from the regeneration chamber that he was recovering in since his recent brush with death.[Continuity 5] She then takes him to see James Johnsmeyer so he can discuss business with Kaine.

Meanwhile, back at the Daily Grind, Ben Reilly notices Desiree Winthrop struggling with her physics homework. Demonstrating that he is knowledgeable on the subject, he offers to help her study. At first, Desiree is snotty with Reilly, until he realizes that Ben knows what he is talking about and gladly accepts his offer. By this time, Johnsmeyer has finished detailing the money that Kaine could make being an official participant in the Great Game. After considering the offer, Kaine turns it down and leaves, no longer wishing to be manipulated by anybody. On his way out, Kaine is confronted by Pierce and Mosh, but they are taken down by Muse who has decided to help Kaine make his escape, the only thing she asks is that Kaine takes her with him. While at that moment, a demolition crew is tearing down an old factory in Brooklyn. When the crew knocks down one of the smokestacks they are shocked to discover the remains of a human body inside. Upon closer examination, they notice that the skeleton is wearing the remains of a Spider-Man costume.[Continuity 6]

This story continues in Sensational Spider-Man #2...

Appearing in "Remains of the Day"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Sensational Spider-Man #2.

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Synopsis for "Remains of the Day"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Sensational Spider-Man #2.

This story continues from The Spectacular Spider-Man #231...

Running late for his day job, Spider-Man swings across the city to get to the Daily Grind on time. The wall-crawler arrives just in time to change back into Ben Reilly and report for his shift. When he enters the shop he is greeted by owner Shirley Washington and her son Devon. Also present is Jessica Carradine. She is glad to see Ben because he knows how to make her lattés. Remembering Ben's suggestion that she try to sell her photography to the Daily Bugle, she admits she followed his advice sooner because of the story in the morning edition of the paper. Ben has no idea what she is talking about, admitting that he doesn't have a television at home, and checks the headline. There he reads about the discovery of a skeleton in a Spider-Man costume that was recently found in the smokestack of an abandoned factory in Brooklyn and is horrified to read it.[Continuity 7] This causes Ben to think back to the time shortly after his battle five years ago between Spider-Man and his clone. After the clone was believed to be dead, the man who thought he was Peter Parker dumped the body of Ben Reilly into that same smokestack.[Continuity 8] That's when Jessica points out that Ben had zoned out for a moment and asks if he is okay. Reilly snaps back to reality and is about to prepare her drink when Shirley assigns him to run some errands instead. Ben then rushes out the door, almost bowling over Desiree Winthrop. That's when Jessica invites her to a surprise housewarming party she is throwing for Ben and asks if she will chip in to buy Reilly a television. Desiree agrees to participate, telling Jessica that she will be wearing a dress that no man can resist.

As Spider-Man swings across the city, J. Jonah Jameson scolds Joe Robertson for not informing him about this "Spider-Skeleton" the moment the Daily Bugle became aware of it. Joe tries to explain the story came in at 3 am, but Jonah doesn't care. He is also unconcerned that Ben Urich was sent to investigate because he didn't view the body, something that Jameson insists on doing.[Continuity 9] While elsewhere in the city, Kaine and Muse are fleeing from the other members of the Great Game. Kaine is uninterested in participating to their deadly competition, even if he could stand to make a large sum of money. That's when the pair are ambushed by the Rhino who is looking forward to the payout he will get if he kills Kaine. Meanwhile, Spider-Man arrives at the city morgue, easily slipping past security to where the bodies are stored. Opening the refrigeration unit that contains the corpse, Spider-Man opens the body bag and is horrified to discover that the reports are true. At first, the wall-crawler doesn't know what to do and considers calling Peter Parker for help. He decides against it since he and his wife Mary Jane have moved to Portland and he thinks they deserve a happy life.[Continuity 10] Instead, Spider-Man is determined to learn the secret of this skeleton before things get too out of control. Unfortunately, things aren't going to go that way for the wall-crawler, as J. Jonah Jameson has managed to bribe his way into getting access to the morgue. He then catches Spider-Man in the act of leaving the morgue with the skeleton. Jonah suspects that there is something illegal going on and threatens the wall-crawler. However, Spider-Man merely webs up Jonah's eyes and flees out a nearby window with the body bag containing the mysterious corpse inside.

Meanwhile, at Ben Reilly's apartment, all his friends from the Daily Grind and surrounding Centennial University have gathered to throw him a surprise housewarming party, however, Ben has not shown up yet. Shirley Washington pulls Jessica Carridine aside and gets her to admit that she has a romantic interest in Ben Reilly. When Jessica admits this, Shirley tells her to follow her feelings so they can be happy together. At this exact moment, Spider-Man is on his way home when he happens upon the Rhino's battle with Kaine and Muse. Although Kaine doesn't want the wall-crawler's help, Spider-Man manages to shove Muse out of the way of falling debris when the Rhino rams into a nearby wall. However, the wall-crawler is buried under rubble and left for dead for his trouble as the three combatants free in the confusion. Pulling himself free, the wall-crawler recovers the body bag from the rubble. When he returns home, he finds Jessica Carridine in his apartment watching the television she bought him as a housewarming gift. Hiding the body bag and recovering street clothes he has stashed nearby, Ben Reilly returns to his apartment. There Jessica explains that she was throwing a surprise party but everyone had already left. That's when she notices the bruises on his face and asks what happened. Ben decides to tell her a partial truth, that he was caught injured during the clash between the Rhino and Kaine. Getting a closer look at his new television, Ben is flattered that Jessica would think to get him one. She then admits that she is falling for him. However, when Ben points out that they hardly know each other, she kisses him, then tells him that they can sort out the skeletons in their closet later. This is ironic as there is a literal skeleton hanging just out side the window to Ben Reilly's apartment.

... The Return of Kaine continues in Amazing Spider-Man #409.

Appearing in "To End the Begin"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #4.

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Synopsis for "To End the Begin"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #4.

Ken Ellis has come to the Parker home in Queens threatening to reveal that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, providing a mock-up of the front page of tomorrow's edition of the Daily Bugle. Mary Jane, Peter's wife, is angered that this he would come to their home and make threats like this, knowing that this is nothing more than a mock-up used to try and scare her.[Continuity 11] She tells Ken to stop harassing her and her family, however, the reporter intends to get to learn the connection between Peter Parker, Spider-Man, the Scarlet Spider and the allegedly new Spider-Man that has been sighted in Manhattan.[Continuity 12] Mary Jane insists that there is no connection to be found and slams the door in Ken's face. That's when Ben Reilly leaps down from the ceiling, where he was hiding to avoid being spotted by Ellis. As they try and figure out what to do about this latest development, Ben suddenly begins to grin as an idea begins to form in his mind.

Meanwhile, in Portland, Peter Parker is out as Spider-Man searching for the serial killer named Tendril. He is seeking the killer out in order to cure him of his condition, a synthetic skin derivative that was tainted by his own DNA. The clock is ticking because Peter has contracted necrotizing fasciitis and curing Tendril will also produce a cure for himself, although it will cost him his spider-powers in the process. With a tracking device, the wall-crawler is closing in on Tendril. As he goes, he tries to keep his mind off the fact that Mary Jane has left him because he decided to become Spider-Man again after he promised to retire.[Continuity 13] He tracks the killer down to a room at the Hotel Governor and interrupts Tendril before he can claim his next victims. Unfortunately, Spider-Man is forced to stay behind and free Tendril's victims when the killer flees. Just as he frees the victims, the authorities arrive on the scene, in order to avoid being delayed further, Spider-Man flees the scene. Back in Manhattan, Mary Jane pays a visit to Joe Robertson at the Bugle to complain about Ken Ellis harassing her and her husband for his story.[Continuity 14]

In Portland, Spider-Man picks up Tendril's signal again and follows him onto the roof of the Governor. There they are joined by Dryrot who has come to help capture Tendril so he can also benefit from the cure that could come from them. While Tendril and Dryrot are occupied with each other, Spider-Man prepares an Isotopic Genome Accelerator that he created at GAIRD to deal with Tendril. Sneaking up behind Tendril, Spider-Man manages to jolt the killer with the accelerator but the three of them are caught in the discharge of energy. Recovering from the blast, Spider-Man notices that both Tendril and Dryrot have been mostly reverted back to human form. Suddenly, his spider-sense goes off, prompting the wall-crawler to depart as the authorities arrive on the rooftop. The next morning, Ben Reilly pays a visit to J. Jonah Jameson as Spider-Man and torments the publisher by webbing him to his chair and insulting the day's edition of the Daily Bugle before departing. After this recent insult, Joe Robertson tells Jonah about Ken Ellis' story about the wall-crawler. Furious at Spider-Man, Jonah orders Joe to have the story killed. When Joe goes to tell Ken Ellis the news, Ken is unphased and threatens to take the story to the Daily Globe. Joe decides to call the city editor at the Globe, Barry Fink, and tell him about it. Ellis then talks to Fink, he learns that Barry will also pass on the story since Joe Robertson isn't interested in it. Learning that Joe is good friends with editors at New York's other publications. Realizing that he's not going to win, Ellis decides to give up on the Spider-Man story and refocus his attention on the Havershaw murder. Joe then goes to a nearby diner and tells Mary Jane the good news, and asks her what she is planning on doing next.

While in Portland, both Tendril and Dryrot have been brought back to GAIR for the final experiment that will hopefully cure them of their conditions. The process is supervised by Eric Schwinner and Peter Parker. When they activate the device, Tendril tries to resist the process and break free. With the machines overheating, Peter realizes that the only way to complete the process is including his own DNA in the process. To that end, Peter exits the control room and puts himself in physical contact with the device. His body surges with pain he hasn't felt since the radioactive spider first bit him. The addition of Parker's DNA completes the process and the process to restore Tendril and Dryrot back to human form. In the aftermath of the process, Peter examines himself and learns that he has been cured of his infection, but his spider-powers have also been stripped away.[Continuity 15] Forced into retirement, Peter Parker returns home and packs up his Spider-Man costume and wonders if it was all worth it in the end. That's when Mary Jane returns home, much to Peter's surprise as he thought she left for good. She then shows him the note she left for him, the note that Peter didn't bother reading in its entirety. As it turns out, the letter told Peter that she wasn't leaving him for good, but only going back to New York for a photo shoot and that she would be back in a few days.

With his spider-powers gone, Peter is able to focus on his career, his wife, and his upcoming daughter. He also finds new ways to help those in need, by volunteering at a homeless shelter and living up to his motto, with great power comes responsibility. The greatest adventure for Peter Parker now is the excitement of being able to find out who he is all over again.

Notes

Continuity Notes

  1. Kaine was mortally wounded in The Spectacular Spider-Man #227 and his body was placed in a clone regeneration tank. More recently, his body went missing during the events of Scarlet Spider Unlimited #1.
  2. At the time of this story, Ben Reilly was led to believe that Peter Parker was a clone and that he was the real Spider-Man the whole time in The Spectacular Spider-Man #226. The five years is an accurate measurement of the Sliding Timescale from Amazing Spider-Man #149 to this story. However, Ben Reilly is not the original Peter Parker and is being manipulated by the Green Goblin into thinking that he is, as explained in Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal #1.
  3. Mysterio attempted to enthrall all of New York City with his hypnotic television station as seen in the Media Blizzard story arc.
    Media Blizzard
    Sensational Spider-Man #1 Amazing Spider-Man #408 Spider-Man #65
  4. Johnsmeyer's recollection includes a recollection of Joystick's battle with El Toro Negro. This battle occurred during the Cyberwar story arc.
    Cyberwar
    Web of Scarlet Spider #2 Amazing Scarlet Spider #2 Green Goblin #3 Scarlet Spider #2 The Spectacular Scarlet Spider #2
  5. Among the recollections is a front page story of the Daily Bugle that identifies Kaine as the guilty of murder during the Trial of Peter Parker story arc.
    The Trial of Peter Parker
    Web of Spider-Man #126 Amazing Spider-Man #403 Spider-Man #60 The Spectacular Spider-Man #226
  6. This is the same smokestack that Peter Parker disposed of the body of Ben Reilly in Amazing Spider-Man #151. The origins of this skeleton is revealed in Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal #1.
  7. The skeleton was discovered when the factory was torn down in The Spectacular Spider-Man #231.
  8. Peter Parker battled his clone to the supposed death in Amazing Spider-Man #149 and then dumped its body in Amazing Spider-Man #151. At the time of this story, Ben Reilly was led to believe that he was the real Spider-Man and that Peter Parker was a clone in The Spectacular Spider-Man #226. This whole situation is due to the manipulations of both the Jackal and the Green Goblin as explained in Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal #1.
  9. Ben Urich's visit to the city morgue was seen in Green Goblin #6.
  10. Some facts about Peter and Mary Jane at the time of this story:
    • 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.
    • Peter and Mary Jane moved to Portland in Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #1.
  11. 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.
  12. What Ken Ellis doesn't know is this:
  13. Peter retired as Spider-Man in The Spectacular Spider-Man #229.
  14. In addition to everything else Mary Jane mentions, she also talks about Peter's recent trial. Peter was arrested for murder in Amazing Spider-Man #400. This murder was actually committed by Kaine years earlier, as seen in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #3. Peter was cleared of all charges as seen in the Trial of Peter Parker story arc.
    The Trial of Peter Parker
    Web of Spider-Man #126 Amazing Spider-Man #403 Spider-Man #60 The Spectacular Spider-Man #226
  15. Although Peter loses his powers here, they begin to return in The Spectacular Spider-Man #237.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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