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Appearing in "The Monster Within"

This story is a reprint of the comic
The Spectacular Spider-Man #215.

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Synopsis for "The Monster Within"

This story is a reprint of the comic
The Spectacular Spider-Man #215.

In the sewers below New York City, something has scared the rats that make it their home. The racket also attracts the attention of some slimy creature that also dwells in the sewers. Not far away, the Scorpion is on a rampage because he is on his wit's end. He has grown tired of being the Scorpion, as his transformation has made him incapable of having a normal life. Now he has to spend his time on the run from the authorities and super-heroes, all because of J. Jonah Jameson.[Continuity 1] He considers giving up on it all, but his rant is interrupted by a man named Phillip Cussler, Sr. Cussler suggests that the Scorpion crush his enemies, and offers his support. Cussler, a self-made millionaire, feels a kinship with the Scorpion because he is wary of the law-abiding world. Needing protection, Phillip invites the Scorpion back home to discuss business. Intrigued by the man's story, the Scorpion agrees to accompany him. As they wade through the sewers, a strange creature lurks in the shadows.

Meanwhile, at the Daily Bugle, Phillip Cussler, Jr. is making an appeal to J. Jonah Jameson and Joe Robertson. He explains that his father has gone missing and he wants the Bugle to publish a story asking for help, and that he is offering a large reward. As Jonah and Cussler the elder go way back, Jonah promises all of the Daily Bugle's resources to help him find his father. Joe leaves the office to get a photographer on the case. As Peter Parker has seemingly gone to ground, Joe suggests that Kate Cushing hire their new cub photographer, Angela Yin.[Continuity 2] Still, Kate tries to call Peter Parker. Surprisingly Parker answers the phone, but with his Aunt May's frail health and the villains that have been threatening his home, he has too much going on and declines the offer.[Continuity 3] However, when he hears about Phillip Cussler's disappearance, Peter asks more about it.

That evening, the Scorpion is brought to one of Phlillip Cussler's china shops. there Phillip, Sr. tells the Scorpion that his son has forced him out of the family business and weeks to utterly ruin the boy. When the Scorpion asks if Phillip wants the store trashed, he refuses. Cussler then begins hacking into one of the company computers in order to erase the financial records so he can later sick the IRS on his son. Watching Cussler work, the Scorpion is impressed and figures that this genius will be able to help him come up with a way of defeating Spider-Man once and for all.[Continuity 4] With the records eliminated, Phillip then turns the Scorpion's attention to the safe. The following morning, When Phillip, Jr., discovers the damage done to his business and calls the police and the Daily Bugle. Arriving on the scene are J. Jonah Jameson and Angela Cheng. When Angela suggests that this is the work of the Scorpion, Jonah dismisses her at first. Then he thinks that the capture of the Scorpion could be the story that will give the sales boost the Daily Bugle needs.[Continuity 5]

That afternoon, Spider-Man is scouring the city looking for the Scorpion, unimpressed having to deal with him so soon after their last battle.[Continuity 6] Meanwhile, a mysterious man has just walked out of a grocery store to get some food.[Continuity 7] His worries are quickly put aside when he spots a child running across the street about to be struck by an oncoming car. This man is able to leap across the width of the road, pulling the child out of harm's way. After handing the boy over to his father, the man runs away before someone recognizes who he is. Meanwhile, Spider-Man has forced information about the Scorpion out of a local stoolie. He learns that the Scorpion is trying to get a group of men for a job. Figuring this is going to be an attack on another Cussler china shop, but with eight franchses in the city, the wall-crawler wonders what is happening next. While down in the sewers, Mac Gargan is enjoying a meal prepared for him by Cussler. This has given him the opportunity to take off his costume and act like Mac Gargan for the first time in forever. He wonders if it is time to leave the life of the Scorpion behind and go straight, but he owes Cussler and decides to continue with this next score.

By this point, Phillip Jr. has connected his stores computers with the Daily Bugle so they know which one of the stores his father will target next. When they get an alert to that the store located at Herald Square. As Jonah, Phillip, and Angela rush to the scene, it is the last store that Spider-Man is checking that day. There he spots the Scorpion's hired goons and attacks them. Inside the store, Phillip, Sr. is working on erasing the computer files on the computer. Hearing the battle outside, the Scorpion goes outside to face his long time enemy. The Scorpion allows Spider-Man to see him go into the sewers, luring the hero into a trap. There the web-slinger is swarmed by more armed thugs. As Spider-Man fights off these attackers, Jonah and the others arrive on the scene and spot Phillip's father watching the battle from a manhole. When Phillip tells his father to stop, the elder Cussler warns them to stay away, brandishing a wrench as a weapon to keep them at bay. Down in the sewer, Spider-Man fights through the gang to battle the Scorpion. As the pair battle it out, a strangle sentient pile of slime attacks the Scorpion's hired thugs. Spider-Man beats the Scorpion into submission and then notices that the thugs have been completely consumed by the pile of slime that suddenly appeared in the sewer.

Dismissing this as a minor concern, Spider-Man begins to clilmb up to the surface to try and find Phillip Cussler's father. His spider-sense begins to warn him of danger above. Before he can turn and see who is attacking him, he strikes out. The web-slinger realizes too late to stop himself from striking Cussler the elder. The strength of the blow sends Cussler slamming into a wall. This moment is photographed by Angie Chang, much to the delight of J. Jonah Jameson. As Phillip rushes to his father, Spider-Man is horrified by what he has done. Jonah gloats that the wall-crawler has gone too far and this will be the end of his career. Fleeing to the rooftops, Spider-Man watches as Cussler is being loaded into an ambulance. Blaming himself, Spider-Man reminds himself of the most important lesson he ever learned, "with great power comes great responisibility", however in this brief moment he has failed in maintaining this motto.

Appearing in "Time Is On No Side!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
The Spectacular Spider-Man #216.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for "Time Is On No Side!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
The Spectacular Spider-Man #216.

In the sewers of Manhattan, a strange mass of green slime crawls through the tunnels consuming everything that comes into its path. Elsewhere in the sewers, Mac Gargan spends time enjoying himself in his hideout, decked out with amenities from his friend Phillip Cussler, Sr. He thinks about the years he have been a slave to his Scorpion costume and finally feels as though he can leave that life behind him now. While at the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson gloats over the front page photo showing Spider-Man striking Cussler. However, Cussler's son -- Phillip, Jr. -- doesn't feel easy over Jonah's editorial placing blame on Spider-Man as his father wasn't exactly an innocent person. However, Jameson brushes this off as paltry details before seeing Cussler out of his office. He tells his secretary, Glory Grant, to send flowers to the hospital where Cussler is recovering. Remembering that Nick Katzenberg was staying in the same hospital and wonders if he can get a discount if he purchases flowers for two patients. That's when Glory informs him that Nick Katzenberg died the night before.[Continuity 8]

Meanwhile, Spider-Man is swinging across the city trying to find trace of the Scorpion. He wonders why he is out looking for his old foe when he has other problems to concern himself with. Namely, his Aunt May is still recovering from a stroke,[Continuity 9] as well as the marital problems he has been having with Mary Jane.[Continuity 10] He wonders why he still cares about Spider-Man's reputation in the face of all these changes. Suddenly, he spots a pair of men trying to break into a car. When the wall-crawler confronts the carjackers, the instantly surrender when Spider-Man answers them angrily. At that moment, at the hospital, Phillip Cussler, Jr. visits his father in the hospital. He tells his father how much he hates the way they have fought and that he loves him. He admired his father and wonders if their differences led to his breakdown. He wishes his father was awake to hear him, and leaves. However, Cussler the elder heard every word.

Later, J. Jonah Jameson pays a visit to his wife, Marla, at her lab. He tells her about the death of Nick Katzenberg. Coming to terms with Nick's death made him realize that time is fleeting and he wants to make things work between the two of them before it is too late.[Continuity 11] Back at the hospital, the mystery man who has been coming to visit Aunt May is about to visit her again.[Continuity 12] Unfortunately, he spots Peter Parker coming to the hospital and decides to make himself scarce before Peter spots him. Parker is coming to visit his Aunt, but his mind is racked with guilt. After striking Cussler and how he treated the car thieves, Peter wonders if he is starting to lose his grip and hopes of seeing his Aunt will put his mind on the right track. Upstairs, Mac Gargan is visiting Cussler in his room. He tells the old man that he owes him so much for showing him another way to live his life. Phillip is happy to hear it, and tells Mac to keep using his old hideaway, and offers to continue funding Mac's living expenses until he gets back on the straight and narrow.

A few doors down, Peter Parker visits his Aunt May, telling her unconscious body how much he cares about her. He considers her to be the mother he never had, especially after his Uncle Ben died.[Continuity 13] He admits that he is afraid of losing her because he doesn't know what he would do with himself. Suddenly, Peter's spider-sense goes off and he recognizes Mac Gargan as he walks past May's room. Parker tries to follow ater Gargan but runs into J. Jonah Jameson in the hallway. Jonah offers his condolences to Peter, having heard of his Aunt's stroke. He is proud of Peter, telling him he is a good nephew for putting his Aunt's health high on his list of priorities. Not wanting Gargan to get away, Peter thanks Jonah and tells him that he is running late for an appointment and rushes off. Peter manages to catch up with Mac on the street and follows him into a nearby alley. Seeing Gargan go down into the sewers, Peter changes into Spider-Man to follow after him. He then confronts Mac in the sewers, unaware that the slime creature is nearby, watching them. Mac tries to tell the wall-crawler that he isn't looking for a fight because he is turning his life around. However, Spider-Man isn't interested and demands that Gargan fight back.

When the wall-crawler starts pummeling Mac, his violent emotions draw the slime creature and it grabs hold of his arm. Realizing that it is consciously stopping him, Spider-Man realizes that he has lost control again and once more begins wondering what has become of him. With his rage subsiding, the creature lets go of his hand. Deciding that he has serious problems, the wall-crawler decides that he should try talking to someone, like Ashley Kafka. While across town, Joe Robertson enters J. Jonah Jameson's office to show him the front page story on the Daily Globe. In it, Phillip Cussler, Jr. tells the true story about Spider-Man striking his father, vindicating the hero. Jonah is unphased, telling Joe to deal with the follow-up, as he is going out to dinner with his wife. Back at the Forest Hill's Hospital, a man who appears to be Peter Parker is sitting next to Aunt May, telling her about how confused about who he is. He wishes that May was awake to give him some advice. That's when the nurse comes in and sees that Peter has come back. She then notices Spider-Man swinging by. This other Peter Parker is horrified to see the wall-crawler is here and tries to get out as quickly as he can. Upon the roof, Spider-Man figures it was a good idea to let Gargan go, thinking he was sincere about his wanting to reform, even though he can't believe he only got a slap on the wrist after their last encounter.[Continuity 14]

Suddenly, he hears someone coming up onto the roof, and wonders why it hasn't triggered his spider-sense. When Spider-Man turns to look and see who it is, he's shocked to see himself looking at Peter Parker.

This story is continued in Web of Spider-Man #117...

Appearing in "Shadow Rising"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Web of Spider-Man #117.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for "Shadow Rising"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Web of Spider-Man #117.

This story is continued from The Spectacular Spider-Man #216...

On the roof of a hospital in Forest Hills, Spider-Man comes face-to-face with... Peter Parker!? However, after a number of manipulations, the wall-crawler refuses to believe that this is anything but an impostor and attacks.[Continuity 15] However, despite Spider-Man's efforts to stop this apparent impostor, "Peter Parker" has comparable spider-powers to the wall-crawler, although he is a little rusty with these abilities. Ultimately, Spider-Man knocks his double into a nearby warehouse. The double tries to talk sense into the web-slinger, calling him by name. This angers Spider-Man who is angered by the mere mention of his civilian name.[Continuity 16]

Meanwhile, at Ravencroft Institute, Doctor Ashley Kafka and John Jameson welcome the arrival of the famous psychologist Judas Traveller and his associates.[Continuity 17] Judas introduces his students as Chakra, Boone, Mister Nacht, and Medea. They are then taken on the tour of the facility.[Continuity 18] Back in New York City, Spider-Man continues attacking his apparent impostor. He is convinced that this is some kind of artificial construct because this "Peter Parker" doesn't even set off his spider-sense. Suddenly, the wall-crawler pauses, wondering why this other Peter Parker is so interested in visiting his Aunt May in the hospital.[Continuity 19] That's when the double pulls off Spider-Man's mask, and explains that he is a clone of Peter Parker. Realizing that this is the pawn of Miles Warren, angers the real Peter Parker and he renews his attack.[Continuity 20] The clone tells Peter that his days as Miles Warren's pawn are long over. Attempting to knock Spider-Man out, the clone intends to be long gone by the time Peter wakes up.

By this point, Ashley Kafka's tour of Ravencroft is over and she leaves Judas Traveller and his students to the library to begin their work. Having seen this facility, Traveller is satisfied that this will suit his needs for his ultimate experiment. Walking through one of the walls, Judas ends up in the cell occupied by the Chameleon. He remarks over the spies catatonic state, the result of his recent defeat at the hands of Spider-Man.[Continuity 21] He next goes into Shriek's cell where she tries to attack Judas. However, Traveller easily subdues the woman and sees someone whose rage and pain has also been drowned out by Spider-Man. In yet another cell, Judas Traveller confronts Carnage who is interested in starting a fight. However, this stranger is able to separate Cletus Kasady from his symbiote with a mere hand jesture. Once more he is surprised to see that this is yet another criminally insane individual whose life was altered by Spider-Man.[Continuity 22]

With this, Judas Traveller telepathically commands his students to put their plan into action in the hopes of drawing Spider-Man to the institute. With that, Chakra sends out her astral form to contact the wall-crawler while Boone goes outside to prepare for his arrival. In the security control room, Medea knocks out John Jameson while Mr. Nacht takes control of the facility's security. Judas Traveller then enters Ashley Kafka's office. There he uses his power to knock out both Ashley and her assistant Edward Wheland. At that moment, Spider-Man wakes up to discover that his clone has disappeared. As he puts his mask back on he is confronted by the astral form of Chakra. She warns Spider-Man that Judas Traveller has taken over Ravencroft Institute. She tells him that if he chooses to do nothing, Traveller will kill everyone inside the facility. However, if Spider-Man manages to defeat Traveller, he will release all the prisoners upon society. As Spider-Man swings off for Ravencroft, the clone comes out of the shadows. He fears that Spider-Man is in no shape to face this danger alone and digs out an old Spider-Man mask and gloves out of his back-pack. While across the street in the hospital, Mary Jane is watching over Aunt May. She is joined by her own Aunt Anna who came up from Florida after hearing the news. When Anna asks where Mary Jane's husband Peter is, Mary Jane struggles to try and find an answer.[Continuity 23]

A short time later, Spider-Man arrives at Ravencroft Institute to find a strange barrier erected around it. Not only are the authorities on the scene, but Spider-Man is relieved to discover that Ashley Kafka and her staff were also released. With the wall-crawler on the scene, Judas appears before them. When the authorities open fire, Judas Traveller merely shrugs off their bullets. He then reissues his challenge to Spider-Man, reminding him that if he does nothing all the prisoners inside the facility will die. Unwilling to allow anyone to die, Spider-Man accepts Judas Traveller's offer and enters the Ravencroft Institute.

... This story continues in Amazing Spider-Man #394.

Notes

Continuity Notes

  1. J. Jonah Jameson bankrolled the transformation that turned Mac Gargan into the Scorpion, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #20. Later on in this story, these events are misattributed to Amazing Spider-Man #9.
  2. Peter Parker has been absent at the Bugle as he has been trying to abandon his civilian identity following the Pursuit story arc.
    Pursuit
    Spider-Man #45 The Spectacular Spider-Man #211 Web of Spider-Man #112 Amazing Spider-Man #389
  3. Aunt May suffered a stroke in Amazing Spider-Man #292. His home was recently attacked by Typhoid Mary in The Spectacular Spider-Man #213-214.
  4. The Scorpion states that his defeats at the hands of Spider-Man are "too numerous" to mention. At the time of this story, the Scorpion had battled Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #20, 29, 145-146, Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #21, Marvel Team-Up #106, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #18, Amazing Spider-Man #318-319, 342-343, 370, Spider-Man Unlimited #1, Shroud #1-2 and 4.
  5. Jonah has been concerned about the future of the Daily Bugle after learning that the general public considered the paper a joke. This happened in The Spectacular Spider-Man #205-207.
  6. The Scorpion was last active in Shroud #1-4.
  7. This mystery man is His mind is focused on May Parker and how she needs his help. He is revealed to be the clone of Peter Parker 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
  8. Nick Katzenberg was diagnosed with terminal cancer in Amazing Spider-Man #385.
  9. Aunt May suffered a stroke in Amazing Spider-Man #391. However, the woman who is in the hospital is actually an impostor, swapped out for the real Aunt May in secret sometime in Amazing Spider-Man #392. This deception is finally revealed in Spider-Man #97.
  10. Peter and Mary Jane have been having serious problems following the events of Amazing Spider-Man #388. 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.
  11. Marla threatened to divorce Jonah due to the fact that he had been neglecting their marriage, as seen in The Spectacular Spider-Man #209.
  12. This mystery man is later revealed to be the clone of Spider-Man during the Power and Responsibility event.
    Power and Responsibility
    Web of Spider-Man #117 Amazing Spider-Man #394 Spider-Man #51 The Spectacular Spider-Man #217
    He has been visiting Aunt May since he resurfaced in Web of Spider-Man #114.
  13. Ben Parker was murdered by a burglar in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  14. Spider-Man previously clashed with the Scorpion in Shroud #1-4.
  15. Spider-Man mentions other-dimensional doppelangers, replicoids, and the Chameleon as possible explanations for this other Peter Parker. These are all references to recent incidents that Spider-Man experienced. He first faced the Spider-Doppelganger, the other-dimensional doppelganger in Infinity War #1, the replicoids were impostors posing as his parents from Amazing Spider-Man #363-Amazing Spider-Man #388. Lastly, the Chameleon, who has impersonated either Spider-Man or Peter Parker on a number of occasions dating back to their first encounter back in Amazing Spider-Man #1.
  16. Following the stroke of his Aunt May in Amazing Spider-Man #391, Spider-Man had decided to abandon his civilian identity as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #392.
  17. Mention is made of Shriek's recent attempt to break out of the facility which occurred in Amazing Spider-Man #390-393, which is also when Ashley Kafka was injured.
  18. Ashley Kafka mentions the recent riot, this also instigated by Shriek, that happened in Web of Spider-Man Annual #10.
  19. Aunt May suffered a stroke in Amazing Spider-Man #391. However, the woman currently is an impostor, the real May Parker swapped out at some point during Amazing Spider-Man #392. However, this is not revealed until Spider-Man #97.
  20. The clone of Peter Parker was created in an attempt to destroy the real Spider-Man by Miles Warren -- aka the Jackal. This happened in Amazing Spider-Man #149. When the clone seemingly died during that battle, Spider-Man disposed of its body in a smokestack in Amazing Spider-Man #151. How the clone survived to be here now is later explained in Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal #1.
  21. Spider-Man discovered that the Chameleon was responsible for the creation of the replicants of his parents in Amazing Spider-Man #388. He later hunted down the Chameleon during the Pursuit storyline, which ended with the Chameleon being placed in a catatonic state.
    Pursuit
    Spider-Man #45 The Spectacular Spider-Man #211 Web of Spider-Man #112 Amazing Spider-Man #389
  22. At the time of this story, Spider-Man had recently recaptured Carnage after his escape from captivity in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #28.
  23. 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.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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