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Appearing in "A Matter of Faith"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Spider-Man Holiday Special #1995.

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Synopsis for "A Matter of Faith"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Spider-Man Holiday Special #1995.

Even though it is Christmas Eve, Spider-Man is out fighting crime, saving a group of holiday shoppers from a gang of thieves. At add insult to injury, the wall-crawler restrains the crooks in webs in the shape of a Christmas tree. When the shoppers wish Spider-Man a merry Christmas to him and his loved ones make the web-spinner realize that after five years away from New York, he doesn't have any loved ones.[Continuity 1] He thinks about how Aunt May is dead and any and how he can't relate to any of his friends he had when he was Peter Parker.[Continuity 2] His self-pity is quickly interrupted when he spots a woman leaping from the Brooklyn Bridge. Swinging into action, Spider-Man saves the woman's life but is surprised when she is furious. The woman is Jenny Sheridan, and apparently, she was actually attempting to commit suicide because she has no reason to live. She explains that she has no friends, family, or money. The final straw for her was the fact that she was evicted from her apartment and she has no will to live anymore. After spending five years thinking a clone, and having his own bout with suicide, the wall-crawler can relate to Jenny.[Continuity 3] The web-slinger decides to try and help the girl out and takes her web-slinging across the city.[Continuity 4]

As they cross the city, Jenny explains that she came to New York City to be a writer. However, success was hard to come by and she went broke, leading to her current predicament. The whole time she ignored all the people in her life and figures that nobody cares if she lives or dies. Spider-Man disagrees, telling her that he cares about her. That's when they spot people running in the streets, suspecting trouble, Spider-Man puts Jenny somewhere safe so he can investigate. Sure enough, the people are running from danger as the super-villain known as Scorcher is robbing Christmas shoppers at the Manhattan Mall. Pushing through the panicked crowd, Spider-Man gets a goot look at his foe and remembers the Scorcher as one of the first villains he fought.[Continuity 5] The web-slinger tires to web up the Scorcher's flame-throwing gauntlets, but the Scorcher is able to burn through them.[Continuity 6]

As the two battle it out, Spider-Man is on the defensive in order to keep innocent bystanders safe. During the chaos, Scorcher lights a sign on fire compromising its structural integrity. Seeing the sign about to fall, Jenny pushes a homeless man out of the way. Thinking she was buried under the rubble, Spider-Man becomes enraged and lashes into the Scorcher. Wrapping his fists in webbing, the web-head crushes Scorcher's gauntlets, disarming him. Spider-Man defeats his foe and orders the Scorcher to stay down. Much to his relief, Jenny and the homeless man she saved are safe. This whole incident has made Jenny realize that she can make a difference in the lives of others. Realizing that Spider-Man was right all along, Jenny decides to take the homeless man to a shelter and volunteer there for the night. Although she doesn't know where her life will go from here, Jenny has decided that she is going to try and make the best of it. Glad to hear it, Spider-Man swings away after wishing her a Merry Christmas.

Appearing in "The Ultimate Responsibility"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Sensational Spider-Man #6.

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  • Fire truck

Synopsis for "The Ultimate Responsibility"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Sensational Spider-Man #6.

Jessica Carradine is visiting her father's grave for guidance and advice as she is dealing with conflicting emotions. She thinks about how their lives were ultimately changed by Spider-Man. She thinks about how her father went to prison for the murder of Ben Parker. However, she believes what her father told him, that Ben Parker had a gun and that it went off as they were struggling with each other. This didn't stop Spider-Man from arresting him, that they believed his lies about how her father was the one with the gun.[Continuity 7] After that moment, she was passed from foster home to foster home. She waited for her father to get out of prison, but when he did, she thinks Spider-Man killed him.[Continuity 8] She vowed to get revenge against Spider-Man, that was until she discovered that Spider-Man is really the man she has been dating, Ben Reilly.[Continuity 9] As she took a photo of Ben taking off his mask, she could easily ruin Spider-Man's career by taking to the authorities or the press. However, she can't bring herself to do it because she realizes that she has fallen in love with Ben.

Elsewhere in the city, Ben Reilly watches as the Daily Grind is being rebuilt after it was destroyed in a fire.[Continuity 10] This reminds him of his early career as Spider-Man where everyone close to him had died.[Continuity 11] He wishes this didn't happen to Shirley, but is relieved that nobody died. His thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of Desiree Winthrop, who tells Ben that she is relieved that he was cleared as a suspect in the arson committed on the Daily Grind.[Continuity 12] Ben thanks her for the kind words and tells her that he needs to get out of the rain. That's when she decides to invite Reilly out for lunch, an offer that he gladly accepts. As they eat lunch together, Ben becomes very clear that Desiree is romantically interested in him. He points out that she is lonely since she spends all her time with vapid individuals who are more interested in her good looks and wealth than they do about her as a person. Ben then concludes that she is interested in him because he didn't immediately fall for her and she knows that he is above judging her on her appearance or net worth.

At that moment, Jessica Carradine walks the streets wondering what to do about the photo that reveals Spider-Man's identity. On the one hand, she owes it to her father to get revenge, but on the other hand Ben has insisted that what she believes is not the truth and he has always been faithful to him. That's when she sees Ben Reilly sitting in a restarant with Desiree Winthrop. She immediately assumes the worst and decides to send the photo of Ben unmasking to the Daily Bugle. She prepares an envelope then begins to look for a mailbox. However, inside, Ben finishes his observations of Desiree's life when he spots a building on fire nearby and makes up an excuse to cut lunch short so he can change into Spider-Man. Jessica notices Spider-Man swinging past and decides to go and see what the hero is doing. Spider-Man arrives at the burning building and is informed by fire fighters that there are still people trapped on the upper floors of the building. The wall-crawler selflessly rushes in and finds a group of people trapped inside. In order to get them out, Spider-Man uses his webbing to fashion a slide for them to get down to the ground. Having breathed in a great deal of smoke, the wall-crawler is given an oxygen tank. That's when one of the people he saved tells Spider-Man that there are two children unaccounted for prompting the hero to go back inside. After searching through the raging inferno, he finds the trapped children and manages to get them out just as the upper floors of the building collapses.

After the children are handed off to their parents, paramedics begin going over Spider-Man. Having seen all of this, Jessica rushes up to thew all-crawler in all the confusion. She hands the damning photo to him and tells him that he has been wrong about him the whole time. She then runs off. Spider-Man tries to go after her, but the crowd is too thick to get past. Later, she pays her respects to the graves of May and Ben Parker as a way of apologizing for what her father did to their lives.[Continuity 13] Having reconciled this part of her life, Jessica Carradine walks away with a smile, because despite the horrible crime her father committed, something good did come of it: It helped create a hero like Spider-Man.

Notes

Continuity Notes

  1. Ben Reilly was believed to be dead after the events of Amazing Spider-Man #149. Having survived, he went on the road that took him away from New York, as detailed in the Parker Legacy story arc.
    The Parker Legacy
    Amazing Spider-Man #400 Spider-Man #57 The Spectacular Spider-Man #223
    He eventually returned to New York back in The Spectacular Spider-Man #215.
  2. Aunt May is believed to have died in Amazing Spider-Man #400. However, this woman was an impostor as revealed in Spider-Man #97.
  3. Ben Reilly attempted to commit suicide five years ago as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #400. His statement about "thinking he was a clone" is due to the fact that he was told he was the real Peter Parker in The Spectacular Spider-Man #226. However, this is a deception created by the Green Goblin, as revealed in Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal #1.
  4. The wall-crawler mentions having a "hang up about women on bridges". He is referring to the Gwen Stacy who was murdered by the Green Goblin atop the Brooklyn Bridge in Amazing Spider-Man #121.
  5. The original Spider-Man first fought Scorcher in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #1. Ben Reilly has these memories thanks to memory implants given to him by the Jackal when he was created, as seen in the Double story arc.
    The Double
    Web of Spider-Man #117 Amazing Spider-Man #394 Spider-Man #51 The Spectacular Spider-Man #217
  6. The Scorcher boasts that he has gotten a lot better since the last time they fought. Chronologically speaking, the Scorcher last fought Spider-Man in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #14. References to that battle are omitted in this story because Untold Tales of Spider-Man #14 was published after this story.
  7. This, of course, is a distortion of the truth. Ben Parker never had a gun, and the Burglar killed him in cold blood, as seen in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  8. As she explained in Sensational Spider-Man #3, she believes that Spider-Man strangled her father to death. The truth is, he died of a heart attack upon learning that Peter Parker was Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #200.
  9. Jessica discovered Ben Reilly's secret identity in Sensational Spider-Man #4.
  10. The Daily Grind was burned down by an arsonist in Amazing Spider-Man #412.
  11. The people who died due to their relations to Spider-Man were Captain George Stacy (Amazing Spider-Man #90) and his daughter Gwen (Amazing Spider-Man #121). Ben is talking as though he is the real Peter Parker. This is because he was led into believing this in The Spectacular Spider-Man #226. However, he is a clone of Spider-Man as clarified in Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal #1. the reason Ben remembers this and has all the same emotional attachments is that he shares all of the real Peter Parker's memories up to Amazing Spider-Man #149.
  12. Ben captured the real arsonist as Spider-Man in Spider-Man #69.
  13. At the time of this story, everyone believes that Aunt May is dead. A woman posing as May Parker died in Amazing Spider-Man #400. She is revealed as an impostor in Spider-Man #97.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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