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Appearing in "SHOC"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Spider-Man #76.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Crown (First appearance)

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:




Synopsis for "SHOC"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Spider-Man #76.

Seven Years Ago[Continuity 1]

Professor William Fields is finishing up his work at Empire State University, assuring his wife and son that he will be done in a minute and they can then start their Christmas vacation. That's when some group of men in dark outfits intrudes upon the family. Their leader demands that Professor Fields hands over his work. Instead, the Professor ushers his wife Marjory and son Todd out of the lab. The armed men respond by opening fire upon the Fields family. Getting to cover, William gives his wife his lab notes and tells her to get them to his associate Sydney Lanning. the Professor then helps them out of a fire escape. On their way out, William tells Todd to look after his mother. As the pair rush down the fire escape, the building suddenly explodes, sending both landings onto the snow on the ground below. Recovering from the fall, Todd looks up at the burning building and sees a man standing in the flames. The being in the flames tells the boy that his father is gone and to remember this moment. His final words to Todd Fields is a warning that he will be back to take what is rightfully his.

Now

Peter Parker and his wife Mary Jane are running late for the start of their day.[Continuity 2] Rushing to get dressed, the stop in the kitchen long enough to grab some breakfast-to-go from Mary Jane's Aunt Anna. On their way out the door, Peter tells Mary Jane about how busy his day is. He is also motivated to try and get some photos to sell to the Daily Bugle as it will help them pay for their education bills. However, in order for Peter to meet his schedule, he quickly changes into Spider-Man as web-slinging will get him around the city faster than relying on public transit. Although this is to his benefit, Spider-Man wants to swing across the city to make sure he isn't getting rusty, especially after his recent and humiliating defeat at the hands of the Trapster.[Continuity 3] As arrives at the Daily Bugle and begins changing into his civilian identity, Peter thinks about how he needs to get back into the game since taking a break from web-slinging, especially with most of New York City's defenders now missing and presumed dead.[Continuity 4]

In the lobby, Peter bumps into Flash Thompson and they ride the elevator together up to the Bugle offices. Flash brings up that Gwen Stacy's uncle, Arthur, has returned to New York City. When Flash asks if Peter plans on visiting Stacy, Peter avoids answering the question. At the top of the elevator, they are greeted by Betty Brant. Betty is not happy to see Flash and tells him that she has work to do with Peter and tells Flash to show himself out. As they walks across the office, Peter spots J. Jonah Jameson berating some interns and comments about how he is as cheerful as ever. At Betty's cubical, Peter asks her what is going on between her and Flash. However, Betty refuses to talk about it and quickly changes the subject.[Continuity 5] Betty gets down to business and tells him that she is investigating an unsolved crime, the death of Empire State University's Professor Fields, and the mysterious disappearance of his wife and son. She has learned that his colleague Sydney Lanning is picking up the research where Fields left off. Since Peter has been trying is trying to apply to be on Lanning's research project, she was hoping he could give her some info. However, Peter declines her outright, not comfortable with the idea. Noticing the time, Peter has to go because he has an appointment elsewhere.

He soon arrives at Empire State University late and misses his chance to meet with Doctor Lanning. It is here that he meets Neil Aiken, the student who wants to hire Peter as a tutor. As it turns out, Lanning had to cancel their meeting after a call from one of the research buildings and had to abruptly cancel their appointment, much to Peter's relief. Elsewhere on campus, Mary Jane is at the administrative desk where she is having problems getting her school transcripts. When someone overhears Mary Jane's name they are surprised to see her. When Mary Jane turns to face this other person, who this person surprises Mary Jane as well. Out on the campus grounds, Peter learns that Neil is hiring Peter as a tutor in the hopes it will give him the edge to get onto Doctor Lanning's project. That's when there is an explosion of energy coming out of the research building. Peter rushes to the building, telling Neil to get help but the youth refuses to leave before he sees what's going on. Inside the lab, they discover a group of black-clad men who have Doctor Lanning and his research team hostage. The leader, a man named Crown, has Lanning at gunpoint and demands that the scientist turn over Professor Field's research information.

However, the Doctor warns that they don't know what will happen when they shut down his experimental generator, or what they energy it taps will do. However, Crown knows exactly what he is dealing with and threatens to kill Lanning if he doesn't comply right away. In order to demonstrate how serious he is, Crown orders his men to kill the two students who just entered the room. Both Peter and Neil flee as they are fired upon by the armed men. Needing to deal with Neil so he can change into Spider-Man, Peter shoves the boy into a janitor's closet and bars the door. He then clothesline's the goon that has been chasing them. Back in the lab, Crown makes his demands once again, threatening to kill the lab assistants if he refuses. Fearing for his life, one of the scientists tries to make a run for it and is incinerated for his troubles. That's when they are interrupted by Spider-Man who knocks out Crown's minions. When Crown tries to shoot the wall-crawler, he easily dodges his blasts.[Continuity 6] Still, despite his efforts, Spider-Man soon finds him in Crown's crosshairs. However, before the villain can pull the trigger he is ambushed by an armor wearing man called SHOC.

This comes as a surprise as the SHOC he knew was dead, but after hearing this other individual speak in youthful slang, he realizes that this is a successor to his old foe. Because of the sudden arrival of SHOCK, Spider-Man is able to attack Crown but is caught off guard when the villain displays the ability to alter the form of his body. In the ensuing battle, SHOC orders the scientist to shut down the generator before it explodes and kills everyone on campus. Crown soon grabs both heroes in his massive hands, telling them that once he masters Professor Field's secrets he will become a god. However, Spider-Man manages to fire webbing in their foe's face. As Crown is trying to pull out the webbing SHOC realizes that time is running out. In order to try and save the university, he uses his armor to interface with the generator in the hopes of stabilizing it. He then convinces Spider-Man to toss Crown's men into the rift created by the machine as it will send them back to where they came from. When Spider-Man asks where that is, SHOC assures him that it is not a place he would ever want to visit. As the wall-crawler tosses Crown's minions into the rift, Crown manages to get the webbing off his face. Before he can resume his attack on SHOC, Crown is kicked into the rift by Spider-Man. The web-spinner then uses a web-line to pull SHOC to safety before he is pulled into the rift himself. Thanks to all the energy SHOC has absorbed, when the generator explodes it does minimal damage and there is no loss of lives. After thanking Spider-Man for his help, SHOC refuses to explain what this all was and departs.

Changing out of his costume, Peter frees Neil who is furious at Peter for locking him in the closet and tells him to never do something like that again. Outside, Peter is joined by Mary Jane who wants to introduce him to Jill Stacy, Gwen Stacy's cousin.

Appearing in "First Noel"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Man #24.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:




Synopsis for "First Noel"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Man #24.



Appearing in "The Vampire's Kiss"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Spider-Man #77.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for "The Vampire's Kiss"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Spider-Man #77.

This story continues from X-Man #24...

The campus at Empire State University is mostly deserted due to the holiday season, however, the place is empty except for a man named Otto Wepner.[Continuity 7] Wepner is furious that his wife has been on his case for drinking before his shift working at the university. Between maintaining the university's boiler and his stressful family life he is about ready to snap. He is contemplating coming to the school one day with a loaded gun when he is suddenly ambushed by Morbius the Living Vampire. He tries to flee from the mysterious figure, but Morbius swoops down and tackles Otto to the ground. Morbius apologizes for what he must do, but he is hungry and promises that Wepner will feel no pain before biting into his neck.

The next morning, Spider-Man watches as the EMTs carry Otto's body away and the police secure the crime scene. He knows that this is the work of Michael Morbius and is determined to stop him. He recalls how during his last encounter with the vampire his friend the X-Man offered to help if the wall-crawler telepathically summons him, and wonders if he should get Nate's help on this one.[Continuity 8] Spotting his wife Mary Jane walking across campus, Spider-Man remembers that he was supposed to meet her a half hour earlier and help her get her university transcripts.[Continuity 9] He is unimpressed to see that Mary Jane is hanging out with Jill Stacy as he is upset that Mary Jane is interested in digging up the past that he has no interest in revisiting. Changing into his civilian clothing, Peter Parker thinks about how the Stacy family had nothing but bad luck due to their involvement with him and he wants to avoid getting involved with them any further.[Continuity 10] But, Peter doesn't want to get into a fight with Mary Jane especially after everything they have been through.[Continuity 11] A few minutes later, Peter catches up with Mary Jane and Jill Stacy. Peter and Mary Jane speak in code about his unsuccessful search for Morbius and he makes an effort to avoid talking to Jill. Still, Jill wants to get together with Peter sometime soon so they can talk about her cousin Gwen. Peter looks for a way to get out of this uncomfortable conversation when Arthur Stacy, Jill's dad, shows up. He explains that his private security firm has been hired to help investigate the string of murders that have been happening on campus. Arthur is happy to see the Parkers and insists that they join him for supper that evening. Mary Jane accepts the offer, which upsets Peter. As they walk away, she notices that Peter is upset and asks him what's wrong.

While in a storage attic somewhere on campus, Morbius tries to sleep the day away. Unfortunately, his mind is haunted by his past. He recalls how he was a brilliant scientist infected with a rare blood disease. He remembers how he, his love Martine, and his assistant Nikos went out to see to work on a cure in private. This led to the experiment that turned him into Morbius the Living Vampire, forcing him to feed off the blood of others, a hunger that has put him at odds with Spider-Man for years.[Continuity 12] As the sun begins to set, Morbius prays that someday Spider-Man will find a way to stop him. Later that evening, Peter Parker and Mary Jane are helping her Aunt Anna into a cab after a shopping trip. After Anna is gone, Mary Jane decides enough-is-enough and asks Peter what's wrong. He tells her that he is not happy that she keeps trying to push Gwen's family on him. Mary Jane thinks it will help Peter to talk to someone about Gwen. However, Peter doesn't want anything to do with them. This upsets Mary Jane who leaves for the restaurant, telling Peter that he can meet her at the restaurant if he wants. As soon as Mary Jane is gone, Peter is approached by Betty Brant. Peter tells her that he is not comfortable helping the Bugle investigate the ESU science department since he is trying to get on a research team there. Betty is fine with this, but she needs someone to talk to and from the look on Peter's face, so does he.

Peter and Betty go to a nearby coffee shop, Betty talks about how hectic her life is now since she made the transition from J. Jonah Jameson's secretary to becoming a full-time reporter.[Continuity 13] Things have been busy, particularly after the assassination of Graydon Creed, a presidential candidate.[Continuity 14] Realizing that Betty has something else on her mind, Peter asks her to speak up. Betty is about to tell him about what's going on between her and Flash Thompson when they are interrupted by an altercation going on in the diner.[Continuity 15] The men responsible are all members of the anti-mutant group known as the Friends of Humanity. An argument over who assassinated Graydon Creed and who is responsible for the murders on campus have gotten heated. Before things can get violent, Peter confronts the FOH members. When the diner owner threatens to call the police, the Humanity members leave warning Peter that they will see them around campus.[Continuity 16] Peter comments how crazy it is that the Friends of Humanity have formed a chapter on the ESU campus and fears that things might escalate. However, Betty is more interested in getting back to talking about Flash. As she is trying to tell him about her mixed feelings toward Flash, Peter spots Morbius flying by and makes a quick excuse to leave.[Continuity 17] Abruptly walking out on their conversation annoys Betty.

Outside of the diner, Peter is surrounded by members of the Friends of Humanity. When they attempt to beat him up for standing up to them, Peter is easily able to fight off the three men. Needing to catch up with Morbius, Peter then flees the trio so he can slip away and change into Spider-Man. Escaping the three racists, Peter thinks about how easily he could have easily trounced them. However, he needs to deal with Morbius and then try to make it to his dinner with the Stacys before his wife gets angrier with him. The wall-crawler quickly tracks down Morbius as he is about to attack Doctor Andrea Janson. Morbius orders Spider-Man to stand-down, but the wall-crawler attacks. As they fight, Morbius explains that his previous feeding upon Nate Grey has made his hunger stronger than ever before, but also made his hunger more fierce than ever before. As Spider-Man tries to stop him, Morbius reveals that he didn't track down Doctor Janson to feast upon her. However, the battle has made his hunger grow and in order to prevent himself from killing her, Morbius bites Spider-Man and begins feeding on his blood. Although Spider-Man manages to pull away, Morbius has replenished enough of his strength to continue his hunt for Janson, who fled in the ensuing battle. Disorientated from the vampire's bite, Spider-Man is too weak to stop Morbius from flying away.

Later, at Cafe Luna, Mary Jane is having dinner with Arthur and Jill Stacy. She is talking about how much she misses Gwen, and how sometimes she can't believe that she is dead. That's when Arthur spots Peter entering the restaurant. Peter is still dizzy and disorientated from the bite he received from Morbius, but tells Mary Jane it is nothing when she notices. He then asks Arthur Stacy what he has against Spider-Man. Arthur explains that he doesn't against the masked hero, per se, but wishes to track him down and learn how the wall-crawler was involved in the death of his brother George and his daughter Gwen. That's when Peter suddenly passes out on the table.

Notes

  • The cover reprints the cover of X-Man #24.

Continuity Notes

  1. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, the events of this flashback take place sometime during "Year Two" of the modern age.
  2. 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.
  3. Spider-Man last fought the Trapster in Sensational Spider-Man #12.
  4. Peter had retired as Spider-Man in The Spectacular Spider-Man #229, but was forced to return to the mantle of Spider-Man when his successor, Ben Reilly, was murdered by the Green Goblin in Spider-Man #75. At the time of this story, everyone believes the Avengers and the Fantastic Four perished battling Onslaught in Onslaught: Marvel Universe #1. In reality, they survived and have been living in a pocket universe as seen in the Heroes Reborn event. They will ultimately return in Heroes Reborn: The Return #1-4.
  5. Betty and Flash had a very troubled relationship in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #109 until The Spectacular Spider-Man #148. Betty has been chilly with Flash when he recently tried to rekindle their romance last issue.
  6. Spider-Man makes a quip about a twelve step program for costumed villains and that he heard about it on an episode of Sally Jesse Raphael talk show. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Particularly since the talk show has been off the air since 2002.
  7. This story is depicted as taking place the day after Christmas. It's of note to point out that the last time Christmas was depicted was in Spider-Man Holiday Special #1995 when Ben Reilly was Spider-Man. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, both of these publications fall under the four-year span of "Year 9" of the Modern Age. As such, the fact that Christmas is celebrated twice during the same year doesn't make any sense. To explain this contradiction is a matter of interpretation. However, one could assume that the holiday being celebrated here is a topical reference as opposed to a literal one.
  8. Spider-Man and the X-Man battled Morbius in X-Man #24.
  9. 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.
  10. Spider-Man blames himself for the deaths of Captain George Stacy and his daughter Gwen who died in Amazing Spider-Man #90 and 121 respectively.
  11. Peter and Mary Jane are still reeling from the revelation that Norman Osborn is still alive and the recent deaths of Ben Reilly and their unborn daughter. All these events happened during the Revelations story arc.
    Revelations
    The Spectacular Spider-Man #240 Sensational Spider-Man #11 Amazing Spider-Man #418 Spider-Man #75 Spider-Man: Revelations #1 Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal #1
  12. The origin of Morbius the Living Vampire was first detailed in Amazing Spider-Man #101. In this flashback, Spider-Man is depicted as having six arms. This was the result of a failed attempt by Spider-Man to eliminate his powers in the previous issue. Spider-Man ultimately cured himself of this condition in Amazing Spider-Man #102.
  13. Betty had worked as Jonah's secretary on-and-off since Amazing Spider-Man #4. She later became a reporter in Web of Spider-Man #91.
  14. Graydon Creed had been running for president since Uncanny X-Men #337. At the time of this story, he had just recently been assassinated in X-Factor #130. The identity of his killer will not be revealed until X-Men Forever #2.
  15. Betty mentions how she and Peter used to be in a relationship. This romance lasted from Amazing Spider-Man #7 until Amazing Spider-Man #18. Betty and Flash had a relationship from Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #109 to The Spectacular Spider-Man #148. Recently, Flash has been trying to rekindle their romance since Spider-Man #75.
  16. Mention is made as to how Graydon Creed formed the Friends of Humanity. This racist group first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #291.
  17. Betty talks about the death of her brother Bennett. Bennett Brant was seemingly killed in Amazing Spider-Man #11.

See Also

Footnotes

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



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