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Appearing in "The Love of a Woman"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Spider-Man #78.

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Synopsis for "The Love of a Woman"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Spider-Man #78.

Riding the subway home, Peter Parker rests his head on his wife, Mary Jane's lap.[Continuity 1] As her husband sleeps, Mary Jane thinks about how they have been through more than people twice their age due to the fact that Peter is secretly Spider-Man. She thinks how things weren't always this way, when they were carefree kids in love. How much simpler things were when it was just her, Peter, Flash Thompson, Harry Osborn, and Gwen Stacy. Before things got complicated with the constant threat of alien symbiotes, mechanically enhanced criminals, and goblins. Before the past came back to haunt them.[Error 1] Her thoughts are interrupted when three young men approach her and her husband, intent on starting something. However, when they see the look on Mary Jane's face, they decide she isn't going to be an easy mark and go to another subway car. That's when Peter reveals that he was awake as soon as there was danger, thanks to his spider-sense, and admits he was impressed with how Mary Jane handled the situation. Relieved that he was awake all along. When asked if he is still angry with her for agreeing to go to dinner with the Stacy's, Peter admits that he can't be mad after she covered for him when he passed out at the table and the couple make up.[Continuity 2]

As Peter and Mary Jane head back to Queens for the night, Morbius the Living Vampire continues to stalk the grounds of Empire State University.[Continuity 3] Catching his latest victim and feeding, Morbius continues to be concerned about his growing need to feed and wants this nightmare to end, increasing his need to find Doctor Andrea Janson.[Continuity 4] In Queens, Peter tosses and turns in his sleep, as he has a nightmare and deals with the side effects of being bitten by Morbius earlier that evening. Unable to sleep, Mary Jane listens to her husband toss and turn and worries because Peter refuses to go see a doctor, afraid that doing so might compromise his secret identity. That's when Peter wakes up screaming. Unable to rest while Morbius is still on the loose, Peter gets out of bed and changes into Spider-Man, despite the concerns expressed by Mary Jane. Peter insists that he can't see a doctor until Morbius has been captured and leaves. This time, Mary Jane refuses to sit around and wait and worry about her husband coming home safe so Mary Jane begins going through her dresser.

While at the New York University Medical Center, Betty Brant is getting stitches after getting injured while on an investigation. After she is discharged by her doctor, she discovers that Flash Thompson is waiting for her in the emergency room. He had heard she was injured and came to offer her a ride home. Betty tells Thompson that she already has a ride with a friend. Not wanting to make this awkward, Flash decides to leave, telling her to give him a call sometime. Back at Empire State University, Doctor Andrea Janson is working in the molecular biology lab. There she is thinking about her previous encounter with Morbius earlier that evening. She thinks about the accident that turned Michael into a living vampire and thinks how her expertise as a hematologist would be useful in trying to find a cure. However, she thinks about the danger she was in and was relieved that Spider-Man interfered. Despite what she could do for Morbius, she is deeply afraid and hopes to never see him again. She is then startled when Morbius enters her lab, having come for her help and begs her not to scream. By this time, Spider-Man has arrived at Empire State University when a dizzy spell hits throwing his aim off. With his balance off, the wall-crawler braces himself as he falls onto a nearby rooftop and just barely manages to stop himself from sliding off the icy surface and fall to the ground below. Arriving nearby in a cab is Mary Jane who sees Spider-Man struggling and thinks that it is ridiculous that her husband is risking his life when he is in no condition to do so. However, before Mary Jane can go to her husband, someone carrying a bat tells demands to know where she is going.

Back in the lab, Michael Morbius explains his increasing hunger and begs Doctor Jansen for his help. Unfortunately, they are interrupted by Spider-Man who intends to stop Morbius and end his killing spree. Outside, the men with bats turn out to be members of the racist group known as the Friends of Humanity. With a killer on the loose, the FOH have decided to patrol the campus and protect students, believing that a mutant is responsible for the murders.[Continuity 5] Mary Jane declines their offer of help, but they begin to insist. That's when Spider-Man and Morbius come crashing out of a nearby window. As the two battle it out, Morbius insists that he wants to be cured so he can stop his bloodlust. However, Spider-Man insists that Morbius likes killing, pointing out that if he needed to live off blood there are ways of getting it without resorting to murder. Morbius explains that he cannot control his compulsion and beat the sickly wall-crawler into submission. However, before Moribus can feed he is attacked by the members of the Friends of Humanity, who mistake him for a mutant. Their baseball bats break harmlessly against the vampire's body. As Morbius turns to deal with the bigots, Mary Jane tries to convince them to run. Unfortunately, Morbius manages to grab one of the Humanity members and begins feeding on him.

By this point, Spider-Man recovers and forces Morbius to stop feeding on the racist. Becoming frenzied from his hunger, Morbius tells the wall-crawler that he has given him no choice but to feast on the hero. However, Spider-Man is so weak he can barely stand on his own two feet. That's when Mary Jane gets between Spider-Man and Morbius. She then tries to convince the vampire to stop and let someone help him. She is joined by Doctor Jensen who has come with an IV bag full of blood. She offers to use her knowledge to help try and cure him, but will only do so if he resists his urge to kill. After a tense moment of silence, Morbius takes the IV of blood and goes with Andrea without further incident. Although he is still weak, Spider-Man insists on going after Morbius, but Mary Jane points out that the member of the Friends of Humanity is in need of medical attention. Realizing that he has no choice, the wall-crawler carries the young man to the emergency room. Joined by Mary Jane, she is proud to see that no matter what happens, her husband Peter always does the right thing, no matter the price.

The next edition of the Daily Bugle has a front page story about the incident. The headline screams "SPIDER-MAN AND VAMPIRE ATTACK E.S.U. STUDENT IS THERE A MUTANT CONNECTION?"

Appearing in "And Death Shall Fly Like a Dragon!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Spider-Man #421.

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Synopsis for "And Death Shall Fly Like a Dragon!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Spider-Man #421.

Peter Parker is sent to the Southstreet Seaport to take photos of the street fair that is happening there. Not long after his arrival, he bumps into his co-worker Angela Yin. She assures Peter that the Bugle hasn't sent two photographers and that she had come to the street fair to meet up with her cousin, who has come to visit from Korea. That's when Angela spots her cousin, Meiko, approaching her. She is carrying what looks to be a sword, and Angela figures that it is a gift to her from one of their relatives. Suddenly, a group of ninja warriors ambushes Meiko, led by a man named Karsano. As she wonders why these men are attacking her cousin, Angela notices that Peter Parker has vanished from sight.

Grabbing a massive wooden hammer on display, Spider-Man joins the fight and is surprised to see that Meiko is able to hold her own. As they fight the ninjas, Maiko tells the wall-crawler to protect the innocent people caught in the middle of the battle, confident that she can handle her attackers on her own. As the battle continues, none are aware of an elderly woman watching the fight with great interest. When Spider-Man gets the bystanders to safety the street begins to fill with black smoke. The web-head tries to stop Mieko from leaping into the smoke, but when he follows her through she, and the ninjas, have mysteriously vanished. A short time later, at her apartment, Angela Yin demands answers from Meiko, as she understands enough Korean to understand that Karsano knows who her cousin is. Meiko explains that Karsano was once her fiancee. When they were young and in love, the pair were devoted to the martial arts. However, Karsano was too impatient with his progress and decided to join the True Believers, an offshoot of the Hand ninjas. Their leader, Madam Qwa, offered him the power of the Dragonfly. However, in order to achieve this power, he was ordered to forsake his love for Meiko and kill her. There were conditions though, he could only make three attempts on her life and he has already tried and failed twice. That's when Meiko thinks she sees someone in the window and rushed to it with sword drawn. When she looks out the window she sees nobody there, narrowly missing Spider-Man who had been listening in by the window.

Spider-Man has heard about the Hand from his allies Daredevil and Wolverine and thinks about enlisting their aid when he suddenly spots a group of True Believers standing on the rooftop across the street. Although he has to meet with his wife, Mary Jane, at Empire State University for lunch, the wall-crawler lunges into battle.[Continuity 6] The sound of battle draws out Meiko, who orders Spider-Man to butt out of her business. While Spider-Man deals with the other ninjas, Meiko battles Karsano as Madam Qwa watches from across the street. Although Karsano manages to knock Meiko to the ground, his sword is broken by Spider-Man. After being humiliated by the wall-crawler, Karsano attempts to use smoke to cover his exit, but Spider-Man webs up the smoke bomb. Considering himself a failure, Karsano deems himself unworthy of the Dragonfly title and triggers a chemical reaction in his body that causes his body to dissipate into nothing, committing ritualistic suicide. This disgusts Spider-Man, but Meiko believes that Karsano's death had ended his torment. When the wall-crawler asks her if this is over, Meiko believes that her quest has only begun.

Later, at Madam Qwa's lair, Meiko comes to apologize to the elderly woman for Spider-Man's interference. As it turns out, Meiko had already earned the title of Dragonfly. Madam Qwa assures Meiko that Spider-Man's inteference was not her fault and promises her that she will get a chance at revenge. Madam Qwa explains that they have been hired by an employer who has a grudge to settle against the wall-crawler and asks her to be patient.

Appearing in "Exposed Wiring"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Spider-Man #422.

Featured Characters:

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Synopsis for "Exposed Wiring"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Spider-Man #422.

Max Dillon is being strapped into an electric chair. As this is being done, he thinks how this was stunt they used to do during his time with the Steuben Carnival.[Continuity 7] Now, however, he is wracked with fear over what will happen next. Fearing that this might mean his death, Dillon's life flashes before his eyes. He thinks about his childhood in Endicott, New York. He and his mother lived under the abusive rule of Max's father, an accountant more focused on his career than his family. Ultimately, Jonathan Dillon grew tired of his wife and child and how they were dragging him down and walked out. His mother was left to raise Max alone and she soon became domineering and overprotective. As he sits in the electric chair, Max Dillon can forgive his mother for how she raised him, knowing full well that there are worse crimes to be accused of.

Meanwhile, at the Staten Island estate of Don Fortunato, Detective Garon Lewis informs the Don about the True Believers, an army of ninjas that have been attacking the Rose's business interests. Between this, and the Black Tarantula trying to get into the New York City underworld, the detective has decided to come to the mobster to find out what he knows. However, the Don insists that he is only a humble businessman and Lewis eventually gets fed up and leaves. Fortunato delines an offer for his bodyguard to kill the officer, as killing innocent people, policemen, and reporters only bring more unwanted attention. Instead, he tells his bodyguard to put in a call to the Rose. At that moment, Max Dillon continues to have his life flash before his eyes. He remembers during his final years in high school when he wanted to go to college and learn to be an electrical engineer. When he told his mother of his career aspirations, she insists that Max wasn't smart enough for the job and that it was too dangerous. Dumping his course catalogs out of the window of their apartment window, Antia Dillon even went so far as to suggests that Max become an accountant just like his father. He didn't blame his mother for wanting to keep him home, he was all she had.

While at Empire State University, Peter Parker struggles to keep notes during Professor Howard's class. The main reason is that he has been stricken with migraines ever since he was bitten by Morbius the Living Vampire.[Continuity 8] Professor Howard has seen that Peter has been struggling and pulls him aside. He explains that he got Peter a tutor to help him with his courses. Much to Peter's discomfort, this tutor turns out to be Paul Stacy. Peter has been uncomfortable with interacting with the Stacy family since the death of Gwen, years earlier. He also feels he needs to be careful around Paul as his father appears to be determined to have Spider-Man arrested for Gwen's death.[Continuity 9] As Paul leaves Peter, he runs into another student and yells at him for getting in his way. When Peter helps the other student up, he recognizes him as Phil Urich. Phil explains that he was recently let go from his job as an intern at the Daily Bugle and so started taking journalism courses at Empire State University.[Continuity 10] While elsewhere, Meiko Yin, the True Believer's operative known as Dragonfly, finishes a training session. She then asks her master, Madame Qwa, when they will go after their intended target. Qwa tells Meiko that those in the service of the Black Tarantula must be patient to do his bidding.

Electro's life continues to flash before his eyes. He thinks about how, after all the years of being by his mother's side, it was Anita Dillon who left him when she died on Max's twenty-fifth birthday. Finally free, Max was able to begin his own life and fell in love with Norma Lynn and the couple soon got married. The couple both worked for the electric company, and while Norma was a secretary for upper management, Max drifted from job to job. Eventually, he took the job of a lineman. This didn't sit well with Norma, who thought that Max should have more ambition. Eventually, Norma got fed up with Max's directionless life and left him. All Max had left was his job until the fateful day that one of his co-workers was endangered on the job. Max only agreed to save the troubled lineman if he was paid a substantial bonus. This is where things totally changed for Max Dillon. A freak lightning strike combined with the electricity in the power lines charged Max's body, giving him the powers he later used as the criminal known as Electro.[Continuity 11] Recalling all of this now, Dillon thinks about how that one moment ultimately led him being strapped into this electric chair. By this time, the Rose has arrived at Don Fortunato's mansion to discuss the rising tensions between his mob and the Black Tarantula. The Don makes it very clear that he does not want another gang war on his hands and offers the Rose his assistance.[Continuity 12] The Rose assures Fortunato that he has the situation under control and that he will soon have the power to deal with the Black Tarantula. The Don warns the Rose not to fail, reminding the masked man that he is one of the few people who know who he really is.[Continuity 13]

At Empire State University, Mary Jane has a session with her psychologist, Doctor Reandeau. The doctor asks Mary Jane to talk about her feelings about losing her baby.[Continuity 14] This is a painful subject, and when Mary Jane is asked if she thinks if she is worthy of the future, she explains that she doesn't know. Mary Jane then admits to Doctor Reandeau that she thinks she lost her baby because she wasn't good enough to be a mother. At that very moment, somewhere on the Aegean Sea, Alison Mongrain calls her employer Norman Osborn. She leaves a message to tell him that their project is going according to plan. However, she is concerned that she did not receive her regular payment and tells him to call her as soon as possible to straighten this out. After hanging out, Mongrain talks to her "precious", that is contained in a baby's crib. She tells her "precious" that if Norman Osborn doesn't get back to her soon, she will be forced to make some hard decisions as she doesn't want to lose her "precious".[Continuity 15] Electro continues thinking about his life, how he learned how to control his powers and became Electro and his first battle with Spider-Man. He then thinks about his most humiliating defeat to date. It was when he absorbed all the electricity in Manhattan on the "Top of New York" building and lost control forcing him to beg Spider-Man to save his life.[Continuity 16] He thinks about his time in prison shortly after that and how he felt like a complete loser and how he never wants to feel that way ever again.[Continuity 17] While at the Daily Bugle, Peter Parker pays a visit to Joe Robertson to see if there are any freelance jobs available. After Joe gets off the phone with his wife, who is not happy with Joe for working late at the paper all the time, Joe regretfully informs Peter that there is no work for him. He explains that the Daily Bugle is struggling to keep afloat and he has been forced to use staff photographers whenever possible.[Continuity 18] As he walks out of the office, Peter is exhausted at the prospect of having to go out as Spider-Man in order to get photos.

Finally, Electro has finished reflecting on his life and Delilah -- her hand on the switch that will activate the electric chair -- asks Dillon if he is ready to proceed. He tells her to throw the lever, as his powers are all he has left. As she pulls the switch and his body begins to fill with millions of volts of electricity, Max suddenly gets second thoughts and as he screams in agony, he thinks to himself that he is going to die. While in Argentina, the Black Tarantula is connected to Madame Qwa and gives her True Believers a mission. He has decided to flex his might by ordering the assassination of a high-ranking member of the press. He tells Qwa to eliminate Joe Robertson, not only to send a message to everyone in New York, but a police investigation will put blame on the Rose.[Continuity 19] Back in New York City, the Rose returns to his headquarters and learns from Delilah that Max Dillon survived. Entering the next room, they find Dillon back in his Electro costume. With his powers boosted to even greater levels than ever before, he pity's anyone who crosses his path, especailly Spider-Man.

Notes

  • The cover reprints the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #422.

Continuity Notes

  1. 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.
  2. Peter has been uncomfortable about the return of Arthur and Jill Stacy to New York. This is because, as Spider-Man, Peter blames himself for the death of George Stacy (Arthur's brother) and his daughter Gwen. The pair died in Amazing Spider-Man #90 and 121 respectively.
  3. The narration recounts the origins of Morbius the Living Vampire. Those events happened in Amazing Spider-Man #101.
  4. Morbius' blood lust has been growing ever since he fed on Nate Grey in X-Man #24.
  5. The members of the Friends of Humanity mention the death of their founder, Graydon Creed. Creed, a presidential candidate, was recently assassinated in X-Factor #130. The identity of the shooter is not revealed until X-Men Forever #2.
  6. 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.
  7. Electro worked for the Steuben Carnival in Spider-Man #38.
  8. Spider-Man got bit by Morbius in Spider-Man #77.
  9. Peter's referring to a lot of Spider-Man history here. These facts are:
    • Peter dated Gwen Stacy for years until she was murdered by the Green Goblin in Amazing Spider-Man #121. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, Gwen was murdered roughly six years prior to 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.
    • Arthur Stacy returned to New York City in Spider-Man #70 to investigate Spider-Man's involvement in the death of Gwen and her brother George (who died during a battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus in Amazing Spider-Man #90). At the time of this story, Peter learned about Arthur's investigation in Spider-Man #77.
  10. Phil worked as an intern for the Bugle until he was laid off in Green Goblin #13.
  11. Electro's origins are recounted here as they were originally depicted in Amazing Spider-Man #9.
  12. The last gang war was depicted in Spider-Man #70-71 and 73-74
  13. The true identity of the Rose is revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #436.
  14. At the time of this story, Mary Jane was struggling from the loss of her and Peter's child 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
  15. As seen in the Revelations story arc, Alison Mongrain was depicted as removing the body of stillborn May Parker in Amazing Spider-Man #418. It is being implied here that somehow baby May Parker is still alive and in the care of Mongrain. However, this plotline is dropped in favor of moving away from a Parker baby. In Amazing Spider-Man #426, Alison's "precious" is revealed to be a cat that she treats like a baby. The secret she knows about the Parkers is revealed in the Final Chapter story arc.
    The Final Chapter
    Amazing Spider-Man #441 Spider-Man #97 The Spectacular Spider-Man #263 Spider-Man #98
  16. Electro's Top of New York scheme was in Spider-Man #38-40.
  17. This story implies that the events of Spider-Man #38-40 were Electro's last appearance. However, he was later seen in Spider-Man: Funeral for an Octopus #1-3 and Spider-Man Unlimited #9. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #3 clarifies that Electro's reflection on past failures began after his arrest in Spider-Man Unlimited #9.
  18. Peter is depicted as taking a bunch of aspirin here. At the time of this story, Peter is still recovering from being bitten by Morbius the Living Vampire in Spider-Man #77.
  19. The Black Tarantula states that Joe Robertson is "an old colleague" of his. However, what the Black Tarantula means by this is never explained.

Error Notes

  1. Mary Jane thoughts here state that when she was unaware that Peter was Spider-Man when they first started dating. This is not accurate at all, as seen in Marvel Graphic Novel #46, Mary Jane has been aware that Peter has been Spider-Man years before they actually met as she saw him leave his Aunt May's home in costume on the night his Uncle Ben was murdered (circa Amazing Fantasy #15). She kept this a secret until Amazing Spider-Man #257.

Flashback Notes

  1. Max Dillon

See Also

Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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