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Appearing in "Outcasts!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Spider-Man #395.

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Synopsis for "Outcasts!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Spider-Man #395.

This story continues from The Spectacular Spider-Man #217...

Clifford White, a drug dealer, is making an early morning deal when suddenly, the sale is interrupted by the sound of a massive growl. When he opens the door, he is horrified to see the feral form of the Puma waiting on the other side. Turning to get reinforcements, he is shocked to see that they have been incapacitated by the vigilante calling herself Nocturne. With the armed guards knocked out, the Puma is about to attack White, but Nocturne manages to convince him to stop. Instead of physically harming Clifford, Nocturne uses her empathic powers to make him feel the agony of those of the drug addicts he preys upon them. Screaming in agony, Clifford White's last thoughts are wishing that the Puma had killed him after all.

Meanwhile, in Forest Hills, Spider-Man returns to the home owned by his Aunt May. He wonders why he has come here since he has abandoned the identity of Peter Parker and embracing the spider.[Continuity 1] He wonders why he has come back to this place, part of Peter Parker's past, especially since he is embracing the spider. After his recent ordeal at Ravencroft, he isn't too sure on that anymore.[Continuity 2] Sitting in May's bedroom, Spider-Man pulls off his mask. Although he can't deal with Peter Parker's life right now, the wall-crawler figures he can at least reminisce on the past. He thinks about his childhood growing up here with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, and how he felt safe back in those days. However, as soon as he thinks this, Peter snuffs out the memory and quickly leaves the house, swinging off into the rainy night.

At that moment in Pittsburg, Mary Jane is standing outside her sister Gayle's house in the pouring rain. She has come here to try and reconcile her past.[Continuity 3] Finally gathering up the courage, Mary Jane knocks on her sister's front door. When Gayle answers, Mary Jane is at a loss for words and asks if she can come in. Gayle is happy to see her sister and welcomes her in with open arms.

Back in Manhattan, Nocturne and Puma are prowling the city until Nocturne can no longer ignore the anguish that is calling out to her. In Queens, Spider-Man has arrived at Midtown High, where he once more thinks about the past. He remembers his teenage years before he became Spider-Man.[Continuity 4] He remembers Principal Davis, who had such high hopes for Parker. He also remembers how he was bullied by Flash Thompson, the school jock. Lastly, he remembers Liz Allan, his first high school crush and how he only discovered that she had feelings for him until the day they graduated, and by then it was too late.[Continuity 5] He thinks about all his struggles during those years, being bullied, his Aunt May's constant frailties, and his work for the Daily Bugle. Back then, he couldn't even begin to imagine how cold the world could be. His thoughts are suddenly interrupted by a loud growl. His spider-sense warns him of Puma's ambush before the feral creature can land an attack.[Continuity 6] Spider-Man evades the Puma's blows, and becomes furious that this is yet another villain who has come back from the dead.

After fighting off the Puma, Spider-Man is approached by Nocturne, who asks the wall-crawler to follow her. After a moment's thought, the web-slinger agrees to follow her. She takes Spider-Man and the Puma Inwood Park. There she explains to Spider-Man for the first time how she was transformed by one of Baron Zemo's inventions.[Continuity 7] She then engages in a mind link to show Spider-Man how she came upon the Puma living in an alley, having completely shed his human identity, leaving only the animal behind. As she explains this, the Puma finally begins to remember Spider-Man and their longtime feud.[Continuity 8] Before he can attack, Nocturne gets in the way and is slashed across the face. With his friend down, Spider-Man leaps at the Puma prepared to attack.

... This story continues in The Spectacular Spider-Man #218.

Appearing in "When Monsters Roam!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
The Spectacular Spider-Man #218.

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Synopsis for "When Monsters Roam!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
The Spectacular Spider-Man #218.

This story continues from Amazing Spider-Man #395...

Spider-Man has followed Nocturne and the Puma to Inwood Park where his feral foe turned on the wall-crawler. Nocturne got between Puma and the wall-crawler, getting slashed in the face for her troubles. Spider-Man evades the Puma's subsequent attacks and sends the beast fleeing with a single blow. At first, Spider-Man wants to go after the Puma, encouraging himself to be the spider but decides to stop and help Nocturne first.[Continuity 10] He picks up Nocturne and begins web-slinging across the city to get help for her. He is worried about the Puma being on the loose, wishing that he could be in two places at once. Ironically, as Spider-Man thinks this, he just misses crossing paths with his clone who is active swinging by as the Scarlet Spider. Needing to get Nocturne somewhere warm and dry, he decides to try and bring her back to the apartment she had as Angela Cairn. Elsewhere in the city, the Puma happens upon a gang of muggers who have cornered a woman in an alley. He savagely attacks the muggers, saving the woman's life. However, she is horrified by the feral creature, the Puma regards her for a second before darting off into the night again.

By this point, Spider-Man has arrived outside the former apartment of Angela Cairn. Unfortunately, new tenants have moved in since she left her to transform into Nocturne. As he climbs up to the roof, the web-slinger finally comes to realize that no matter how hard they try to deny their civilian identities, life goes on without them. That those they loved will eventually adjust to their absence and move on with their lives. Meanwhile, at the Forest Hill's Hospital, Anna Watson watches over the bed of her friend, May Parker, who is still in a coma.[Continuity 11] She tells May that she is her best, most compassionate friend. She rmarks how she admires May's strength, how she looked after Peter when his parents died.[Continuity 12] How she became like a mother to Peter, especially after her husband Ben died.[Continuity 13] She tells May that she has been a strong as she needs to be and it is okay if she lets go. Elsewhere in the city, Nocturne is sheltered by the rain by Spider-Man's webbing. When she wakes up, her first concern is toward Puma, even though he almost clawed your face off. Watching her fly away, the rain begins to clear and Spider-Man begins to feel the same sympathy that Nocturne feels toward the Puma and wonders if maybe his foe deserves a second chance.

Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, Mary Jane is having a long-awaited talk about their family and upbringing. Mary Jane has come to make amends with her sister after abandoning her years earlier. Since Gayle has been willing to forgive their father, Mary Jane hopes they can be family again.[Continuity 14] Surprisingly, Gayle is very understanding as to why Mary Jane ran off and tells her that he never stopped loving her. While back in New York City, Spider-Man follows Nocturne as she searches for the Puma. Along the way, Spider-Man's spider-sense alerts him of the new Daredevil that has been active in the city following the death of Matt Murdock.[Continuity 15] It makes him think how Matt Murdock allowed his double-life completely consume him. Soon, the pair arrive at the warehouse where Angela was first turned into Nocturne.[Continuity 16] There they find the Puma, who savagely attacks the wall-crawler.

Back in Pittsburgh, Mary Jane and Gayle's discussion is interrupted when her son, Kevin, wakes up after a nightmare. He tells his mother and his aunt that his mother left just like their father did and left Kevin all alone. The two women then comfort the boy, telling him that they will always be there. While in New York, Nocturne gets between Spider-Man and the Puma and place her hands on both of their brows. She then uses her empathic powers to transfer the pain both men feel to one another. This takes all the fight out of both, and miraculously, the Puma finally reverts back to his human form. Without a single word, Thomas Fireheart gets up and walks out of the warehouse. Spider-Man then tells Nocturne that she doesn't need to be alone and she can get help from Ashley Kafka. Nocturne refuses, and when the wall-crawler asks her why, she asks the wall-crawler the same thing and flies away.

This story is continued in Amazing Spider-Man #396...

Appearing in "Memories"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Web of Spider-Man #118.

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Synopsis for "Memories"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Web of Spider-Man #118.

This story continues from The Spectacular Spider-Man #217...

Ben Reilly goes to the spider exhibit at the Museum of Natural History, but cannot get his mind off the fact that he is a clone.[Continuity 18] He sees himself as a soulless creature and that he has more in common to the exhibits in the museum than he does with real people. He also struggles with all the memories in his mind, memories that don't belong to him, but Peter Parker. As he leaves the museum, he is upset by seeing anything that reminds him of Spider-Man, particularly a hooded sweatshirt with a spider-emblem on it in a shop window. He then sees a man trying to hold up a hot dog vendor and is about to get involved when some police officers bust the man. Although he has once more avoided a conflict, Ben Reilly still cannot shake the trusim that was told to Peter Parker many years ago, "with great power comes great responsibility."

While on the Upper West Side, Venom has returned to New York City after a prolongued absence.[Continuity 19] He has returned to the city after hearing about the recent siege on Ravencroft Institute by Judas Traveller.[Continuity 20] This has particularly bothered him because his "son" Carnage, has been incarcerated at Ravencroft and Venom has made the serial killer his responsibility.[Continuity 21] His attention is then turned to a police chase on the street below. Seeing the criminals opening fire on the officers, Venom swoops in and forces the drivers to crash into the nearby river. Although Venom stopped the chase, the officers on the scene try to open fire on him. The bullets do no harm to Venom who then swings away. As Venom swings across the city, he suddenly finds himself in front of the apartment building where Jean DeWolff was shot, the event that set into motion his transformation into Venom.[Continuity 22] It also brings memories of his recent clashes with Carnage and Shriek.[Continuity 23] When a police car spots him, Venom decides to leave to put his old ghosts to rest.

Meanwhile, at a Forest Hills hospital, Anna Watson visits with her old friend, May Parker, who has been in a coma since suffering a stroke.[Continuity 24] Her silent vigil is interrupted by the arrival of Betty Brant, whose arrival is a welcome surprise for Anna.[Continuity 25] Outside the window, Ben Reilly sits and waits for the two women leave so he can spend time with May. He is surprised by how much Betty Brant has changed since she and Peter dated. Unaware that she is being watched, Betty feels guilty for not spending more time with the Parkers, and how it took the deaths of both Nick Katzenberg and Lance Bannon to make her realize how short life is.[Continuity 26] She then sees something moving in the window, but Ben Reilly manages to leap out of view before Betty can identify what it was.

This causes Ben Reilly to think how things could have gone had Peter Parker's life went in a different direction. His thoughts of the past lead him to the ruins of the Acme Warehouse. This makes him think about the night that Peter Parker went after Uncle Ben's killer as Spider-Man. How Peter's failure to stop the burglar nights earlier led to his Uncle's murder.[Continuity 27] Meanwhile, Venom has returned to the church where he first found his alien symbiote. He thinks about how Cletus Kasady's symbiote is his responsibility to destroy. However, he is conflicted because killing the Carnage symbiote would be like killing a part of himself. Troubled by the memories the church stirs up, Venom quickly leaves, unaware of the fact that he has been spotted by a reporter looking to get an exclusive about Venom's return to New York.[Continuity 28] By this point, Ben Reilly has arrived at the Brooklyn Bridge where he relives the memories of the day Gwen Stacy was murdered by the Green Goblin.[Continuity 29] His thoughts of the tragedy are interrupted when his spider-sense detects someone on the parapet across from him. He spots a woman just as she leaps off the bridge. Not wanting history to repeat itself, Reilly puts on his web-shooters and swings down, rescuing the woman before she can hit the water. Ben then rushes the woman to a nearby hospital but leaves before the doctor can get a statement from him.

Later, Ben is up on a rooftop thinking about what he should do with his life next. That's when he overhears a radio report about Venom's return of New York City. Having heard about Venom in the news, he wonders why Spider-Man never took the maniac down and decides that he is going to do something about it. After a quick stop at the museum gift shop, Ben Reilly returns to his newly rented apartment where he puts together a new costume. It includes a full body suit and mask that are entirely red. Overtop of this, Ben wears the blue hoodie with the spider emblem that he saw in the shop window. Satisfied with his new costume, Ben leaps out determined to take Venom down once and for all.

...This story continues in Spider-Man Unlimited #7.

Notes

Continuity Notes

  1. Spider-Man decided to abandon his identity of Peter Parker after two recent tragedies. The first was the revelation that the people who claimed to be Peter's parents in Amazing Spider-Man #365 turned out to be impostors in Amazing Spider-Man #388. The real Richard and Mary Parker had died years ago on a government mission, as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5. The second tragedy was when his Aunt May suffered a stroke in Amazing Spider-Man #391. It should be clarified that the woman who Peter thinks in the hospital presently is actually an impostor, as revealed in Spider-Man #97, the Green Goblin had kidnapped May and replaced her with an impostor sometime during Amazing Spider-Man #392.
  2. This story takes place immediately after 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
  3. Mary Jane's troubled upbringing was previously detailed in Amazing Spider-Man #259.
  4. Peter Parker first got his powers in Amazing Fantasy #15 while he was still in high school.
  5. Peter graduated from high school in Amazing Spider-Man #28.
  6. Spider-Man recalls how he last saw the Puma getting gunned down and fall from a building. That was in The Spectacular Spider-Man #193.
  7. This happened in The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #13. Nocturne couldn't tell Spider-Man this at the time because she initially incapable of speech after her transformation.
  8. Of the memories that the Puma has he remembers: His first battle against Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #256-257, the time he and Spider-Man went on a vision quest in The Spectacular Spider-Man #171-172 and their last battle in The Spectacular Spider-Man #191-192.
  9. Although he is wearing the Scarlet Spider costume here. Ben Reilly isn't officially given this name until Spider-Man #52
  10. Spider-Man has been trying to abandon his identity of Peter Parker following the Pursuit story arc.
    Pursuit
    Spider-Man #45 The Spectacular Spider-Man #211 Web of Spider-Man #112 Amazing Spider-Man #389
  11. May Parker suffered a stroke in Amazing Spider-Man #391. Unknown to all, she was replaced with an impostor at some point in Amazing Spider-Man #392. This is not revealed until Spider-Man #97.
  12. Richard and Mary Parker died on a government mission 2 decades earlier, as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5.
  13. Ben Parker was murdered by a burglar in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  14. Mary Jane and Gayle had an abusive childhood. Ultimately, after their mother left their father and died of cancer, Mary Jane abandoned her sister. This was all detailed in Amazing Spider-Man #289.
  15. Matt Murdock actually faked his death, as seen in Daredevil #325. Spider-Man has known Daredevil's secret identity since Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #107.
  16. Angela Cairn was turned into Nocturne in The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #13.
  17. Although this is the first time Ben Reilly appears in costume, he is not officially identified named the Scarlet Spider until Spider-Man #52.
  18. Ben Reilly was a clone created by Miles Warren, as explained in Amazing Spider-Man #149. This exhibit is the same one that was visited by Peter Parker in Amazing Spider-Man #1.
  19. Venom left New York City in Amazing Spider-Man #375 and moved to San Francisco in Venom Lethal Protector #1.
  20. This siege occurred during the Power and Responisibility story arc.
    Power and Responsibility
    Web of Spider-Man #117 Amazing Spider-Man #394 Spider-Man #51 The Spectacular Spider-Man #217
  21. Venom's symbiote gave birth to the one worn by Cletus Kasady as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #345.
  22. Jean DeWolff was murdered by a serial killer known as the Sin Eater. The manhunt for the killer occurred in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #107-110. At the time, as explained in Amazing Spider-Man #300, Eddie Brock interviewed someone who he thought was the Sin Eater, but was later exposed as a fake when the real killer was captured by Spider-Man. Brock blamed Spider-Man. A chance encounter with Spider-Man's discarted symbiotic costume (which Spider-Man left for dead in Web of Spider-Man #1) led to Brock becoming Venom and began his quest to get revenge against Spider-Man. This lasted until Amazing Spider-Man #375, when the rivals made an uneasy peace agreement.
  23. Venom played a major role in stopping Carnage's massacre across New York City during the Maximum Carnage event.
    Maximum Carnage
    Spider-Man Unlimited # 1 Web of Spider-Man # 101 Amazing Spider-Man # 378 Spider-Man # 35 The Spectacular Spider-Man # 201 Web of Spider-Man # 102 Amazing Spider-Man # 379
    Spider-Man # 36 The Spectacular Spider-Man # 202 Web of Spider-Man # 103 Amazing Spider-Man # 380 Spider-Man # 37 The Spectacular Spider-Man # 203 Spider-Man Unlimited # 2

  24. Aunt May suffered a stroke in Amazing Spider-Man #391. However, this is not the real May Parker. She was switched with an impostor by the Green Goblin sometime in Amazing Spider-Man #392. This truth is not revealed until Spider-Man #97.
  25. Mention is made of how May Parker thought that her nephew Peter and Betty would end up together. The pair began a romance from Amazing Spider-Man #7 until she started dating Ned Leeds in Amazing Spider-Man #18.
  26. Nick Katzenberg died of lung cancer, as revealed in The Spectacular Spider-Man #216. Lance Bannon was recently murdered by FACADE in Web of Spider-Man #114.
  27. Ben Parker was murdered by a burglar in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  28. This reporter is later identified as Ken Ellis in Spider-Man #52.
  29. Gwen Stacy was murdered by the Goblin in Amazing Spider-Man #121.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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