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Appearing in "Opening Doors"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Sensational Spider-Man #21.

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  • Helicopter
  • Patrol car

Synopsis for "Opening Doors"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Sensational Spider-Man #21.

Interlude

A helicopter arrives at the eccentric Aleister Building owned by the Technomancer Corporation. Aboard the chopper is Master Om, one of-of the owners of the company. He is greeted on the helipad by his costumed staff, the Neomancers, who informs him that Maegis Senreich is waiting for him at the Babylon Portal in the building's sub-basement. Master Om is satisfied of this and leaves the Neomancers to place an artifact he recovered in the Astrum Theater, warning them to be exceptionally careful with it, warning them that if any damage comes to the artifact it will cost them their lives. Entering the sub-basement, Master Om informs the Maegis that he has succeeded in securing the Sphere of 'Sara-'Kath. The news brings great joy to Senreich who intends to use the near-infinite power of the Sphere to secure him a seat in something he calls the Dark Chamber. He insists on seeing the Sphere of 'Sara-'Kath immediately. When Master Om asks about his use of the Babylon Portal and is told that the Maegis was using it to scan various dimensions and assures him that the device is securely shut down. As soon as they leave, the portal begins coming to life.

Queens

In Queens, Spider-Man is heading home after an exhausting night of being on patrol, looking forward to crawling into a warm bed. However, when he arrives at his house, the wall-crawler's spider-sense warning him that someone is watching. Not wanting anyone to see Spider-Man entering the home of Peter Parker and his wife Mary Jane, Spider-Man quickly ducks into the shadows to see who is watching him.[Continuity 1] He spots the voyer and discovers that it is the young girl that just moved in next door. He remembers how Mary Jane's Aunt Anna was telling him that the girl often stares at their home for hours without saying a word. Seeing it for himself now, the wall-crawler has to agree that it is unsettling. Needing to get into his home, Spider-Man sneaks into the house through the attic unobserved. When he enters the attic, he realizes that he hasn't been up there since the day he spent together with Ben Reilly before his death.[Continuity 2] Finding the unfinished board games and old childhood books make Peter think about that day and he realizes how much he really misses Ben. Not wanting to go walking downstairs in his Spider-Man costume out of fear of being caught by Aunt Anna, Peter goes looking for some clothes to wear.

While he is digging through the storage and comes across his old monster comic books. He thought they had been thrown out years earlier, but it appears that his Uncle Ben saved them from the landfill for him to enjoy at a later time.[Continuity 3] When he finally goes downstairs to his bedroom he ends up waking up Mary Jane. He tells her why he had to come in through the attic and as he is talking about how creepy the little girl next door is, he sees her watching him from her window across the yard.

Interlude

At the Technomancer Corporation, some Neomancers are guarding the door to the Babylon Portal complaining about being stuck on such a boring job. That's when they hear noise coming from the other side of the door. When they open it to see what is causing the disruption they are suddenly swarmed by a horde of gremlyns.

The Next Day

Peter Parker reports to the Daily Bugle where Joe Roberston is picking up the slack after J. Jonah Jameson was seriously beaten.[Continuity 4] He is upset with Peter after failing to get photos during Spider-Man's battle with the Living Pharaoh and tells him to shape up before storming off. Peter is worried about Joe's wellbeing since, on top of the pressures of keeping the Daily Bugle afloat, he has been having problems in his marriage.[Continuity 5] He then bumps into Billy Walters, the Bugle's newest freelance photographer. He tells Peter that he just missed an attractive blonde woman who had come to find him.[Continuity 6] When Billy asks Peter to join him for lunch, Peter tells him he has other plans and leaves.

Out on the street, Peter feels like a jerk for blowing off Billy, as he is a really nice guy and he is lacking in close friends. He quickly tables these thoughts when he meets up with his wife Mary Jane and Jill Stacy. The two women are starving and Jill is looking forward to taking the Parkers to a coffee bar that she recently discovered. As they head that way, Peter suddenly gets a strange look on his face. Mary Jane notices and asks if his spider-sense is going off, but he tells her that it is something completely different, as though something is calling out to him. This happens out front of the Aleister Building and as they walk away from the strange building they don't notice the dark clouds gathering in the sky. Soon they arrive at the place that Jill wanted to show them. Seeing the Daily Grind, the place where Ben Reilly worked until the day he died comes as a shock to the Parkers.[Continuity 7]

Anna Watson answers the door and is greeted by Officer Ellen Hibbert, the woman who moved into Anna's old home next door. Ellen is running late for work and asks Anna if she would mind looking after her young daughter Hope until her school bus comes to pick her up. Anna agrees to help and is then told by Ellen that her daughter Hope is deaf.

Interlude

Maegis Senreich is observing the 'Sphere of 'Sarah-'Kath and is very pleased that Master Om brought to him. He is looking forward to tapping the energies in the artifact in order to make the Technomancer Agency virtually unstoppable. Their plotting is interrupted by one of the Neomancers who storms into the room to tell them that something is wrong with the Babylon Portal. When they get a closer look at him, the Maegis and Master Om are horrified to see that a gremlyn has fused itself to the footsoldier's head.

Manhattan

Jill takes Peter and Mary Jane into the Daily Grind and they are immediately recognized and warmly greeted by Shirley Washington, the owner, and Buzz, one of the regulars. They are delighted to see the Parkers as they have not seen the couple since Ben Reilly's death.[Continuity 8] Having heard about the Mary Jane having a miscarriage and offers her condolences.[Continuity 9] After this pleasant reunion, Mary Jane notices that Jill is upset that her attempt to showing the couple a new place to hang out has failed.

while at that moment, at the Technomancer Company, the Maegis, and Master Om rush to the basement to see what they are going on. There they find the Babylon Portal chamber has been swarmed with creatures under the command of a being calling himself Buel the Gremlyn-Lord.

That Evening

Mary Jane wakes up to find her husband about to go out on patrol as Spider-Man. Knowing that there is something wrong, Mary Jane asks Peter to talk to her, but he swings out the window without a single word. As he leaves the house, Spider-Man is unaware that his exit has been observed by Hope Hibbert from across the street.

A half-hour later, Spider-Man is in Manhattan, where some presence continues to call to him. He decides to give in to the compelling feeling to go to the Alastair Building determined to learn what is calling him and why.

Appearing in "The Politics of Magic"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Sensational Spider-Man #22.

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Synopsis for "The Politics of Magic"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Sensational Spider-Man #22.

For over a millennia -- a millennia that occurred in the course of a nano-second -- Doctor Strange was involved in a great mystical battle called the War of the Seven Spheres. It was a battle of various mystical entities, and he fought on the side of the Vishanti. Now the war is over, and the magic is free, and Doctor Strange now rests in his Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City.[Continuity 10] As he meditates, the Eye of Agamotto suddenly opens and Stephen is stricken with pain. Both he and the mystical artifact have detected the source of great power. Hearing his master cry out, Wong enters the Doctor's library to see what is the matter. Stephen explains to Wong that he has detected a fissure in reality, a rift that is even now growing bigger. Using the Eye of Agamotto, Strange tracks the source to the Aleister Building, home to the Technomancer Corporation. This rift is causing denizens of the Dark Dimensions to cross over into New York. As he heads for the building, Doctor Strange fears that if he does not stop the cause of this crisis, it could very well consume this entire dimension.

Arriving in the general vicinity, Doctor Strange finds Spider-Man, who has been drawn to the Alester Building by some unknown force. Explaining the presence, the wall-crawler explains even though he doesn't know what is pulling him in that direction, he has a feeling that it is a force for good. Detecting that something is amiss, Doctor Strange uses his mystical abilities to remove an illusion that is hiding the fact that, whatever the danger is, it has been transforming the Alister Building and that the dark forces will soon begin affecting all reality. Inside the building, Maegis Senreich and Master Om are now prisoners of the other-dimensional being known as Buel and his Gremlyns, who have used the Technomancer Corporation's Babylon Portal to cross over to this dimension. Buel is disappointed that neither man knows who he is and decide to entertain them with his origins. Buel explains that he was a simple nobleman in his home dimension but soon grew bored with his life and became obsessed with gaining great power. He soon immersed himself in the art of magic. It is through these dark studies that he completed a ritual of self-sacrifice to transform himself into his current form. When the ruling class of his world learned of his twisted perversions, he was banished to another dimension. There he ruled over his Gremlyn horde waiting for the moment where he could escape his eternal prison and get his revenge. He then shows the two frightened magicians his ability to control the flesh by warping their forms. However, he stops short of permanently disfiguring them as this is merely a distraction from his quest for power.

Meanwhile, Billy Walters answers a knock at his door and is surprised to see his boss, J. Jonah Jameson has come to pay him a visit. With the Daily Bugle having been purchased by Norman Osborn, Jonah is concerned and needs the help of a good reporter for a very dangerous assignment.[Continuity 11] Hearing this, Billy tells Jonah that he can be counted on to do whatever is needed. Back at the Technomancer Corporation, Doctor Strange finishes his mystical scan of the building and is horrified to discover that they have the 'Sphere of 'Sara-'Kath. Spider-Man is eager to recover the mystical artifact, but Strange cautions that it won't be easy. He explains that the Technomancer Corporation has been working to combine magic with technology to create a dimensional portal. This was unsuccessful until they brought the 'Sphere to the building, which was the mystical source needed to succeed in this endeavor. Unfortunately, those responsible were unable to control the power of the 'Sphere, leading to the current crisis. Although Strange can create a spell to hold back the effects of this reality warp, he will have to remain outside, leaving Spider-Man to venture into the building alone.

As Doctor Strange begins to cast his spell, Spider-Man once again feels a strange presence compelling him to enter the building, making him once again wonder what is compelling him forward. While in Forrest Hills, Mary Jane's Aunt Anna has agreed to babysit Hope Hibbert, the deaf girl who lives next door, while her mother Ellen got to work as a police officer. Ellen reminds Anna that Hope needs to study her sign-language, something the girl is stubborn about. However, when Anna demonstrates that she wants to learn how to speak in sign language as well, it inspires Hope to continue her studies. While in Manhattan, Spider-Man begins to grow restless when suddenly, Doctor Strange's spell is complete and the wall-crawler is teleported into the building. He is surprised to see the astral form of Doctor Strange is with him. Although the Doctor has to remain physically outside the building to contain the dark magic, his spiritual self has come to lend Spider-Man assistance. Sensing the location of the 'Sphere, Doctor Strange leads Spider-Man through a doorway which should take them to the artifact. However, once they enter the door, they find themselves transported to another dimension filled with demonic creatures. They manage to fight past these monsters and through another doorway. This time they are transported to a frozen realm and attacked by giant creatures that Strange identifies as Snow-Snakes. Fighting past these creatures, the wall-crawler and Strange manage to get through yet another portal.

This brings them before Buel and his prisoners, but when Spider-Man tries to web up the evil sorcerer, his Gremlyns come to the defense of their master. Realizing that Spider-Man is speaking to a presence he can't see, Buel realizes that the wall-crawler is being assisted by a sorcerer and teleports away. Outside, Doctor Strange begins to feel the strain of maintaining his spell but refuses to give up as Spider-Man's life depends on it. However, as he focuses on the spell, Doctor Strange is unaware that a Buel has summoned one of his minions to deal with the sorcerer supreme. Inside the building, Spider-Man is concerned when Strange's astral form suddenly disappears. With Strange dealt with, Buel returns to deal with his intruder once and for all.

Appearing in "The Spirits is willing; The Flesh..."

This story is a reprint of the comic
Sensational Spider-Man #23.

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Other Characters:

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Synopsis for "The Spirits is willing; The Flesh..."

This story is a reprint of the comic
Sensational Spider-Man #23.

Things inside the Aleister Building are not looking good for either Spider-Man or Doctor Strange. While the wall-crawler is at the mercy of the Gremlyn lord known as Buel, Strange's physical form is at risk of harm from his army of minions. Sensing that his physical body is in danger, the Doctor's astral form returns to his corporeal form and evades an attack. However, when he tries to take down the attacking Ogre with a mystical bolt, the creature defiantly deflects it. Simultaneously, Spider-Man manages to evade Buel's ectoplasmic blast. Realizing that he is out of his depth, the web-slinger decides to make a strategic retreat. Back outside, Doctor Strange realizes that he is not being attacked by a real Ogre and uses his spell to reveal that his foe is actually two Gremlyns standing one atop the other, hence why they were not vulnerable to his specific spell. That's when Strange figures out that Buel was merely creating distractions in order to keep Strange from getting to Spider-Man. It's at that moment of realization that the Aleister Building begins undergoing a strange transformation.

Inside, Buel continues to stalk Spider-Man, explaining how he seeks to obtain the 'Sphere of 'Sara-'Kath to achieve ultimate power. However, Spider-Man has intentionally lured Buel to the portal from which he came from and uses his webbing to knock the mage back through the portal. Left without their master, the remaining Gremlyns flee back into the portal with him. That's when the astral form of Doctor Strange arrives and tells Spider-Man that he is going to seek out the men with the knowledge needed to shut down the portal. Elsewhere in the building, he finds Master Om and Maegis Gunther Senreich the members of the Technomancer Corporation responsible for accidentally unleashing Buel upon the world. As the three sorcerers confer on what to do next, the wall-crawler suddenly feels the same force that called him to this location to begin with. Unable to resist this call, Spider-Man is compelled to follow it to the source. Seeing that Spider-Man is wandering off, Strange asks him where he is going. When told about the strange presence compelling him to go, Doctor Strange tells Spider-Man to focus on the task as all reality hangs in the balance. When Strange uses the word "responsibility" it causes Spider-Man to recall how his lack of responsibility led to his Uncle Ben getting shot by a burglar in a botched home invasion.[Continuity 12]

Back under control of himself, Spider-Man joins Doctor Strange as he crosses over into Buel's dimension, leaving Om and Senreich behind. When Buel returns to Earth he discovers that his foes have escaped into his dimension and orders his Gremlyns to take the two Techomancers with them. Meanwhile, Spider-Man and Doctor Strange travel through a number of strange dimensions in order to get to the place within the Technomancer building where the 'Sphere of 'Sara-'Kath is located. There, Strange instructs Spider-Man to remove the 'Sphere before it is too late. However, from another portal, the strange force that has been calling to him sings out once more causing the web-slinger to become distracted. This allows Buel to obtain the 'Sphere for himself. However, in his elation over his victory, the Gremlyn lord lowers his guard enough to allow Doctor Strange to bypass his mystical barriers and physically enter the building. In the ensuing mystical battle, the 'Sphere is knocked out of Buel's hands allowing the web-slinger to grab it. Under orders from Doctor Strange, Spider-Man swings past all of Buel's mystical defenses down to the basement of the Technomancer building where he uses the 'Sphere to shut down the portal to Earth. As a result, Buel and all his creations are banished from this dimension, ending his threat. In the aftermath of the battle, Doctor Strange assures Spider-Man that he will be keeping an eye on the Technomancers in future.

When the Sorcerer Supreme is about to leave, Spider-Man demands to know what the strange force that drew him to the Technomancer building, to begin with. Strange tells him that there are some things that man is not meant to know. When the web-slinger calls Strange arrogant, it reminds the sorcerer about how arrogance is what led to the accident that ruined his career as a surgeon and put him on the path to becoming Doctor Strange.[Continuity 13] Strange decides to try and answer Spider-Man's questions. With a mystical portal opened, Spider-Man walks in and feels as though he has crossed over into paradise. There a spirit passes through a body. Returning to Earth Spider-Man says goodbye to the passing spirit. When Strange asks the web-slinger what it was, Spider-Man ironically tells him that there are some things even the Sorcerer Supreme must not know and swings off, thanking the Doctor for showing him what he saw.[Continuity 14]

Notes

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 and his clone, Ben Reilly spent time together in the attic in The Spectacular Spider-Man #240. At the time of this story, Ben had recently died in Spider-Man #75.
  3. Peter had a collection of monster comics that his Aunt May forced him to throw away after he had a nightmare when he was much younger. They were saved from the dumb by Peter's Uncle Ben as seen in Sensational Spider-Man #-1.
  4. Jonah was beaten up by Jack O'Lantern in The Spectacular Spider-Man #246.
  5. Joe Robertson has been forced to work long hours at the Bugle ever since it started having financial troubles in Amazing Spider-Man #416. He marriage problems started in Amazing Spider-Man #419 and are ongoing during the time of this story.
  6. The identity of this woman is revealed as Desiree Winthrop in Sensational Spider-Man #26.
  7. Ben Reilly started working at the Daily Grind in Sensational Spider-Man #0 until his death in Spider-Man #75.
  8. Shirley and Buzz attended Ben Reilly's wake in Spider-Man: Revelations #1.
  9. Mary Jane had a miscarriage in Amazing Spider-Man #418.
  10. For all the details regarding the War of the Seven Spheres -- or rather the lack thereof since the entire ordeal happens off-panel-- see Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #80.
  11. At the time of this story, the Daily Bugle had been suffering from financial difficulties since Amazing Spider-Man #416. Norman Osborn had just recently purchased the Bugle in The Spectacular Spider-Man #249.
  12. Peter's Uncle Ben was killed by a burglar that Peter Parker could have stopped earlier. This was seen in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  13. This is reference to Doctor Strange's origins, which were first told in Strange Tales #115.
  14. In an interview for CBR writer Todd DeZago stated that the spirit that Spider-Man encounters here is that of the late Mark Gruenwald, who passed away on August 12, 1996. This story was dedicated in his memory. It is also interesting to note that the 'Sphere of 'Sara-'Kath was named after Mark's wife Katherine and daughter Sara.

Flashback Notes

  1. Buel
  2. Peter Parker

See Also

Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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