Appearing in "The Boy's Night Out!"
- Steve Hopkins
- Phillip Chang
- Aunt May (Recap)
- J. Jonah Jameson (Recap)
- Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) (Vision)
Races and Species:
- New York
- Neutro-Mist (First appearance)
- Spider-Man's Web-Shooters
- Uni-Lens Battle Armor (First appearance) (worn by S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents)
Synopsis for "The Boy's Night Out!"
At Heart Mansion, Jack of Hearts has been kidnapped by S.H.I.E.L.D., who have been using neutro-mist and a series of sophisticated sensors to keep his powers in check. After studying his prison for days, Jack has determined where all the sensors are and has developed an immunity to the mists that suppress his power. Having grown fed up of being locked away, Jack breaks free of the mansion. Outside, he is confronted by a squad of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents on sky sleds. When they try to subdue him with neutro-mist, Jack lands on the ground escapes in a car from his father's garage. Watching this escape from the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier is Agent Martins, in charge of Project Heart, watches the escape and ponders what to do next.
Meanwhile, at Empire State University, Peter Parker arrives to clean out his locker. He is upset that he had to quit school, but between taking care of Aunt May, working for the Daily Bugle, and his activities as Spider-Man he has had no time for his studies. Once he is finished cleaning out his locker, Peter is joined by his former classmates Steve Hopkins and Phillip Chang, who wish him luck. Marcy Kane arrives to lecture Peter about giving up a promising career as a scientist. Peter explains that he needs to sort out his life, while it will take him longer to reach his goal, he tells her that at least he'll be human when he reaches it, before turning around and leaving. As Peter makes his way outside, Jack of Hearts arrives on campus. Disguising the black half of his sink, he goes outside and runs into Peter Parker and asks him where he can find Marcy Kane. When Peter directs him to the physics building, he wonders why this strange is setting off his spider-sense. Peter is about to dismiss Marcy's potential problems as he has to visit the Black Cat in the hospital. However, Peter can't bring himself to shirk his duties as Spider-Man. As he turns back to the physics building he spots the S.H.I.E.L.D. sky sleds heading toward it.
Inside, Jack reminisces about his time at New Haven College where he first met Marcy Kane. He was romantically interested in her, but she didn't have any time for him as she was more focused on her studies. When he attempted to ask her out, she scoffed at him for studying poetry. However, she softens when he shows Marcy a poem he wrote about her and asked her to make time for romance. Unfortunately, shortly after he was called back to his father's home which led to the accident with the Zero-Fluid that turned him into Jack of Hearts. When he finds Marcy, at first she is happy to see him, however, she quickly recoils, furious that he had abandoned her. She slaps him across the face, knocking off his sunglasses and revealing his glowing eye. Marcy is shocked by this, and Jack explains that this is part of the reason why he didn't come back when he said he would. Before he can explain this further, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents arrive and order Jack to stand down. He covers himself by tossing a smoke bomb, giving him time to energize enough to blast the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents out of the room.
By this point, Spider-Man has arrived on the scene. Seeing the strange protecting Marcy, he assumes that his attackers are evil. The S.H.I.E.L.D. agents order Spider-Man to stand down. His arrival gives Jack enough time to rip apart his disguise revealing his Jack of Hearts costume underneath. He then slams into the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that are left standing. Jack flies outside where he has more coverage to battle his attackers. He is joined by Spider-Man, but he soon learns that these attackers are agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Spider-Man comes back to stop Jack, who tries to explain that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been keeping him prisoner. Marcy Kane comes outside and tells Spider-Man what the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents told her: Jack's powers are slowly killing him and when he hits critical mass he will cause a catastrophic explosion that could wipe out half the city.
When Spider-Man tries to convince Jack to stand down, he attacks the wall-crawler instead. Outmatched, the wall-crawler lures Jack into the science building and tricks him into setting off the gas in one of the labs, stunning him with an explosion. When Spider-Man tells Marcy and the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents what he did, Marcy runs inside to see if Jack is okay. When she finds him, he has no fight left in him and laments about how his powers will ultimately kill him and that there is no cure. Marcy refuses to give up and promises to try and help him find a cure before it is too late.
It's time for "Boy's Night Out" as Jack of Hearts makes the scene, and we learn why Marcy Kane is so cold-hearted.
- Peter is upset about quitting grad school, a decision he had made in Amazing Spider-Man #243.
- Jack of Hearts recounts his origins which were first depicted in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #23.
- Peter is about to visit the Black Cat in the hospital prior to helping Jack. She was injured during Spider-Man's recent battle with Doctor Octopus in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #76.
- Marcy's attempt to cure Jack of Hearts are explored further in the Jack of Hearts limited series.
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:
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