Appearing in "Hometown Boy"
- Barbara Scarlotti (Only appearance)
- Lawrence Eiben (Only appearance)
- Harry (Only appearance)
- Rusty (Only appearance)
- Billy (Only appearance)
- Phil (Only appearance)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Hometown Boy"
Spider-Man is rushing to LaGuardia Airport as he has been assigned to cover the annual Convention of Electronics, Engineers, and Innovators taking place in Cleveland, Ohio for the Daily Bugle. Also rushing to the flight is Iron Man, who is carrying his partner Morley Erwin who is trying to get new contracts for their new electronics company. Unaware that they are taking a flight together, Peter Parker and James Rhodes arrive on time to take their flight.[Continuity 1] Later in Cleveland, Peter Parker arrives at the convention and picks up his press badge. As he is doing so, his spider-sense kicks off, warning him of danger, however, he has no idea what his spider-sense is warning him of. This warning is caused by Mark Scarlotti, who is secretly the villain known as Blacklash. Scarlotti is attempting to find some legitimate work, utilizing his engineering background. Unfortunately, his criminal record and lack of official credentials have prevented him from finding work. He was hoping he could get his old job back in Cincinnati now that the company has become Stane International, however, his old employers warned the business, stopping that.[Continuity 2] Mark's attention is drawn to a large crowd gathered around one of the booths. Going to see what the commotion he is shocked to see Iron Man is present. Scarlotti thinks about how Iron Man has been a constant thorn in his side, dating back to his early career was known as Whiplash.[Continuity 3] He decides he finally found the opportunity to prove himself. Leaving the convention center, Mark vows that this time, he will be the one to defeat Iron Man.
Meanwhile, Peter Parker meets with Lawrence Eiben, the computer expert who recently assisted the government in tracking down a team of hackers under the employ of the Maggia. While in a private room, James Rhodes take a moment to take his Iron Man mask off. He is upset to learn that a potential investor wants to meet him, meaning he will be stuck playing Iron Man for the rest of the evening. While elsewhere in the city, Mark pays a visit to the Scarlotti Bakery in the hopes of reconciling differences with his parents. His mother is shocked to see Mark, and tells him that his father is so disappointed in him that he won't even mention Mark's name. She tells him how the family was devastated after Mark graduated college and got involved in the mob. They learned about his double identity and his criminal activities the first time Mark was arrested. Seeing that his family still wants nothing to do with him, Mark angrily storms out of the bakery. Mark then goes down to the local tavern where the townies make fun of him for all of his defeats at the hand of Iron Man. Everyone except Rusty, one of Mark's former classmates who is now a local security guard. The two take a table, and Rusty tells Mark that he needs to learn to control his temper. Wanting to give Scarlotti a fair chance, Rusty invites him over to dinner with his wife and offers to try and get Mark a job at the security company he works for. After Rusty leaves, the other patrons resume their teasing and tells him to get lost. Having a drink dumped on his head, Mark agrees to leaves before he is humiliated any further.
Walking the streets, Mark thinks about how, when he was Blacklash, he had it all and wonders where he will go next. Suddenly, a car pulls up beside him and a man representing the Maggia asks him to get in, as he has a job opportunity for him. Wanting to regain the wealth he had as a mob assassin, Mark agrees to take the offer. Outfitted with a new Blacklash costume, Mark returns to the tavern and trashes the place in retaliation for the humiliation they heaped upon him earlier. Once he is finished trashing the bar, Blacklash decides to go after Iron Man once more. By the time he returns to the convention, Dr. Eiben is getting his award for his work in the computer sciences. In the front row of the presentation is Peter Parker, snapping photos for the Daily Bugle. As Blacklash scans the room, he spots his old friend Rusty standing guard on the stage. Not wanting to harm Rusty, Blacklash decides to retreat, but before he can another guard spots him. The villain is forced to incapacitate the guard, but the alarm has already been raised. Iron Man suddenly ambushes Blacklash. Blacklash retaliates by knocking Iron Man back with a concussion charge. Noticing something about Iron Man's foe, Morley Erwin tries to inform Iron Man via his helmet radio, but the hero doesn't hear him.
Meanwhile, Peter Parker has slipped away and wills his street clothes to transform into his new black-and-white costume. Although Spider-Man leaps into the fray in time to save Iron Man from a lethal blow. Blacklash retaliates by wrapping Spider-Man up in an electrified whip, incapacitating him. While Iron Man recovers from the attack, he blasts Blacklash with a uni-beam and pulls the electrified whip off the wall-crawler. This allows Blacklash to strike Iron Man from behind with his nerco-whip. While Spider-Man once more distracts Blacklash, Morley finally makes contact with Iron Man, pointing out that the key to Blacklash's weapons is built into his gloves, which are now sparking due to some kind of malfunction. Iron Man once more blasts Blacklash with a uni-beam, this time targeting his gauntlets, damaging the delicate devices within. Rendered powerless, Blacklash is helpless when Spider-Man literally rips the costume off the villain. This humiliating defeat is all that it takes to break Blacklash, who is then arrested.
At the Cleveland Justice Center, Mark Scarlotti meets with his public defender to discuss his case. The lawyer insists that they go with a plead of not guilty due to reasons of insanity. However, Scarlotti refuses to plead as such as it will ruin his career as a costumed villain. When he asks if the lawyer called the Maggia for help, they claimed to not know him. Mark then asks if his mother was called, she was, but she refuses to answer. Mark tells the lawyer to try calling again, and once left alone breaks down crying. The mentally unhinged villain thinks that his mother will help him and he will be able to get a regular job and make her proud.
Blacklash is back! He's the most dangerous psychotic ever to undertake a life of crime! Fighting sane villains is bad enough — how can Spider-Man and Iron Man defeat a totally unpredictable super-powered madman? They better find a way — or die!
- ↑ At the time of this story, James Rhodes is using the identity of Iron Man after Tony Stark relapsed into alcoholism in Iron Man #167. Stark does not return to the role of Iron Man until Iron Man #199-200.
- ↑ Obadiah Stane was responsible for a hostile take over of Stark International in Iron Man #173-174.
- ↑ Mark Scarlotti has been a foe of Iron Man for years, first clashing with the original Iron Man in Tales of Suspense #97.
- Letters page 'Web Zingers' with letters pertaining to Marvel Team-Up Vol 1 141
- Bullpen Bulletins page Jim Shooter exlains the price increase on limited series from 60 cents to 75 cents due to Mando Roto paper.
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