Appearing in "The Incandescent Man"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:




  • Staten Island Ferry
  • Helicopter

Synopsis for "The Incandescent Man"

Marvel Team-Up Vol 1 149 001.jpg

As a ferry in New York Harbor pulls up to its dock, the passengers on board spots something strange in the waters.[Continuity 1] It turns out to be a body floating in the water. When two of the boat crew out of the body, its suddenly begins to glow and sucks all the energy out of them, reducing their bodies to charred skeletons. As the glowing humanoid gets up off the ground, the passengers panic. Seeing the creature grinning manically, one of the passengers dubs the creature the Incandescent Man. Meanwhile, on Fifth Avenue, Samuel Guthrie -- the mutant known as Cannonball -- is at Saks purchasing a hat to send back home to his mother in Kentucky. Sam thinks about how he left home to learn how to use his mutant powers as a member of the New Mutants. He worries about his mother and the rest of the family getting by without him earning a living.[Continuity 2] His mentor, Charles Xavier, has been sending back money, but Sam's mother is too proud to accept charity. Sam figures it just as well, as he believes that he is going to flunk out at Xavier's School for the Gifted because he hasn't figured out how to master his powers.

Guthrie's worries melt away the moment he walks outside and sees Spider-Man web-slinging over the city. Sam recalls how Spider-Man had previously helped the New Mutants in the past and idolizes the hero, thinking the wall-crawler doesn't have a care in the world.[Continuity 3] However, Cannonball would be wrong, as Spider-Man's mind is filled with thoughts of his personal problems. The wall-crawler has begun to reconsider his decision to quit grad school, especially since it has created a rift between himself and his Aunt May.[Continuity 4] Arriving at the Daily Bugle, Peter changes back into his street clothes, missing how quickly he was able to change when he still had the alien costume he brought back from Battleworld.[Continuity 5] Peter then meets with Joe Robertson who hopes that Peter has some spectacular photos of Spider-Man, as the readers are getting bored of the usual pictures of the wall-crawler. Unfortunately for Peter, when he develops the photos Joe isn't interested in buying any of them.

Later, Spider-Man is web-slinging across the city complaining to himself about his inability to sell photos. He notices that there is a blackout in Chelsea and almost dismisses it, but reminds himself how shirking his responsibility led to the death of his Uncle Ben.[Continuity 6] The cause of the blackout is the Incandescent Man who is absorbing the electricity all around him, causing him to grow in size and mass. His rampage across the city is being followed by someone aboard a helicopter who is determined to capture the menace before he can escape again. Meanwhile, Sam Guthrie is trying not to get lost in the city when suddenly he sees a crowd of panicked New Yorkers fleeing from the Incandescent Man. As the creature heads towards Times Square, the person in the helicopter closes in, the pilot vows to make Project PEGASUS regret ever creating the menace. Witnessing Spider-Man swing by and learning about the monster that is terrorizing the city, Cannonball blasts off to see what he can do.

Cannonball ends up coming into a crash landing, breaking a fire hydrant. The water from the burst hydrant causes the Incandescent Man to shrink. As Spider-Man snaps photos of the battle, while Cannonball realizes that his mother's gift is being carried away by a stray dog. As the Incandescent Man closes in on Sam, Spider-Man webs the creature up and gets the young mutant to safety. Spider-Man recognizes Cannonball, who strips off his street clothing to be in costume. He expresses his fears of flunking out of Xavier's school. Still, Spider-Man thinks the young hero is actually doing well. When they notice the Incandescent Man is starting to shrink, Spider-Man deduces that exposure to water is affecting the creature. However, the Incandescent Man regains his power by absorbing all the energy from the electronic signs around Times Square. That's when the helicopter pursuing the creature arrives. As Spider-Man snaps photos of the chopper, Cannonball goes after his mother's new hat when it is picked up in the wind kicked up by the helicopter. The pilot tries to snare the Incandescent Man in a net, but it breaks free. That's when Spider-Man orders Cannonball to knock the creature into the Hudson River. With supreme effort, Sam manages to accomplish something he thought he'd never be able to master: the ability to turn while he is blasting. He then carries the Incandescent Man out into the water.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man confronts the woman in the chopper and pulls her out of it, despite her protests. While Cannonball fishes himself out of the river, the woman explains that the Incandescent Man is her twin brother. Apparently, her brother volunteered in a test at Project PEGSUS that turned him into the creature that rampaged through the city that night. She was hoping to capture him, but now that Cannonball had knocked it into the Hudson, she has lost the trail. However, she vows that she will track down her brother and harness his power to destroy the people responsible for what had happened to him. In the aftermath of the battle, Spider-Man commends Cannonball for a job well done. He tells the youth that he will be hailed as a hero, telling him that a photographer took photos of him in action. Cannonball is excited by this at first but suddenly becomes afraid. With the anti-mutant sentiment sweeping the country, Cannonball fears that those photos could bring harm to his allies in the X-Men and the New Mutants. Hearing this, Spider-Man tells Sam that Charles Xavier would be proud to hear that he is more concerned for the well-being of others than himself and promises to make sure the photos don't get developed. Once Cannonball is on his way, Spider-Man thinks that he should work on being a better person before he becomes a better photographer. He then pulls the film out of his camera and tosses it into the Hudson River.

Solicit Synopsis

Spidey and Cannonball of the New Mutants against the electrical menace of the Incandescent Man!


Continuity Notes

  1. The original twin towers of the World Trade Center are depicted in the New York City skyline. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, particularly since the original towers were destroyed on September 11, 2001.
  2. Sam's father was a miner who died on the job, forcing Sam to get a job to help raise his family. This was until he was recruited by Charles Xavier in Marvel Graphic Novel #4.
  3. Spider-Man helped the New Mutants rescue Sunspot and Wolfsbane from drug dealers in Marvel Team-Up Annual #6.
  4. Peter quit grad school so he could focus on his personal life, take photos for the Daily Bugle, and be Spider-Man. He made this decision in Amazing Spider-Man #243. He told Aunt May this in Amazing Spider-Man #253, upsetting her considerably.
  5. Spider-Man acquired the alien symbiote costume in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8. However, when he discovered it was alive and attempting to permanently bond with him, the wall-crawler had it turned over to the Fantastic Four for containment in Amazing Spider-Man #258.
  6. Not long after Spider-Man gained his powers, he allowed a burglar to flee the scene of a crime. This burglar went on to shoot his Uncle Ben shortly thereafter, as seen in Amazing Fantasy #15.

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks

Like this? Let us know!

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.