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Quote1.png I tried to tell myself she was just unconscious... but a body looks one way alive and another way when it's dead. I'd seen enough of both in the war to know. Quote2.png
Phil Sheldon

Appearing in "The Day She Died"

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Synopsis for "The Day She Died"

In the 1970s, Phil Sheldon releases his book Marvels, an instant best-seller. He realizes the book is actually the people's "talisman" for the Avengers, who are currently fighting in another galaxy in a Kree-Skrull War. Phil tells introduces his assistant, Marcia Hardesty, to his co-workers at a restaurant in the Baxter Building. He attends a trial for the Black Widow. News of the Marvels being insulted and degraded by the general public continue, and Phil is particularly disgusted by J. Jonah Jameson laying into Spider-Man, who has been framed for the death of NYPD Captain George Stacy. He resolves to investigate the murder, and clear Spider-Man's name.

While talking to a murder witness with Luke Cage, Phil learns that not only do the police not suspect Spider-Man for Stacy's death, but that they suspect Doctor Octopus. It is revealed that Spider-Man is being blamed due to Jameson, who reveals the true reason why people hate the Marvels: a mixture of jealousy and insecurity, the belief that humans cannot compete with the selfless heroism and nobility of the Marvels. It is also by befriending Gwen Stacy, Captain Stacy's daughter, that he learns from her, during a brief Atlantean invasion of Manhattan led by Namor, that the Marvels exist to help the innocent, beyond petty human jealousies and spite.

This revelation leads to Spider-Man being cleared, but not soon after Gwen is kidnapped by the Green Goblin, and during the chase that leads to the Brooklyn Bridge, where the fight leads to the death of Gwen, despite (or because) of Spider-Man's attempt to save her. Sheldon's faith in the Marvels becomes irreparably shattered, as Sheldon cannot reconcile Spider-Man's failure to save Gwen with what he sees as the hero's purpose in life. In the end, he decides that he has had enough, and plans to retire. Before he can hang up his camera, a final photo is taken of Phil, his wife, and a "nice, normal boy". Unbeknownst to him, the boy is Danny Ketch, who will soon become the hero Ghost Rider.

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Recommended Reading

Links and References


  1. From the Marvels TPB. ISBN 9780785100492.
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