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Quote1 But on the night you proposed to me, I started to grow up, to set aside my fantasies and start making decisions about my life! Marrying Ben Parker was the first -- and the best -- of those decisions! Quote2
Aunt May

Appearing in "Memory Lane!"

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Synopsis for "Memory Lane!"

On a rainy night a group of criminals breaks into the vault of the First National Bank by breaking their way in from underneath. They steal as much money as they can from the vault and make their escape. However, as they exit the sewers they are attacked by Spider-Man.[Continuity 1] Spider-Man keeps the crooks busy until their gunshots alert the police who come and round them up. As Spider-Man swings back home, he unknowingly passes by his Aunt May. May is wandering around the city, picturing it as it was in her youth. She recalls back to when a young man named Johnny Jerome took her to the old night club to go dancing. She remembers it clearly, Johnny with all his money, but all that is left of the Bandstand is a boarded-up building.[Continuity 2]

Spider-Man returns home and orders his costume off before collapsing on his bed for the night. His sleep doesn't last long as he is roused by a phone call from Nathan Lubenski who is worried about May and asks Peter to come to their home and see her. As Peter changed back into Spider-Man and swings across the city, he recalls his history with Aunt May and how she raised him after Uncle Ben died.[Continuity 3] He also recalls recently how he has become estranged from her when he decided to drop out of university, a move that May did not approve of.[Continuity 4]

Arriving at his old home in Queens, Spider-Man changes back to his civilian guise and knocks on the door. Although Nathan is still at odds with Peter about the spat that he and May are going through, he shows her May sleeping in her chair. Telling him that she's been going on strange walks and being in irritable moods since she started receiving letters. Looking at the pile on her side table, Peter sees that they are love letters from a man named Johnny, asking her if she remembers certain outings he had with her. Retreating back to another room where they can talk, Nathan also expresses his concern that May might be becoming senile as well. Despite Peter's thoughts that Nathan might just be jealous, he agrees to tail May the next time she goes out into the city to make sure she's okay.

Crashing on the couch, Peter is awoken when Aunt May lets the door slam when she goes to check the mail. She has gotten another letter from Johnny and takes a cab into the city. Peter trails behind her as Spider-Man all the way to Conney Island. There she has a flashback remembering how Ben Parker used to work at the carnival. In this memory, Ben approaches her and asks her if she is out with anyone. When she tells him she's looking for Johnny Jerome, Ben warns her that he is bad news. May dismisses this as Ben being jealous of Johnny's money and snubs him.

She goes to the old run down merry-go-round and rides it where she has a recollection of how she met Johnny on it. Spider-Man notices that the run-down ride is about to go out of control. Using his spider-strength he manages to stop the merry-go-round. However, a group of Spider-Man fans swarms him making him lose track of May. May meanwhile rides the Farris wheel and recalls how years ago Johnny Jerome offered her a gold necklace, however when the ride abruptly stops she declines, Johnny understands and tells her there is plenty of time. They then left the park with a heartbroken Ben Parker watching from behind. With this recollection over, May leaves Conney Island.

Peter returns to Aunt Mays home to tell Nathan that he lost her on Conney Island when suddenly May returns home and completely ignores them. Nathan is upset because he is convinced at this point that May is going senile. Peter isn't quite sold and decides to go searching around in the attic. There he goes through a bunch of old photographs and keepsakes from May's youth.[Continuity 5] There he comes across an old valentines day from Johnny Jerome. Now having a name to work with, Peter goes to the Daily Bugle and goes through the database. They find an entry on a Johnny Jerome who was listed a career criminal who was arrested over a number of offenses back in the year May was a young woman and was just recently released.[Continuity 6]

Peter rushes back to Aunt May's home to find Nathan holding the most recent letter from Johnny: This one telling her to meet him at the old arch. Peter realizes that the "arch" Johnny is referring too is one that was captured in an old photograph taken outside of May's childhood home. Peter rushes off as Spider-Man as the old neighborhood has now become a slum.

Changing into Spider-Man, Peter rushes out to May's old home and sure enough, he arrives there just as she is getting out of a cab. He notices that a bunch of local hoods have made her and are slinking up from behind. May enters the home and begins recollecting her home life.[Continuity 7] Going up to her old room, she finds a jewelry box containing the heart-shaped necklace that Johnny offered to her all these years. She is then confronted by Jerome who comes through the window like he did in his old days. The years have not been kind to Johnny Jerome. Spider-Man meanwhile silently deals with the would-be attackers sending them fleeing, but not before a gunshot goes off.

The sound of the gunshot makes both Johnny and May remember back to that very moment years ago when Ben Parker crashed into May's room telling her that Johnny just held up a diamond store and that the police were after him. Finally realizing the truth, May had rejected him and Johnny fled with the necklace clashing with the police below. He would shoot one dead before he was wounded and taken into custody.

With the recollection over, Johnny tries to flee, thinking the police are really after him, but May stops him and makes him realize that they both have been living a fantasy of late. She clues him in on the fact that after he was in jail she married Ben Parker her only true love now many years dead. Further, she tells him that he only loves the memory of the May Reilly he met all those years ago and that May Parker is a different woman since he was in prison. She tells Johnny that he needs to put his past behind him and agrees to help him find a new beginning, but can offer him nothing more. Peter, listening to this while clinging to the ceiling is proud of his Aunt May and is convinced that she is not losing it.

When May returns home, she is lucid and back to normal much to the joy of Nathan. She says she has quite the story to tell him.

Appearing in "Cat and Mouse"

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Synopsis for "Cat and Mouse"

For their evening date, Spider-Man surprises the Black Cat by telling her he was serious that they should spend the night in. He has brought dinner to be cooked and a special gift as a thank you for agreeing for a quiet night in: A wine carafe. She is surprised by the gift and sets it down in her kitchen and before she begins preparing dinner she kisses Spider-Man. Returning to the kitchen she is shocked to find that the carafe is missing. Unable to find it she tells Spider-Man that she has no wine, and Spidey offers to get some. To stall for time, she tells the Wall-Crawler that they're supposed to have a "normal night" and tells him he can't web-sling over to get some win.

While Spider-Man is gone, Felicia searches the kitchen and finds a matchbook from for Zitranis Restaurant with a mouse drawn on it. Thinking it a clue, Felicia goes to check it out. At the restaurant, she spots her carafe being used to serve wine at a couples dinner. She comes up and introduces herself and makes up a story about top-secret microfilm being hidden in the carafe. However, before she can take it a man with a beard holds her at gunpoint takes the carafe and the couple as hostages.

When the Black Cat follows, the strange man hands the carafe to the diner patrons and leaps after the Black Cat and puts her on a merry chase. The couple then finds a beat cop who tells them to come with them downtown. The strange man is cornered by the Black Cat and tells her that he handed off the carafe to the man below.[Continuity2 1] Seeing the couple being huddled into a squad car, Felicia has to go back before Spider-Man returns. When he does, she takes the wine and tells him to relax while she makes him dinner but goes back out after the carafe.

Going to the police station she spies Jean DeWolff trying to make sense of it when Felicia's attacker from before enters the room and introduces himself as Lieutenant Tamarind of the CIA. Felicia breaks through the window and chases the "lieutenant" outside. During the struggle, the carafe is knocked out of her attacker's hands and down to the street below where it smashes. Felicia unmasks her attacker as her old cat burglar friend Tamara Blake. Felicia breaks down in tears because this is yet another secret that she has kept from Spider-Man including her powers and Tamara apologizes for playing this trick on her. The two return to Felicia's apartment where Tamara goes around the front and "suddenly shows up" and joins them for dinner. As Spider-Man and the Black Cat prepare the table, Tamara can't help but wonder if things will go well with Felicia and Spider-Man.

Solicit Synopsis

Featuring a look back into Aunt May's youth, as she is haunted today by an old love — and a secret from her past! How will her web-slinging nephew save her from the dangers without — and within? Plus — a solo tale of the Black Cat


Continuity Notes[]

Memory Lane!:

  1. The narrative that Spider-Man is asleep while this is happening. His costume has been taking him out on patrol while he sleeps since Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #95. What Peter doesn't know is that his costume is a living symbiote that is trying to bond with him. This is revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #258.
  2. This flashback suggests that Aunt May was a young woman in the 1930s. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. For example, when this event is retold in Amazing Spider-Man Family #7, it is set in the early 1950s. Modern readers should interpret the flashbacks in this story happening roughly 50 years prior to this story, or roughly 44 years prior to the start of the modern age.
  3. Uncle Ben was murdered by a burglar in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  4. May has been upset with Peter since he told her he quit grad school in Amazing Spider-Man #253.
  5. A photo of May with her parents is dated sometime in the 1920s (The year is partially obscured). This date should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Modern readers should interpret this photo as being taken roughly 58 years prior to this story, or 52 years prior to the start of the modern age.
  6. The details of Jerome's records should be considered topical references. Although most of the dates are obscured, it states that he was born in 1902. Modern readers should interpret that Jerome was born 82 years prior to this story, as opposed to a specific date. His release date of June 2, 1984, should also be considered topical. There is also some information that would prematurely age Jerome that can also be considered topical. Namely, one of his crimes being bootlegging, and how he was originally sentenced to death but his sentence was commuted to life in prison. This is because bootlegging during the prohibition era lasted from 1920-1933. New York state repealed capital punishment in 2004.
  7. It's interesting to note that Aunt May's recollection here has her speaking to both her mother and father. This is at odds with a flashback from Amazing Spider-Man #370 which states that May's father walked out on his family when she was still a young girl. One could presume that May's father eventually returned to the family. Her parents are not named until Amazing Spider-Man Annual #36.

Cat and Mouse:

  1. The mystery man recounts how the Black Cat used to be the world's greatest cat burglar. This was true until Spider-Man convinced her to reform in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #75.

Chronology Notes[]

Events occur in flashbacks that affect the chronology of the following characters:

May Reilly:

Ben Parker:

Johnny Jerome:

See Also

Links and References