Appearing in "Ace"
- Reapers (First appearance)
- Dragons (First appearance)
- Jean Hillman (First appearance)
- Rosie Spencer (First appearance)
- Mrs. Spenger (First appearance)
- Vince DiFeo (Only appearance; dies)
- Mr. Alexander (Only appearance)
- Sammy (Only appearance; dies)
- United States of America
- Vietnam (Only in flashback)
- Ace's Motorcycle
Synopsis for "Ace"
Spider-Man is snapping photos of the aftermath of a gang shootout outside of DiFeo's Restaurant. He is disgusted by the scene and wishes there was something he could have done to stop it. The wall-crawler thinks about the situation that brought him here. He was patrolling the city when he heard gunshots coming from Harlem. However, he arrived too late, as paramedics are already on the scene collecting the wounded. When he spots Captain Jean DeWolff arriving on the scene, Spider-Man swings down to his old friend, who is not too happy about being called to the scene of a crime on her night off.[Continuity 1] The wall-crawler learns that this is yet another shooting committed by the youth gangs that are running wild in the city. They soon learn that this is yet another in a string of clashes between two rival street gangs, the Dragons and the Reapers. That's when the owner of the restaurant, Vince DiFeo tells Jean and Spider-Man that he recognized two of the Reapers and identifies them as Lorenzo Spencer and Al Webber. That's when Spider-Man wet to the rooftops to snap photos.
It's then that Spider-Man spots someone on a motorcycle in a nearby alley wearing sunglasses. Finding this suspicious, the hero decides to take some pictures of the mystery man in case he has anything to do with the shooting. The youth sees this and when Spider-Man swings away, he starts up his motorcycle and speeds off. As he speeds by Jean DeWolff, she warns the man -- named Ace -- to slow down or she will have to arrest him, again. Ace speeds home to the slum that he calls home. He arrives to find his sister, Rose, sitting on the floor reading the Wizard of Oz. He suddenly spies a rat and tosses his switchblade at the rodent, killing it before it can attack his sister. After some pleasantries with his sister, Ace is called into his mother's bedroom. Mrs. Spencer knows that there was some kind of trouble and asks Ace if he was involved. Ace tells her that he wasn't and, satisfied, his mother goes back to bed. When Rose asks Ace why their mother always asks him the same question, he tells her that he always gives her the same answer.
The next afternoon, Peter Parker is heading to the Daily Bugle when he is almost bowled over by reporter Joy Mercado. Recognizing Peter as a photographer, Joy pulls him into a cab to go down to the criminal court building.[Continuity 2] On the way, Joy compliments Peter on his photos of the gang war, but wishes he could have got photos of the gun battle. When Peter admits his squeamishness at the idea, Joy tells him of the time she reported a war in Southeast Asia, which was much worse than a gang war.[Continuity 3] After a bumpy cab ride there, Joy tries to chastise the driver, only to discover he only speaks Spanish. Peter tells her that she won't get anywhere because he has dealt with this cab driver before.[Continuity 4]
Meanwhile, across town, a disabled war veteran travels along the street, complaining to himself about how much of a slum his neighborhood is. Suddenly, he is confronted by some thieves who are attempting to mug them. Before they can try, Ace shows up, but the disabled man assures them that Ace won't get involved, that he taught him better. He relates to when he was an idealistic young man. He enlisted in the military and was sent overseas to a conflict in Asia. During a brutal firefight, his legs were blown off by the enemy.[Continuity 5] After he had recovered from his injuries he was sent home where he met a young and impressionable Ace. He taught Ace not get involved in the affairs of others. These memories bring the man to tears. When the thieves confirm that Ace will do nothing if they try to rob him, the man confirms this, but he is far from harmless. From under his wheelchair seat he pulls out a shotgun and threatens to blow their heads off. Frightened by the gun, the thieves flee for their lives. With the danger over, the man tries to talk to Ace about the trouble his brother has got himself caught up in, as he heard that his brother Lorenzo has been arrested and is facing trial at the courthouse. Hearing this, Ace rides away, with the man warning Ace to stay out of others business.
At the courthouse, Peter Parker is snapping photos of the trial against Lorenzo Spencer and his fellow gang member Andrew Webber. When they learn that the victim, Mr. DiFeo is in a coma, the judge calls a pause to the trail until he comes out of it. He also remands Spencer and Webber into custody unless the bail of $25000 paid. Outside the courtroom, Peter and Joy learn from DiFeo's lawyer that he had just passed away while they were in court. The only chances that they have to include DiFeo's account is either by motioning a deathbed testimony, which could be refuted if the defense points out that DiFeo didn't think he was going to die. The other option is res gestae, if DiFeo blurted out the names of the shooters without being questioned it could be admissible. Peter remembers that, as Spider-Man, he asked Difeo who shot him, he realizes what a mistake that he made. Later, Joy laments that the case can't be won without a witness. That's when Peter goes rifling through his camera bag and pulls out the photo he took of Ace, telling Joy that he was at the scene of the crime. Joy recognizes Ace and tells Peter to come along with her to convince him to tell his side of the story.
Peter doesn't know who Ace is, but as he and Joy search for him and interview people who know him, he gets a good idea. Allegedly, Ace had formed the Reapers street gang. However, there are conflicting reports of his involvement in prostitution and drugs. What everyone can agree on, everyone in the neighborhood, including the gangs, respect Ace. They are warned that Ace once took on five men at once for disrespecting him and they never touched him. However, they fail to find Ace and just before Joy is about to give up they are confronted by members of the Dragons confront them. They don't like outsiders in their neighborhood and attempt to rough them up. Peter tries to fight back without betraying his secret identity. However, soon Ace arrives and the sound of his motorcycle makes them back off of Parker, fleeing with Joy. Ace speeds in Peter's direction, but he leaps out of his way and pretends to be knocked out. Ace goes up and checks Peter, who is playing possum and looks through his bag. Finding a camera, Ace smiles and leaves it where he found it and rides off. With Ace gone, Peter gets up and slips into an alley to change into Spider-Man. He is confused that Ace didn't steal his camera and wonders if Ace connected Peter Parker with Spider-Man.
He begins searching for the Reaper's hideout, he is concerned about finding the gang until he spots their hideout thanks to the fact that the Reapers painted the name of their gang on the side of the building that functions as their hideout. After setting up his camera, the wall-crawler is about to rescue Joy when he is suddenly confronted by Ace. Much to Spider-Man's surprise, the young man has amazing agility. As the two fight it out, one of the Reapers who has Joy hostage explains that Ace doesn't let anyone get involved in gang business as long as it remains gang against gang. Spider-Man continues to try and take down Ace, but the young man is too fast for the hero and even manages to cut the wall-crawler with his knife. Suddenly, the Dragons arrive on the scene and storm the Reaper's hideout to get revenge. Spider-Man tells Ace to get them to stop since they will listen. Ace doesn't want to get involved, even after hearing that Joy is a prisoner inside. As the bullets fly, Spider-Man leaps in and easily subdues both gang members. Going up to the room where Joy is being held and discovers that the young man guarding her was killed by a shot to the head by a stray bullet. As Joy is explaining what happened, Ace enters the room. Spider-Man shows Ace the dead youth and points out and asks him how he can let this senseless slaughter continue. As he tries to get through to Ace, the rogue suddenly thinks of his brother, Lorenzo, in the place of the dead youth. Getting angry, Ace punches Spider-Man again and walks out. Recovering from the blow, but surprised he was hit nonetheless, Spider-Man asks Joy if he got through to Ace. Cynical as ever, Joy doesn't think so.
However, the words did hit home for Ace, who drives out to Rykers Island to visit his brother. In the visiting room, Ace tells Lorenzo that he is going to testify as a witness. This upsets Lorenzo who asks him why he could do this to his brother. Ace's final words to his brother is that he is doing this because he is family and rides off as his brother begs for him to come back.
A gangwar is imminent! The streets will be bathed in the blood of teenagers! Spidey tracks down the one man who can stop it — but his quarry refuses to take a hand! Spidey must find out the soul-searing reason why in "Ace!"
- ↑ Jean DeWolff states that she was paged to come to the scene. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Particularly since pagers have been an obsolete technology since the 21st century.
- ↑ Joy Mercado says that she was picked up by the Bugly from the Times. She is referring to the Daily Times, a newspaper she worked for previously, as seen in Moon Knight #33.
- ↑ Joy states she covered the Vietnam War. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- ↑ Spider-Man met this cab driver during a disastrous manhunt in the suburbs, as depicted in Amazing Spider-Man #267.
- ↑ The conflict mentioned here was the Vietnam War. Again, this should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
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