Appearing in "He Who Is Without Sin"
- Hugo Kelsey (Death)
- Reverend Tolliver
- Reverend Bernard Finn (On-screen)
- Gerald Jablonski (Only appearance)
- Susie Jablonski (Only appearance)
- New York City
Synopsis for "He Who Is Without Sin"
With the news of the murder of Reverend Bernard Finn at the hand of the Sin Eater, the news media asks the question, who will be the next victim? Among the dead include Captain Jean DeWolff, Judge Horace Rosenthal, as well as Hugo Kelsey, one of the innocent bystanders who was shot during Spider-Man's clash with Sin Eater. Hearing this, Peter Parker blames himself for leaping out of the way of Sin Eater's shotgun blast. He is talking on the phone to Detective Stan Carter on the phone as "Spider-Man" about the latest developments in the case. Carter is unimpressed when he sees Reverend Toliver is interviewed about the Sin Eater's activities. Also watching the news is Marla Jameson, wife of J. Jonah Jameson. She decides to call Betty Leeds to ask her to come and stay with her while Jonah is out of town as she doesn't feel safe being alone while the Sin Eater is on the loose. Also watching the news report is Reverent Toliver, who pats himself on the back for the speech he gave during his interview. Likewise is Emil Gregg, the man who frequently made confession with Reverend Finn. He hangs his head in his hands as the reporter expresses the authorities are concerned about possible copycat killers. Lastly, Matt Murdock listens as the reporter goes onto a story about a string of burglaries on the East Side.
At that moment, on the East Side, a young girl is woken up by a knock at the window. She is surprised to see Santa Claus standing there. She asks Santa why he is visiting her home before Christmas. The man dressed like Santa tells the girl that he will explain everything once she lets him in. Later that evening, the Kingpin is dictating a letter to C.B. Kalish who has been inquiring his next assassin. He is unimpressed that, as Madame Fate, Kalish assaulted some of his men and declines her off, and warns her not to interfere in his efforts again. Aware that Spider-Man is lurking on the ceiling, the Kingpin fires his cane-ray at the hero, but he leaps to safety. The Kingpin knows what Spider-Man has come for, and tells him the same thing he told Daredevil minutes earlier, he knows nothing about the killer. He tells the wall-crawler that he doesn't care about the deaths of DeWolff and Rosenthal, he takes issue with the Sin Eater killing a priest. Explaining that killing religious figures polarizes a city and makes it harder to control. The Kingpin then tells Spider-Man that he can leave out the front door, and to not knock out any more of his guards, suggesting he takes lessons in subtlety from Daredevil.
Meanwhile, Matt Murdock is going to seedy bars in his civilian identity to find out if anyone knows anything about the Sin Eater. However, the rough clientele tries to rough him up. However, Murdock easily trounces them. When they stand down, they tell him that they know nothing about Sin Eater. As Murdock leaves, the bartender is relieved that nobody broke the window. No sooner has he said this does Spider-Man come crashing through the window demanding information about Sin Eater. He begins beating the thugs in the bar, but finds nothing either.[Continuity 1] Spider-Man scours the city to for leads but finds none. After leaving Carter a voice mail about his progress, he tries another tactic. He then goes to the home of a drug dealer named Gerald Jablonski and takes him from his home. He takes Gerald to a shady bar where he tries to get him to talk. Nervous about other crooks seeing him talking to the wall-crawler. Although he admits to being the middleman in his drug dealings, he knows nothing about the Sin Eater.
The next day, Peter Parker goes to the Daily Bugle to see if they turned up anything regarding the Sin Eater. No sooner as he has arrived, a man who appears to be the Sin Eater comes barging into the newsroom and demands to see J. Jonah Jameson. He takes his wife Marla as a hostage. Quick thinking, Peter tosses some office equipment at the gunman, knocking him out.[Continuity 2] They unmask the man, revealing him to be Emil Gregg. Peter thinks that he has captured the real Sin Eater. Later, as Spider-Man, Peter sits in on the interrogation of Gregg who makes a full confession. However, Daredevil enters the room and after listening to Emil making a confession, he asks to speak privately with Spider-Man. Outside of the interrogation room, Daredevil tells Spider-Man that Gregg is lying. Spider-Man asks how he knows, but Daredevil isn't sure if he should tell Spider-Man about his ability to detect heartbeats and tell when people are lying. However, he convinces Spider-Man to join him in checking out Emil's apartment.
There, they search the apartment to try and find out if Gregg is the Sin Eater or not. Daredevil takes the opportunity to chastise the wall-crawler Jablonski into confessing his drug dealings. Searching the room, they find a locked door that has recently been picked. They discover it leads into the apartment next door. Searching this second apartment, Spider-Man finds bills that are addressed to Stan Carter. At first, the wall-crawler is shocked to discover that the killer lived next door to the detective on the case. However, Daredevil discovers a secret storage room that contains spare Sin Eater costumes, a shotgun, as well as a tape recorder. The evidence points to Stan Carter being the Sin Eater, and that Emil Gregg -- although mentally disturbed -- was confusing the records as voices in his head. When they consider who the Sin Eater will be going after next, Spider-Man realizes that it is going to be J. Jonah Jameson. However, Jonah is out of town, and while Marla works late, Betty Leeds is staying with her. Spider-Man frantically calls Joe Robertson to get Jameson's phone number. He then calls Betty to warn her about the Sin Eater. However, he is too late to warn her as the Sin Eater has already broken in. As Spider-Man tries to warn Betty to get out of the apartment, the Sin Eater opens fire, blasting a hole through the long back chair that Betty is sitting in.
The slayer of Jean DeWolff is revealed! Now, how can Spidey and Daredevil stop him from killing his next victim — J. Jonah Jameson!
- ↑ One of the bar patrons remembers Spider-Man being like this during his hunt for the Master Planner. This was in Amazing Spider-Man #31-33.
- ↑ Peter is depicted using the roller of a typewriter as a projectile. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- This issue is reprinted in other comics and books, see references for more info.
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