Marvel Database

Appearing in "Mayhem"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • Thugs Shot by Ernie
    • John (First and only known appearance; dies)
    • Paul (Final appearance)
    • George (First and only known appearance)
    • Ringo (Final appearance)

Other Characters:

Races and Species:



Synopsis for "Mayhem"

Ernie Popchik comes rushing into Aunt May's boarding house telling May to close the door quickly as there are members of the press following after him, demanding answers about Popchik's recent release from jail.[Continuity 1] As Aunt May's other tenants come to Ernie's aid, May forces the door closed. Popchik apologizes for the media circus as his son informed the press that he would be returning home today. May understands and Nathan Lubenski tells Ernie that some people consider him a hero for shooting the hoods in the subway. Ernie doesn't feel like a hero, as he shot them out of fear after he was mugged a few days earlier.[Continuity 2] Arthur Chekov asks May if there is anything her nephew Peter can do to get the media off their front step. Nathan agrees, thinking Peter needs to do something for his aunt for once. May thinks Peter can do something as he can be pretty persuasive.

Elsewhere in the city, Spider-Man has caught a stool pigeon named Joey Face to learn what he can about why the Hobgoblin is now working for the Rose.[Continuity 3] However, when Joey has nothing to tell, Spider-Man leaves in frustration. He heads back to the Daily Bugle where, as Peter Parker, he hopes to get a photo assignment from Kate Cushing. He finds Kate talking to reporter Joy Mercado. When they see Peter they ask him to try and use his connections with his aunt to try and get an interview with Ernie Popchik. Peter doesn't feel right doing so, but Joy reminds him of his erratic work and guilts him into doing it. Although he is going to feel bad for weeks, Peter leaves for Queens with Joy Mercado. Meanwhile, the thieves who were shot by Ernie Popchik have just been released from the hospital. They're furious that the old man is being hailed as a hero after nearly killing them and have decided to pay him a visit. Travelling by subway, the goons decide to pass the time by mugging a woman and her daughter. At that moment, a gang of jewel thieves are going over their haul when suddenly they are interrupted by the Black Cat. She easily incapacitates the heavies and ropes up their leader. The man tells the Black Cat that the thief known as the Foreigner has a more valuable collection. Although she thinks the Foreigner is a myth, she is interested and gets the address, but still keeps the stolen gems. As she leaves, the Black Cat intends to fence the stolen gems and donate the money to the Hudson Street Orphanage.

Meanwhile, at the Woolcott home, Fritz Woolcott complains to himself about his son Alex's need for intention while working on his disintegration ray. Alex soon comes into the room and tells him that a lawyer has come to see him and his wife. The lawyer, Mr. Colby, has come to help the Woolcott's fight against a child abuse accusation filed by one of Alex's teachers. Fritz doesn't want to deal with the inconvenience of going to trial. Colby has a simple solution, that if they move to another district, the school board will have to begin their investigation from scratch. As they discuss this situation, Alex is fooling around with his father's newest invention. He puts his hand into the path of the disintegration mean causing a massive flash. Fritz and the others enter his lab where he scolds the boy. He is about to hit the child when he remembers that his lawyer is present and instead comforts the boy. As Alex comes out of his shock, he notices that his hand has started glowing.

Later, in Forest Hills, Anna and Mary Jane Watson are heading back to Aunt May's house. Anna uses this time to ask Mary Jane about her relationship with Peter, pointing out that they are more than just friends. Mary Jane tries to brush this off, but his Aunt sees right through him. She thinks to herself that she is trying to deal with the fact that Peter is secretly Spider-Man.[Continuity 4] When they see a group of men climbing into May's house through the window, Anna suggests that they call the police, however, Mary Jane intends to call Peter first, knowing he can do more as Spider-Man. At the same time, Peter is just arriving with Joy Mercado. Joy explains to Peter that she would sell out her own mother for the right story, but Peter still doesn't feel right about his current assignment.[Continuity 5] When they arrive at Aunt May's house they are shocked to see the police have the house surrounded. As Peter demands what's going on, Lieutenant Kris Keating is trying to negotiate with the intruders in order to get them to let the occupants of the house go.[Continuity 6]

Peter is found by Mary Jane who fills him in on what's going on when suddenly his spider-sense begins to go off. Suddenly, there is a shot from inside the house, prompting Joy to push Peter and Mary Jane to the ground. Keating tells his officers that the crooks have crossed over the line and to get into position. Peter is determined to do something, but Mary Jane tries to tell him to not get involved. She worries that his emotions might get the better of him and he might get his Aunt and everyone inside killed. Inside, the leader of the gang, John, finished making his demands and hangs up. Nathan Lubinsky chastises the young man for holding them hostage. However, the young man jokingly explains that they need to show them respect as he and his friends are famous celebrities, given that they all have the same first names as the Beatles. When John insults Nathan's manhood, Aunt May slaps him across the face. Furious, John grabs Aunt May and pushes her toward the window and puts a gun to her head. Seeing this development, Mary Jane tells Peter to forget what she told him and save everyone inside. Peter quickly changes into Spider-Man and sneaks into the house from his bedroom window. In the hall, he ambushes one of the thugs watching Anton Chekov as he goes to the bathroom.[Continuity 7]

Downstairs, Nathan warns John not to threaten May again only to get have his wheelchair knocked over sending him spilling to the floor. Suddenly, John hears a thump and goes to the phone demanding to know what's going on. Kris Keating tells him that they haven't moved on him, not trusting him, John warns that he will kill everyone in the house if he finds discovers something going on. Upstairs, the thug guarding the Palmero's has gotten sick of the couple's constant bickering and threatens to shoot them. That's when Spider-Man comes in and webs up his mouth and gun. This gives Victor an opening to knock out the goon with a single punch. Thinking something is going on, John sends his friend Paul upstairs to check on the others. Spider-Man knocks him out with a simple headbutt. Downstairs, Nathan agitates John to the point where he grabs Aunt May again and threatens to shoot her. That's when Spider-Man leaps downstairs and webs up the barrel of his gun. As John backs toward the window, Nathan opens the blinds, giving a sniper on the roof a clear shot. The sniper takes it killing John with a shot to the head. Although the danger is over, Spider-Man didn't want it to end like this but leaves as soon as the police enter the house. Horrified over what happened, Ernie decides to leave so he doesn't put his friends at risk again. Meanwhile, Aunt May is horrified that Nathan opened the blinds when Spider-Man had the situation under control. Nathan tries to explain himself, saying that the punks deserved it for threatening her and insulting him. However, May isn't sure she wants to understand. That's when Peter comes rushing in to make sure everyone is okay but notices that the rift that has now grown between May and her fiancee.


Continuity Notes

  1. Ernie was arrested for shooting a group of thugs on a subway train in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #110.
  2. Ernie was robbed in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #107.
  3. Spider-Man learned that the Hobgoblin was working for the Rose in Amazing Spider-Man #275.
  4. Mary Jane revealed to Peter that she knows that he is really Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #257.
  5. Peter states here that he never knew his mother. This is because his parents died while Peter was still an infant, as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5.
  6. This is not actually Kris Keating, but the Foreigner in disguise, as revealed in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #129.
  7. When Anton asks Spider-Man how he knows his name, Peter makes up a quick excuse, explaining that he met his daughter last Christmas. This happened in Marvel Team-Up #127.

See Also

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