Appearing in "With Friends Like These..."

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Synopsis for "With Friends Like These..."

On his way to Felicia Hardy's apartment, Spider-Man witnesses an explosion. Spider-Man quickly swings into the burning apartment to search for Felicia and finds her passed out on the floor. He recovers the Black Cat and gets her safely down to the street. When she is feeling better, Felicia begins hitting on Spider-Man, calling him by his first name. The wall-crawler tells her not to call him that in public.[Continuity 1] That's when Captain Kris Keating arrives on the scene and is unhappy to see that Spider-Man is once more involved.[Continuity 2] As Keating reams out Spider-Man, the wall-crawler wonders why the police officer is setting off his spider-sense. Keating backs off when the Black Cat reminds him that she recently stopped Sabretooth who was responsible for the deaths of a number of police officers.[Continuity 3]

As Spider-Man and the Black Cat depart the scene, the wall-crawler realizes that he still finds Felicia attractive. He is also bothered by the fact that he has found himself helping out the Black Cat after he vowed to stay away. Spider-Man wonders how he found himself in this situation. He thinks back to earlier in the day when he got a call from Felicia. She told him that someone had slipped a note under the door of her apartment threatening her life since she was the former lover of Spider-Man. The note mysteriously burst into flame after she finished reading it. At first, it reminds him of someone in particular, but he dismisses it. When the Cat asks him to come by, Peter pointed out that she held her own against Sabretooth recently. Felicia gets angry at this and hangs up. Peter felt guilty after that, leading to his coming to Felicia's apartment as Spider-Man in time to witness the explosion. With Peter's recollection over, the pair reach a rooftop where they can talk in private. There, the Black Cat invites herself over to stay at Peter's apartment, since she has nowhere else to go. Peter reluctantly agrees and the two head to Chelsea. When they arrive on the rooftop of Peter's apartment, he is dismayed to see his neighbors, Bambi, Candi, and Randi, are suntanning on the roof again. Unwilling to wait for them to go back downstairs, the Black Cat "warns" them that Spider-Man is there. Seeing the wall-crawler, the three women think he is peeping on them and run back inside.

As Spider-Man and the Black Cat are entering Peter's apartment, Mary Jane arrives outside in a taxi. Since she told Peter that she knows that he is also Spider-Man, their relationship has completely changed and she has come to talk to him.[Continuity 4] Before she can go upstairs, a former lover named Alfredo pulls up in another cab. He explains that he was going to see her when she left her apartment and followed after. She tells Alfredo that this isn't a good time as she needs to sort out her feelings for Peter. Alfredo understands and gives her his phone number in case changes her mind. Inside Peter's apartment, the Black Cat keeps on bringing up their past until Peter gets fed up and asks her where she is planning to stay. She tells Peter that she isn't made of money and was hoping that she could stay with him while her apartment is cleaned up. Peter finds her behavior strange, reminding her that she never liked his civilian identity or his apartment before. Felicia tells him that she has grown up and has accepted reality. When she comes close to try and kiss him, Mary Jane knocks at the door. Peter quickly tosses the Black Cat aside and answers the door.

When Mary Jane discovers that the Black Cat is there, the two women exchange catty comments. Peter pulls MJ aside so the two can talk privately. Mary Jane points out that the Black Cat is obviously pulling his strings. Peter denies this until the Cat pipes up about someone she thinks can help him. Peter puts his Spider-Man mask back on, but before he leaves he asks Mary Jane what she came over for. MJ lies and says she just wanted to chat and Peter leaves. Shedding a tear, Mary Jane takes out Alfredo's card and calls the number, and leaves a message telling him that she is free that evening. Later, on the waterfront, Kirk Donoghue is visited by a man named J.D., a man in the employ of the Foreigner. He has come to give Donoghue a box full of equipment for his job. Pulling out a flame gun, Kirk tries to incinerate J.D., but his outfit is fireproof, per the Foreigner's instruction. Kirk then signs off on the paperwork for the job he has to carry out.

Meanwhile, the Black Cat and Spider-Man are waiting in the Foreigner's waiting room. Spider-Man doesn't fully trust that the Foreigner is on the up-and-up, but the Cat insists that he is on the level. Suddenly, a woman claiming to be the Foreigner's wife comes storming into the room and makes her way into the office. They there is the sound of a gunshot, prompting the Black Cat and Spider-Man rush in to see what happened. However, the man slumped over the desk turns out to be nothing more than a dummy and the "disgruntled wife" turns out to be the Foreigner in disguise. The Foreigner introduces himself as Rafael Sabatini and greets the Black Cat. When the Foreigner sets off the wall-crawler's spider-sense, Spider-Man wonders why. After hearing what happened to the Black Cat, the Foreigner knows who was responsible. He tells them that he was visited by a crook named Kirk Donoghue, who wanted to get revenge against Spider-Man for a previous arrest. In order to do so, he managed to purchase the costume and identity of Blaze from some college students.[Continuity 5] The Foreigner then calls Blaze to make arrangements to meet, intending to send Spider-Man and the Black Cat to deal with him. While he is making the call, Spider-Man asks Felicia what her relationship with the Foreigner, but she insists that her romantic interests are only in him.[Continuity 6]

Soon Spider-Man and the Black Cat go to the meeting place inside the Manhattan Mall.[Continuity 7] When they confront Blaze in the security office, he turns on the security monitors revealing that he has a hostage for insurance. Blaze explains that he was hired to eliminate the two heroes but knows that they are out of his league. Instead, he offers them the chance to buy out the contract that was put out on their heads. To speed up their decision making, Blaze has his men torture the woman in the mall below. Learning that the security system is one-way, Spider-Man lashes out at Blaze, knowing it won't tip off his men below. Spider-Man webs up Blaze and tells the Cat that they need to get moving. He pauses for a moment when he briefly sees that the Cat's fingernails have grown into claws. However, the quickly closes her palm and retracts her claws, and convinces him that he is seeing things. The two split up to search for the hostage in order to free her.

The Black Cat is ambushed by one of the thugs, but she manages to pin his arm with the arrow of a crossbow. Extracting her claws, the Black Cat demands to know where the hostage is being kept. Elsewhere in the mall, Spider-Man is attacked by another gunman but dumps a bookshelf on him. Suddenly, Spider-Man hears the woman screaming and rushes to her aid. Unfortunately, it was all the trick, the screaming was a recording and the hostage is dead. Spider-Man is furious, as he was tricked by pre-recorded security footage before the woman was killed. Furious, Spider-Man goes back to where he webbed up Blaze but discovers that he has been freed by his men. Furious at the senseless loss of life, Spider-Man barrels through the thugs and incapacitates Blaze. Before he can get rough with the villain, Captain Kris Keating arrives with the police and orders Spider-Man to stand down. Spider-Man leaves Blaze with the police and goes up to the roof. Spider-Man is furious by how the world is becoming more brutal and feels like he is sinking. Felicia tells him to trust her to help keep him afloat. Peter then lets Felicia pull up his mask and kiss him. While at Kris Keating's precinct, Blaze finds himself in a jail cell. He is visited by Kris Keating who reveals that he knows that Blaze was hired by the Foreigner and that he failed. Keating then grabs Blaze by the head and snaps his neck. With the villain dead, Keating then uses untold strength to rip the bars off the window outside the cell. Keating then calls for help and convinces the officers that Spider-Man broke in and killed Blaze.


Continuity Notes

  1. Felicia teases Spider-Man about her not liking his civilian identity. She discovered she was only attracted to Spider-Man, not Peter Parker when he revealed his identity to her in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #87. It was one of the reasons why Peter broke up with her in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #100.
  2. This is not Kris Keating, but the Foreigner in disguise, as revealed in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #129.
  3. The Black Cat defeated Sabretooth in battle in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #119.
  4. Mary Jane revealed that she knew Peter's double identity in Amazing Spider-Man #257.
  5. The Blaze identity was created by Ashley Crawford and his friends at Empire State University in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #103.
  6. Felicia is lying of course, as she and the Foreigner are secretly plotting against Spider-Man, as revealed in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #117.
  7. The Black Cat makes a comment about how the Gimbles department store recently went out of business. The company went out of business in 1987. This should be considered a topiacl reference relative to the date of publication per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.

See Also


  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks

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