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Quote1.png Oh, monsters, is it? It's because of those horrible funny books! Take them out of here, Ben! Put them in the garbage! Quote2.png
Aunt May

Appearing in "Here There Be Monsters!"

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Synopsis for "Here There Be Monsters!"

Years Ago

Peter Parker is about to watch a late-night television show when his Aunt May tells Peter to get ready for bed. As Peter is asking to stay up and watch the show, it is interrupted by Stan Lee who tries to tell Peter that he is pre-empted the current programming. Before the famous comic book publisher can get any more words in -- or for Peter to realize that Stan is talking to him directly -- Peter's Uncle Ben turns off the television and tells the boy it is time for bed.[Continuity 1] As he helps the boy upstairs, Ben reminds Peter that they are supposed to get up early so they can go fishing. However, when he is alone in his bedroom, Peter decides to stay up and read old monster comic books. As he gets sleepy, he puts the book away, marveling at how the men who defeat the monsters in the comics are always very smart and wishes he could be like that. As Peter falls asleep, Stan Lee materializes out of mist that coming from the pages of the comic book. Addressing the reader, he tells everyone to be prepared for a story about the world's greatest super-hero as you've never seen him before, reminding everyone that this is the past and Peter Parker is just a little boy...[Continuity 2]

The next morning, Peter wakes up and rushes downstairs for breakfast. As Aunt May prepares his meal, she notes that her nephew is bringing his comic books along with him on the fishing trip. She finds these comics, with stories about monsters and aliens from outer space, to be of poor taste and wishes he wouldn't read them. Peter tries to defend his reading preferences by pointing out that they use a large vocabulary and are full of scientific facts. This does little to set May's mind at ease, insisting that the violence will warp his mind and the tiny print will strain his eyes. Shortly thereafter, Peter and his Uncle Ben leave for their fishing trip. Along the way, Ben tells Peter not to mind his Aunt May, as she tends to be overprotective at times. Ben then begins asking Peter about his friends at school. Although Peter doesn't really have any friends, he lies to his Uncle Ben, telling Ben that he has many. Ben knows Peter isn't being entirely honest but covers for Peter by suggesting that it is too bad that Peter's school friends are all too busy to join them on their fishing trip. When Ben asks Peter who his best friend is, Peter says that his uncle is his best friend.

Soon, the pair arrive at a lake in Westchester and begin fishing. Soon Uncle Ben dozes off and Peter is engrossed with his comic books. Neither are aware that they are being watched by Stan Lee, who tells the readers to pay attention as something is about to happen. It's then that Peter feels something pulling on his fishing line. Realizing that it is something big, Peter tries to wake up his Uncle Ben. That's when the monster known as Gigantus emerges from the water and begins trying to smash their boat. The force of his rise to the surface causes waves that push Peter and Ben to shore and they manage to lose the creature in the woods. However, they are not out of danger yet as they soon run into the giant tree-monster known as Groot. As they flee for their lives, Peter begins to realize that these monsters are all familiar. The pair soon hit a dead end when they almost run into a rock wall. At the mercy of Groot, the pair are saved when the Vandoom Monster smashes Groot into splinters with one mighty blow. As Vandoom rages, the pair try to catch their breath in some nearby trees. Unfortunately, a snapping branch gives their position away. Running for their lives again, Peter tries to tell his Uncle that these monsters are the same ones from his comic books. As they rush through the forest, they are equally unaware that another being is watching them with an evil grin on his face.

Unfortunately, Peter and Ben only end up getting turned around and end up back at the lake where Gigantus is still there. Thankfully, when the Vandoom monster arrives the two monsters become more interested in fighting with each other than the two humans they have been terrorizing. Ducking into a cave for cover, the pair think they are safe until they run into the electrical creature known as Blip. They run out of the cave and find themselves caught between the two monsters fighting in the lake and Blip. Seeing their overturned fishing boat, Peter suddenly gets some inspiration. Grabbing his metal fishing rod, he casts his line into the water and then tosses the pole at Blip. When the rod hits the creature it creates electrical feedback that destroys all the monster. However, just when Peter thinks they are safe, he turns around and sees that his Uncle is in the clutches of X the Unknowable. That's when Peter wakes up screaming, prompting his Aunt May and Uncle Ben to rush into his bedroom to see what's wrong. That's when Peter realizes that the entire experience was just a nightmare. Hearing what the nightmare was about, Aunt May blames it on the Peter's comic books and orders Uncle Ben to throw them in the garbage. However, Ben can't bring himself to throw them out and decides to put them away until Peter is old enough to not have nightmares anymore.[Continuity 3]

Elsewhere in the house, the creature known as Nightmare -- the real cause of Peter's nightmare -- is impressed with the boy's vivid imagination. He decides that the boy will be a suitable source of torment, a torment that will give him even greater power. However, Stan Lee sneaks up behind the creature and beats the creature into submission with a tennis racket. As May and Ben comfrot Peter in his room, Lee tells the reader that this concludes his tale of yesteryear and bids everyone farewell while he ties up a loose end and continues beating Nightmare.


Continuity Notes

  1. Peter is depicted watching a black-and-white television. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
  2. Chronologically speaking, this story takes place after a flashback from Sensational Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #33. In that story, Peter is stated to be 12 years old. This story also comes before the flashback in Amazing Fantasy #17 that states Peter was 13 years old. As such, Peter is still 12 years old in this story. Per Civil War #2, Peter was 15 when he first became Spider-Man. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, Amazing Fantasy #15 takes place during "year one" of the modern age. As such, this story takes place roughly three years prior to the start of the modern age.
  3. This story presents the "Marvel Monsters" as though they are fictional creatures when in actuality, many story have been published before and after that confirm that they actually existed and continue to exist on Earth-616. An explanation is that the general public on Earth-616 did not believe that these creatures were real at the time this story is set. In addition, as demonstrated in All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes and Marvel Boy: The Uranian, many wartime and cold war era stories were adapted into comic books by the Earth-616 version of Marvel Comics and its precursors. One can assume that this is also the case with the monster stories that Peter reads in this issue.

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