Appearing in "Deadly Diversions"
- Daily Bugle
- Flash Thompson
- Alison Mongrain
- Shirley Washington (Cameo)
- Buzz (Cameo)
- Devon Lewis (Cameo)
- Arthur Stacy
- Avengers (Recap)
- Fantastic Four (Recap)
- Seward Trainer (Recap)
- Onslaught (Mentioned)
- Captain George Stacy (Mentioned)
- Thor Odinson (Mentioned)
- Unnamed Harlequin-amalgam
- Unnamed Joker-amalgam
Races and Species:
- New York City
- Flash's apartment
Synopsis for "Deadly Diversions"
This story continues from Spectacular Spider-Man #240...
Mary Jane is out shopping with her Aunt Anna when she decides to call her husband Peter Parker and tell him that they are stopping at the Daily Grind for lunch and tell him when she expects to return home.[Continuity 1] As the two women plan out the final leg of their shopping spree, they are completely unaware that the mysterious man plotting against Spider-Man is continuing his grand scheme in the building behind them.[Continuity 2] Meeting Gaunt, his loyal second in command, this mystery man is pleased that Gaunt eliminated Seward Trainer.[Continuity 3] Decked out in his new cybernetic armor, Gaunt -- aka Mendel Stromm -- is ordered to tie up the remaining loose ends of his master's grand scheme and then he is to kill Ben Reilly right before Peter Parker's eyes.
Meanwhile, at the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson is furious to learn that there is an emergency board meeting scheduled for that evening, on Halloween of all nights. As he complains, Joe Robertson points out that the Daily Bugle has been under a lot of financial strains recently and that is likely going to be the topic of conversation.[Continuity 4] Fed up, Jonah rushes to the elevators to try and get to the upper floors to discuss the situation with the board of directors only to discover that the elevators are undergoing maintenance, angering him even more. While at Peter Parker's home in Forest Hills, Ben Reilly assists him in finding his mobile device so he can keep in touch with Mary Jane while they are out.[Continuity 5] As they walk the neighborhood, Ben once again expresses his excitement of being an uncle, as Peter and Mary Jane's baby is due to be born soon.[Continuity 6] They also notice the repair efforts being undergone in the area following Onslaught's attack on Manhattan. This reminds them how the Fantastic Four and the Avengers sacrificed their lives to stop Onslaught and how the city needs heroes right now.[Continuity 7] That's when Peter suggests that maybe it is time for there to be two Spider-Men. Ben reminds Peter that he has a responsibility to his wife and unborn child and reminds him that Peter's powers are not back to their full strength and cut out on occasion.[Continuity 8] Peter, however, shows Ben that he is at the top of his game by leaping up into a nearby tree and swings between the branches. Ben is convinced but tells Peter to cut it out before someone sees him. While at Manhattan's 28th Precinct, Aruthr Stacy pays a visit to Detective Connor Trevane to discuss a common interest: Spider-Man.[Continuity 9]
While in Hoboken, Flash Thompson receives a letter by registered courier. It turns out to be an invitation to a Halloween party being thrown at the Daily Bugle. Although the invitation is anonymous, Flash thinks this is a perfect opportunity for him redeem himself in the eyes of Betty Brant.[Continuity 10] At that same moment, Betty Brant is opening her own invitation, however, hers isn't entirely anonymous, as it is signed by someone calling themselves "O", unfortunately, she has no idea who it could be. Back in Queens, Peter finally manages to convince Ben that his powers are back up to full speed when suddenly both of their spider-senses goes off. They leap into the ruins of a nearby school and find some children playing in the rubble. As they are trying to get the kids to safety, the pair is suddenly ambushed by Gaunt. In the ensuing confusion, Ben manages to slip away and changes into Spider-Man. As the wall-crawler distracts Gaunt, Peter leads the children to safety.
In Manhattan, Mary Jane and her Aunt Anna are sitting down to lunch at the Daily Grind. When Mary Jane orders the gumbo, the waitress goes into the kitchen to prepare the meal. When nobody is looking, the waitress then slips a drug into the soup with a sly grin on her face. Back in Queens, Spider-Man continues to fight his foe and learns that it is Gaunt, the man who ran Multivex and forced Seward Trainer to work with him. This distracted thought allows Gaunt to finally strike the web-slinger. The battle then causes a collapse elsewhere trapping Peter and the children. As Parker tries to move the rubble, his spider-powers aren't co-operating. However, his spider-sense begins going off warning him of the children whose eyes have just started glowing. At that moment, at the Daily Grind, Mary Jane has suddenly gone into labor and it is an incredibly painful one, prompting an ambulance to be called. The paramedics on the scene realize that this isn't natural and could spell trouble for the pregnant woman and her unborn child. In Queens, Spider-Man finally pins Gaunt to the ground and gets a good look at his restored face. He instantly recognizes him as Mendel Stromm -- the man that Spider-Man once fought years ago.[Continuity 11] While Spider-Man is distracted again, Stromm activates a pair of robots that try and ambush the wall-crawler from behind.
By this point, Peter has discovered that the children in his care are actually robots and manages to escape the deathtrap and rejoins Ben. As they are surrounded by Mendel Stromm and his creations, Peter receives a notification from his mobile device and realizes that Mary Jane is in serious trouble.
... Revelations continue in Amazing Spider-Man #418.
- Continuing the saga that will establish the one. true Spider-man!
- While the friends of Peter Parker receive ominous invitations, the identity of Gaunt is revealed!
- But Spidey doesn't have time to ponder the shock, because Mary Jane's going into painful and premature labor! Continued in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #418!
|Spectacular Spider-Man #240||Sensational Spider-Man #11||Amazing Spider-Man #418||Spider-Man #75||Spider-Man: Revelations #1||Osborne Journals #1|
- Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from existence by Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.
- This mystery man is revealed as Norman Osborn in Spider-Man #75.
- Seward Trainer was murdered by Gaunt in Spectacular Spider-Man #240.
- Jonah was forced to downsize the Bugle's staff in Amazing Spider-Man #416.
- This device is depicted as a pager. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as pagers are generally considered an obsolete technology.
- Mary Jane revealed she was pregnant in Spectacular Spider-Man #220.
- The Avengers and Fantastic Four were believed to have died stopping Onslaught in Onslaught Marvel Universe #1. However, they all survived and are living in a pocket dimension as seen in the Heroes Reborn event. They will return in Heroes Reborn: The Return #1–4.
- At the time of this story, Peter was stripped of his powers in Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #4. Although they have since come back in Spectacular Spider-Man #237, Peter's powers were -- up to this point -- unreliable and would occasionally cut out.
- The photo on Connor's desk is of a skeleton in a Spider-Man costume that was recently discovered in Spectacular Spider-Man #231. At the time of this story, the skeleton had been stolen from the city morgue by Spider-Man in Sensational Spider-Man #2, leading to a police investigation. The origins of this skeleton are revealed in Osborne Journals #1.
- Flash Thompson dated Betty Brant for a time starting in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #109 while Betty was still married to Ned Leeds. Their relationship ended without much fanfare prior to Spectacular Spider-Man #148.
- Mendel Stromm battled Spider-Man and seemingly died in Amazing Spider-Man #37 (this story misattributes those events to Amazing Spider-Man #36). How Stromm survived this brush with death is explained in Osborne Journals #1.