Appearing in "A Christmas Story"
- J. Jonah Jameson
- Norman Osborn (Mentioned)
- S.H.I.E.L.D. (Mentioned)
- Glory Grant (Mentioned)
- Liz Osborn (Mentioned)
- Felicia Hardy (Mentioned)
- Newspapers van
Synopsis for "A Christmas Story"
As the holiday's fast approach, Spider-Man swings across the city realizing that he hasn't bought any gifts for his loved ones and hopes that he can snag a last minute present.[Continuity 1] However, as the wall-crawler gets down to the street level he is spotted by citizens who want to cash in on the bounty put on his head by Norman Osborn.[Continuity 2] Surprisingly, one of the would-be bounty hunters pulls a gun and starts opening fire on the wall-crawler. Quickly thinking, Spider-Man leaps to the ground and swats the gun out of his hand before anyone else can get hurt by the stray bullets. This doesn't stop an angry mob from forming prompting Spider-Man to flee the scene.
Once in the relative safety of the rooftops, Spider-Man thinks how easy it was finding a gift for Mary Jane's Aunt Anna.[Continuity 3] After meeting their new neighbors, Ellen Hibbert and her daughter Hope, Anna has been helping Ellen with Hope who is deaf. Seeing Anna's interest in the young girl, he bought her a book on sign language to help her communicate with the young girl. Now he only has one present left to buy but has no idea what to get. Seeing the lights on at the Daily Bugle, the web-slinger decides to take a peek and see who is still working. Inside he spots J. Jonah Jameson working in utter frustration and wonders what Norman Osborn has on him to make the once proud publisher sell half ownership of the Bugle to Osborn.[Continuity 4] Swinging away, he hopes that Jameson can have a happy holiday even though it looks like he is going through a rough time.
Getting a gift for his wife Mary Jane was easy enough, especially after such a nightmare year the couple have been having.[Continuity 5] Since money was tight, Peter sold all his old monster comics he had collected as a kid.[Continuity 6] With the money from selling these comic books, he was able to pay for a much-needed getaway from New York.
While a few blocks away, Morrie Bench -- aka Hydro-Man -- walks down the street wondering why he decided to stay in New York. Paranoid, he thinks the two men following behind him are either police or SHIELD agents unaware that they are just two ordinary men going to do laundry. Thinking these men are carrying weapons designed to capture them, Hydro-Man reveals his true nature. As Hydro-Man flees the scene, he runs into Spider-Man who is fleeing yet another angry mob that has formed by his presence. Bench sends himself and Spider-Man crashing into the display window of a nearby store. After slamming into a holiday display, Hydro-Man makes his getaway while Spider-Man recovers from being ambushed. Following after Morrie, the web-slinger continues to try and think of the ideal gift. His mind drifts back to earlier that day when he was at the Daily Bugle checking his messages. Once again he learns that a woman with blonde hair has been trying to contact him for some time, but he can't figure out who it is.[Continuity 7] His thoughts were interrupted by Billy Walters, the new writer for the Daily Bugle. He asks Peter for a decent photo of Spider-Man for a story he is writing. He then surprises Peter with a gift. Peter felt bad because he has been trying to be friends with Billy and has been doing something terrible job at it. This is why he has been out trying to find the perfect gift, but he hardly knows Billy and can't think of anything. He thinks about how he tried to get in the holiday spirit at home, but Mary Jane noticed him brooding and convinced him to go out and find a gift for Billy.
Stopping to take a look at people celebrating the holidays, Peter realizes that he has been thinking too hard about what to get Billy that he completely forgot the spirit of the season. Recalling how Billy is a huge Spider-Man fan, the web-slinger then comes up with the best idea. Spider-Man then pays a visit to the apartment of Billy Walters with a camera to take all the photos Billy could ever want of Spider-Man as a gift from Peter Parker.[Continuity 8] As the web-slinger leaves, Billy Walters wishes the hero a happy holiday. With his holiday spirit restored, Peter Parker returns home to spend the evening with his family and they spend a festive evening together around the television watching holiday specials on the television.[Continuity 9]
- As the title suggests this story is depicted as taking place around Christmas. However, this puts it at odds with Spider-Man Holiday Special #1995 and Amazing Spider-Man #420 which also depict Spider-Man celebrating Christmas. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, these stories would all happen at least a few months apart from one another instead of an entire year between each (With the 1995 Holiday Special at least happening in the previous year of the modern age from this story. One could assume that the depiction of Christmas here is a topical reference.
- Osborn put this bounty out after tricking Spider-Man into attacking him in Spectacular Spider-Man #250.
- 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.
- The Bugle was having financial troubles since Amazing Spider-Man #417 until Norman Osborn forced Jameson to sell half-ownership of the company to him in Spectacular Spider-Man #249 after threatening to harm Jonah's family for months.
- That's a vague way of putting it. Peter is referring to how their life was turned upside down during the clone saga that started with Peter going through an identity crisis, constant threats on Mary Jane's life, and ending in the miscarriage of their child and the return of Norman Osborn.
- Peter's collection of monster comics were showcased in Sensational Spider-Man #-1.
- The last time this woman tries to reach Peter was in Sensational Spider-Man #21. The identity of this woman is revealed in Sensational Spider-Man #26. Peter states that he uses a dial-up modem to access his messages at the Bugle. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as that technology is generally considered obsolete.
- The kind of camera used here is depicted as a Polaroid Instamatic Camera. Again, this should be considered a topical reference as this technology is more of a novelty than a commonly used format and is generally considered obsolete.
- The film they are watching is "It's a Wonderful Life" which in-and-of-itself wouldn't necessarily be a topical reference other than the fact that the celebration of Christmas in this story itself should be considered topical.