Appearing in "Back on his Game!"
- Desiree Winthrop
- Shirley Washington
- Billy Walters
- Aunt Anna
- Hope Hibbert
- Mike Dennager (Only appearance)
- 'Tonio (Unnamed)
- Ben Reilly (Mentioned)
- Lenny (Mentioned)
- Dougie Horton (Mentioned)
- Ben Urich (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- New York City
- Garbage truck
Synopsis for "Back on his Game!"
A young couple is walking through the streets of Manhattan when they are suddenly confronted by a mugger who attempts to rob them. Thankfully, Spider-Man arrives on the scene and knocks out the crook, much to the thanks of his would-be victims.[Continuity 1] When the crook gets back up and tries to stab the web-slinger from behind, Spider-Man quickly beats him into submission and leaves him webbed up for the authorities. Those watching the fight applaud Spider-Man who does a quick bow before heading for home. On his way back home, Spider-Man feels great that he is back in his regular costume and no longer hunted by bounty-hunters. As he arrives home, he peeks into the window of his neighbor, Hope Hibbert, he recalls how the deaf girl gave a sign that suggested that she might know his secret identity and grows concerned again.[Continuity 2]
Later that day, Peter Parker and his wife Mary Jane are heading to the Daily Grind.[Continuity 3] They are going to meet with Desiree Winthrop who has been trying to talk with Peter since the death of Ben Reilly to talk about what she claims is psychic abilities that have her concerned.[Continuity 4] Although Peter has his apprehensions, Mary Jane convinces her husband that talking to Desiree is the right thing to do as she is struggling to come to terms with Ben's death. When they enter the Grind they are welcomed by its owner, Shirley Washington, and Buzz, a regular patron. As Mary Jane sits down with Desiree, Shirley and Buzz ask Peter his opinion on the news about drug dealers who have been disappearing. At first, Peter thinks this is a good thing, but Buzz puts his opinion in doubt by pointing out that Spider-Man was being hunted down not so long ago even though he was eventually proven innocent of any wrongdoing.[Continuity 5] When he sits down with Desiree, she wants to Peter about this strange premonition she had about Ben Reilly and his connection to Spider-Man. This comes as a shock to Peter, but before Desiree can get into more detail, Billy Walters enters the Grind. When Peter invites Billy over to their table, he considers it for a moment before changing his mind and walking away, still hurt that Peter has bailed on him on a number of occasions.
As Billy walks away, Desiree continues saying that she was thinking about how Ben Reilly died helping Spider-Man and how she knew that he Reilly had some kind of secret. Lately, she has felt premonitions about others. After a long rambling explanation, she felt that she a psychic feeling from Ben and how he loved Peter very much, that such tight bonds are rare. Half listening because he is more concerned about Billy, Peter offhandedly tells her that he does understand what she means, particularly when he sees the hurt look on Billy's face. After getting it off her chest, Desiree thanks the Parkers for listening to her, telling them that she figures this is weird for them. Mary Jane assures her that it is not the weirdest thing they've ever experienced.
That evening, a drug dealer named Larry is being hunted down by the Black Cat. However, when she corners him in an alley, a gang of men surrounds them, wanting Larry for himself. Quickly, the Black Cat knocks out all of these attackers and then gets down to business with Larry. She demands that he tell her what happened to all the drug dealers who have been disappearing lately, particularly one named Dougie Horton, a runaway who worked as Larry's drug mule. He refuses to talk, even when the Black Cat threatens to make other criminals think he is a mole for the NYPD. That's when one of the gang members gets up and tries to shoot her but surprisingly misses. As the Black Cat knocks her would-be killer out, she tells Spider-Man that she knows he is watching and leaps up to join him. When he asks the Cat what she is up to, she explains that she is trying to find Dougie Horton, who ran away to New York City to try and find fame and fortune before disappearing. She was then hired by Doubie's family to try and find out what happened to him. So far, she has no leads but figures the next person she meets, someone named Mikey will talk. The web-slinger agrees to help, and the next day Peter gets info on the disappearances from Ben Urich at the Daily Bugle. He tells Felicia that the kidnappings have all happened near Lexington and 98th Street during routine drug drops. Meanwhile, Felicia has located "Mikey", full name Michael Dennager a 16-year-old pusher. She asks Peter if he wants to tag along with her. Peter gladly accepts and when Felicia hangs up the phone she accidentally knocks her drink. Surprisingly, the cup lands upright without spilling.
At the Parker home, Peter begins telling Mary Jane what's going on when he notices Hope Hibbert -- who is being babysat by Aunt Anna -- watching them intently. He quickly pulls Mary Jane aside and repeats his concerns that Hope may have stumbled upon his secret identity. However, Mary Jane thinks that Peter is overreacting and tells him to get going and Peter ducks out before Mary Jane can make a joke about how Peter and Felicia used to date.[Continuity 6] Soon, Spider-Man and the Black Cat have tracked down Michael Dennager to an alley where he is meeting with two other drug dealers. When they try to confront them, they all make a run for it. As Spider-Man rounds up Michael's associates, Felicia chases after Dennager demanding answers. Mikey tells her that Dougie was taken by the "truck". While she is trying to get the youth to make sense she doesn't see a garbage truck driving up to them. The wall-crawler sees it and recognizes it and tries to shove both the Black Cat and Mikey out of the way. However, the truck drops a dumpster over top of them and the drivers pump it full of knock out gas, incapacitating everyone inside.[Continuity 7]
When they wake up, Spider-Man and the Black Cat find themselves a prisoner of the madman known as Arcade who welcomes the wall-crawler back to Murderworld.[Continuity 8]
- Spider-Man mentions he was "gone for a while", this is referring to when he briefly retired his Spider-Man persona during the Identity Crisis event.
- Hope discovered Spider-Man's identity in Sensational Spider-Man #18, she hinted to Peter that she knew the truth last issue.
- 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.
- Desiree was part of Ben Reilly's social circle from Sensational Spider-Man #0 until his death in Spider-Man #75. She convinced Peter to meet her in Sensational Spider-Man #26.
- Buzz specifically mentions the Spider-Hunt event.
Spiderhunt Sensational Spider-Man #25 Amazing Spider-Man #432 Spider-Man #89 Spectacular Spider-Man #255
- Peter and Felicia had a relationship that lasted from Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #75–100.
- Spider-Man recognizes this garbage truck because Arcade used it the first time he kidnapped the wall-crawler Marvel Team-Up #65.
- Arcade makes comment about feeling like Bill Clinton on "Let's dismiss the Paula Jones case!" At the time of this story, then US President Bill Clinton was involved in a sex scandal that almost led to his impeachment. Paula Jones was a former intern for Clinton during his tenure as Governor of Arkansas. In the late 90s, she took Clinton to court over sexual harassment charges. Those charges were dismissed in 1998 around the time this story was published. However, Clinton's legal problems with Paula Jones persisted right until the end of his Presidency. That said, this reference should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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