Appearing in "Headlines"
- Mary Jane Watson-Parker (Only in flashback)
- Shirley Washington (Only in flashback)
- Devon Lewis (Only in flashback)
- Cletus Kasady (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
- Avengers (Cameo)
- Spider-Skeleton (Corpse)
- The Burglar (Photo) (Jessica's father)
- Jackal (Miles Warren) (Mentioned)
- Edwin Jarvis (Mentioned)
- Janet van Dyne (Mentioned)
- Fantastic Four (Mentioned)
- Seward Trainer (Mentioned)
- Uncle Ben (Mentioned)
- Daily Bugle (Mentioned)
- J. Jonah Jameson (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- New York
- Pete's red car
Synopsis for "Headlines"
Arriving at Ravencroft Institute, Spider-Man is spotted by some police officers that try to arrest him. The wall-crawler has to deal with them until John Jameson, the head of security, orders them to stand down and for the wall-crawler to come inside before he trips the automated defense systems. However, it is too late, forcing the web-slinger to leap to safety. That's when Peter Parker pulls up in a car and tells the web-spinner to hop in and they escape. Ben is snippy with Peter for a moment as he is having a bad day, but then asks how Peter knew he would be at Ravencroft.[Continuity 1] Peter points out that he picked up some investigation skills during his time at the Daily Bugle, but also he heard reports of Spider-Man being sighted on his police scanner. Peter then asks Ben what else is going on that is bothering him. He tells Peter about how he has been dating a woman named Jessica Carradine recently. He shows Peter a photograph of Jessica that he found recently. It is of the woman when she was celebrating her seventh birthday. There is something about her father, whose face is obscured in shadows in the photo, that disturbs him. He also recently learned that Jessica is obsessed with Spider-Man, but not in a positive way. In fact, she has a hatred for the wall-crawler and Ben has no idea why. He then recounts what he saw earlier...
... Jessica has brought Ben Reilly to her apartment for the first time and it took all of his efforts not to act too shocked when he saw that it was covered wall-to-wall with photos of Spider-Man. Ben points out that this looks a little extreme, suggesting that this may be an obsession she has. Jessica then reminds him that she is a photography student and that she has taken to photographing the wall-crawler so she can learn how to refine her photography skills. After some coaxing, Jessica gets upset that Ben would question her, as she has had a long history of people not believing her. She explains that growing up her mother died and her father was in and out of jail which caused her to be bounced around a number of foster homes. Her father, she explains, was later imprisoned for a crime that he insists he did not commit, that he was accused of robbing and murdering an old man. She then tells Ben that her father was murdered a few years later. Before she can provide any more details she catches the headline of the Daily Bugle that accuses Spider-Man of murder in light of his recent theft of a skeleton from the city morgue. This proves her believe that Spider-Man is evil. Ben tries to convince her not to jump to conclusions, but it does little to dissuade her opinion.[Continuity 2] Still, she insists that if her father was still alive he could prove that Spider-Man as evil, but before she can explain further the phone rings.
The call is from Peter Parker who suggests that they learn the truth about the mystery skeleton by having it thoroughly examined, Ben agrees and they make a plan to meet later. When Peter got off the phone and fills in his wife Mary Jane about his plans.[Continuity 3] While the last tests were done by Ben Reilly's friend Seward Trainer, Peter wants to run some tests with some real professionals this time around and get a conclusive answers not only to confirm who is the clone and who is the real Peter Parker, but to also learn the identity of the mystery skeleton.[Continuity 4]
By the time that Ben was off the phone, Jessica was in no mood to talk so he stopped by the Daily Grind to drop off his time card before meeting with Peter. The coffee shop is busy, and when Shirley Washington asks Reilly if he could help, he has to turn it down. That's when her son Devon, tells Ben that Jessica left her backpack the last time she was in. As Ben stores it in his locker to return when he sees her next a the childhood photo of Jessica slipped out. Looking at the photo for the first time he immediately felt something disturbing about Jessica's father. This just adds another mystery to a stack of them. Changing into Spider-Man, Ben web-slinging across the city thinking about the Jackal and his clones and how they turned his life upside down, and how this skeleton throws so much into question.[Continuity 5] On his way to meet with Peter, Spider-Man's spider-sense began going off warning him of danger. Swinging down to a nearby alley, he finds a man who was recently attacked. The man explains that he wasn't mugged, but attacked by a creature that matches the description of Carnage.
Fearing that Carnage may have escaped from Ravencroft Institute, the wall-crawler decided that this was a more pressing concern and web-slinged all the way out to Ravencroft to check on things. There he met with John Jameson, who shows the web-slinger that Cletus Kasady remains confined to his cell and that there is no evidence that he had broken out. That's when something triggered the outer security alarm prompting Spider-Man to go outside to look, which led to his confrontation with the police before Peter came to pick him up...
... As Ben finishes his story they arrive at the Avenger's temporary headquarters on Long Island.[Continuity 6] There they meet with Giant-Man who agrees to examine the mystery skeleton for them. As Giant-Man runs a series of tests on the skeleton against a DNA sample provided by Spider-Man, Peter Parker notices that Giant Man has a photo-enhancer and decides to run Jessica Carradine's photo through it so they can get a better look at her father. By this point, Giant-Man has run all the results through both the Avengers and Fantastic Four's databases and conclude that the skeleton is an exact match for Spider-Man's body. With the final tests underway, Peter finishes enhancing the photo and instantly recognizes the man in the photo. He quickly shows it to Spider-Man who recognizes him as well. Jessica's father is the burglar who murdered his Uncle Ben years ago.[Continuity 7] That's when Giant-Man concludes his testing and informs Spider-Man and Peter Parker that the DNA test concludes that the remains belong to a clone of Spider-Man.
This story continues in Amazing Spider-Man #410...
The psycho symbiote is on the loose— but Cletus Kasady is still locked up in Ravencroft! What gives? This issue begins a four-part blockbuster in which Spidey risks death — and a fate worse than death — to find the answer! Continued in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #410!