Appearing in "Gifts"
- Ann Herd
- Norman Osborn
- J. Jonah Jameson (Mentioned)
- Ryan Sawyer (Mentioned)
- Aunt Anna (Mentioned)
- Patrol cars
- Armored car
Synopsis for "Gifts"
This story continues from Spectacular Spider-Man #262...
Several Weeks Ago
At the Kriezier Private Hospital in Long Island, Greg Herd -- aka Overdrive -- visits his wife Ann in the hospital where she has been since she was seriously wounded trying to capture Spider-Man.[Continuity 1] He feels guilty for everything that has happened, particularly since he has had to work with Norman Osborn in order to pay for Ann's medical costs. Having crossed a huge line, Greg feels that there is nothing left he can do for his wife and, in her current vegetative state, he feels that it is no way to live. He then uses his ability to control machines to shut down her life support machines. Suddenly, as if by a miracle, Ann wakes up and her first words are her husband's name.
With heavy rain falling on Queens, Peter Parker rushes up to the attic of his Aunt's old house to try and plug up sudden leaks in the roof before everything stored up there gets damaged by water. Despite his efforts, Peter discovers that all his old Spider-Man photos have gotten soaked. Joining her husband upstairs to assess the damage, Peter's wife Mary Jane discovers some of her old modeling photos.[Continuity 2] This reminds her to tell Peter that she got a call from her old agent, Ryan Sawyer, who has offered her some modeling work. She tells Peter that she has been considering it and thinks it will help with their financial troubles and asks what Peter thinks about it. Peter asks what he thinks. Peter is concerned about her giving up her schooling and tells her not to give up on her classes, telling her to let him handle things and promising they'll get out of their tight spot. Mary Jane isn't able to get a word in edgewise even though she is really seriously thinking about getting back into modeling.
Back at the private hospital, Ann is still conscious but needs machines to keep her alive after all the organ damage she suffered. Greg tells her all about the Gathering of Five ceremonies that he is getting into with Norman Osborn and promises her that it will solve all their problems will be solved. Although Anne thinks this could prove dangerous she also admits she doesn't want to live like this and wishes she could just die. However, Greg assures her everything will be okay. But, when he leaves Greg Herd's optimism quickly drops as he considers the risks involved with the gathering, as he has been told that two of the gifts given could be insanity or death. Still, he is willing to take the risk but decides that he has some things to take care of so that Ann can be well looked after should he not return.
Later that day, Spider-Man is swinging across the city where his and Mary Jane's financial worries are all he can think about. He is concerned that with all the constant repairs needed to Aunt May's house and their schooling they're just barely scraping by. His distracted thoughts cause him to fire a web at a building that is too slick from the rain and the webbing doesn't hold. This causes the web-slinger to fall, but he manages to perform some acrobatics to make sure he isn't hurt when he finally hits the ground. After using his webbing to create a shelter for a homeless man, Spider-Man continues his patrol and quickly spots some speeding police cars. He follows them to an armored truck that has just been robbed. However, as Peter takes photos that he hopes will bring money in, Mary Jane has made a decision of her own. She has arrived at Empire State University and, deciding that she wants to get back into modeling again meets with administration to withdraw from all her classes. While at the hospital, Ann has called on Norman Osborn to talk to him about the strain Greg has been under. She is concerned about what he is planning, but Norman assures her he knows where she is coming from and to give Greg one more day to do what he needs to do before making a final decision.
Back in the city, Spider-Man scours the city looking for the man who robbed the armored truck. He spots Overdrive and follows the criminal as he flees the scene. Overdrive runs into a hotel and quickly escapes into the elevator. However, the web-slinger goes back outside and runs up the side of the building, catching Overdrive just as he arrives on the roof. Spider-Man then kicks Overdrive off the roof and catches him in a web. With his life in the wall-crawler's hands, Overdrive allows himself to be webbed up and surrenders. When the hero turns his foe to the police they quickly usher him away ignoring Spider-Man's warnings, or the fact that he thought Overdrive had two briefcases of stolen money instead of the one he was caught with. Still, the photos Peter took of the battle are bought by the Daily Bugle. Unfortunately, Overdrive was not easily kept prisoner. After Spider-Man's webbing dissolved, Greg Herd used his powers to escape custody, recover the stashed briefcase and return to the hospital to tell Ann all about it. He once more assures his wife that everything will be okay and that she just needs to hold on for just a little longer.
The next day, Peter Parker is up fixing the roof when Mary Jane comes up into the attic looking for him. Swinging back inside he asks her what she is doing back from classes so early. She is about to tell him she cut her classes when he stops her to show that he earned enough money to buy her the textbooks she will need for her psychology classes. That's when Mary Jane then tells Peter what she did, telling him that she wants to get back into modeling because she needs some kind of excitement in her life, just like Peter has when he becomes Spider-Man.[Continuity 3] Her fears of having to justify herself turn out to be unnecessary as Peter reminds his wife that he loves her and that he wants her to do whatever makes her happy. Mary Jane hugs her husband, telling him that she appreciates how sensitive and understanding he can be.
... The Final Chapter begins in Amazing Spider-Man #441.
|The Gathering of Five|
|Sensational Spider-Man #32||Amazing Spider-Man #440||Spider-Man #96||Spectacular Spider-Man #262||Sensational Spider-Man #33|
- Ann -- aka Aura -- was seriously hurt when a bullet got trapped in her personal forcefield in Sensational Spider-Man #25.
- 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.
- Among the photos on display here is Peter and Mary Jane's wedding photo. The couple was married in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. However, after Mephisto changed the timeline, the couple were never married but, per Amazing Spider-Man #638–639, instead of getting married the couple were merely engaged. Presumably, in this altered timeline, the wedding photo has been replaced with a different picture.