Appearing in "The Usual Suspects"
- S.H.I.E.L.D. (Cameo)
- Sentinels (Cameo)
- Lizard (Mentioned)
- Ringer (Anthony Davis) (Mentioned)
- Trapster (Peter Petruski) (Mentioned)
- Shocker (Herman Schultz) (Mentioned)
- Stilt-Man (Wilbur Day) (Mentioned)
- Unicorn (Milos Masaryk) (Mentioned)
- Doctor Octopus (Carolyn Trainer) (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- New York
- Hudson River
- New Jersey
- The Owl's Aerie
- Iron Rock, New Jersey (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "The Usual Suspects"
As Spider-Man swings across the city, he ignores the people on the street commenting on his passage. That is because his mind is still focused on two things: His recent battle with the new Lizard as well as Peter Parker's health. Peter had been in the hospital recently due to some unknown ailment and has since snapped back from it, but the doctors don't know if he will have a relapse.[Continuity 1] He is also concerned by a recent crime spree that appears to have been committed by various criminals including the Ringer, Shocker, Stilt-Man and Trapster. Having found no clues to the motives behind these crimes, Spider-Man wonders if this is the work of the people's of interest or a frame job by someone else.[Continuity 2]
As Spider-Man puzzles this mystery, the real thief, plots from his hideout across the Hudson in New Jersey.[Continuity 3] It turns out that the mastermind behind all these robberies is Norton Fester -- aka the Looter -- who thinks this is his luckiest day since he first got his powers.[Continuity 4] The Looter took advantage of the recent attack on the Iron Rock facility to steal other supervillain's technology so he can commit crimes without tipping off the authorities to his true identity.[Continuity 5] Although he is not in his right mind, the Looter begins his next robbery which he hopes will finance the plans that he believes will allow him to unlock the mysteries of the universe. By this point, Spider-Man arrives at the hospital where Peter is recuperating and changes back into his civilian identity. There, Ben Reilly walks into a debate between Peter and his wife Mary Jane.[Continuity 6] The couple are deciding if they should get a sonogram to find out if their child is a boy or a girl.[Continuity 7] However, Ben doesn't care one way or the other, saying that he will love his godchild no matter what gender they are. That's when he notices the edition of the Daily Bugle about the recent robberies and the police thinking that it was Stilt-Man who was responsible. However, Ben is convinced this is a frame-up job, pointing out how each individual criminal wouldn't stop at just one robbery. He and Peter begin checking past editions of the Daily Bugle and finally find a connection when they read about the "Shocker's" recent robbery of Rock and Klint Diamond Exchange. As Ben Reilly prepares to leave, Peter offers his help only to be scolded by Mary Jane. She reminds Peter that he is not going anywhere until the doctors say he is well enough to leave.
Changing back into Spider-Man, Reilly stakes out Koybayahsi Imports, the place he has deduced is the next likely place to be hit by their mystery thief. The wall-crawler's hunt proves is correct, however, he is confused when the suspect appears to be the Unicorn. The attack puts bystanders at risk, prompting Spider-Man coming to rescue them. However, that leaves him open to attack from the thief. When Spider-Man wakes up he discovers that the mastermind behind all of this is the Looter. Adding insult to injury, the Looter has bound the web-slinger with his own webbing as he has incorporated Spider-Man's web-shooters into his ever-growing arsenal.[Continuity 8] After telling Spider-Man that he has been tied up for about an hour, he then unveils his latest invention: the Meteorator 3000. He created this device with the various items he stolen so that he can probe not only the meteor that gave him his powers but its twin. Spider-Man points out that the Looter still hasn't recovered the second meteor, this causes the Looter to pause and re-think his plans. This creates a distraction long enough for Spider-Man to pull free of his webbing which has already started to dissolve.
Despite his additional weapons, the Looter is tricked into blowing up his own invention. Just as the wall-crawler defeats his foe, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents come bursting into the facility to take the meteor into custody. As it turns out, the meteor did was an actual threat, which comes as a surprise to Spider-Man as he dismissed the Looter's claims as the ramblings of a madman. In the aftermath of the battle, Spider-Man tries to get everything straight in his mind. Unfortunately, he soon discovers he has more pressing matters to deal with as he witnesses a group of Sentinels heading toward Manhattan.[Continuity 9]
This story continues in Amazing Spider-Man #415...
- Peter collapsed in Spider-Man #70. However, Peter snapped out of his condition and helped Ben battle the Lizard in Spectacular Spider-Man #237.
- This string of robberies were depicted last issue as well as Amazing Spider-Man #414 (the "Shocker" robbery), Spectacular Spider-Man #237 (the "Stilt-Man" robbery), and Spider-Man #71 (the "Trapster" robbery).
- This hideout is the former Aerie hideout of the Owl, first seen in Daredevil #3.
- The Looter recounts his origins as they happened in Amazing Spider-Man #36.
- Iron Rock's security as compromised when it was attacked by Dragon Man in Spectacular Spider-Man #236.
- 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.
- Mary Jane revealed that she is pregnant in Spectacular Spider-Man #220.
- The Looter briefly mentions how he was recently in the employ of Doctor Octopus. That happened during the Virtual Morality story arc.
Virtual Morality Scarlet Spider Unlimited #1 Web of Scarlet Spider #1 Amazing Scarlet Spider #1 Scarlet Spider #1 Spectacular Scarlet Spider #1
- These Sentinels were summoned by the psychic entity known as Onslaught as seen in X-Men (Vol. 2) #55 as part of the Onslaught Crisis