Appearing in "Sin-ister"
- Spider-Man (Peter Parker) (Main story and recap)
- Charlie Snow (Named only)
- Regis Philbin (Named only) (Topical reference)
- J. Jonah Jameson (Named only)
- Charles Bronson (Referenced) (Topical reference)
- Lord (Yahweh) (Invoked)
- Sylvester Stallone (Mentioned) (Topical reference)
- Twisted Sister (Mentioned) (Topical reference)
- Sgt. Michael Tork
- Mayor Ed Koch (Topical reference)
- Jean DeWolff (Vision)
- Judge Horace Rosenthal (Vision)
- Reverand Bernard Finn (Vision)
- Josh (First appearance)
- Heloise (First appearance)
- Skip (Little boy) (First appearance)
- Judy Garland (Mentioned) (Topical reference)
Races and Species:
- Heaven (Invoked)
Synopsis for "Sin-ister"
Following his humiliating defeat at the hand of Electro on national television, Spider-Man's is blasted on the front page of the Daily Bugle.[Continuity 1] Peter Parker chastises himself for his foolish behavior that led to this embarrassment. It's then that his newlywed wife Mary Jane returns home from shopping.[Continuity 2] She brings him a copy of the Daily Globe that she guarantees won't upset him. When he opens the newspaper, Peter is surprised to see that Mary Jane cut out the front page story about Spider-Man. Mary Jane tries to cheer her husband up when he outright asks her if she thinks he is a coward. Mary Jane tells him that Peter is afraid of himself and it is somehow associated with Stan Carter. She is shocked when Peter tells her that Carter's stutter and limp are caused by injuries he gave Stan as Spider-Man.[Continuity 3] Mary Jane suddenly makes the connection that Peter is second-guessing himself during his battle with Electro. She tries to motivate Peter to get over his unease by relating his problem to that of Rocky Balboa in the movie Rocky III. Peter is unwilling to take inspiration from a work of fiction when suddenly the power goes out.
Looking out the window, Peter sees that they aren't the only one affected as there is a blackout across the city. When Mary Jane suggests that Peter go out and snap some photos of the blackout, he agrees and heads out as Spider-Man. Watching her husband web-sling from the window, Mary Jane realizes that both Peter Parker and Stan Carter seem to be the sanest people she knows in the whole world. Meanwhile, Stan Carter is sitting in his apartment, struggling to dictate his story for print.[Continuity 4] He recalls the last time he saw Jean before he murdered her as the Sin Eater.[Continuity 5] It was around this time that he first started hearing the voice of the Sin Eater in his mind. Suddenly, someone calls out Stan's name and when he looks to see who it is, he lets out a horrified scream. It is the Sin Eater apparition carrying the lifeless body of Jean DeWolff. Tired of being haunted constantly, Stan tosses the recorder at the Sin Eater, but it harmlessly passes through the hallucination. Both the Sin Eater and the lifeless body of Jean DeWolff mock Stan, trying to convince him that he is not cured and he has fooled everyone. They are soon joined by two more apparitions, Judge Horace Rosenthal, and Reverand Bernard Finn, two other Sin Eater victims.[Continuity 6] The Sin Eater tries to convince Stan that there are more sinners out in the world that need to be punished. Insisting that the Sin Eater won't win, Stan pulls out a shotgun he has hidden under the floorboards of his apartment. He is shocked that he still has such a weapon, and that's when the Sin Eater tells him that he has already won.
On 6th Avenue, the blackout has also caused a massive traffic jam. In one of the cars, a woman is going into labor and her partner desperately tries to get her to the hospital on time. Unfortunately, they are stuck in traffic. Suddenly, Spider-Man arrives and offers to help, getting the pregnant woman to the hospital quickly. At the hospital, Spider-Man learns that the blackout has been caused by Electro who has taken over the main Con Edison Station. There, Sargent Francis Tork and his officers have the building surrounded, by Electro keeps them at bay with his powers. Electro then demands that the city pay him a large sum of money, threatening to cause power surges that will cause devices to explode and shut off life support at hospitals. Bowing down to the threats, the mayor of New York City places a call to the Governor of the state to get assistance.[Continuity 7] Meanwhile, Spider-Man is on his way to the Con Edison facility, stopping long enough to prevent some children from looting a store.
Before he can face Electro again, he needs to resolve his feelings about Stan Carter. Luckily, Carter's place is on the way to the power station. There, Spider-Man apologizes to Stan for crippling him as he had no justification for doing so, no matter what Stan had done as Sin Eater. Stan then reveals that his stutter and limp are actually a psychosomatic side effect from his injuries, as though his own guilt prevents him from getting better. He encourages Spider-Man top stop holding back and stop Electro. Spider-Man is relieved and goes off to do what needs to be done. With the wall-crawler gone, Stan puts on his Sin Eater mask intending to do what he feels needs to be done. Soon, Spider-Man arrives at the scene and is told not to get involved by Sargent Tork. However, Spider-Man refuses to stand down, inviting the officers to shoot him if they want to stop him. Luckily for the wall-crawler, the NYPD officers hold their fire as he leaps past the police barricade.
Inside the power station, Spider-Man confronts his old foe, insisting that he is not afraid of him this time. When Electro fires a bolt at the wall-crawler, he doesn't even flinch when the bolt strikes right next to him. Spider-Man then challenges Electro to fight him hand-to-hand to prove who is superior. Spider-Man continues to stand his ground as Electro continues to try and unnerve him with electrical bolts. Outside, the police are still stymied, while behind police lines, a young boy named Skip decides to try to sneak past the police and get a closer look at Spider-Man in action. Unfortunately for Skip, as he enters a dark alley, he runs into the Sin Eater. While the Sin Eater holds Skip hostage, Electro decides to try and defeat Spider-Man in hand-to-hand combat. Ultimately, Spider-Man tricks Electro into defeat by smashing a water pipe. As the electrified villain dodges the water, he steps in a pile of webbing on the floor. This allows Spider-Man to get close enough to Electro and knock him out with a single punch. Outside, the Sin Eater tosses the child away and attempts to open fire on the police. The officers respond by opening fire, gunning down the Sin Eater. Seeing his former colleague getting riddled with bullets, Sargent Tork orders his officers to stop firing. Spider-Man exits the building and hands over Electro to the authorities just in time to see the Sin Eater side down the wall.
Rushing to his side, Spider-Man removes the Sin Eater's mask. As the hallucination of his alter ego fades away, Stan's dying words are to tell Spider-Man that the Sin Eater needed to be killed in order for Stan Carter to live. In the aftermath of the shootout, Sargent Tork checks the Sin Eater's rifle. When the wall-crawler points out that Stan thought the Sin Eater was a separate entity, Tork points out that Stan got the last laugh on the Sin Eater as the rifle was not loaded.
- The date on the newspaper is listed as December 15, 1987, and the cover price is listed at 30 cents. Both of these should be considered topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- Peter and Mary Jane are referred to here as husband and wife. However, years later, the demon Mephisto will erase their marriage from existence in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such, Peter and Mary Jane should be considered a common-law couple here, as opposed to husband and wife.
- Spider-Man seriously injured Stan Carter when he was the Sin Eater back in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #110.
- Stan is depicted as using a cassette tape recorder for his dictation. This technology should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 that is relative to the time of publication.
- Jean DeWolff was investigating gang violence in the city as seen in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #5. Stan, as the Sin Eater, murdered Jean DeWolff shortly thereafter in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #107.
- Rosenthal and Finn were murdered by the Sin Eater in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #107 and 108 respectively.
- The mayor is depicted as Ed Koch and identifies the Governor as Mario Cuomo. Koch was mayor of New York from 1978 to 1989, while Cuomo was Governor for the State of New York from 1983 to 1994. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.