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Appearing in "Guilty!"

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Synopsis for "Guilty!"

The accessory to murder trial of Joe Robertson has come to an end and the verdict is guilty. The comes to the shock of everyone in the courtroom. The judge explains that Joe is guilty as he did not report a murder committed by Tombstone two decades earlier. The judge decides to speed up sentencing to the following morning, despite protests from Joe's lawyer. In the viewing audience are all of Joe's friends and colleagues, including Peter Parker and his wife Mary Jane.[Continuity 1] Mary Jane can't understand how Joe could have been found guilty. Peter explains that 20 years earlier, Robertson witnessed Tombstone kill a man and was forced to keep silent. However, when Tombstone came to New York City, Joe was compelled to report the crime after Tombstone nearly crippled him and threatened his family. Ultimately, Spider-Man defeated Tombstone and turned him over to the authorities.[Continuity 2] As Joe is being put in handcuffs, his wife Martha breaks down, unable to accept the fact that Joe is going to jail. This heartbreaking scene is photographed by Nick Katzenberg, a trashy tabloid photographer recently hired by the Daily Bugle.[Continuity 3] This angers Randy Robertson and the two almost come to blows, had Peter not gotten between the pair. However, the struggle leads to Katzenberg's camera getting smashed on the ground. Before the situation can escalate any further, the judge orders the courtroom cleared.

Outside the courthouse, Katzenberg tries to continue his conflict with Peter. When Peter calls out Katzenberg for his unethical journalism, J. Jonah Jameson points out that Nick's photos help sell newspapers. When Peter points out that Jonah has been using Katzenberg's photos to make Spider-Man look bad, Jameson insists that he will use his paper to destroy the wall-crawler's credibility and leaves with Katzenberg. Peter finds it strange that Jameson has set off his spider-sense of late, but doesn't know why.[Continuity 4] It's then that Randy and his wife Amanda invite Peter and Mary Jane to a get together at the Robertson home. They agree to go, but Peter tells them that he has business to conduct in the city first. Returning to Manhattan, Peter changes into Spider-Man. On the rooftops of the city, he thinks how unfair it is that Joe Robertson is going to jail for not reporting a crime so long ago, yet someone like the Kingpin is allowed to run free. He thinks about how if the Kingpin hadn't hired Tombstone, none of this would have happened. He decides to do something about the Kingpin and begins web-slinging toward the mobster's office tower.

On the way, he hears some screams coming from the entrance to the subway. Going to investigate, the wall-crawler is horrified to see a bunch of mobsters that have been slaughtered by what appears to be a werewolf. No sooner does Spider-Man see this monstrocity, it disappears. Investigating the charnel house below, the wall-crawler discovers that one of the mobsters is clinging to life. Swinging the man to a nearby hospital, he learns that these mobsters were set up and attacked. Discovering that they were in the employ of the Kingpin, Spider-Man assures the gored mobster that he will let the Kingpin know what happened. Meanwhile, the werewolf is making its way across the city. It ends up climbing into the apartment of Glory Grant. Watching from her car outside, is Joy Mercado, who has been following up on the Lobo Brothers for the Daily Bugle. Seeing the werewolf creature climbing into Glory's window, Joy wonders what Glory has been getting herself into.

At that moment in Jackson Heights, the Robertsons are entertaining guests who have come to show their condolences for Joe's arrest. Among them are Daily Bugle staffers Kate Cushing, Lance Bannon, and Ben Urich. Kate and Lance are surprised that J. Jonah Jameson isn't attending, however they note that Jameson has been acting strangely of late. In the kitchen Mary Jane and Amanda Robertson watch as Martha collapses in grief. Watching Martha come apart, Mary Jane wonders what she would do if what she would do if she ever lost Peter. While in a jail in Philadelphia prison, Joe Robertson thinks about how this ordeal is affecting his family. He feels bad for his wife, Martha, who has been suffering due to his poor decisions. His thoughts are interrupted when another prisoner approaches his cell give Joe a message from "the man", telling him to stay well, and leaves before he can explain the cryptic message. At that moment, Spider-Man pays a visit to the Kingpin in his office. The crime boss is uninterested in having a one-on-one with the wall-crawler and tells him to leave. However, he is surprised to learn that someone has been targeting his men.[Continuity 5] Spider-Man is amused to discover that someone is keeping secrets from the Kingpin. After he leaves, the Kingpin is furious and calls the Arranger, demanding to see him immediately.

The following morning, Glory Grant wakes up to find Eduardo Lobo naked and bleeding on her floor. He apologizes because he had no idea where to go and is about to leave. Glory insists that he stay so she can treat his wounds. He explains how he and his brother are in the middle of a war with the Kingpin and his men. He tells her that he needs her help, asking her to obtain all of the Daily Bugle's files on the Kingpin. Glory resists this at first, but gives in when Eduardo tells Glory that he loves her. While in Philidephia, Joe Robertson is once more in court to face sentencing. The judge harshly reprimands Joe for his failure to report a crime, particularly given his responsibilities as a newspaper reporter. As such, the judge sentences Robertson to thirty six months in prison. The stiff sentence comes as a shock to everyone, and Joe is then led out of the court room by guards. Joe is taken to Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary. After being processed, Robertson is taken to his cell to begin his sentence. It's there that he discovers, much to his horror, that the man in the cell next to his is Tombstone. The killer tells Joe that he pulled a few strings to make sure they were incarcerated together, telling Robertson that friends should look out for each other.


Continuity Notes

  1. Peter and Mary Jane are identified as husband and wife in this story. However, years later, their marriage is erased from history by the demon Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple as opposed to husband and wife.
  2. The relationship between Joe Robertson and Tombstone was detailed during the events of Spectacular Spider-Man #139142.
  3. Katzenberg was hired by a man who appeared to be J. Jonah Jameson in Web of Spider-Man #50.
  4. The man posing J. Jonah Jameson is actually the Chameleon who took Jameson's place in Web of Spider-Man #50. He will eventually be exposed in Web of Spider-Man #54.
  5. The Lobo Brothers have been killing the Kingpin's men since Spectacular Spider-Man #145. This is because the Arranger attempted to use the Punisher to try and eliminate the Lobos in Spectacular Spider-Man #143.

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