Appearing in "Shakedown"
- Daily Bugle Staff
- Aaron DeWeiss
- Normie Osborn
- New York City
- Lancaster County
Synopsis for "Shakedown"
The villain known as Electro heads towards the 2nd Savings Bank, however before he can enter the building it suddenly crumbles to the ground thanks to a freak earthquake. This angers Electro since he paid a large sum of money for the blueprints for the bank. Sorting through the rubble, Electro is shocked to discover that someone else had already emptied out the vault. Before he can figure out who is responsible, Electro is confronted by Spider-Man, who believes that Electro who was responsible for the robbery. The two battle, but Spider-Man is forced to save a nearby construction worker when a stray blast from Electro caused debris to fall his way. No wishing to battle the wall-crawler, Electro used the opportunity in order to escape. Instead of being praised for his rescue, the police attempt to arrest Spider-Man since they heard of his involvement in the Lewisburg prison break.[Continuity 1] As Spider-Man swings away, he is unaware of the fact that the real bank robber is in a nearby alley carrying his stolen loot.
Heading toward the Daily Bugle, Spider-Man expresses his frustration over his terrible public image, that is worse than usual since the Chameleon briefly posed as J. Jonah Jameson.[Continuity 2] As he changed back into Peter Parker, he thinks that even though the real Jameson is back, he would never publish a positive story about Spider-Man so long as he is the publisher of the Daily Bugle. When Peter goes downstairs, he learns that he is just in time for a meeting with J. Jonah Jameson. Along with Kate Cushing, Ben Urich, Joy Mercado, Lance Bannon, Glory Grant, and Nick Katzenberg, Peter hears the shocking news that J. Jonah Jameson no longer owns the Daily Bugle and is leaving.[Continuity 3] Jameson introduces the new owner of the Bugle, Thomas Fireheart. This comes as a shock to Peter, who wonders what the Puma would want with the newspaper. With nothing else to say, Jameson says goodbye and leaves.
Meanwhile, at a farm in Lancaster County, Joe Robertson is recovering from a broken leg and is in the care of farmer Aaron DeWeiss following his jailbreak. While out plowing the field with Aaron, the pair are interrupted by Tombstone. He makes a veiled threat toward Aaron's wife if Joe has mentioned anything to Aaron about their fugitive status. That evening on Long Island, Electro pays a visit to Sensor Security Unlimited, where he vents his anger toward Hector, the man who sold him the plans to the bank. Hector assures Electro that he didn't sell the plans to anyone else. To try and smooth things over, Hector gives him a new set of blueprints and suggests that Electro align himself with a criminal organization for protection. Electro refuses after his past history with groups.[Continuity 4] As the villain walks out, Hector decides to give his employer a call and tell him about Electro's refusal.
While at that moment, at the SoHo apartment of Peter and Mary Jane, they are preparing for dinner with their downstairs neighbors, the Osborns.[Continuity 5] As they go downstairs, Mary Jane suggests that they don't mention what has happened at the Daily Bugle during dinner. Joining the Parkers and the Osborns for dinner is Flash Thompson. Just as they are about to sit down and eat, there is a sudden earthquake that cuts the power. Mary Jane suggests that Peter go back up to their apartment to look for candles, giving him an excuse to slip away and change into Spider-Man.
Spider-Man web-slings to the financial district where he sees that the head office of an investment firm has collapsed. Investigating the rubble, the wall-crawler is attacked by Electro again, who is furious that someone once again beat him to his target. Not wishing to engage Spider-Man in battle, Electro blasts a nearby wall, causing rubble to bury the hero long enough to allow Electro to escape. Recovering from this, Spider-Man finds the blueprints that Electro dropped making his escape and notes that they were prepared for Sensor Security. Back in Lancaster County, Joe Robertson has made a decision that he is going to end Tombstone's reign of terror on him. Out by the barn, Joe is confronted by Tombstone who is satisfied that Robertson's leg has healed enough to finish things off with a fight to the death. Much to Tombstone's surprise, Joe manages to get first blood by striking Tombstone first. Robertson then runs into the nearby wheatfield, telling Tombstone that if he wants to finish things he has to catch him. Tombstone, looking forward to killing Joe Robertson. Back at Sensor Security, Electro confronts Hector again, furious that he was beaten to the punch yet again. When he threatens to harm Hector, Electro is struck by behind by the Shocker, the man who has been beating Electro to his heists. The pair come to blows, but ultimately Electro's powers are more superior and Shocker is knocked out. With his rival down, Electro takes the money and tries to flee, but is knocked out by Spider-Man, who just arrived on the scene. Seeing that the place is empty, Spider-Man figures only Electro knew what was going on there.
Back in Pennsylvania, Tombstone catches up with Joe and throws him to the ground. Before Tombstone can harm him further, Joe quickly grabs a nearby pitch fork and stabs Tombstone in the chest. Shocked that Joe Robertson could hurt him so seriously, Tombstone stumbles off into the wheat field. Hearing the shouts from the struggle, the DeWeiss family comes out to see if Joe is okay, he tells them that he is fine for the first time in a while. He then asks Aaron to take him into town so he can turn himself over to the authorities. Back in SoHo, the power comes back on and Peter returns soon after. He makes an excuse about getting trapped on the roof. However, even though Harry Osborn figures this is a case of all's well that ends well, Peter can't shake the feeling that he missed something important, something that will make his life more difficult. The following morning, at the Long Island mansion of Hammerhead and the Chameleon, Hector reports to them of what happened to Electro. The two mobsters are disappointed, however, they figure they have more than made up for this with their newest associate, Tombstone. The Chameleon asks if there was any trouble with the jailbreak they staged for him. Tombstone, placing his hand on his bloody shirt, assures them that it is nothing that he won't be able to handle someday.
- Spider-Man was tricked into facilitating this escape in Spectacular Spider-Man #155.
- The Chameleon took Jameson's place in Web of Spider-Man #50 and was later exposed in Web of Spider-Man #54.
- Jameson mentions how Ben Urich almost died for a story he wrote for the Bugle, and how Peter grew up taking photos for the newspaper. Urich was almost killed by the assassin known as Elektra, as seen in Daredevil #179. Peter has been taking photos for the Bugle since Amazing Spider-Man #2.
- Electro lists off the various groups he was previously affiliated with. He mentions the Sinister Six, the Frightful Four, and the Emissaries of Evil. Electro joined these groups in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #39–42/Fantastic Four #218 and Daredevil Annual #1 respectively.
- Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife in this story. However, years later, their marriage was erased from existence by the demon Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. They should be considered a common-law spouse here as opposed to husband and wife. Also here, Mary Jane asks Peter how long they have known each other. Peter says they have known each other since they were teenagers. The pair first met in Amazing Spider-Man #42. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, the pair have known each other for roughly six years at the time of this story.