Appearing in "The Paste and the Power (Or a Very Sticky Situation)"
- Dr. Max Lubisch
- J. Jonah Jameson
- Martha Robertson
- Randy Robertson
- Amanda Robertson
- Nick Katzenberg
- Cynthia Bernhammer
- Stuart McPhee (First appearance)
Synopsis for "The Paste and the Power (Or a Very Sticky Situation)"
Spider-Man's involvement in the Acts of Vengeance event continues from Amazing Spider-Man #326..
Spider-Man is swinging across the city in order to meet his wife, Mary Jane, at one of their favorite diner.[Continuity 1] Suddenly, his spider-sense goes off, allowing him to narrowly avoid a stream of paste fired at him by the Trapster.[Continuity 2] Caught off guard, Spider-Man is soon sent slipping and falling through the ceiling of the diner where he was meeting his wife. Along the way down, the Trapster covers the hero in quick-drying paste. Before the frightened eyes of his wife, Spider-Man struggles to move as the past begins to dry. With the last of his strength, the wall-crawler pitches himself out a window and into the waters of the Southside Sea Port. Thinking that he had killed Spider-Man, the Trapster gloats for a moment before fleeing the scene. While down below, Mary Jane worries about her husband as they wait for the wall-crawler to rise to the surface of the water. In the murky waters, Spider-Man sinks to the bottom.[Continuity 3] However, his final gambit pays off, as the cold waters caused the paste to become brittle enough for Spider-Man to break free and return to the surface before he drowns.
Grateful that her husband survived, Mary Jane pays for her coffee and heads home. When she returns to their SoHo apartment, she finds Peter in the shower. Peter admits that he was afraid that he was going to be taken out by such a loser. The couple is just happy that Peter survived, and as much as Peter would like to stay home with his wife, he remembers that he is assisting Dr. Max Lubisch at Empire State University later that day. Meanwhile, at the offices of the Kingpin, the crime boss has been approached by a mysterious man in a suit who tells him that he has mismanaged his campaigns against Spider-Man and Daredevil. The Kingpin is angered at this insult, but the mystery man assures him that he can provide the key to victory. To this, the man's finger begins to glow and he releases a beam of energy against a wall which turns into a door. Passing through the door, they are transported to a room where the Wizard, Magneto, and Doctor Doom are receiving a report from the Trapster. The Trapster assures them that he managed to kill Spider-Man. However, the Kingpin isn't convinced and demands that the Trapster find his body. Satisfied with this, the Wizard and his two allies explain to Doctor Doom that they are working on destroying their mutual enemies by pitting them against enemies that they are unfamiliar with. Impressed, the Kingpin agrees to join these prime moves in their acts of vengeance.
Meanwhile, in at the federal courthouse in Pennsylvania, Joe Robertson is attempting to appeal his prison sentence.[Continuity 4] With him is his family, J. Jonah Jameson, and his lawyer Cynthia Bernhammer. Cynthia tells Joe that things are not looking good for his appeal. This prompts Daily Bugle photographer, Nick Katzenberg, to snap a phone and come up with a sleazy headline. Bernhammer tells Katzenberg to put his camera away or she will hurt him. Surprisingly, Katzenberg complies. Joe discovers that Jameson is picking up the legal fees out of his personal funds since being ousted as publisher of the Daily Bugle by Thomas Fireheart.[Continuity 5] They are then approached by Stuart McPhee, the brother of Lemuel McPhee, the man that Joe knew in prison as Bruiser. McPhee explains that he became an advisor to the White House on domestic affairs, and says he has a slim chance of getting Joe a presidential pardon.
On Monday morning, Peter Parker is assisting Dr. Max Lubisch with his latest invention, a device that is seeking to tap into a mysterious extra-dimensional energy source. Peter is concerned about their safety, but Lubisch insists that they will be fine. As they activate the machine, Peter's fear that it is overloading the electrical system comes true. As the device begins to overload, Peter's spider-sense warns him that the device is about to explode. In a split second, Peter pushes Lubisch out of the way, taking the brunt of the blast. Bombarded with the strange energy, Peter's body glows for a moment. Seeing that Max is knocked out, Peter tries to get his bearings, but suddenly, his spider-sense begins screaming. Looking out the window he sees that the power surge had shorted out power lines, which threaten students that are out on the quad. Peter quickly changes into Spider-Man and heads out to save them. With the powerlines whipping out of control, Spider-Man grabs at the wires to save those below. Although he is giving a powerful electrical jolt, the wall-crawler miraculously survives. Confused by what happened, Spider-Man decides to get to higher ground so he can think. However, no sooner is he there, his spider-sense begins going off like crazy as he senses everything going on around him. Trying to focus his mind, Spider-Man somehow overhears the Trapster down by the Southshore Pier looking for the wall-crawler's body. Spider-Man decides to pay the Trapster back for making him look like a fool in front of his wife.
Spider-Man swings down to where the Trapster and confronts him. Surprised to see the hero alive, the Trapster is prepared. Activating a device on his belt that triggers a missile launcher hidden inside his van. With the missile approaching him, Spider-Man fires a web-line in the hopes of using it to redirect the missile away from him. However, much to his surprise, his webbing forms a massive hand and crushes the missile. The Trapster then fires a bunch of paste filled projectiles at the hero. Surprisingly, Spider-Man fires blasts of energy from his fingers that easily destroy the projectiles. Beginning to panic, the Trapster fires a stream of paste, however, Spider-Man begins blasting them with more energy until it causes the Trapsters paste supply to explode all over his body. By this point, a crowd has formed around the wall-crawler congratulating him for his defeat of the Trapster. They are surprised that he displayed powers that they were unaware he had. This is a surprise to Spider-Man as well, and he feels uneasy about what caused these new powers to emerge and is scared by the amount of power he now weilds.
.. The Acts of Vengeance conspiracy continues against Spider-Man in Web of Spider-Man #59.
|Acts of Vengeance (Spider-Man Arc)|
|Amazing Spider-Man #326||Spectacular Spider-Man #158||Web of Spider-Man #59||Amazing Spider-Man #327||Spectacular Spider-Man #159||Web of Spider-Man #60||Amazing Spider-Man #328|
|Spectacular Spider-Man #160||Web of Spider-Man #61||Amazing Spider-Man #329||Web of Spider-Man #64||Web of Spider-Man #65|
- Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife. However, years later, the demon Mephisto erased their marriage from existence in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such, they should be considered a common-law couple as opposed to husband and wife.
- Spider-Man recognizes the Trapster under his former name, Paste-Pot Pete. This laughable moniker was used by the Trapster from Strange Tales #104 until Fantastic Four #38.
- Peter states the paste fits onto him tighter that the tuxedo that he wore on his wedding day. This happened in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21.
- Joe Robertson was guilty of being an accessory to murder after he failed to report a murder committed by Tombstone over 20 years earlier, as detailed in Spectacular Spider-Man #139. Joe was found guilty and sent to prison in Spectacular Spider-Man #150.
- Thomas Fireheart purchased the Daily Bugle in Spectacular Spider-Man #156.
- The cover of this issue is one of the 32 that appear in the comic collection from the 2000 video game Spider-Man.
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