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Appearing in "Pardoned!"

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Synopsis for "Pardoned!"

Before a federal judge, Joe Robertson receives a Presidential pardon, thanks to the hard work of Stuart McPhee.[Continuity 1] This brings cheers from Joe's friends and family who had gathered to hear the verdic. Among them are Peter Parker and his wife Mary Jane who are just as happy for Joe.[Continuity 2] Peter is also happy that he is finally rid of the powers of Captain Universe, however, he suddenly gets a flash from his spider-sense.[Continuity 3] Seeing no immediate danger, Peter dismisses it as an after effect from his enhanced powers. He is unaware that the prison is being watched by Hammerhead and Tombstone. Hammerhead muses how Joe Robertson gets pardoned, while Tombstone is an escaped felon.[Continuity 4] As a member of Hammerhead's crime family, the mobster assures Tombstone that he will make this right.

Three days later, Spider-Man pays a visit to Mister Fantastic at Four Freedoms Plaza to see if he has determined a cure for the Carrion virus yet. Richards admits that this is the most complex virus he has ever seen and asks about its origins. Spider-Man explains that it was a genetic virus created by the Jackal and that it turned an unsuspecting victim into the first Carrion.[Continuity 5] He explains that he found Miles Warren's notes that explained everything in detail. However, another sample of the Carrion virus infected fellow ESU student Malcolm McBride who has been held in the Vault until he could be cured.[Continuity 6] Reed tells him that the prospects of finding a cure are not looking good. Spider-Man explains that a cure is important as he didn't reveal McBride's true identity to the authorities and he has family that are wondering where he is.

That evening at a 20's themed jazz bar, the Hobgoblin comes to see Hammerhead, who secretly owns the establishment. People are horrified by his demonic appearance and when the bouncers try to throw him out, the Hobgoblin's suit gets ripped, revealing the costume is wearing underneath.[Continuity 7] Furious at having his laughable cover blown, the Hobgoblin incapacitates the bouncers. The Hobgoblin enters Hammerhead's private booth and demands to know why his men attacked him. Tombstone points out that it must have had something to do with his face. The Hobgoblin, in denial about his recent demonic transformation, acts as if he doesn't know what he is talking about. Hammerhead gets down to business and tells the Hobgoblin that he wants him to eliminate Joe Robertson. This angers Tombstone, who wants to kill Robertson himself. Hammerhead is against this, telling Tombstone is too close to this to carry out the task properly. After discussing his fee, Hobgoblin agrees to eliminate Robertson for Hammerhead.

Later, at the Robertson household, a party is being thrown for Joe, celebrating his newfound freedom. As everyone is celebrating, Mary Jane notices that her husband Peter is running late. After being given a gold plated pencil from the Daily Bugle staff, J. Jonah Jameson then is about to offer Joe a position in his new business when Thomas Fireheart arrives.[Continuity 8] Fireheart congratulates Joe on his recent release and offers him the job as president and publisher of the Daily Bugle. This comes as a surprise to the Robertsons, so Joe and his with Martha go outside to talk about it. This frustrates Jameson, who knows that he can't match Fireheart's offer. Outside, Joe and Martha finally have a chance to have a romantic moment together. However, this is interrupted by Hobgoblin who has arrived to kill Joe. The exploding pumpkin bombs draw out the other partygoers who all run for cover. Mary Jane hides in a bush with Thomas Fireheart and convinces him to turn into the Puma to defend Joe Robertson.

Meanwhile, the Hobgoblin orders Joe to beg for his life, but Joe refuses to do so. Before the Hobgoblin can toss a razor-bat, it is shot to pieces by an unseen sniper on a neighboring rooftop. While the villain is distracted by this, Puma leaps onto the Hobgoblin's glider and wrecks it. However, instead of falling to the ground, the Hobgoblin used his control over hell-fire to create a new one. He then blasts the Puma, sending him crashing into the bushes below. As he charges at the Robertsons, the Hobgoblin is snagged by a web line and tossed into a window by Spider-Man, who had just arrived on the scene. Mary Jane fills Spider-Man as to what is going on. Soon his spider-sense goes off warning him that the Hobgoblin is coming, but is still caught off guard.[Continuity 9] While Spider-Man struggles to stop his foe, the Puma recovers and comes to Spider-Man's aid. During the fight, a note that Spider-Man took from the Four Freedoms Plaza comes loose and the Hobgoblin grabs it. That's when the Puma leaps into the fight.

While the Hobgoblin is distracted by Puma, the mystery shooter fires again. Although the bullet creases the Hobgoblin's skull causing him to fire a finger-blast wildly. It strikes an electronic billboard and the burst of electricity is bright enough to cause Hobgoblin a great deal of pain and he flees the scene. Spider-Man thanks the Puma for saving his life and hopes that this clears the debt the mercenary feels he owes the wall-crawler. However, the Puma says it is not, but assures the masked hero that the debt will be paid off soon. This is because he wasn't the one who saved Spider-Man, but the mystery shooter that nobody but Puma was able to hear. Not far away, Tombstone lowers his gun, confident that he foiled the Hobgoblin's plans to assassinate Joe Robertson, a job that he wants to do himself.


Continuity Notes

  1. Joe was accused as an accessory to murder when he failed to report a killing committed by Tombstone 20 years earlier, as explained in Spectacular Spider-Man #139. He pleaded guilty in Spectacular Spider-Man #150, landing himself in the same prison in Tombstone. The reason why McPhee was trying to get Joe pardoned is due to the fact that Joe befriended Stuart's brother in prison as seen in Spectacular Spider-Man #151152.
  2. Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from existence 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.
  3. Spider-Man was granted the powers of Captain Universe in Spectacular Spider-Man #158. The power finally left him after he used it to destroy the Tri-Sentinel in Amazing Spider-Man #329.
  4. Tombstone staged a break-out in Spectacular Spider-Man #155, taking Joe with him. While Joe turned himself back in Spectacular Spider-Man #157, Tombstone went on the run.
  5. In The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #8, Spider-Man was told by the High Evolutionary that Miles Warren couldn't actually create clones but created a genetic virus that would turn people into exact duplicates of other individuals. He also told the wall-crawler that the original Carrion was actually the Jackal's assistant Anthony Serba. However this was a ruse as revealed in Scarlet Spider Unlimited #1, so the Evolutionary could prevent humanity from utilizing cloning technology. The original Carrion was indeed a clone of Miles Warren. It tormented Spider-Man until it's death from Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #2531
  6. Peter recovered this diary and Malcolm McBride was infected with the Carrion virus in Spectacular Spider-Man #149. However, this diary was altered by the High Evolutionary to support his ruse, as explained in Scarlet Spider Unlimited #1.
  7. At the time of this story, the Hobgoblin was given demonic powers during the Inferno crisis in Spectacular Spider-Man #147.
  8. Thomas Fireheart purchased the Daily Bugle out from under Jameson in Spectacular Spider-Man #156.
  9. The Hobgoblin mentions how he was hired to try and destroy Doctor Strange during the Acts of Vengeance conspiracy. That happened in Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #11.

See Also

Links and References


  1. 1.0 1.1 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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