Appearing in "Savage Showdown"
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Savage Showdown"
After a mystical ritual, Spider-an finds himself in the middle of the New Mexico desert facing a life or death battle against his foe the Puma. Surveying the territory in the blazing heat, Spider-Man's spider-sense warns him of a sneak attack from the Puma. He dodges the attack, and his foe goes tumbling down to a dried out river bed. The wall-crawler goes down to finds his opponent, but when he arrives at the river bed, he finds no trace of the Puma. Spider-Man has a bad feeling about things, thinking back to how he agreed to come to New Mexico to finally resolve the debt of honor that the Puma felt he owed the hero.[Continuity 1] After a mystical ceremony of purification, the Puma's uncle asked if they will end the ceremony in peace. However, the Puma had insisted that honor demands blood, and so it was decreed that they were to fight to the death. Suddenly, Spider-Man's thoughts are interrupted by his spider-sense. Unfortunately, he is too slow to react when the Puma leaps out of the mud and slashes the hero's shoulder open. Reacting to the pain, Spider-Man strikes the Puma so hard he goes flying into a nearby rock face. When Spider-Man goes looking for his foe, the Puma has disappeared again. Taking the momentary reprieve to rest, Spider-Man notices his arm is aching and wonders if Puma's claws were poisoned.
Back in New York City, Mary Jane is waiting in a part for Jason Jerome to arrive.[Continuity 2] Jerome tries once again to convince Mary Jane to begin an affair with him, pointing out that she is neglected by her husband.[Continuity 3] Appearing to relent, Mary Jane tells Jason to meet her at her apartment later that evening.
By this point, Spider-Man has bound his wounds and gets up and feels dizzy. This confirms that the Puma's claws were poisoned. Needing to get out of the heat and rest, the wall-crawler hobbles into a nearby cave to rest some more. When the Puma tries to go in after the wall-crawler, he falls for Spider-Man's trap. Ambushing the Puma from behind, the pair begins to tumble down a hillside and slam into some rocks. When both recover from the fall, the Puma once again asks if they are fighting to the death. Surprisingly, Spider-Man agrees to fight to the death and the two lunge at each other. As the two struggle, Spider-Man kicks the Puma into a nearby cactus. As the feral warrior pulls himself free, Spider-Man scurries into another cave. As Puma uses his heightened senses to track the wall-crawler in the dark. As he travels along a narrow path, the Puma's neck is snared in one of Spider-Man's web-lines. The wall-crawler swings the Puma over the chasm intending to strangle him to death. However, Spider-Man stops himself before he crosses that line and lets go of the makeshift noose. The Puma leaps to safety and demands to know why Spider-Man didn't kill him. The wall-crawler points out that they are too evenly matched and perhaps they need to settle things without killing each other.
He suggests that the shaman's vision was likely to show them to deal with their differences peacefully. However, the Puma refuses to stand down, saying a man with no honor is not among the living. Before the fighting can begin anew, Spider-Man reminds him that they both have those they are responsible to. Peter to his wife, and Thomas to his tribe. This causes the Puma to pause. Reverting back to human form, Thomas Fireheart realizes that Spider-Man is right and the pair make peace and part as friends. This is just as well for Spider-Man, as he is looking forward to seeing his wife. Back in New York, Jason Jerome arrives at Peter and Mary Jane's apartment. Unfortunately for him, instead of the affair he was looking for, Mary Jane has plastered the entire apartment of pictures of her and Peter.[Continuity 4] She points out that she loves Peter Parker and that she will not cheat on him with anyone. After cussing Jason out for being a complete sleaze bag, she kicks Jason out of her home. In the aftermath, Mary Jane figures that Jason Jerome was right, she is missing romance in her life, but she will only seek it from the man she loves and hopes Peter hurries home.
- The Puma felt the need to repay this debt since he incorrectly believed Spider-Man had committed a crime in Web of Spider-Man #50. To this end, he tried to repair Spider-Man's reputation by purchasing the Daily Bugle in Spectacular Spider-Man #156.
- Mary Jane is referred to as Peter Parker's wife here. However, years later, their marriage was erased from existence by the demon Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here as opposed to husband and wife.
- Jason Jerome has been attempting to seduce Mary Jane since Spectacular Spider-Man #166.
- One of the photos of Peter and Mary Jane is of their wedding day, which was depicted in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. However, in the timeline altered by Mephisto, one could assume that this photo was no longer there.