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Appearing in "Creatures Stirring"

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Synopsis for "Creatures Stirring"

On Christmas Eve, a group of thugs is mugging a man one Jones Beach, Long Island. Their crime is interrupted when a bathysphere emerges from the waters. The trio of men decides to see if the pilot of this strange vessel has money and try to force their way in. Suddenly, the main hatch opens and the mechanical arms of Doctor Octopus lash out and snap their necks. Sending his bathysphere back into the ocean, Otto goes to the limousine that is waiting for him. The driver confirms that they are driving to Forest Hills in Queens. In the back seat, Octavius doesn't care what the world thinks of him. Opening a photo album, he looks at a photo of May Parker, the one woman who knows him as the man he once was.[Continuity 1] While at the Parker home in Queens, Aunt May is preparing for the holidays with her new boyfriend Willie Lumpkin, her nephew's wife Mary Jane, and her cousin Kristy.[Continuity 2] When May comes out with some cookies, Mary Jane is apprehensive when she offers some to Kristy.[Continuity 3] However, he mind is set at ease when Kristy takes some cookies to eat. When the others ask where Peter is, Mary Jane assures him he is on his way after he finishes some work at the Daily Bugle.

At that moment, Spider-Man is web-slinging to the Daily Bugle Building when he happens upon a group of men hassling a man dressed as Santa Claus collecting money for the poor. When the wall-crawler goes to stop them, they mock the hero because some of Thomas Fireheart's pro-Spider-Man billboards are still on display.[Continuity 4] As they are laughing at the web-slinger, Spider-Man webs them up. The scene is photographed by Nick Katzenberg, who brags about selling photos to the Bugle that under the false pretense that Spider-Man was attacking innocent people on Christmas Eve. Realizing there is nothing he can do, the wall-crawler swings off. Meanwhile, Katzenberg meets with a local stool-pigeon known as Twitch. He pays the informant for some information that will be a huge break for him. At that moment, Peter Parker arrives at the Daily Bugle office for the company Christmas party. Much to his surprise, J. Jonah Jameson is dressed like Santa Claus. After exchanging gifts with his co-workers, Peter shows Betty Brant the crystal bird he bought for Mary Jane.

That's when Nick Katzenberg arrives and makes a lewd comment about Mary Jane. When Katzenberg nudges Peter in the side, he begins to lose his temper and nudges back. However, he uses a little too much strength, knocking Nick into the table. This causes Mary Jane's gift to fall off the table and shatter on the ground. Peter finally snaps, and slams Katzenberg into the table, warning him about saying anything about his wife in the future. However, Peter stops himself after realizing what he has done. Embarrassed by his outburst, and excuses himself. After complaining about people not helping him up, Katzenberg realizes what time it is and heads out for that golden opportunity. Changing back into Spider-Man, Peter swings to Forest Hills, chastising himself for losing control so easily. As he arrives near Aunt May's house, he notices a limo parked nearby. As he gets closer to his childhood home, he is surprised to see Doctor Octopus is looking in through one of Aunt May's windows. Otto Octavius is looking in on the holiday cheer that is being shared by May and her family and realizes that he has no place in May's life. Before he can leave, Spider-Man ambushes Octavius, deanding to know why his old foe has come to harass the Parkers.

The two begin to battle it out on the front lawn, but both are prompted to stop when May goes outside to see what all the commotion is outside. Doctor Octopus apologizes for the scene they have been making and after agreeing to cease hostilities for now, Doctor Octopus leaves. Confused, May demands to know why a hero like Spider-Man was attacking such a "nice man" like Otto Octavius. Spider-Man is ashamed, and tells her that during the holidays perhaps there is no such thing as heroes or villains.

Elsewhere in the city, Nick Katzenberg is waiting on a rooftop for the tip he got from Twitch to pan out. When he sees two men arrive at the building across the building. He snaps their photos, particularly one man who is wearing a rose in the lapell of his sports coat.[Continuity 5]


Continuity Notes

  1. Doctor Octopus first met May Parker when the Sinister Six took her hostage in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1. At one point he almost convinced May to marry him in Amazing Spider-Man #131. This scheme was foiled by Spider-Man.
  2. Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and 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.
  3. Kristy was revealed to be suffering from Bulimia in Web of Spider-Man #53.
  4. Thomas Fireheart purchased the Daily Bugle to repair Spider-Man's reputation as a matter of honor in Spectacular Spider-Man #156. However, at the time of this story, Thomas sold the paper back to J. Jonah Jameson in Spectacular Spider-Man #171.
  5. Although unidentified here, one of the men that Katzenberg is photographing is Richard Fisk and a man named Blume, as revealed in Web of Spider-Man #8489.

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