Appearing in "Wounds"
- 🢐 Mary Jane Watson Parker 🢒
- 🢐 Aunt May 🢒
- 🢐 Harry Osborn 🢒
- 🢐 Liz Allan Osborn 🢒
- 🢐 Normie Osborn 🢒
- Uncle Ben (Mentioned)
- Richard Parker (Mentioned)
- Mary Parker (Mentioned)
- 🢐 Dr. Ashley Kafka 🢒 (Appears in flashback)
- Edward Whelan's mother (First appearance)
- Edward Whelan's father (First appearance)
- Annie Reilly (Mentioned)
- Aunt May's father (Mentioned)
- Aunt May's mother (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "Wounds"
The Vermin thinks back to his therapy sessions where Doctor Ashley Kafka. She was trying to break through the psychological walls the creature has put up and speak with the person he was before becoming the Vermin. The creature was frightened when he is asked about his home life. However, after some time, she managed to get through to Vermin to the point where he tells her his real name is Edward.
Now, standing at the gates in front of the family mansion, Vermin debates about going. The lost little boy he found in the sewers asks if they are going to go inside. Although Vermin is afraid, the boy tells the creature that it is his home and that his mother is there. Even though he feels nothing but darkness coming from the home, Vermin decides to listen to the boy and hugs him. Leaping up atop the wall, Vermin asks the boy if he is coming along. However, the child says that he is going to wait outside, and assures Vermin that there is no danger waiting for him inside. The creature then scurries across the lawn and goes into the mansion. Inside the mansion, an elderly couple sleeps in separate bedrooms. The woman wakes up because she has heard something in the house. However, her husband sleeps peacefully until he is awoken when the Vermin brushes the side of his face. Seeing the horror that has crawled into bed with him, he is shocked when it calls him daddy and says he loves him. With shaky hands, the man reaches for the draw on the bedside table for his gun. Suddenly, there is a gunshot and a scream. Vermin then leaps out of the window clutching his wounded shoulder. This entire scene is witnessed by the little boy who is standing at the gates in tears.
The following morning, Aunt May has brought Peter and Mary Jane to the local cemetery.[Continuity 1] She has taken them there to visit the graves of Richard and Mary Parker, Peter's parents.[Continuity 2] May begins recalling the memories she have of Peter's father. How he used to tag along when she and his brother Ben went on dates and how he met and later married Mary. As May continues her remenisses, Peter gazes at the graves and has a hallucination of Vermin digging himself out of the ground and screams. Startled, May and Mary Jane asks Peter if he is okay. He brushes off their concern, telling them that he just remembered that he has an appointment to keep at the Daily Bugle. May understands, and goes to her late husband's grave.[Continuity 3] As May walks off to pay her respects, Mary Jane sees through Peter's excuse and tries to get him to talk about his last battle with Vermin after he was buried alive by Kraven the Hunter.[Continuity 4] Peter admits that the Vermin's recent escape from captivity has been weighing heavily on his mind. He feels that until Vermin has been captured, the dead can wait.
Meanwhile, Harry Osborn and his wife Liz brought their son to Central Park for the day. As Liz and Normie are riding on the marry-go-round, Harry watches from nearby. He is once more visited by the apparent ghost of his father, Norman Osborn, the original Green Goblin.[Continuity 5] The specter of Norman scoffs at the activities he has been partaking in with his son. Harry points out that Norman used to do all these things with him while they were growing up. When the ghost of Norman realizes that he did love his son, he is suddenly struck in the back by a goblin glider. The hallucination intensifies, as Harry sees what he believes is Spider-Man, who tells Harry that Norman Osborn didn't really love him and needed to be put down like a mad dog. This who display stuns Harry to silence until Normie and Liz return to him. When Normie tries to get his father's attention, Harry suddenly snaps out of his trance and shouts at the child. Realizing that he is shouting at his child again, Harry composes himself and apologizes to the boy and suggests that they get some cotton candy. When Liz asks Harry if he is feeling okay, he assures her that he is fine.
That evening, the Vermin and his legion of rats have descended upon Central Park. Hurt and afraid, the Vermin. While back at her office, Doctor Ashley Kaufka goes over the recorded footage of her sessions with Vermin. She is interrupted by the arrival of Spider-Man. The wall-crawler wonders how Kafka could bring herself to get close enough to Vermin to hug the creature. Particularly, since they both agree he must emit some psychic poison that makes people repulsed by him. However, Kafka theorizes that Vermin's transformation is just as much psychological as it is biological. Growing impatient, Spider-Man demands answers from Ashley that can help him find Vermin. He quickly apologizes for snapping at her, admitting that his nerves have been on edge since Vermin escaped. Ashley tells the wall-crawler that during her sessions with Edward she discovered that he was sexually abused as a child. When she goes to the window of her office, she is shocked to find Vermin standing there. The creature begs her for help as police close in on the scene. However, the creature panics when he sees Spider-Man inside and tries to flee onto the rooftops. The wall-crawler catches up with him and assures Edward that he is there to help. The creature can't bring itself to trust Spider-Man and reverts completely back to his Vermin persona. He tells Spider-Man to not call him Edward and lunges at the hero.
Giving in to his rage, the web-slinger begins to lashing into the man-monster. With the thoughts of his parents in his mind, Spider-Man tries to reign himself in. However, his revulsion and disgust prevent him from getting back under control. It's not until Kafka gets on the roof and tells Spider-Man to stop, does the masked hero stops. Ashley tells Spider-Man that she can get through to Edward again if he can trust her. When she tries to reach out to Vermin, the creature bites her hand. As she is swarmed by Vermin's rats, Spider-Man rushes to her side to swat them off. As he does so, Vermin manages to escape just moments before the police arrive on the roof. While back at the Osborn home, Harry tucks his son Normie into bed and kisses him tonight. As he leaves the boy's room, he is once more confronted by the specter of his father. Norman Osborn holds out a Green Goblin costume and tells Harry that it is time.
- 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.
- Peter's parents were American spies who were killed in the line of duty, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5.
- Aunt May's husband, Ben, was murdered by a burglar way back in Amazing Fantasy #15.
- Spider-Man was buried alive for two weeks by Kraven and battled the Vermin after he broke free during the Kraven's Last Hunt story arc.
Kraven's Last Hunt Web of Spider-Man #31 Amazing Spider-Man #293 Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #131 Web of Spider-Man #32 Amazing Spider-Man #294 Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #132
- At the time of this story, everyone believes that Norman Osborn is dead following his battle with Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #122. However, he survived, as revealed in Osborne Journals #1. He will resurfaced again in Amazing Spider-Man #412.
- This issue reveals that Aunt May has a deceased sister named Annie who is buried in the same cemetery as May's parents, Uncle Ben and Peter's parents.
A video recording in this issue reveals past events that affect the chronology of the following characters: