Appearing in "The Summit"
Synopsis for "The Summit"
Spider-Man and the Puma have been transported to the desert by the Black Crow in order to learn the true nature of themselves. Standing over them on a rock outcropping, the Black Crow summons down a bolt of lighting. The Crow appears where the bolt strikes and when the Puma leaps at him, he passes harmlessly through the agent of Mother Earth. The Black Crow then grabs Puma by the hair, causing him to revert back to human form, and cuts off a swath of his hair. When Spider-Man comes to the Puma's defense, the Black Crow is also able to cut his hair as well. When the pair leaps at the Black Crow, they find themselves suspended in the air. Holding their clumps of hair in each hand, the Black Crow tells them that the past is dead and their futures are waiting. With this, the hair burns away in his hands creating the shadowy figures of a massive spider and puma. He tells them that they both reached a turning point in their lives and that their choices here, in the land of the Anasazi, will determine the path of the rest of their lives. He then invites the pair to follow him, then suddenly splits into two distinct beings and run in different directions. Spider-Man and Puma are then freed from their suspension and both agree that their only way out of this is to go after their mutual foe. The pair then split up, going after one of the two Black Crows.
As Spider-Man leaps through the rocky terrain he thinks about all the things that have happened in his life. The apparent return of his parents, as well as the attacks on his personal life by the Green Goblin, the Vulture, the Rhino, and Richard Fisk.[Continuity 1] Eventually, he spots a crow flying in the sky and decides to follow it. The bird leads him to the bottom of a massive mountain, the top of which is lost in the clouds. Spider-Man begins climbing the mountain but is soon ambushed by the Black Crow. The Crow calls the wall-crawler sloppy and knocks him off the side of the cliff. Spider-Man manages to break his fall, but when he attempts to web the Black Crow to the side of the mountain, the webbing passes harmlessly through him. Telling Spider-Man that his "illusions" of webbing only trap himself, he continues up the mountain laughing all the way.
Elsewhere, Thomas Fireheart climbs another mountain wondering how long the Black Crow has been watching him. He is suddenly confronted by the Black Crow in the form of a mountain lion. It tells Fireheart that he is gifted with a great medicine, but asks him if he will be the servant or the master of that power. Will he be the savior of his people, or the shame? With that, the mountain lion leaps at the Puma. Fireheart struggles with the creature, telling it that he was used as a tool and treated as the property of his tribe. That he never asked to become the Puma and wants to be his own man. Reverting back to human form, the Black Crow tells Thomas that he understands. However, he warns him that the decisions he makes this night will determine his fate and if he is not careful the beast will ride him from now on. Fighting off Fireheart, the Black Crow tells him that he will be riding on the edge of the abyss and to take that leap will take him to the point of no return. The Black Crow then transforms into a crow and flies away. Meanwhile, Spider-Man reaches the top of the mountain. There, from the swirling mists, emerge illusions of his foes the Green Goblin, the Rhino, the Vulture, and Richard Fisk, all dressed in Native American clothing. Fighting through these illusions, he grabs the Black Crow and beast him into submission. Spider-Man then lifts the Black Crow over his head and contemplates tossing him over the edge to his death.
On another mountain top, Thomas Fireheart is attacked by a massive crow. He has decided that he has had enough and turns into the Puma. He savagely rips into the massive bird, howling into the night. Meanwhile, Spider-Man looks over at the valley before him, struck by the majesty of it all. Suddenly, he begins to see a massive spider's web stretched out over the valley. He sees that the web ties him to all of his loved ones and enemies. He suddenly realizes that life is full of moments of suffering, that they are necessary for the moments of the good. That it is all tied together, and all has a purpose. With that, Spider-Man lowers the Black Crow, sparing his life. There is another swirl of mist and the Black Crow is behind him. He explains that he had no part in the vision that the wall-crawler had seen. That the vision was all due to the spider-medicine that courses within him. The Black Crow merely offered him the choice to see the vision and choose what he did with it, much like he did with the Puma. With that, the Puma leaps at him, forsaking his human identity he tells Spider-Man that he has a job to complete. With that, the desert disappears, replaced with the New York City skyline. The Puma leaps into the night to carry out the job he has been hired to do.
Standing atop the Empire State Building, Spider-Man is told by Black Crow that an innocent life is at stake and that the Puma must be stopped. With that, the Black Crow disappears in a swirl of mists. Spider-Man then leaps off the building, web-swinging after the Puma. From the mist emerges a crow, watching as both men fly toward their respective fates.
- Peter's parents died while on a mission for the CIA, as explained in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5. Two people claiming to be Peter's parents appeared in his life again in Amazing Spider-Man #365. However, they are later revealed to be impostors in Amazing Spider-Man #388. The attacks on Peter Parker by the Green Goblin, Vulture, Rhino, and Richard Fisk happened in Spectacular Spider-Man #189, Spectacular Spider-Man #186–188, Spectacular Spider-Man #190 and Web of Spider-Man #84–89 respectively.