Appearing in "Screaming Crimson"
- Shroud (Maximillian Coleridge)
- Familiars of Cyttorak (First appearance)
- Joey Gregson (First appearance)
Races and Species:
- New York City
Synopsis for "Screaming Crimson"
Swinging throw Greenwich Village, Spider-Man is suddenly jolted by his spider-sense. His senses draw him to the ruins of the building and begins going through the wreckage. When he finds a unique circular skylight, he realizes that the remains of that of Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum.[Continuity 1] Tossing the skylight aside, Spider-Man hopes his spider-sense is working properly because there are no obvious signs of danger, and swings away. As the wall-crawler leaves the scene, he is spotted by a tourist who snaps a photo of the masked hero. Turning to walk away, the tourist bumps into the Shroud, who tells the man to leave the area if he wants to live. The Shroud is glad he didn't cross paths with Spider-Man, as he is aware of the hero's spider-sense. Noticing that Spider-Man had sensed his presence, the Shroud stopped moving and hid within his darkness in order to shield himself from detection.[Continuity 2] This is because the Shroud has infiltrated the criminal underworld and would be viewed as a villain, and a battle would impede his current mission.[Continuity 3]
Meanwhile, Spider-Man thinks that things are pretty quiet and swings away from the scene. He is spotted by Marla Jameson and her step-son, John. Seeing the wall-crawler, she briefly hopes that the appearance of Spider-Man would bring back her husband, J. Jonah Jameson, who has been missing for a number of days.[Continuity 4] John is certain that his father is fine, but Marla isn't certain since until recently the Daily Bugle was his anchor. John figures that she should be his anchor and wonders if the Daily Bugle going out of business would be the best thing that could come out of this situation. Not far away, Spider-Man lands on the roof of a nearby hospital where he changes back into Peter Parker. Parker has come here to visit his friend Flash Thompson, who is recovering after being beaten up by Tombstone. Down in the hospital gift shop, he purchases some flowers for Flash. When he arrives in Thompson's hospital room, he is surprised to see Felicia Hardy is there also. She gives him the cold shoulder and leaves the room.[Continuity 5] When Flash asks Peter why Felicia has been acting strange around him, Peter claims to know nothing, saying that she has been acting strange ever since Flash was taken into the hospital. Peter tells Flash that Mary Jane figures it's because Felicia actually loves Thompson.[Continuity 6] Flash surprises Peter when he chalks up Mary Jane's opinion as jealousy because she is no longer the most attractive woman in their group. Unsure of how to answer this, Peter decides to change the subject. Flash then shocks Peter once again, by pointing out that they are not very good friends. He points out that their only common link was that they were both friends with Harry Osborn. Now that Harry is dead, that connection is severed.[Continuity 7] Flash concludes that he needs to make changes in his life, and tells Peter that he will be in touch someday. When Peter Parker finally returns home, he finds a note from Mary Jane telling him that she is at their new apartment. Peter is disappointed because he needs to talk to someone about what has just happened. Peter decides to go out web-slinging to blow off steam instead.
Back outside the ruins of Doctor Strange's Sanctum, mobster Joey Gregson and his men have come to make an illegal arms deal. The exchange is interrupted by the Shroud, who has come to avenge the death of Joey Gregson's partners in Los Angeles. Using his ability to cast darkness, the Shroud easily takes down the mobsters. As he examines the weapons, Navy issue, he is interrupted by Spider-Man who happened to be swinging by. The pair come to blows, with the Shroud having the advantage due to his shrouds of darkness and superior fighting skills. Spider-Man is sent crashing into the Sanctum's skylight, unleashing three glowing creatures. They have two mouths and eyeless sockets. Upon being freed, they begin shrieking at a deafening level. Two of the shrieking masks try to attack the wall-crawler and the Shroud, but they easily deflect it. The Shroud then tries to recover the money from the gun deal, but gets into another scrap with Spider-Man. Their fight is cut short when they are struck by bolts of mystical energy. Recovering, they discover that the three crimson masks have taken control of Gregson and his two minions.
Appearing in "New Values"
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "New Values"
Everyone at the Daily Bugle is surprised by the sudden return of J. Jonah Jameson, who had been missing for the past few days. He dismisses their concerns, telling Glory Grant that he has a newspaper to run. After canceling his appointments for the day, Jonah enters his office to get down to work.
Sitting down at his desk, Jonah begins flipping through Peter Parker's book, "Webs" thinking about Spider-Man.[Continuity2 1] He thinks about how he originally crusaded against Spider-Man in his newspaper to warn people of Spider-Man and how much of a menace the masked vigilante was.[Continuity2 2] Recalling how the Daily Bugle had once was a prestigious and respected newspaper, even winning a Pulitzer Prize in the past.[Continuity2 3] He has decided that it is now time to change.
Jonah then calls all of his staff into his office for a meeting. He tells them that there is a disease that is threatening to ruin the Daily Bugle and that it must be rooted out and eliminated. Suddenly, a Bugle staffer named Barry breaks down and admits that he has been embezzling money from the company. Although this is not what Jameson as talking about, Jonah tells Glory to call the police. He then continues, saying that the Bugle's journalistic credibility that is the reason here. Joe Robertson takes offense to this, reminding Jonah that their staff is above reproach. Jonah clarifies, telling his staff that he is as much to blame as anyone else for what's happening. He then proposes that they hire a new executive editor, to work under Joe Robertson, someone who has experience in the newspaper business. When Joe asks who that person is, Jonah appoints himself to the job, telling his staff that nobody will laugh at the Daily Bugle ever again.[Continuity2 4]
- At the time of this story, Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum was destroyed in Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #60 during the Siege of Darkness event.
- The Shroud became aware of Spider-Man's spider-sense during their last encounter in Marvel Team-Up #84.
- The details of this mission are chronicled in Shroud #1–4.
- Jonah walked off the job and went missing back in Spectacular Spider-Man #205.
- Felicia was upset that Spider-Man kept on interfering with her attempts to get revenge against Tombstone in Spectacular Spider-Man #205–206.
- Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from existence by Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.
- At the time of this story, everyone thinks that Harry Osborn is dead following the events of Spectacular Spider-Man #200. However, unknown to everyone at the time, Harry survived as explained in Amazing Spider-Man #581. He will resurface again in Amazing Spider-Man #545.
- "Webs" was a collection of Peter Parker's photos of Spider-Man first published in Amazing Spider-Man #304.
- J. Jonah Jameson has been using the Daily Bugle to campaign against Spider-Man since Amazing Spider-Man #1.
- The Bugle, or more specifically Peter Parker, had won a Pulitzer in recent history for the photo Peter took of the Sentry, as seen in Sentry/Spider-Man #1. However, as explained during the events of Sentry #1–5, everyone's memory of the Sentry had been erased.
- J. Jonah Jameson was editor-in-chief of the Daily Bugle until he stepped down in Amazing Spider-Man #250 when it was exposed that he was responsible for the creation of the Scorpion (circa Amazing Spider-Man #20).
Events in Screaming Crimson occur behind the scenes that affect the chronology of the following characters:
- Page 1-9 - Spider-Man finds Doctor Strange's home in ruins. Visits Flash Thompson in the hospital.
- Page 10-17 - Spider-Man battles the Shroud.
- This issue was originally going to tie into the Siege of Darkness crossover going over at the Midnight Sons line of books, having even been originally solicited as part of the story. Presumably, an editorial mandate at the time required that tie-in comics dealt with whichever events were going on in the main story at the time the tie-in comic hit the shelves. This was not the case in this issue's original script, so editor Mark Powers decided to simply break free from the event. While still not officially a part of the crossover, this issue still dealt with the repercussions of the main story, namely the destruction of the Sanctum Sanctorum.