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Appearing in "Face Value"

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Synopsis for "Face Value"

Pursuit continues from Spider-Man #45...

Spider-Man is out on the hunt for the Chameleon and has tracked down a street gang to rough them up and get answers out of them.[Continuity 1] Unfortunately for the wall-crawler, they know nothing.[Continuity 2] Spider-Man is upset because he has gotten no further to finding the Chameleon since he rousted the villain's first safe house. As short time later, the Chameleon watches a news report about the gang's capture and becomes furious enough to start trashing his safehouse apartment. This causes one of the neighbors to come knocking to complain about the noise. Shapeshifting into the form of retired police detective Terry Martin to answer the door. He apologizes for the noise. He explains some of his friends from Broadway have come over to do an impromptu performance. Enchanted by this, the neighbor asks "Terry" if he can get tickets to the show.[Continuity 3] After appeasing his neighbor, the Chameleon drops his disguise and begins to worry about what to do about Spider-Man. He thinks of Kraven the Hunter and what he would do in this situation and wishes he was still alive to guide him.[Continuity 4] Not wanting to put himself at risk, the Chameleon decides to hire an assassin to eliminate Spider-Man.

By this point, Spider-Man has returned to the home he shares with his wife Mary Jane.[Continuity 5] Mary Jane insists that Peter talk about what is happening instead of burying his feelings. She wants to know what he plans to do when she catches the Chameleon, then tells him to stay because both she and his Aunt May need her. Becoming angry, Peter scolds Mary Jane for trying to talk to him about pain and loss, pointing out that she has always run from her problems.[Continuity 6] With that, Peter puts back on his mask and swings away. His final words to Mary Jane sting, and she thinks how unfair it is that Peter has Spider-Man to hide behind, while she has nothing.

Meanwhile, the Chameleon -- disguised as Terry Martin again -- entertains a representative of the Tailor Group, who is giving a demonstration of their cybernetic operative Tracer. "Martin" states that he wants to hire Tracer in order to capture or eliminate Spider-Man. After hearing that the cyborg battled Deathlok, "Terry" is satisfied and they begin discussing the fees.[Continuity 7] Elsewhere in the city, Spider-Man is ashamed by the way he talked to her wife, who is just trying to help.[Continuity 8] However, still intends to track down and capture the Chameleon, no matter what. As he passes by the office of J. Jonah Jameson, who is unhappy to see the wall-crawler passing by. This is because Jonah has been attempting to revitalize his newspaper, with a no-Spider-Man policy.[Continuity 9] This has jeopardized his marriage, and now that Spider-Man is on a rampage he has no choice but to report about the wall-crawler. He thinks about calling his wife but decides to do it after he is finished writing his current piece.

While back at his hideout, the Chameleon uses Terry's access to the police computer records to learn about the next prison transfer and begins plotting a prison break.[Continuity 10] At this time, Spider-Man has finished wrapping up some more crooks. Watching the police round up the crooks from the rooftop, the wall-crawler realizes that he is losing his grip and he has to get back in control before he seriously hurts himself. To punctuate this point, some of the thugs are being loaded into an ambulance. When the commanding officer on the scene learns that it was Spider-Man was responsible, the police officer yells at Spider-Man to keep his super-villain feuds off his streets. Spider-Man resents these comments, but he is suddenly warned by his spider-sense allowing him to evade the ambush from Tracer. Back at home, Mary Jane wonders who she could call to talk about what is going on. She decides against calling Aunt May, the Human Torch, or the Avengers. She eventually decides to call Felicia Hardy and get her advice, but when she calls she is surprised when the number turns out to have been disconnected. Hanging up on the phone, Mary Jane dispairs because she feels totally alone.

Back at the battle, Spider-Man is doused in gas pellets that leave him disorientated long enough for Tracer to catch him in a net.[Continuity 11] With Spider-Man caught in his net, Tracer activates a wrist-mounted blaster and prepares to shoot the wall-crawler. While at the Chameleon's hideout, the villain figures that Tracer managed to finish his job by now. The master spy curses being unable to kill Spider-Man by his own hands and wish Kraven was in his place instead. However, the Chameleon is wrong, as Spider-Man breaks free and manages to disarm Tracer before he can open fire. The cyborg tires to blast the hero with another weapon, but he damages the roof causing them both to fall into the middle of a garment warehouse. Ultimately, Spider-Man overpowers and disarms Tracer and demands to know why he is working for the Chameleon. Tracer explains that he refuses to work for such a criminal and tells the wall-crawler that he was hired by Terry Martin. Spider-Man explains that he was tricked because Terry Martin is dead. Tracer double checks his records and learns that Spider-Man is telling the truth.[Continuity 12] Tracer then tells the web-head that he can find the Chameleon at Martin's penthouse apartment at Polaski Towers.

When Spider-Man comes crashing through the window of the Chameleon's hideout, he finds no trace of his foe. Looking around the room, he finds a message left for him written on the wall. It reads "This isn't the beginning anymore. And it's not the end. But it is the end of the Beginning!" When Spider-Man returns home, his return is heard by Mary Jane. She begs her husband to stay home with him, but he declines, saying that he had come back to get his spare mask as the one he is wearing is torn. Once he puts on his new mask, he climbs back out the skylight, leaving his wife behind in tears.

... Pursuit continues in Web of Spider-Man #112.


Continuity Notes

Spider-Man #45 Spectacular Spider-Man #211 Web of Spider-Man #112 Amazing Spider-Man #389
  1. At the time of this story, Spider-Man had discovered that the Chameleon was responsible for creating the impostors that were posing as his parents. That happened in Amazing Spider-Man #388. The real Richard and Mary Parker died decades earlier, as explained in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5.
  2. One of the gang members mentions Spider-Man's recent battle with some hitmen. That happened in Spider-Man #45.
  3. The play in question is identified as "Les Misérables". At the time this story was published, Les Miz had been on Broadway for a number of years. The run in question ended in 2003, and a more recent revival ended in 2008. As such, this should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
  4. At the time of this story, Kraven the Hunter was dead after he recently committed suicide during the Kraven's Last Hunt event.
    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

  5. 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.
  6. Peter's jab at Mary Jane here is based on the fact that she has run away from all her problems in life, particularly her abusive family life as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #259.
  7. Tracer went up against Deathlok in Deathlok Annual (Vol. 2) #2.
  8. Peter worries that Mary Jane might start smoking again. Mary Jane picked up smoking in Amazing Spider-Man #361 to deal with the stress of Peter being Spider-Man. He recently convinced her to quit in Amazing Spider-Man #385.
  9. Jonah's trouble in both his marriage and the Bugle started during the events of Spectacular Spider-Man #205207.
  10. The Chameleon is depicted using a dial-up moden to access the police records. This should also be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
  11. Spider-Man wonders if Tracer is using a gas that nullifies his spider-sense like the kind used by the original Green Goblin. The Goblin first used this gas on the wall-crawler in Amazing Spider-Man #3940.
  12. Tracer's records indicate that Martin died on July 16, 1992. This date should be considered topical. Generally speaking, readers should interpret this to mean that Terry died roughly two years prior to this story.

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