Appearing in "A Time to Live!"
- New York City
Synopsis for "A Time to Live!"
This story continues from Amazing Spider-Man #397...
Doctor Octopus has been working feverently to create a cure for the poison that is coursing through the veins of Spider-Man, his greatest foe.[Continuity 1] His assistant, Stunner, urges Otto to hurry because it doesn't look like the wall-crawler is going to survive much longer. As he writhes in pain, Peter Parker has another flashback of himself growing in a cloning tank.[Continuity 2] However, try as he might, Doctor Octopus cannot synthesize a cure but quickly loses his temper. Stunner asks why her beloved Otto is working so hard to save the life of his greatest enemy. Octavius explains that he sees Spider-Man as his foil, someone who drives his inspiration. That aside, now that he has seen the face behind the mask, he knows that there are people in the life of Peter Parker that love him and wants to save his life for them.
Otto then calls the home of May Parker, which is answered by Anna Watson, who is there gathering May's belongings. Otto is shocked when she tells him that May Parker has suffered a stroke and is in the hospital.[Continuity 3] Stunner thinks this will convince Otto to forget about Parker, however, his past with May Parker and knowledge of her current medical condition redoubles his efforts.[Continuity 4] Otto then sends Stunner to go out and order flowers for Aunt May. as she leaves, she is unaware that their hideout is being observed by Kaine. The assassin refuses to allow Doctor Octopus to interfere with his plans for Peter Parker. He thinks about their destiny and how many will suffer and die as a result. Meanwhile, Peter's wife Mary Jane visits May in the hospital.[Continuity 5] Mary Jane prays that May won't die because she doesn't know how her death will impact Peter. She fears without May, Mary Jane may lose her husband to the darkness forever.
Later, back at Doctor Octopus' lab, the evil scientist refuses to give up on reviving his enemy. With no time to lose, Otto is forced to inject Peter with an untested serum. This causes Peter to experience blinding pain. Breaking free from his bonds, the wall-crawler bounces around the room. When Stunner tries to restrain him, Peter pushes her away and leaps out a window. However, the pain gets to be too much, causing Parker to pass out in mid-air as Kaine watches from the rooftops. Thankfully for the web-spinner, Doctor Octopus manages to get outside and saves his arch-nemesis before he can fatally hit the pavement below. Later, Spider-man wakes up wearing his full costume. Realizing that he is near the brownstone that he shares with his wife, Spider-Man doesn't know how he got here or where he was for the past few hours. Noticing that he no longer has any symptoms, the wall-crawler rejoices that he has somehow been cured of the virus that was killing him. Realizing that he is going to live, Spider-Man begins to rejoice. While down on the streets below, Mary Jane is on her way home, unaware that she is being stalked by Kaine. Watching her go by, Kaine remarks how innocent she looks and sheds a tear when he thinks about what will happen to her in the future.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man has changed back to Peter Parker in his apartment. He begins to panic about trying to track down his wife Mary Jane after his prolonged absence and worries about Aunt May's health.[Continuity 6] Just then, Mary Jane enters the room. Happy to see each other, Peter and Mary Jane kiss. This romantic moment is observed by Doctor Octopus, who cannot help but smile. Satisfied that his job is complete, Spider-Man's greatest foe turns and walks away. However, this is not the happy ending Octavius was hoping for. As Peter and Mary Jane spend a romantic evening home alone, Doctor Octopus returns to his lab. He is horrified to learn that his cure did nothing but mask the symptoms of the virus for a few hours. At that very moment, Peter Parker goes to the bathroom as he begins to feel the virus returning. Realizing that he is still dying, Peter gathers the strength to tell Mary Jane. Out in the bedroom, he tells Mary Jane that he has something important to say. Before Peter can tell his wife the tragic news, she tells him that he also has something important to tell him. Peter tells his wife to go first, and Mary Jane tells him that he is about to become a father because she just learned that she is pregnant.
... This story continues in Amazing Spider-Man #398.
|Web of Death|
|Amazing Spider-Man #397||Spectacular Spider-Man #220||Amazing Spider-Man #398||Spectacular Spider-Man #221|
- Spider-Man was poisoned by the Vulture in Amazing Spider-Man #396.
- These visions are an attempt to confuse Ben and Peter into wondering who is the clone and who is the real Spider-Man. These are revealed to be memories implanted into their minds by the Jackal in the Smoke and Mirrors story arc.
Smoke and Mirrors Web of Spider-Man #122 Amazing Spider-Man #399 Spider-Man #56 Spider-Man The Clone Journal #1
- May Parker suffered a stroke in Amazing Spider-Man #391. However, unknown to everyone at the time, May was replaced with an impostor sometime during the events of Amazing Spider-Man #392. This is revealed in Spider-Man #97.
- Otto first met May Parker when he kidnapped her back in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1. At one point he rented out a room in her home in Amazing Spider-Man #53–54. He even tried to marry her once, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #131.
- 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.
- Peter has been absent from home after Aunt May suffered from her stroke in Amazing Spider-Man #391.
- A text story is included in this issue. "Scoop!" is an excerpt from the Ultimate Spider-Man anthology of short stories.
Web of Death continues on Amazing Spider-Man 398.