Appearing in "A Time to Die!"
Synopsis for "A Time to Die!"
This story continues from Amazing Spider-Man #398...
Peter Parker has seemingly died of a viral infection and now finds himself being pulled into the afterlife.[Continuity 1] His horror is soon turned to surprise when he realizes that the force pulling him into the afterlife is the spirit of hus Uncle Ben.[Continuity 2] Ben is proud to see the type of strong young man that Peter has grown into. He then takes Peter to meet the spirits of his parents, Richard and Mary Parker. Ben wishes the three of them could have warned Peter about the impostors that were posing as his parents recently, but assure him that he doesn't have to worry about that sort of craziness ever again.[Continuity 3] This happy reunion is suddenly marred when Peter suddenly screams in pain. This is because, in the land of the living, Doctor Octopus is trying to restart Peter's heart with electrical jolts. Otto has just discovered that his cure worked, however not before it had done damage and he went into heart failure. Although Parker is flat-lining, Doctor Octopus refuses to let his archnemesis die. Back in the afterlife, Peter is being pulled back to the land of the living. His descent is stopped by the spirit of Harry Osborn.[Continuity 4] Harry says that this is not Peter's time, but unlike the others, he is willing to force him to stay. Suddenly, Harry changes into the Green Goblin while boasting how he will look forward to tormenting Peter for all eternity. However, Peter refuses to stay, as he wants to embrace life and falls through the vortex again.
Back in the world of the living, Doctor Octopus manages to revive Peter using CPR. With Parker about to regain consciousness, Otto orders Stunner to go and carry out the task that he gave him while he waits for his eternal dance with Spider-Man to begin anew. As Stunner leaves the facility, she is still unaware of the fact that the hideout is being watched by Kaine, who is ready to act. Inside, Peter Parker wakes up, giving Octavius a moment to enjoy the moment that Parker realizes that he was saved by his greatest enemy, especially since he has been unmasked. Putting Parker's Spider-Man mask back on, Otto explains that the reason he revived the wall-crawler is so they can continue their endless struggle. Realizing that Doctor Octopus is spoiling for another fight, Spider-Man can't believe that Otto is serious about it. Before the two can clash, the police burst in, having been called in on an anonymous tip. Surprisingly, Doctor Octopus surrenders to the authorities telling Spider-Man that he is doing so intentionally so that he can begin plotting his next scheme. With Doctor Octopus in police custody, Spider-Man web-slings away, exhilarated to be alive after his recent brush with death. He thinks about Mary Jane's recent revelation that she is pregnant, and Peter is excited at the prospect of becoming a father.[Continuity 5] He can't wait to get home to celebrate with his wife.[Continuity 6]
Meanwhile, Mary Jane has been busy scrubbing their apartment top to bottom wondering what is happening to their lives. Fearing for the future, Mary Jane's worries melt away when Peter returns home with a bouquet of roses and a gift for her. He tells her that he is ready to start the first day of the rest of their lives. Mary Jane quickly opens the present and is delighted to see that Peter has bought a crib for their coming child. At that very moment, Stunner watches from the rooftop waiting to leap down and free Doctor Octopus from the prisoner transport truck that he has been detained in. Unfortunately, Kaine has other ideas and knocks her out with a gas bomb. He then leaps down on the truck and rips it open with his bare hands. Seeing that his rescuer is not Stunner, Otto becomes enraged and demands to know what happened to her. Kaine assures Otto that she is safe and that his business only pertains to him. As the two fight in the streets, Peter and Mary Jane put together their new crib. Ultimately, Kaine overpowers Doctor Octopus and snaps his neck, killing him instantly.[Continuity 7] As a final indignity to Octavius, Kaine burns his mark on the villain's face. Later, Stunner wakes up and rushes to the scene of the battle. There she is horrified to see the dead body of her beloved Otto Octopus.
|Web of Death|
|Amazing Spider-Man #397||Spectacular Spider-Man #220||Amazing Spider-Man #398||Spectacular Spider-Man #221|
- Spider-Man was infected with this virus by the Vulture in Amazing Spider-Man #396.
- Ben Parker was murdered by a burglar in Amazing Fantasy #15.
- Peter's parents died while on a government mission a few decades prior to this story as seen in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5. Recently, impostors surfaced claiming to be Richard and Mary Parker in Amazing Spider-Man #365. They were exposed in Amazing Spider-Man #388.
- This is not the real spirit of Harry Osborn, but an impostor. 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. The identity of this impostor is unknown. However, Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #6 provides a possible explanation. That handbook contains an entry regarding the Legion of the Unliving, a team of villains whose members were all supposedly dead at the time of their membership. Many of these members were revealed to be alive when they were thought to be dead. The handbook suggests that these members (such as Norman Osborn and Bucky Barnes) were demonic impostors. This could be the case here with the "spirit" of Harry Osborn.
- Mary Jane revealed that she was pregnant last issue.
- 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.
- Although Doctor Octopus is killed here, he is later resurrected in Amazing Spider-Man #427.