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Appearing in "A Show of Force"

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Synopsis for "A Show of Force"

Cyberspace is still recovering from a virus that was unleashed upon it and has been slowly rebuilding itself. Along with the data recovery, the consciousness of Seward Trainer is also reformed. Having had enough of living in a virtual environment, Trainer decides to finally return to his body.[Continuity 1] At that same moment, doctors are busy disconnecting Seward's connection to the machines per the instructions of his daughter, Carolyn Trainer.

Meanwhile, Ben Reilly is lounging around his apartment when he gets a surprise visit from Peter Parker and his wife Mary Jane.[Continuity 2] Peter explains that they have returned to New York City at the rest of J. Jonah Jameson, who believes that Peter is the only person to photograph evidence that Spider-Man with the skeleton the wall-crawler stole from the city morgue.[Continuity 3] Peter is also finding out whose skeleton was found. After engaging in some more small talk, Ben pulls the skeleton out of his closet to show the Parkers.[Continuity 4] The Parkers are shocked to learn that Spider-Man's theft of the skeleton is true. However, Ben points out the implications this skeleton brings: It was found in the smokestack where Peter Parker attempted to dispose of Ben Reilly's body five years earlier. Since they learned that Ben was the real Spider-Man and Peter Parker was a clone, it leaves them wondering who this skeleton belongs to.[Continuity 5] Their discussion abruptly ends when someone comes knocking at Ben's apartment door. Reilly quickly realizes that he forgot that he has a date with Jessica Carradine and they all begin scrambling to cover the scene up. While the skeleton is easily stashed in Ben's closet, Peter and Mary Jane being there -- and the possibility of Jessica noticing that they are identical -- is a bigger problem. When Ben suggests that Peter take Mary Jane and crawl out the window to the roof, Peter reveals that he doesn't have his powers anymore.[Continuity 6] Mary Jane comes up with a solution: They'll just tell Jessica that Peter and Ben are cousins and the reason why they look so alike is that their fathers were twins. With no other ideas, they go with Mary Jane's idea which works well when Ben introduces Jessica to his "cousin" Peter and his wife Mary Jane. As they make small talk, Mary Jane notices that one of the bones from the skeleton fell out of the body bag and is on the floor. Quick thinking, Reilly kicks the bone under his couch while Peter creates a distraction.

After Peter takes Jessica out of the living room, Ben and Mary Jane scramble to recover the bone and hide it someplace. That's when the virtual image of Seward Trainer appears on Ben's television screen. He warns Ben that his daughter has disconnected him from the life support monitors at the hospital, preventing his mind from returning to his body. That's when Peter enters the room with Jessica again, leading to another scramble to make up excuses. With Trainer pretending to be a weather report, Mary Jane and Ben "remind" Peter that they need to see their "uncle" Seward Trainer in the hospital. With this excuse, Ben has a means of getting out of his date in order to help Seward. With Jessica out the door, Ben quickly changes into Spider-Man costume and turns down Peter's offer of help, reminding Parker that he doesn't have his spider-powers anymore. The wall-crawler arrives at the hospital just in time to stop Carlyn Trainer from signing the final paperwork that will have Seward's body turned over to her care. With her cover blown, Carlyn doffs her street clothes to become Doctor Octopus.[Continuity 7]

In order to ensure the safety of all the people inside the hospital, Spider-Man knocks Doctor Octopus outside. While the wall-crawler is distracted, Carolyn's minions try to flee with Seward's body. Outside, Spider-Man continues to battle with Doctor Octopus, he gets fed up of her selfish ambitions. He ultimately defeats Doctor Octopus by tricking her into ramming her mechanical arms through the passenger windows of a car. Grabbing the arms on the opposite side of the vehicle, he then yanks violently smashing the Doctor's head against the car, knocking her out. With police arriving on the scene, Spider-Man quickly catches up with Seward's captors and saves him. Hooked back into his machines, Seward is able to transfer his mind back into his body and is grateful to Ben for saving his life. After promising to come back and check on Seward later, Spider-Man changes back into Ben Reilly and pays a visit to Jessica Carradine's apartment to make up for canceling their date earlier. He arrives just as she is completing the development of her latest photos. When he enters her darkroom, Ben is shocked to discover that it is plastered with photos of Spider-Man.

This story continues in Sensational Spider-Man #3...


Continuity Notes

  1. Seward Trainer's mind became trapped in cyberspace in Amazing Scarlet Spider #1, cyberspace was damaged by a virus in the following issue.
  2. 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.
  3. A skeleton in a Spider-Man costume was discovered in an condemned smokestack last issue. Learning of it, Ben stole the skeleton as Spider-Man in Sensational Spider-Man #2. Peter and Mary Jane had recently moved to Portland in Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #1. They were convinced to return to New York by J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man #66.
  4. Of the items discussed are Mary Jane's pregnancy, which was first announced in Spectacular Spider-Man #220 and Ben bleaching his hair which he did in an effort to not look so much like Peter Parker in Sensational Spider-Man #0.
  5. This is yet another wrinkle in the increasingly complicated Clone Saga:
    • The Jackal created a clone of Spider-Man, and the pair apparently battled to the death in Amazing Spider-Man #149. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 this happened roughly five years prior to this story.
    • Thinking the clone to be dead, Peter Parker disposed of the clone's body in Amazing Spider-Man #151. The clone survived, however, and went into a self-imposed exile as seen in the Parker Legacy story arc.
    The Parker Legacy
    Amazing Spider-Man #400 Spider-Man #57 Spectacular Spider-Man #223
    • Ben would resurface in Peter's life in Web of Spider-Man #117.
    • More recently, a test showed that Ben Reilly was the real Spider-Man and Peter Parker was the clone as seen in Spectacular Spider-Man #226.
    • However, this, as well as the skeleton is all part of complex manipulations being carried out by both the Jackal and the Green Goblin as seen in Osborne Journals #1.
  6. At the time of this story, Peter had recently lost his powers in Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #4. However, his powers still eventually return in Spectacular Spider-Man #237.
  7. Doctor Octopus mentions her recent brush with death in Spectacular Scarlet Spider #2. This story erroneously attributes the story to Spectacular Spider-Man Vol 1 2.

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