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Marvel Database

Appearing in "Puppets"

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Synopsis for "Puppets"

Spider-Man happens upon a gang indoctrinating a young man into their group by killing some of their rivals. Sickened by this sight, the wall-crawler quickly diffuses the situation with his webbing. He then gives a lecture that life in a gang will lead to death if the youths allow themselves to become puppets to petty thugs. As he finishes his speech he notices a strange light streaking across the sky above the city and decides to investigate. The light suddenly swoops down and picks up the wall-crawler and carries him to a nearby rooftop. The light takes on the human form, but when Spider-Man tries to attack it, he passes through the being harmlessly. This entity knows the wall-crawler and pleads for Spider-Man's help. He explains that he has been enslaved by Jonas Harrow in order to commit crimes for his employers. Before he can explain any further, this mystery man suddenly shrieks in pain as his keepers reassert control. He tells Spider-Man to meet him the following night at State University before disappearing. Returning to his apartment, Ben Reilly calls Peter Parker to learn who this person is. Parker explains that it is one of his old foes, and sometime ally, Will O' the Wisp. Peter is at the Daily Bugle, where the bullpen is alive with activity as reporters go about their business. Jacob Conover shows Billy Walters, a new employee, around the office, while Joe Robertson goes over the latest photos of the new Green Goblin.[Continuity 1] Peter concludes his education on the Wisp, aka Jackson Arvad, by telling Ben that he has the poor luck of being manipulated or blackmailed into doing the bidding of others.[Continuity 2] After hearing this, Ben decides to do what he can to help Arvad, particularly since there is nothing he can do since his apartment was robbed.[Continuity 3]

Meanwhile, at the Rye New York headquarters of Roxxon Oil, a group of businessmen meets with Jonas Harrow for an update on the job they hired him for. Harrow assures them that he will soon be able to steal the technological information they seek so they can build a synthetic army. Ready to begin the next phase with their plan. With that in mind, he sends Will o' the Wisp to carry out the next phase of their plan. It's midnight at State University when Spider-Man arrives to meet with Will o' the Wisp. He catches Will as he is pulling data from one of the computers. He tells Arvad to stop committing crimes, but Jackson explains that he is being forced to do so thanks to Jonas Harrow's manipulations. That if he deviates from Harrow's orders, he will have his atoms dissipated across all creation. He then tells Spider-Man that his next target is the prison known as Iron Rock on the following evening. That's when Will o' the Wisp is inflicted with more pain and is forced to teleport away. As he does so, Spider-Man notices that the last thing to dematerialize is Harrow's implant. The next day, Peter Parker is in J. Jonah Jameson's office answering a call from Doctor Eric Schinner, and tells him that he and his wife will not be returning to Portland.[Continuity 4] He thanks Schwinner for giving him a job at Giard, but he realized that he can't run away from his life in New York.[Continuity 5] After he gets off the phone, Peter is suddenly wracked with spasms again.[Continuity 6] The spasms pass as quickly as they came, and while Peter wonders what is happening to him, J. Jonah Jameson returns to his office and is furious to see Peter sitting in his chair.

The following evening, Spider-Man arrives at Iron Rock located on the coast of the New Jersey Palisades. It is a maximum security facility where some of the most dangerous information in the country is contained. He slips past the security and confronts Will o' the Wisp and tells him what he learned about Will's implant, and theorizes that if Arvad becomes intangible again, the wall-crawler can reach through and pull the implant out. Although this could theoretically work, Will has no time and presses into the facility and enters the containment unit that he seeks. Looking inside the containment unit Will o' the Wisp is shocked to see what is contained within. Back at Roxxon, Jonas Harrow is informed that their operative has succeeded in infiltrating Iron Rock. With that, Harrow sends orders to Wisp to free the creature contained there. Moments later, Will o' the Wisp emerges from the facility screaming in pain. He tries to tell Spider-Man what he has done, that he was forced to do it. That's when Harrow activates the kill switch to destroy Will o' the Wisp. This causes Arvad to become intangible, and Spider-Man takes the chance and plucks the implant from Jackson's head. Although Will o' the Wisp is going to live, the danger is far from over as moments later Dragon Man comes smashing through the wall.

Solicit Synopsis

The ruthless Will o' the Wisp is back, more powerful than before, with his sights set on Spidey!


Continuity Notes

  1. This "new" Green Goblin is secretly Phil Urich. At the time of this story, he just recently became the Goblin in Green Goblin #1.
  2. Ben Reilly only has Peter Parker's memories up to Amazing Spider-Man #149, which predates the first time Peter Parker fought Will o' the Wisp for the first time in Amazing Spider-Man #167.
  3. All of Ben Reilly's personal possessions were stolen in Amazing Spider-Man #411 during the Blood Brothers story arc.
    Blood Brothers
    Sensational Spider-Man #4 Amazing Spider-Man #411 Spider-Man #68 Spectacular Spider-Man #234 Sensational Spider-Man #5 Amazing Spider-Man #412

  4. 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.
  5. Peter and Mary Jane initially went to Portland to start a new life, as seen in Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #14.
  6. Peter first experienced these spasms in Spider-Man #69.

Publication Notes

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