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Appearing in "Eight Arms Beyond the Grave"

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Synopsis for "Eight Arms Beyond the Grave"

This story continues from Spectacular Spider-Man #221...

Following the murder of Doctor Octopus, Spider-Man sneaks into the villain's last hideout to make sure that the authorities have completely locked it down. Searching the lab, he finds a sample of the toxin that almost took his life recently.[Continuity 1] He would have died if it hadn't been for the intervention of Doctor Octopus who saved his life. Ironic since the Doctor was murdered by Kaine shortly thereafter.[Continuity 2] Since his foe gave his life for his, the wall-crawler believes that he owes the late Otto Octavius for making sure he will survive to see his child be born.[Continuity 3] After leaving the secret lab, Spider-Man swings to a nearby cemetery where Otto Octavius is to be buried. Changing back into Peter Parker, the wall-crawler joins the few friends and family, and members of the press, who have gathered to pay their final respects to the criminal mastermind.

There he finds J. Jonah Jameson, Joe Robertson and Betty Brant of the Daily Bugle. While Jonah argues with Joe about the journalistic ethics of covering this funeral, Betty there to report on it. She isn't particularly happy about being here either since she blames Doctor Octopus for the death of her brother, Bennett, years earlier.[Continuity 4] Soon, Otto's cousin Elias Hargrove gives the eulogy. As begins to speak, the thoughts and emotions of those gathered vary. Doctor Montelli, Otti's psychologist, wishes he could have helped cure his patient. Although the Sandman never liked Octavius, he believes that the villain deserved better.[Continuity 5] Among the members of the Daily Bugle staff is obituary writer Dilbert Trilby, who is glad that he can finally use the obituary he wrote for Octavius.[Continuity 6] Not far away, the Scarlet Spider watches the eulogy from afar. Although he never personally met Doctor Octopus, as a clone of Peter Parker, he shares his memories and felt he needed to pay his respects anyway.[Continuity 7] As the eulogy ends, the Spider decides to swing away before Peter spots him.[Continuity 8]

With the euglogy over and the cemetary cleared out, Peter Parker returns to pay his respect as Spider-Man. He is still struggling with the fact that Otto saved his life, which somehow gave him more grief than if he allowed the wall-crawler to die. Duty bound, the web-head swings off, intent on bringing Otto's killer to justice. Meanwhile, Elias Hargrove rides his bike home, thinking himself to finally be free of Otto's influence, as his cousin has taken knowledge that he was embezzling money from the atomic research center they both worked at.[Continuity 9] When he arrives home, Elias finds Michael Gerdes -- Otto's lawyer -- waiting for him. Gerdes hands Elias a video recording of Otto's final will and testament, reminding him that as executor of his cousin's estate, he must follow these instructions to the letter.[Continuity 10] In this recording, Otto berates his cousin for being a coward and explains that he has left him with the means of taking enough power to forge his own destiny, so long as he follows the instructions on this recording.

Later, the Vulture is flying across the city for a seret rendezvous that has been arranged. He wonders how the organizer of this meeting managed to get his information. That's when he is ambushed by the Scarlet Spider, who is surprised to see the Vulture is on the loose again.[Continuity 11] The Vulture assumes that the Spider is a poor imitation of Spider-Man. This arrogance allows the web-slinger to get the advantage with a barage of impact webbing and stingers. However, the Vulture manages to break free and blasts the side of the building with one ofh is guns. With a young mother and her son at risk of being crushed by the debris, the Scarlet Spider is forced to let the Vulture go.[Continuity 12] Luckily, the Scarlet Spider manages to tag the Vulture with one of his micro-dot tracers before he can get away. The Vulture manage to get to a secret hideout where he finds the Hobgoblin, Mysterio and Electro waiting.[Continuity 13] Now that the Vulture has arrived, Mysterio explains that they are reforming the Sinister Six.

At that moment, at a facility in Long Island, a government agent named Reinhold is pressuring Doctor Moretti to show some results in their attempts to replicate the technology used to make the mechanical arms of Doctor Octopus. Moretti explains that this process is going to be delicate and painstaking and he worries about destroying the only pair of the mechanical arms that still exist. As the two argue with each other over the progress of this project, they fail to notice that the mechanical arms suddenly begin to move on their own. By this time, Peter Parker has returned home, much to the delight of his wife Mary Jane.[Continuity 14] Noticing that Peter is upset, Mary Jane learns that he hasn't been able to find any clues as to the identity of Otto's killer. Mary Jane tries to convince her husband that he shouldn't shoulder the responsibility for everyone. While back at the secret hideout of the Sinister Six, the four members gathered are contacted by Elias Hargrove. He explains that he has called them all together in order to recover his late cousin's inventions that have been confiscated by the government. He tells the gathered villains that the equipment is worth a fortune.

In order to ensure their compliance, Elias also warns them that Otto left him information on all the former members of the Sinister Six that could make their lives uncomfortable should they try to betray him. Suddenly, this meeting is interrupted by the Scarlet Spider, who has tracked down their location and intends to shut them down before they can carry out their plans.


Continuity Notes

  1. Spider-Man was poisoned by the Vulture during the Back from the Edge story arc.
    Back From the Edge
    Spider-Man Unlimited #7 Amazing Spider-Man #395 Spectacular Spider-Man #218 Amazing Spider-Man #396 Spectacular Spider-Man #219

  2. Spider-Man was saved, and Doctor Octopus was murdered during the Web of Death story arc.
    Web of Death
    Amazing Spider-Man #397 Spectacular Spider-Man #220 Amazing Spider-Man #398 Spectacular Spider-Man #221

    Although Otto is dead here, he will be brought back to life in Amazing Spider-Man #427.

  3. Mary Jane was revealed to be pregnant in Spectacular Spider-Man #220.
  4. Bennett Brant was shot during a battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus back in Amazing Spider-Man #11. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, Bennett's alleged death happened roughly nine years prior to this story. Although everyone believes Bennett to be dead, he survived and will eventually resurface in Venom (Vol. 2) #1.
  5. The Sandman has had a varied relationship with Octavius, starting back when they both worked together in the Sinister Six circa Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1.
  6. Trilby had updated the obituary of Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man Unlimited #3, lamenting how he constantly has to update and/or retract his obituaries about those in the superpowered community, as Trilby will learn when he has to retract Otto's death in Spider-Man Unlimited #18.
  7. Ben's memories of Peter Parker's life were implanted into his mind by the Jackal as revealed in the Double story arc.
    The Double
    Web of Spider-Man #117 Amazing Spider-Man #394 Spider-Man #51 Spectacular Spider-Man #217

    As such, he has Peter's memories all the way up to Amazing Spider-Man #149, including many battles with Doctor Octopus.

  8. Ben became the Scarlet Spider during the Exile Returns storyline.
    The Exile Returns
    Web of Spider-Man #118 Spider-Man Unlimited #7 Spider-Man #52 Web of Spider-Man #119 Spider-Man #53

    Up until this point, Peter Parker is unaware that his clone has developed his own costumed identity.

  9. Doctor Octopus used this knowledge to blackmail Elias during the events of Lethal Foes of Spider-Man #14.
  10. Chronologically speaking, Otto would have recorded this video shortly after the events of Spider-Man Unlimited #3. Otto's will is depicted as being recorded on a VHS tape. This should be considered a topical reference per the Glossary:Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as this medium is an obsolete technology.
  11. The Scarlet Spider believed that the Vulture was still incarcerated followign his defeat in Spectacular Spider-Man #219.
  12. This entire scene reminds him of the death of George Stacy, who was buried under debris during a fight between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus in Amazing Spider-Man #90.
  13. This is not really Mysterio, but a mechanical construct that he is controlling from afar as revealed in Spider-Man: Funeral for an Octopus #3.
  14. 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.

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