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Synopsis for "Beetlemania!"

The Extreme Emergency Team of the NYPD has just caught Spider-Man, who has been accused of murdering Terry Burns. This is all part of a plan orchestrated by the Beetle to frame the wall-crawler. Meanwhile, Spider-Man waits in his cell as lawyers argue over the web-slingers right to keep his mask on. Unfortunately for Spider-Man, the courts rule against him being able to keep his identity a secret. A group of reporters comes down to remove his mask with a throng of photographers from the press. Among them is J. Jonah Jameson who is too impatient and doesn't trust his photographer to do his job properly. As such, Jonah grabs the camera and takes a photo too early. While everyone is blinded by the flash, Spider-Man uses this opportunity to slip out of his cell and flee the jail. Lieutenant Sylvia Grace blames Jameson for the wall-crawler's escape, but Jonah won't accept the blame, telling her that it is the NYPD's fault. By this time, Spider-Man has fled to LaGuardia Airport where he thinks over everything that has happened. He is certain that someone has framed him by moving Terry Burns body and replacing Spider-Man's webbing with a type that didn't dissolve, causing Bruns to suffocate. Struggling to find some way of proving his innocence, Spider-Man remembers that someone intentionally moved the security camera after Burns was moved, and suspects that that video has all the evidence he needs.

Spider-Man tracks down Channel 8 reporter Andrew Disanto who first broke the story about the security tape that further turned people against Spider-Man. He forces Disanto to reveal his sorce. Although Andrew doesn't know who the man was, he tailed him back to a half-way house for prisoners who work during the day and spend evenings and weekends in prison. However, Spider-Man's element of surprise is ruined when Disanto has his camera man patch him in to make a live report. Abner Jenkin's catches this news report from the half-way house where he has been living since he was last captured him.[Continuity 1] He was also working at Brandywine Pharmaceuticals as part of his work-release program. Tipped off that Spider-Man is coming his way, Abner rushes to his room where he keeps his Beetle armor stored. He ambushes Spider-Man on his way to the half-way house. As the two battle it out, the Beetle explains that he carried out the frame-up job after the last time Spider-Man defeated him.

He begins to detail his scheme, he explains that Terry Burns stole drugs for him at Brandwyne Pharmaceuticals. When he saw that Spider-Man had captured Terry the other night, and left him webbed up for the authorities, the Beetle took advantage of this situation.[Continuity 2] He knocked out the security guard and freed Burns. Taking Terry back to his lab, the Beetle made a replica of Spider-Man's webbing. Suddenly, Terry had dropped dead, giving the Beetle his idea. He then webbed up Burns with the fake webbing and pointed the camera at him. He then edited the video down to remove the Beetle's involvement and turned it over to the press. As the two continue to fight above the city, Andrew Disanto has arrived on the scene and gets his camera crew to capture the battle. Disanto wonders why Spider-Man would risk recapture in order to stop the Beetle. Spider-Man then lures the Beetle back to Brandywine. Noting that Spider-Man is no longer using his own webbing, the Beetle then tries to web up the wall-crawler with his own artificial webbing. However, the Beetle's webbing was based on a flawed formula that Spider-Man had used on the night of the murder. As such, the device jams, causing the webbing to gum up the Beetle's flying mechanisms.

Spider-Man then takes hold of the villain and helps glide him down through the skylight on the Bradywine roof. There, they are surrounded by the police and J. Jonah Jameson who demands Spider-Man's immediate arrest. Before they can, the head of security enters the room and presents the unedited security video.[Continuity 3] This combined with a sample of the Beetle's webbing, and autopsey reports that Terry Burns died of a drug overdose, all murder charges against Spider-Man are cleared, much to Jameson's chagrin. With his name cleared, Spider-Man leaps away, and heads home where he is reunited with his wife, Mary Jane who just returned home from her movie shoot.[Continuity 4]

Notes

Continuity Notes

  1. The Beetle was apprehended after a humiliating defeat at the hands of Spider-Man in Lethal Foes of Spider-Man #1-Lethal Foes of Spider-Man #4.
  2. Spider-Man encounterd Terry Burns in Spider-Man: Web of Doom #1.
  3. This video is depicted as being recorded on VHS. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as this is considered an obselete technology.
  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.

Chronology Notes

Events in this story happen behind the scenes that affect the chronology of the following characters:

Spider-Man:

  • Previous Empty Page 1-22 Next - Spider-Man exposes the Beetle's frame job.
  • Previous Page 23 Next - Peter and Mary Jane are reunited.

In addition, a flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:

Trivia

The story title, "Beetlemania!", is a play on the fervor that gripped America when the British band "The Beatles" arrived in the early 1960s, a near-hysteria known as "Beatlemania".

See Also

Footnotes



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