Appearing in "A Hero's Welcome"
- Uncle Ben (Dream)
- Burglar (Dream)
- Mary Jane Watson (Dream)
- Frog Man (Dream)
- Black Cat (Dream)
- Hobgoblin (Dream)
- Angola (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "A Hero's Welcome"
Spider-Man is web-slinging across the city when he spots a spider-signal being projected on the side of a city. Going to check it out he finds it was set up by two British men who represent a popular television show in the United Kingdom.[Continuity 1] They tell Spider-Man that he has a huge fan base in Britain and want him to appear on their show and offer to pay for his travel and expenses for a week visit. The wall-crawler tells the two men that he has to think it over and takes their business card. As Spider-Man swings away, he finds it almost unimaginable that he has fans anywhere and finds it a refreshing idea to the abuse he faces in New York City. However, the idea of being on television stirs up old memories of when he tried showbiz when he first got his spider-powers and how his arrogance led to his Uncle Ben being shot by a burglar he could have stopped days earlier.[Continuity 2]
Hearing gunshots, Spider-Man spots a gang of thieves fleeing from the police in a van. Swinging down to the street, the web-slinger forces the crooks to crash their van. The thugs come out of their wrecked vehicle spoiling for a fight. During the battle, a new costumed hero calling himself Thunderpunch arrives on the scene and offers unsolicited assistance. Clapping his hands together he causes a massive sonic book that not only incapacitates the crooks but shatters windows all over the street. Spider-Man scolds Thunderclap for causing so much property damage to stop a bunch of petty thieves. With the police arriving on the scene, Spider-Man leaves Thunderclap to explain what happened. Complaining about the number of super-heroes who have appeared in New York over the years, Spider-Man wearily returns to his apartment and goes to sleep. Sleeping, Peter Parker has a nightmare where he is sinking in his bed. He is surrounded by people from his life. The skeletal remains of himself, a tearful Mary Jane, Frog Man making romantic advances on the Black Cat, a newspaper announcing Spider-Man's death, as well as the laughing visages of Thunderclap, the Hobgoblin, and J. Jonah Jameson. Among them is the Dark Man, whose glowing eyes and taunting voice warns Spider-Man that he will meet his end.[Continuity 3] The dream ends when Spider-Man is swarmed by serpents and dragons.
The next day, Peter Parker arrives at the Daily Bugle where Betty Leeds shows him the latest newspaper. The front page story blames Spider-Man for being in league with the crooks he busted the night before. Going into J. Jonah Jameson's office, Peter demands to know where Jameson got that account from. Jonah explains that Thunderclap was the one who made the statement, much to Peter's chagrin. That's when they are joined by Joe Robertson who tells them that he received news that Spider-Man is being courted to appear on British television.[Continuity 4] Suspecting that Spider-Man will do something illegal there, Jonah assigns Peter to go to the United Kingdom to cover the story for the Daily Bugle. Peter accepts, telling them that he will be on the first flight out tomorrow.
Meanwhile, at a pub in London, cyborg Andrew Booth meets with the Dark Man who reveals that he knows of Booth became the cybernetic warrior known as Assassin-8. He projects an image showing Booth's tragic encounter with a landmine while a soldier of fortune in Angola. The Dark Man then convinces Andrew Booth that the one responsible for placing the landmine is Spider-Man and asks Assassin-8 to kill the wall-crawler. Taking these claims at face value, Andrew Booth agrees to eliminate the person he believes was responsible for making him more machine than man. Back in the United States, Spider-Man pays a visit to the British television producers and agrees to appear on their show. While Peter Parker travels to the UK, both the Dark Man and Assassin-8 prepare for the wall-crawler's appearance in their country. The next morning, Peter wakes up in his hotel room after another fitful night full of nightmares. He brushes them off as nothing more than the product of being jet lagged and puts on his Spider-Man costume. Soon, Spider-Man is swinging toward the television studio. Seeing the crowds that have gathered, Spider-Man looks forward to the television appearance, unaware that there are forces working against him.
Appearing in "Prelude!"
- Moe Taylor
Synopsis for "Prelude!"
In the early hours in the morning the Hulk wanders into the town of Gilbert, California. He passes a by a local bar, patron Fred Sloan is tossed out by the bar's owner. Confusing the bartender with a soldier, the Hulk attacks the man. Sloan goes back into the bar and tells people to stop messing with him or his friend will deal with them. The sight of the Hulk sends all the patrons of the bar fleeing into the night. When the Hulk tries to wander off, Fred convinces the Hulk that they are friends and offers to let the brute stay the night at his house.
The following day at Gamma Base, the staff greets the arrivals of Senator Eugene Stivak and Senator Andrew Hawk. Hawk is unimpressed with the way that Doc Samson has been running Gamma Base since General Ross had his nervous breakdown. Although Hawk has taken a hard line on shaking things up, Stivak seems more agreeable and willing to work with Samson. During a meeting with Samson, SHIELD officer Clay Quartermain, and Karla Sofen, they discuss the future of Gamma Base. Samson admits that he hasn't done well running the facility so far, but states that he never wanted the job to begin with. During the discussion, Stivak uses key phrases that tip Sofen off that he is a member of the Corporation, the same organization that she works for. She wonders what is going on and what to do.
Meanwhile, it's daytime in California and the Hulk has woken up in the home of Fred Sloan. He is drawn into the kitchen by smell of cooking. There he puts a fright into Fred's girlfriend, her shrieks wake Fred up. Sloan tries to convince her that the Hulk is safe but the woman flees. Soon the authorities are on their way and when Fred hears their sirens wailing, he convinces the Hulk to load up into his van and they flee the scene.
The Hulk's activities soon reach Gamma Base and Jim Wilson inerrupts the the meetings with the Senators to pass it along. While Hawk is unimpressed that a young boy is on the site of the base, they explain that he is a friend of the Hulk and can help them try and contain the monster. Stivak then suggests that he, Sofen and Jim Wilson venture out to California to try and contain the Hulk. Jim is concerned about this idea as he had recently fled California. His fears are confirmed aboard Stivak's jet when he reveals his affiliation with the Corporation, the very people Jim had fled from. When Jim tries to do something he is gassed.
While in California, Fred and the Hulk come upon a police blockaide. Fred tries to convince the Hulk to keep cool and disguises him. However, this fails when an officer tries to search the car. The Hulk loses his cool and trashes the cordon, sending the police fleeing. The Hulk gets back into the car, and they continue onward, fugitives of the law.
This story is continued in Captain America #230...
Appearing in "The Last Starfighter Part 1"
Synopsis for "The Last Starfighter Part 1"
- ↑ The show in question is identified as Saturday Starship. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as Saturday Starship only aired between the 1984-85 television season.
- ↑ Spider-Man's tragic origins were first depicted in Amazing Fantasy #15.
- ↑ Although not specifically identified as the Dark Man in this story. This mysterious figure is identified as such in Marvel Fact Files #97.
- ↑ Joe states he got the report from a Telex machine. This should also be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Since this technology is obsolete.
This was the first British produced Spider-Man story, created so that Marvel UK could delay the introduction of Spider-Man's new black costume in the regular reprinted strip (there were concerns that the readership would not accept it). This issue and the next three issues fit in between Peter Parker's appearances in Marvel Team-Up #148 and Amazing Spider-Man Annual #18.
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