Appearing in "A Matter of Faith"
Synopsis for "A Matter of Faith"
Even though it is Christmas Eve, Spider-Man is out fighting crime, saving a group of holiday shoppers from a gang of thieves. At add insult to injury, the wall-crawler restrains the crooks in webs in the shape of a Christmas tree. When the shoppers wish Spider-Man a merry Christmas to him and his loved ones make the web-spinner realize that after five years away from New York, he doesn't have any loved ones.[Continuity 1] He thinks about how Aunt May is dead and any and how he can't relate to any of his friends he had when he was Peter Parker.[Continuity 2] His self-pity is quickly interrupted when he spots a woman leaping from the Brooklyn Bridge. Swinging into action, Spider-Man saves the woman's life but is surprised when she is furious. The woman is Jenny Sheridan, and apparently, she was actually attempting to commit suicide because she has no reason to live. She explains that she has no friends, family, or money. The final straw for her was the fact that she was evicted from her apartment and she has no will to live anymore. After spending five years thinking a clone, and having his own bout with suicide, the wall-crawler can relate to Jenny.[Continuity 3] The web-slinger decides to try and help the girl out and takes her web-slinging across the city.[Continuity 4]
As they cross the city, Jenny explains that she came to New York City to be a writer. However, success was hard to come by and she went broke, leading to her current predicament. The whole time she ignored all the people in her life and figures that nobody cares if she lives or dies. Spider-Man disagrees, telling her that he cares about her. That's when they spot people running in the streets, suspecting trouble, Spider-Man puts Jenny somewhere safe so he can investigate. Sure enough, the people are running from danger as the super-villain known as Scorcher is robbing Christmas shoppers at the Manhattan Mall. Pushing through the panicked crowd, Spider-Man gets a good look at his foe and remembers the Scorcher as one of the first villains he fought.[Continuity 5] The web-slinger tires to web up the Scorcher's flame-throwing gauntlets, but the Scorcher is able to burn through them.[Continuity 6]
As the two battle it out, Spider-Man is on the defensive in order to keep innocent bystanders safe. During the chaos, Scorcher lights a sign on fire compromising its structural integrity. Seeing the sign about to fall, Jenny pushes a homeless man out of the way. Thinking she was buried under the rubble, Spider-Man becomes enraged and lashes into the Scorcher. Wrapping his fists in webbing, the web-head crushes Scorcher's gauntlets, disarming him. Spider-Man defeats his foe and orders the Scorcher to stay down. Much to his relief, Jenny and the homeless man she saved are safe. This whole incident has made Jenny realize that she can make a difference in the lives of others. Realizing that Spider-Man was right all along, Jenny decides to take the homeless man to a shelter and volunteer there for the night. Although she doesn't know where her life will go from here, Jenny has decided that she is going to try and make the best of it. Glad to hear it, Spider-Man swings away after wishing her a Merry Christmas.
Appearing in "The Cat Who Stole Christmas"
- Two males
- One girl
- Spider-Man (Photo)
- New York City
- Mossof Inc. Warehouses (First appearance)
- Noel County Orphanage (First appearance)
- Bags of gifts
- Patrol cars
Synopsis for "The Cat Who Stole Christmas"
It is Christmas Eve and the Black Cat is in a warehouse packing up a large sack with presents. These gifts were stolen from an orphanage from a street gang. As she finishes up her work, the Black Cat hears the gang members returning to their hideout as they laugh over the newspaper reports of their crime.
As the Black Cat sneaks out of the warehouse, the gang is surprised when the police suddenly surround the building, tipped off by the Black Cat. The Cat then takes the stolen presents to the Noel County Orphanage, climbing down the chimney to deliver the gifts. After finishing her good deed, the Black Cat swings off into the night.
Appearing in "The Venom Claus"
- Street thugs
- Sidewalk Santa
- Sidewalk Santa's wife
- Venom Symbiote
Synopsis for "The Venom Claus"
It is three days before Christmas, and the vigilante known as Venom has found a man dressed as Santa Claus beaten in an alley.[Continuity2 1] Thinking that this is one of the people who beat him, the man dressed as Santa begs to be left alone. Seeing the man is in distressed, Venom changes back into Eddie Brock and helps the beaten man back onto his feet. When Brock asks if he can help, the man says he's a late as this Santa was just another victim of a string of muggings in the area. Hearing this, Eddie decides to do something about the problem.
The next day, Eddie has disguised himself in a Santa costume to collect money for the poor. His work is interrupted by a man with a megaphone who questions the legitimacy of his work. In response, Brock shoves the megaphone into the man's mouth and sends him on his way. Patrolling the streets, Eddie comes across the muggers as they are attempting to claim another victim. He tries to stop them and they hit him in the back of the head with a crowbar. Brock pretends to be knocked out, drawing the muggers in as close as possible. He then reveals that he was playing possum as he transforms into Venom. He quickly incapacitates the thieves and is about to kill them when the woman they were attempting to mug pleads mercy, given the season. After some consideration, Venom decides to comply with the woman's request. He then warns the thieves that if they try to steal anything ever again, he'll be back.
Appearing in "Companions"
- Bunch of roses
Synopsis for "Companions"
Willie Lumpkin has come to pay his respects to the grave of May Parker for the first time since he heard that she had passed away.[Continuity3 1] Despite the holiday season, he feels more alone than ever. Incidentally enough, he is not the only one mourning this evening. He overhears a woman named Doreen Greenwald who has also come to the cemetery to pay respects to her late husband. She is also alone and miserable during what should be a happy time of year.
After hearing the woman's sad words, Willie breaks down himself, wondering what he is going to do without May in his life. He thinks about the last Christmas they spent together and wonders what good the holidays if you can't spend time with people you're caring about.[Continuity3 2] Suddenly, the wind picks up catching one of the roses he brought for May. Chasing after it, Willie runs into Doreen Greenwald. The two hit it off quickly and decide that since they are alone for the holidays, to spend them together.
Appearing in "Merry Christmas, Mr. Storm"
- Thing (Ben Grimm) (Only in flashback)
- Lyja (Mentioned)
- Reed Richards (Mentioned)
- Sue Richards (Mentioned)
- Mary Jane Watson-Parker (Mentioned)
- Spider-Man's Web-Shooters (Main story and flashback)
- Talking Venom doll (Only in flashback)
- Helicopter (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "Merry Christmas, Mr. Storm"
It's Christmas Morning atop the Statue of Liberty, the Human Torch waits for Spider-Man to show up, and is annoyed that Spider-Man is late.[Continuity3 3] Johnny Storm thinks of all the things that have changed in the last year and thinks back to last Christmas...
The Thing has fallen asleep in front of the television, and as he snores away, the Torch uses his flame powers to turn off the television before leaving for his annual Christmas meeting with Spider-Man atop the Statue of Liberty. That year, the Human Torch was running late and the wall-crawler was already waiting for him atop the statue. Spider-Man is upset because it is cold and his costume doesn't provide much insulation. Johnny simply apologizes, instead of coming up with his usual sense of humor. When Spider-Man asks Johnny what's wrong, Storm explains that he has had a rough year. Spider-Man asks if this has anything to do with the fact that Spider-Man tried to get Johnny to turn himself in after he accidentally set fire to Empire State University.[Continuity4 1] Johnny explains that it's not that, saying that Spider-Man was just doing the right thing.
The Torch then goes over his struggles over the past year: On top of the incident at Empire State University, he discovered that his wife was a Skrull,[Continuity4 2], who seemingly died and came back to try and kill him.[Continuity4 3] She then tried to convince him that she was pregnant, but she wasn't.[Continuity4 4] On top of that, his brother-in-law died and it is affecting his sister's mental health.[Continuity4 5] Regardless of all of this, the thing that stings the most is that he thought the woman he married was his best friend, but that isn't how things turned out.
Hoping to get Spider-Man to understand, Johnny asks Spider-Man if he is married.[Continuity4 6] Spider-Man gets upset that Johnny doesn't know this until he reminds himself that Johnny wouldn't know because he doesn't know about the wall-crawler's double identity.[Continuity4 7] Johnny points out that this is exactly what he is talking about, their lives have gotten so complicated. He then reminisces on the good old days, recalling the various time that they have worked together to fight crime.[Continuity4 8] He also recalls how they did some good, like the time they helped out Sandman at Christmas time a few years earlier.[Continuity4 9] They have a good laugh about how they allowed the Sandman to visit his mother, and he took advantage of their good will in order to escape.
After everything they have been through together, Spider-Man decides to finally reveal his secret identity to Johnny. However, the Torch stops the wall-crawler before he can pull his mask off. Johnny explains that he doesn't need to know who Spider-Man is under his mask, or his real name, because they are friends. That's when they exchange gifts. Johnny had gotten Spider-Man a talking Venom doll, while Spider-Man had gotten Johnny a miniature statue of the Statue of Liberty. Engraved underneath its base, Spider-Man has put his phone number, telling Johnny that he can call anytime he needs to talk. With their gifts exchanged, Spider-Man and the Torch wish each other a Merry Christmas and parted ways.
As Johnny finishes his recollection, he can't believe that Spider-Man is late this year, especially after giving him so much flack for being late the year before. When Spider-Man arrives, Johnny asks him what was keeping him, but the wall-crawler doesn't seem to know that they meet atop the Empire State Building every year at Christmas.[Continuity4 10] That's when the wall-crawler sits down and tells Johnny that the Spider-Man he has celebrated Christmas with over the past five years was actually a clone.[Continuity4 11]
After learning that the man calling himself Peter Parker has retired and is moving on with his wife, Johnny hopes that he has a happy life.[Continuity4 12] Understanding that times are tough, Johnny gives Spider-Man his gift: a Fantastic Four communicator, telling the wall-crawler to call anytime he needs to talk. They then agree to meet up for Christmas again next year and part ways, wishing each other happy holidays as they depart.
A Matter of Faith
- Ben Reilly was believed to be dead after the events of Amazing Spider-Man #149. Having survived, he went on the road that took him away from New York, as detailed in the Parker Legacy story arc.
The Parker Legacy Amazing Spider-Man #400 Spider-Man #57 Spectacular Spider-Man #223
He eventually returned to New York back in Spectacular Spider-Man #215.
- Aunt May is believed to have died in Amazing Spider-Man #400. However, this woman was an impostor as revealed in Spider-Man #97.
- Ben Reilly attempted to commit suicide five years ago as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #400. His statement about "thinking he was a clone" is due to the fact that he was told he was the real Peter Parker in Spectacular Spider-Man #226. However, this is a deception created by the Green Goblin, as revealed in Osborne Journals #1.
- The wall-crawler mentions having a "hang up about women on bridges". He is referring to the Gwen Stacy who was murdered by the Green Goblin atop the Brooklyn Bridge in Amazing Spider-Man #121.
- The original Spider-Man first fought Scorcher in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #1. Ben Reilly has these memories thanks to memory implants given to him by the Jackal when he was created, as seen in the Double story arc.
The Double Web of Spider-Man #117 Amazing Spider-Man #394 Spider-Man #51 Spectacular Spider-Man #217
- The Scorcher boasts that he has gotten a lot better since the last time they fought. Chronologically speaking, the Scorcher last fought Spider-Man in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #14. References to that battle are omitted in this story because Untold Tales of Spider-Man #14 was published after this story.
The Venom Claus
- The original twin towers of the World Trade Center are depicted as part of the New York City skyline here. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. The original towers were destroyed in a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, and have since been replaced by the Freedom Tower.
- Willie dated May Parker from Amazing Spider-Man #342 until Web of Spider-Man #84. As stated above, May Parker was believed to have died in Amazing Spider-Man #400. However, the woman buried beneath Willie's feet is an impostor, as revealed in Spider-Man #97.
- The Christmas in question was the one that Willie and May spent together in Spectacular Spider-Man #173. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, it has been exactly a year between that story and this story.
- Spider-Man and the Human Torch have made the Statue of Liberty their regular meeting place since Strange Tales Annual #2.
Merry Christmas, Mister Storm
- At the time of this flashback, Johnny had recently gotten into legal trouble after he accidentally set fire to Empire State University in Fantastic Four #371. Spider-Man decided to try and bring the Torch to justice in Amazing Spider-Man #375, and went after the Torch with the Secret Defenders in Fantastic Four #374. Johnny's legal problems were sorted out in Fantastic Four #378.
- Johnny Storm thought he had married Alicia Masters in Fantastic Four #300. In reality, this was as Skrull spy named Lyja who took Alicia's place circa Fantastic Four #365. Johnny eventually learned the truth in Fantastic Four #357.
- Lyja was seemingly killed in Fantastic Four #358, but she came back to get revenge on Johnny for leaving her for dead in Fantastic Four #371.
- It was explained in Fantastic Four #390, Lyja was implanted with a Sha'Barri egg, as a back-up plan to destroy the Fantastic Four. When Lyja "gave birth" to the egg in Fantastic Four #383 she claimed it was Johnny's child. The truth was revealed when the egg hatched in Fantastic Four #390.
- Mister Fantastic was seemingly killed in a battle with Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four #381. Everyone believed that Reed was dead except for his wife, the Invisible Woman who refused to believe he was killed. Sue turned out to be right as Reed was later found alive and well in Fantastic Four #406.
- 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.
- At the time of this story, the Human Torch did not know that Spider-Man's double identity, something he would not learn until years later in Spider-Man Human Torch #5.
- Two specific battles are cited here, namely the time Spider-Man and the Torch worked together to take down the Fox (Strange Tales Annual #2) and the Lizard in Amazing Spider-Man #77.
- Spider-Man and the Torch teamed-up and fought the Sandman on Christmas in Marvel Team-Up #1. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, that incident happened six years prior to this story.
- The Torch makes a comment about Spider-Man's new costume. Ben Reilly started wearing this new look when he took up the mantle of Spider-Man in Sensational Spider-Man #0.
- Ben Reilly was led to believe that he was the original Peter Parker in Spectacular Spider-Man #226. This was all a deception on the part of the Green Goblin, as revealed in Osborne Journals #1. Incidentally, the real Peter Parker would have a similar discussion with Johnny similar to this after he returned as Spider-Man, as detailed in Spider-Man Human Torch #5.
- Peter Parker retired as Spider-Man in Spectacular Spider-Man #229. At the time of this story, he and Mary Jane are in the process of moving to Portland, Oregon as seen in Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #1.
A flashback in Companions affects the chronology of the following characters:
- Willie Lupkin:
- May Parker:
Likewise, a flashback in Merry Christmas, Mister Storm also features a flashback that affects the chronology of the following characters:
- In the story Merry Christmas, Mister Storm, Johnny gets Spider-Man a talking Venom doll. He quips that it says "I Want to Eat Your Brain!". This is a reference to the Venom toy that was released in 1991 by Toy Biz as part of their line of Marvel Super Hero action figures. The figure caused a lot of controversy with parents when it was released.
- 8 image(s) from Spider-Man Holiday Special Vol 1 1995
- 2 reprint(s) of Spider-Man Holiday Special Vol 1 1995