Appearing in "Ambush"
- Detective Lou Snider
- Alice Zreibac (Only appearance)
- Nebula (Recap)
- Jackal (Recap)
- Avengers (Recap)
- Alvin Bernard Harper (Recap)
Races and Species:
- Earth Orbit
- Moon (Cameo)
- United States of America
- Earth Orbit
Synopsis for "Ambush"
The Silver Surfer is flying across space when he is suddenly attacked by a strange ship that resembles a World War I biplane. Damaging the craft, he follows it back to its mothership, Big Casino. Entering the ship, the Silver Surfer demands to know why he was being attacked. The situation is diffused by the commander on the ship, a man named Floyd Donahue, who apologies for his flyboy's unwarranted attack. The Surfer is surprised to find that the ship is decked out to look like a 20th-century casino on Earth and asks why. He learns that Floyd and all the other people aboard the ship are Skrulls from the planet Kral IV, a society of Skrulls who are obsessed with prohibition-era Earth.[Continuity 1] As this is explained to him, the Surfer looks out a window, notices a stellar alignment and decides that he needs to leave. After accepting Floyd's apology the former herald of Galactus departs, much to the relief of Donahue.
Meanwhile, on Earth, Spider-Man is stopping a mugging, reveling in the return to being Spider-Man after thinking he was a clone for the past five years.[Continuity 2] After he saves the muggers victim, Alice Zreibac, Detective Lou Snider arrives on the scene. When the wall-crawler doesn't recognize Snider, he makes up an excuse as this police officer has had previous interactions with Peter Parker when he was Spider-Man.[Continuity 3] As he swings away, Spider-Man is once again reminded of all the things that he missed while he was on the road for the past five years thinking he was a clone.[Continuity 4] He thinks about how he is back to square one, living in New York free and single, while Peter Parker retired from Spider-Man to move to Portland with his wife, Mary Jane, and raise a family.[Continuity 5] As he swings away without a care in the world, Spider-Man is unaware that he is being tracked by the Mad Thinker. The villain has reversed engineered one of Spider-Man's spider-tracers in order to track the hero. However, the Man Thinker is also being observed by another being who intends to get revenge, a revenge that has been years in the making. That's when this third observer detects something approaching Earth and is pleased to discover that it is the Silver Surfer.
Emerging from a cosmic rift, the Silver Surfer thinks about his recent encounter with the Outriders and how they chose him to be their new messiah.[Continuity 6] As the Surfer approaches Earth, he is unaware that he is being observed, who intends to repay the "kindness" the Silver Surfer granted him years earlier. While in Manhattan, Spider-Man is suddenly attacked by painful jolts from his spider-sense that appear to be coming from the pigeons that are flying around him. He is unaware that these are robots created by the Mad Thinker that use devices that trigger his spider-sense. After he webs up the mechanical pigeons, the web-slinger is ambushed by the Mad Thinker's androids who knock him out with a sonic blast. When Spider-Man wakes up he finds himself restrained in the Thinker's lab. The mad genius explains that he intends to experiment on the web-slinger in order to learn how his spider-sense works. Before he can unmasked Spider-Man, the Thinker is attacked by one of his androids. This android seemingly slays the Thinker, but it turns out that this is one of his android simulacrums that the Thinker operates remotely. The destruction of this simulacrum causes feedback that puts the real Mad Thinker, who is currently incarcerated, into a catatonic state. As this rogue android takes on its true form, it explains that it needs Spider-Man for his own goals.
Later, the Silver Surfer arrives in Yosemite Valley, California, where he is ambushed by the Spider-Man where he is ambushed by Spider-Man who is being controlled by the being that took down the Mad Thinker. Although the wall-crawler has the element of surprise, Spider-Man is no match for the Silver Surfer's superior powers. Subdued, Spider-Man tries to explain to the Surfer that he had no choice. That's when they are ambushed by more of the Mad Thinker's androids. Although the Surfer destroys these androids, they manage to knock him out. That's when Spider-Man's controller tells the wall-crawler that he is no longer needed. However, Spider-Man refuses to be manipulated and hitches a ride when the Silver Surfer is teleported away. The pair find themselves aboard a spaceship, and they are soon brought face-to-face with their captor, the living computer known as Quasimodo. The Surfer doesn't understand why Quasimodo is coming after him, after he used his powers to give the computer a humanoid form.[Continuity 7] However, Quasimodo has long since lost his physical form and his computerized mind has long since been trapped aboard the massive spaceship called Sanctuary II, the former home Thanos, the Mad Titan.[Continuity 8] His mind began regaining sentience during the Avengers battle with Nebula aboard the ship. With his mortality in jeopardy, Quasimodo used the ship's holographic systems to make it appear that Sanctuary II was destroyed.[Continuity 9] In reality, he moved the ship back to its native system until he fully recovered.
Fully aware once more, Quasimodo then reveals his plans to transfer his mind into the Silver Surfer's body, regaining his freedom. Spider-Man refuses to let this happen and he delays the mind transfer process long enough for the Silver Surfer to wake up and free himself from Quasimodo's hold. The pair then begin wrecking all of Quasimodo's monitors in the hopes of ending his threat. However, they do not accomplish much, and Quasimodo confronts them on a massive screen and is prepared to destroy them. That's when Spider-Man notices the screen is suddenly shrinking. When Quasimodo notices this himself, he realizes that -- to his horror -- that this is being caused by Thanos who has come to reclaim his ship. The Mad Titan shrinks the screen down to a size that can fit in his hand and crushes the device. This expells Quasimodo's consciousness from the ship, sending it out into the void again. Reveling in the fact that he saved both of their lives, Thanos reminds Spider-Man and the Silver Surfer that they owe him and that he always repays his debts. He then teleports the pair back to Earth. They discover that they are in a cemetery in the Pacific Northwest. The Surfer explains that he has come to pay his respects to Alvin Harper. Harper was one of the few humans who befriended the Surfer during his long exile on Earth and even tried to help the Surfer get past the barrier that Galactus put around the Earth.[Continuity 10] The Surfer learned a lot about humanity when the humble scientist sacrificed his life to help stop the Stranger from destroying the Earth.[Continuity 11]
Spider-Man discovers he can relate to the Silver Surfer, who lost all emotions when he was made to be the servant of Galactus.[Continuity 12] He then suggests that the pair go to a nearby tavern and have a toast in the memory of Alvin Harper.
- The story behind the Kralian Skrulls obsession with 1930s America is explained in Fantastic Four #91–93.
- The Jackal created a clone of Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #149. For years Ben Reilly thought he was the clone until he was recently told otherwise in Spectacular Spider-Man #226. However, this is all a massive deception created by the Green Goblin as revealed in Osborne Journals #1.
- Lou Snider has had a working relationship with Spider-Man since their first encounter in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #47. Although Ben Reilly has a lot of Peter Parker's memories, this is only up to Amazing Spider-Man #149, prior to Snider's first meeting with the Peter Parker Spider-Man.
- Five years is a rough measurement of time between Amazing Spider-Man #149 and this story per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- Some facts about Peter Parker and Mary Jane's relationship at the time of this story:
- 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.
- Mary Jane announced she was pregnant in Spectacular Spider-Man #220.
- Peter had recently retired as Spider-Man to focus on his family in Spectacular Spider-Man #229. The couple moved to Portland in Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #1.
- This is a brief recounting of the events of Silver Surfer (Vol. 3) #111–114.
- The Silver Surfer gave Quasimodo a humanoid form in Fantastic Four Annual #5.
- Quasimodo's mind was expelled from the Worldnet by the Vision in Avengers #253. However, since the battle against Nebula took place only about two weeks later, the fact that this Quasimodo claims that his electronic essence had wandered space for "too many years" before finding Sanctuary II implies that this Quasimodo is somehow not the Quasimodo who fought the Vision.
- Sanctuary II was seemingly destroyed in Avengers #260.
- The Silver Surfer was trapped on Earth for a time after betraying Galactus in Fantastic Four #50. He remained trapped until the Fantastic Four assisted him in breaching the barrier in Silver Surfer (Vol. 3) #1.
- Alvin Harper died in Silver Surfer #5.
- The Surfer's emotions and memories were restrained by Galactus when he was made a herald, this was all explained in Silver Surfer #1.
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters: