Appearing in "Crescent City Memories"
- Ms. Nellie
- Mary Jane Watson-Parker (Mentioned)
- Janine Godbe (Mentioned)
- Aunt May (Mentioned)
- Peter Parker (Mentioned)
- New York
- Utah (Mentioned)
- Salt Lake City (Mentioned)
- New Orleans
- Ms. Nellie's souvenirs (Only in flashback)
- New Orleans
Synopsis for "Crescent City Memories"
Ben Reilly has decided to go out and enjoy the nightlife in Manhattan, and goes to the N'Awling's bar.[Continuity 1] As he orders a club soda from the bar he meets a woman named Meredith DeWolff, who strikes up a conversation when she learns that Ben doesn't drink alcohol. He tells her that he got a VIP pass from his friend Mary Jane who insisted that he needed to get out more.[Continuity 2] As the couple begins to flirt, Ben finds out that Meredith also attracted the attention of a man named Remy LeBeau who, unknown to them, is the X-Man known as Gambit. However, Remy decides to leave the pair to get to know each other so he can reconnect with his friend Jaques St. Pierre who is at the bar. St. Pierre is a good friend of LeBeau and the pair got to know each other during Remy's time as a thief in New Orleans. Jacques insists that he is still on the straight and narrow, but Remy begins to get suspicious when St. Pierre is approached by two rough looking men looking for a table with some privacy. Remy is not the only one who finds these two men suspicious as the two men set off Ben Reilly's spider-sense. Getting a good look at one of the men, Ben recognizes him as a man named Creaux and wonders what he is doing out of jail. Seeing Creaux causes Ben's mind to think back to their last encounter...
This was during the time that Ben Reilly was living on the road during a period he thought he was a clone of Peter Parker and was on a self-imposed exile.[Continuity 3] After his experience in Salt Lake City, Ben had decided to be alone and decided to travel to New Orleans.[Continuity 4] Walking among the revelers in the French Quarter, Ben stopped to rest his feet outside Ms. Nellie's Souvenir shop. Seeing Reilly outside her store, Ms. Nellie went out to make sure he wasn't a drunk passed out in front of her store. Learning that he is hungry, she offers to feed Ben if he cleans the garbage off the front stoop of her shop. Sitting down to a meal, Ben learned that Ms. Nellie had a son but he had died and decided not to press her for more details since they were strangers. What started off as a one-off dinner, Ben was invited to stay in the spare room and work in Ms. Nellie's shop. One day, while Ben was in the back room, Creaux came into the shop. Fearing for Reilly's safety, Nellie tells Ben to stay hidden.
During those days, Creaux was an officer of the New Orleans Police Department and a crooked one at that. He has come to collect protection money from Ms. Nelly, who tells him that business has been slow. As she pleads, she touches Creaux's arm, angering him enough to strike her. Seeing this sent Ben Reilly into a rage and he leaped out of his hiding place. In the ensuing struggle, Ben pushed the crooked detective into a display of snowglobes. The shattering glass slacked a line down Creaux's face, creating the scar that he now sports. Furious at being disfigured, Creaux then blew voodoo dust into Ben's face, rendering him completely immobile. Fortunately, Ms. Nellie prevented Creaux from shooting Ben until the integrity commission could send police officers to arrest Creaux to arrest him. As her father was a practitioner of voodoo, Ms. Nelly was able to create a mixture that restored Ben to normal. With outstanding warrants for his arrest, Ben decided not to stick around for the police to question him and left New Orleans quickly. He never knew what happened to Ms. Nellie, and the one time he tried to call her while on the road led to the discovery that her phone number had been disconnected.
While recollecting this, Ben had slipped away from DeWolf so he could follow Creaux and his friend to find out what they are up to. In the main bar, Remy learns that Meredith's new friend followed after the two men to the back rooms. This worries Remy who goes around back to investigate himself.
As it turns out, Jaques St. Pierre has been courted by Tombstone to use his bar as a front to sell cocaine. When Jaques turns down Tombstone's offer, he has Creaux blow voodoo powder into St. Pierre's face, warning him that the powder will leave him paralyzed. By this point, Ben has slipped into the air conditioning shaft to change into his Spider-Man costume. There he overhears Creaux suggesting that they use the vents to expose the patrons to their highly addictive drugs to get them hooked on the substance with ease. Before they can do this, they are interrupted by Gambit who disarms the two thugs with kinetically charged playing cards. While Gambit focuses on Creaux, he is grabbed by Tombstone from behind, ordering Creaux to shoot the intruder, unafraid of getting shot because he himself is bulletproof. That's when Spider-Man leaps in, gumming up Creaux's gun with webbing and attacking Tombstone. Despite the fact he had the element of disguise, Spider-Man is struck by Tombstone with sufficient force to send throw the wall-crawler out into the crocodile pen that is in the middle of the bar. Tombstone and Creaux then make a break for the air conditioning unit intending to dose the entire crowd. Gambit follows after the pair, but he has trouble getting through the thick crowd in the bar. Gambit manages to tackle Creaux sending them falling back into the bar area. However, during the struggle, the bag of drugs is knocked free and is about to spill out over the crowd. Thankfully, Spider-Man has managed to get free from the crocodile pen and webs the bag of drugs shut before their contents can spill.
That's when Tombstone attacks the wall-crawler and is about to choke him to death when Meredith DeWolff, a police officer in the narcotics division draws her gun and orders the mobster to put Spider-Man down. However, this threat doesn't scare Tombstone who trades Spider-Man with officer DeWolff. At that moment, Gambit has knocked out Creaux and uses his mutant powers to pry Meredith from Tombstone's grasp. By then, Spider-Man has recovered from being choked out by Tombstone and lands a knockout punch. After the authorities take Tombstone and Creaux away, Spider-Man uses the skills he learned from Ms. Nellie to cure Joseph St. Pierre from the effects of Creaux's voodoo powder.
Appearing in "Sideshow"
- Peter Parker
- Beverly Switzler
- Officer Dragon (Kurr) (Unidentified)
- Destroyer Duck (Louis Duck) (Unidentified)
- Elf with a Gun (Relf) (First appearance)
- Kidney Lady (Selma Blotte)
- Circus of Crime
- Maynard Tiboldt
- Daily Bugle
- Leonard the Duck (Unidentified)
- Rhonda Martini (Unidentified)
- Mr. Crouch
- Mary Jane Watson-Parker (Mentioned)
- Elf with a Gun (Melf) (Mentioned)
- F.B.I. (Mentioned)
- X-Men (Mentioned)
- Cannonball (Sam Guthrie) (Mentioned)
- Corner of Floss and Regret
- Blade balls
Synopsis for "Sideshow"
Spider-Man is out on a patrol of Manhattan and arrives too late to stop a robbery of a van. Among the police, bystanders, and members of the press is Peter Parker who is taking photos for the Daily Bugle. When Peter overhears two witnesses strange account of the thieves makes Peter roll his eyes in disbelief as they claim the crime was committed by men dressed like turtles and space suits being responsible.[Continuity2 2] That's when Spider-Man lets Peter know he is present and the two meet in a nearby alley to compare notes. Also witnessing this scene is Maynard Tibolt -- the Ringmaster of the Circus of Crime -- who watches from his window. The police being near his home makes him feel uneasy. That's when there is a knock at his apartment door. Going to answer it, Maynard is surprised to find an Elf with a Gun waiting there for him. The Elf, named Relf, tells Maynard that he intends to join the circus and shoots the Ringmaster. Hearing the gunshot from outside, Spider-Man goes up to the roof to try and catch the shooter while Peter goes inside to check to see if anyone was injured.[Continuity2 3] Inside, Peter tells people to call an ambulance while he checks on Tibolt. After telling Parker that he had reformed from his life of crime he passes out after telling him about the elf that shot him, warning Peter that the elf stole something dangerous from his apartment. That's when paramedics arrive to take over the situation. Going back outside, Peter tries to make sense of the strange claims the Ringmaster has made. Outside, Peter informs Spider-Man of what he learned and the two decide to learn where they can find the Circus of Crime.
Meanwhile, in Cleveland, Howard the Duck and his friend Beverly Switzler go to a fancy restaurant for dinner. Seeing the "no shoes, no shirt, no service" sign, Howard is confident that he will be allowed inside even though he is a duck that isn't wearing pants. Taken to a table, the couple then try to figure out what movie to go out and see while they wait for their order. Howard begins to get impatient with the speed of the service when they are interrupted by Howard's nemesis, the Kidney Lady. She has come to scold Howard for ordering a cheeseburger, claiming that it will cause damage to his liver. She also fears that the air will somehow be contaminated by Howard's meal, putting them all at risk as well. This leads to a heated exchange of words between Howard and the woman, as he questions her insane claims. However, as Howard begins to lose his temper, Beverly wisely drags him out of the restaurant before the two can come to blows. Outside, Beverly spots an advertisement for Cirque du Somnambulism and suggests that they go and see that instead. Although it all seems pretty pretentious to Howard, he reluctantly agrees to go and check out the show. This circus has set up operations at the Sunspot Hill Fairgrounds where Relf the Elf has returned to the Circus of Crime. He reveals that object he stole from the Ringmaster, a miniature pin shaped like a sitar, thinking this was the source of Tibolt's hypnotic powers. When the members of the Circus point out that Relf stole the wrong object, they decide to end their alliance.[Continuity2 4] This angers Relf that he pulls out his gun and shoots all the members of the Circus except Princess Python. He spares her because he needs her to confirm to the Circus members that they were dead. He then magically resurrects the Circus of Crime, leaving Princess Python to wonder why they are needed for his plans as Relf clearly has the power of a god. Relf tells them that it is too complicated to explain how Elvin magic works and then tells the Circus of Crime that they are going to find the truck diver who killed his uncle Melf.[Continuity2 5]
The next day, Peter Parker researches the Circus of Crime on the internet and with the help of Betty Brant discovers that they are in Cleveland. He then convinces Joe Robertson to send him there for a story and convinces Ben Reilly to meet him there. Meanwhile, Relf and Princess Python return to Manhattan where they threaten Maynard Tibolt at the Empire State University Medical Center in order to learn what happened to his hypnotic disc. He doesn't know, but figures it was likely confiscated by the authorities after he got shot and it was shipped to the authorities in Chicago. Satisfied with this answer, Relf warns Maynard that he will come back and shoot him if it turns out that Tibolt was lying and he teleports away with Princess Python. Relf and Princess Python appear in Chicago where Relf places a call to the Chicago police. There he speaks with an Officer Dragon to discuss an exchange: the sitar for the Ringmaster's hypno-disc. When Officer Dragon asks if he can bring a duck along, Relf tells the police officer that he can bring whoever he wants.[Continuity2 6] While in New York City, Peter Parker has boarded the plane to Cleveland at JFK International Airport. Wondering how Ben Reilly is going to get to Cleveland, he suddenly spots Spider-Man out on the runway who hitches a ride on the plane by crawling up into the landing gear. In Cleveland, Howard and Beverly arrive at the fairgrounds to see the circus and are disappointed to see that they have cancelled their show for the evening. Still, Howard wants to take a peak and they look through the tent. It's then that Howard recognizes the members of the Circus of Crime.[Continuity2 7]
As they back out of the tent they bump into Peter Parker, who almost blows his former secret identity by recognizing Howard the Duck, whom he only met as Spider-Man.[Continuity2 8] That's when Spider-Man arrives and although he doesn't recognize Howard, however before any more embarrassing questions can be asked Beverly points out that the Circus of Crime is leaving in one of their trucks.[Continuity2 9] The group follows after the truth and Spider-Man's spider-sense draws them to a nearby warehouse which is giving off a strange sensation. They are unaware that on the other side, Officer Dragon and his duck friend are entering the warehouse in order to make their exchange with Relf. As Relf is about to exchange the sitar for the hypnotic disc, Spider-Man comes crashing in causing a fight to break out. While Spider-Man and Officer Dragon are exchanging blows, Relf exchanges gunfire with the other duck that Officer Dragon has brought with him. In the ensuing confusion, Beverly is struck in the back of the head by Relf. When Howard comes to her aid, he is confronted by yet another duck.[Continuity2 10] By this point, Spider-Man and Officer Dragon realize that they are on the same side and stop fighting. While the wall-crawler recovers the Ringmaster's disc, Dragon recovers the sitar.
Spider-Man, Parker, Howard, and Beverly all flee the warehouse where they are ambushed by the rest of the Circus of Crime. However, with the aid of Peter Parker (who is armed with his own web-shooters) and the Ringmaster's hypno-disc, Spider-Man manages to drive the Circus of Crime away. Realizing that this is a losing battle, Relf decides to cut ties with the Circus and avenge his Uncle Melf by himself. Having grown fond of the elf, Princess Python manages to convince Relf to take her along with him.[Continuity2 11] Later, Beverly and Howard go to the Cleveland Airport to see Peter Parker off. After they say some farewells, Howard points out that they never found out what the was going on in that warehouse. Beverly dismisses these loose ends, pointing out that some mysteries are better left unsolved.
- Two titanic team-ups for the price of one!
- First, Spidey and the X-Man known as Gambit go clubhopping in New York City's Greenwich Village— and Tombstone's on the guest list!
- Then, the Web-Head and the web-foot join forces as Spidey and Howard the Duck run a fowl of Elf with a Gun and the Circus of Crime!
Crescent City Memories:
- 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.
- 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.
- Ben Reilly is actually a clone of Peter Parker created by the Jackal in Amazing Spider-Man #149. At the time of this story, Ben had been tricked into thinking he was the original Peter Parker in Spectacular Spider-Man #226. This deception was explained in Osborne Journals #1.
- The "Salt Lake City" incident was chronicled in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #1–3.
- This story and the story in Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck #1 were written by Howard the Duck creator Steve Gerber and is an unofficial crossover between Spider-Man and Savage Dragon. The idea was initially signed off on by then editor Tom Brevoort. These two stories intersect when the characters run into each other in the warehouse. In the Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck story, Relf creates duplicates of Howard the Duck and Beverly Swizler. The real Howard and Beverly go back with the Savage Dragon and Destroyer Duck and the impostors end up with Spider-Man and Peter Parker. In the end, Howard and Beverly change their names to Leonard the Duck and Rhonda Martini respectively. Gerber's intent here was to "take back" the characters he created, and that the real Howard and Beverly existed free and clear of the Marvel Universe having been replaced with clones. However, the end result was not what Brevoort agreed to. Ultimately, Gerber's attempt to "steal back" Howard and Beverly had a little actual impact to readers and Gerber eventually killed off "Leonard the Duck". Officially speaking, Marvel does not acknowledge Gerber's attempts to "replace" Howard in the Marvel Universe, as evident in the Howard the Duck profile in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #5. Although later Howard the Duck writer Chip Zdarsky had recently wrote the character as though the Marvel Howard is a clone, out of respect to the late Steve Gerber, this position is still not accepted as official Marvel canon. Although this story presents the Savage Dragon existing in a shared universe with Earth-616, the Elf With a Gun entry in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #4 clarifies that a reality warp created the conditions that allowed this unofficial crossover to happen.
- This is a reference to the events occurring in Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck. In that story, there was a battle between Destroyer Duck and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- Ben reminds Peter to be careful because he has a wife and child. Mary Jane announced she was pregnant in Spectacular Spider-Man #220.
- Up until this point, unless you have read Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck #1 you would have no idea what the deal with the sitar is. In that story, the sitar is a "Neurostim" a device that makes people feel good about themselves. The sitar was recovered by the Savage Dragon who then sent it to the FBI for examination. Due to a mix-up the FBI sent the Ringmaster's hypnotic disc to the Savage Dragon in Chicago and the sitar to Maynard Tibolt in New York.
- Melf, another Elf with a Gun, was killed when he was run over by a truck driver in Defenders #46.
- Per Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck #1, this "other Duck" is Destroyer Duck.
- Howard previously encountered the Circus of Crime in Howard the Duck #25–27.
- Peter Parker first met Howard the Duck in Howard the Duck #1.
- Ben Reilly shares all of Peter Parker's memories up to Amazing Spider-Man #149 when he was created by the Jackal. As such he doesn't know Howard the Duck as Peter Parker met him after that point.
- In Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck #1, this is the moment in which Howard and Beverly are swapped out with clones.
- Relf is next seen in Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #6. However, it is unknown if he ever did manage to avenge his uncle or not.
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:
Crescent City Memories: