Appearing in "Estranged Tales"
- Officer Gagnon (First and only known appearance)
- 🢐 Roberta 🢒
- Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards) (Only in recap)
- Invisible Woman (Susan Storm) (Only in recap)
- The Thing (Ben Grimm) (Only in recap)
- Lyja's Egg (Only in recap)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Estranged Tales"
The Human Torch is flying over Manhattan, thinking about how much his life has changed. He thinks about how he used to be a high-flying hero and eligible bachelor. Now he is reeling from the apparent death of Mister Fantastic at the hands of Doctor Doom and how it is affecting his sister Sue, Reed's wife.[Continuity 1] Another problem, is the revelation that his ex-wife turned out to be a Skrull who just recently gave birth to an egg that is apparently his son.[Continuity 2] Also bothering him is the funk that the Thing has been in since his face was horribly scarred.[Continuity 3] His travels are noticed by people on the street, who suddenly become afraid that the Torch might light the nearby buildings on fire as he did to Empire State University.[Continuity 4] Realizing that everyone is actually scared of him, the Human Torch decides to take off before he starts a riot.
Someone has been watching the Human Torch from the shadows. Once the Torch is out of sight, this mystery man heads into a nearby subway station. This man can't believe the good fortune as it finally affords him a chance to get revenge against the Human Torch. The man then leaps down onto the subway tracks, much to the horror of the other commuters. However, as a train passes by, they find that the mystery man has disappeared. This man, the master criminal known as the Fox, has gone to his secret hideout where he begins plotting his ultimate revenge against the Human Torch and Spider-Man.[Continuity 5] The two heroes ruined his career, and after spending years in prison, he vows to get revenge against them once and for all.[Continuity 6] At that very moment, Spider-Man is busy busting up a group of crooks who have stolen boxes of gourmet chocolate. The wall-crawler makes short work of the crooks, but his anger gets the better of him. Before he can seriously hurt one of the thugs, the Human Torch intervenes. The Torch tries to talk Spider-Man into cooling it and the pair begins to bicker. While the two continue to argue, the police arrive to arrest the crooks who are trying to escape. When they complain about excessive force, the officers assume that they are talking about the Human Torch and demand that he answer some questions. Frustrated, the Torch flies back to the Four Freedoms Plaza, telling the police officers to get in touch with his lawyer. Spider-Man realizes that the Human Torch was right about him being out of line. Neither hero is unaware that the entire time they were being watched by one of the Fox's henchmen who reports this back to his boss. Hearing about this incident, the Fox is pleased and knows how to finally get his revenge.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man returns to his home that he shares with his wife Mary Jane.[Continuity 7] He is worried about how they can afford this brownstone that they moved into since Mary Jane has lost her job on "Secret Hospital".[Continuity 8] He then thinks about how the Human Torch was wronged when he took the blame for their fight. Peter then notices that his wife on the phone with her agent. He turns on the television while he waits for her to be finished. That's when he catches a news report about a series of fires that have been plaguing the city. One of the police officers interviewed, was one that gave the Human Torch a hard time. Peter decides he has to go and help the Torch, telling his wife that someone needs Spider-Man. This upsets Mary Jane because she really needs her husband to be there for her.
While at Four Freedoms Plaza, Johnny Storm watches over the egg that is apparently his son. That's when his ex-wife, Lyja, comes in to warn him that the police are coming to arrest him. While they are held back by the Fantastic Four's secretary, Roberta, the Human Torch makes his escape from the rooftop. The Torch curses himself for being flippant with the officers, especially since he just discovered that the Fantastic Four's lawyer, Matt Murdock, is dead.[Continuity 9] That's when he spots Spider-Man's spider-signal shining from the Statue of Liberty. their old meeting place. There, Spider-Man apologizes for the way he acted earlier and has sought the Torch out to help clear his name. They go to the scene of the last fire, they try to look for clues. There Spider-Man's spider-sense goes off and he manages to shove the Human Torch out of the way before a sniper can take a shot at him. They quickly catch the shooter and learn that he spills everything.
Soon, the two heroes arrive at the Fox's secret hideout, which is deserted. Looking around, they find old newspaper clippings of the Fox's capture and realize that the thief has been plotting his revenge for years. That's when Spider-Man's spider-sense begins going off. Suggesting that they get out while they can, the warning comes too late as the Fox activates the various traps he has set up for the two heroes. First, the Torch's flame is doused by a fire extinguisher. Then they are ambushed by an automated machine gun. When Spider-Man tries to leap out of the way, when he discovers that the walls have been greased, preventing him from clinging to them. Gloating from his control room, the Fox then douses them with knock out gas. When Spider-Man and the Torch wake up, they find themselves in a plexiglass cage. The Fox gloats that he wants the pair to suffer like he has while he was in prison. Noticing that the air is getting thinner, the web-spinner realizes that their prison is airtight. He then begins striking the wall as hard as he can to try and get them out. The web-head manages to crack the glass enough for air to get in. This allows the Human Torch to flame on so he can melt their way to freedom. They are then confronted by the Fox's hired goons. The pair work together to take them down, exchanging quips the whole time, just like in the old days.
Seeing his plans falling apart, the Fox decides to make his escape, but is quickly caught by Spider-Man and the Human Torch. After the Fox has been turned over to the authorities, the pair return to the Statue of Liberty to talk, after learning that they both have been dealing with their share of problems, they realize that they need to lighten up every once and a while, otherwise they'll end up like the Fox. With this caper finally over, the two heroes part ways, telling each other to take it easy.
Appearing in "Look Who's Back!"
- Mr. Naguro (First and only known appearance)
- 🢐 Roger Hochberg
- Sharon (First appearance)
- Marcy Embry (First and only known appearance)
Races and Species:
- New York City
Synopsis for "Look Who's Back!"
Spider-Man is busting the Free Access gang while they are making an illegal arms deal in New York's garment district with a man named Naguro. As he is taking down these thugs, he thinks back to how he got into this situation. Two days prior, Peter Parker is working in the chem lab at Empire State University when he is interrupted by his colleague Roger Hochberg. Roger tells them about the recent theft of a dozen nuclear triggers from the university that has been smuggled to Japan. Seeing the Free Access gang's buyer trying to make a run for it, Spider-Man tries to tag him with a spider-tracer while holding off the thugs. Spider-Man's fight is then interrupted by the sudden arrival of the Bobster, who has come to lend a hand. Spider-Man is mortified the Bobster is here, especially after their last encounter.[Continuity2 1] At first, despite his flamboyant attitude, the Bobster actually begins doing well at first. That is until his power harness suffers a system error, cutting off his powers, and making him land on Spider-Man. In the aftermath, Spider-Man realizes that Naguro has escaped with the nuclear triggers. Furious at the Bobster for ruining his bust and demands to know what he is doing here.
The Bobster explains that he and his brother designed a new harness after Spider-Man turned over his old one to the police.[Continuity2 2] He has then decided to market himself as a superhero. However, he doesn't have the years of experience that Spider-Man does. The Bobster then offers the wall-crawler a percentage of his future profits if the hero helps train him. The Bobster even offers his help, and demonstrates it by using his helmet to contact the police. Despite all of this, Spider-Man refuses the Bobster's offer, unwilling to work with someone out to get glory than anything else. Despite this rejection, the Bobster refuses to give up. Later, Spider-Man heads back to Empire State University to report back to the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents at Empire State University. Although he failed to capture the seller, he will try to pick up the trail tomorrow.
Exhausted, Spider-Man returns home to tell his wife Mary Jane what happened. As they relax on the couch, Peter catches a news interview with the Bobster. The interview, where the Bobster gloats about how he and Spider-Man worked together. This makes Peter groan, prompting Mary Jane to ask what's wrong. Peter explains that the Bobster is trying to be a super-hero for all the wrong reasons. It reminds him of when he first became Spider-Man to try and become famous. His selfish motivations led to him to let a crook run past him. This crook later went on to kill his Uncle Ben.[Continuity 10] The following night, Spider-Man follows his leads to an abandoned apartment building where the triggers are going to be sold at. His stakeout is interrupted by the Bobster who has also found this location.
The pair crash in on the arms deal, and while they are busy with the gang, Naguro tries to make a run for it again. When Spider-Man catches up with him, the arms dealer holds a baby hostage. The Bobster comes barreling in to try and save the day, blasting Naguro but this causes him to drop the baby out the window. Thankfully, the wall-crawler is able to leap out of the window and save the child before it hits the ground. Back home with his wife, Peter discovers that the Bobster recorded the entire battle with his helmet camera. He has used this footage to springboard himself onto a talk show. Peter is mortified, and figures he won't be holding his breath hoping the Bobster will learn his lesson.
Appearing in "Street Justice"
- Tony MacDonald (First and only known appearance)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Street Justice"
Oliver Osnick is at Eastside High with his girlfriend Jane. With graduation three weeks away, the couple is surprised by how quickly time flies. Ollie is worried about the future because he and Jane will be attending different colleges. As they talk, a group of kids arguing over drug money. The exchange gets heated and soon they are exchanging gunfire. Unfortunately, the only person who gets struck is Jane.
Jane is rushed to a hospital where she is clinging to life. Jane's father tells Ollie that the next twenty-four hours are crucial in determining if she will pull through and that there is nothing he can do now. However, Ollie has other ideas and rushes home. There he digs up his old Spider-Kid costume and begins re-working in order to avenge Jane.[Continuity3 1] Reinventing himself as the Steel Spider he tracks down Tony MacDonald, the gang member responsible for shooting Jane, and confronts him.
The Steel Spider incapacitates Tony with a blast of pepper spray and then beats him senseless. The only thing that stops him from beating Tony to death is the arrival of the police. He then leaves so he can clear his head. Later, Ollie returns to the hospital to discover that Jane is alive. Unfortunately, they will not know if she will be paralyzed from the bullet in her spine until after the surgery. Ollie tells Jane that she is a fighter and she'll get by. When Jane tells Ollie that she loves him, he tells her that he feels the same way.
- At the time of this story, everyone believed that Mister Fantastic and Doctor Doom were killed in Fantastic Four #381. However, they survived and turn up alive again in Fantastic Four #406–407.
- As revealed in Fantastic Four #357 it was revealed that the woman everyone thought was Alicia Masters was really a Skrull named Lyja sent to spy on the Fantastic Four circa Fantastic Four #265. While posing as Alicia, Lyja married the Human Torch in Fantastic Four #300. Since her deception was exposed, Lyja revealed that she is pregnant with Johnny's child in Fantastic Four #386. It is later revealed that this isn't a baby, but a Sha'Barri implanted in Lyja to kill the Fantastic Four, as revealed in Fantastic Four #391.
- The Thing was slashed in the face by Wolverine in Fantastic Four #374. His face is ultimately healed in Fantastic Four #409.
- The Human Torch accidentally set fire to ESU in Fantastic Four #371 while defending himself from attack.
- Spider-Man and the Human Torch battled the Fox way back in Strange Tales Annual #2.
- Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, the Fox has been in prison for roughly nine years.
- 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.
- Peter and Mary Jane moved into this brownstone after they were evicted from their last apartment in Spectacular Spider-Man #205. Mary Jane's role on "Secret Hospital" was recently axed in Amazing Spider-Man #384.
- Matt Murdock has been the Fantastic Four's lawyer since Daredevil #2. At the time of this story, everyone believed that Matt Murdock was dead when he faked his death in Daredevil #320–325.
- Peter's Uncle Ben was murdered in Amazing Fantasy #15.
Look Who's Back!: