Appearing in "People Like Us!"
- Chandra O'Keefe
- Marty Dennis
- Kingpin (Wilson Fisk) (Cameo)
- Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius) (Cameo)
- Daredevil (Matthew Murdock) (Cameo)
- Human Torch (Johnny Storm) (Cameo)
- Cyclops (Scott Summers) (Cameo)
- Mickey (Only appearance)
- Joey (Only appearance)
- Frankie the Fish (Only appearance)
Races and Species:
- Modified Street-Cleaner
Synopsis for "People Like Us!"
At an illegal gambling den owned by Frankie the Fish, Hydro-Man discovers that the dealer at one of the card tables is cheating and lashes out with his powers. When the owner orders his men to throw Hydro-Man and his goons out, the villain trounces them with his water powers. As they leave, one of Hydro-Man's henchmen spots a front page story on the Daily Bugle. It accuses Spider-Man of attacking an innocent person.[Continuity 1] Hydro-Man isn't the only person who reads the newspaper. Although Daredevil doesn't believe that Spider-Man would do something like this, he knows better than anyone that people can change.[Continuity 2] The Human Torch thinks this is yet another hatchet job being done by the Daily Bugle.[Continuity 3] Villains like the Kingpin and Doctor Octopus begin plotting how to use this to their advantage. Lastly, Cyclops of the X-Men isn't sure what to make of it, but decides to keep his team on alert in case Spider-Man has gone bad.
This story is also read by Eric Masterson while he is at work at Ravé Architectural & Interior Design Unlimited. His shock is noticed by his co-workers Chandra O'Keefe and Martin Dennis. He tells his co-workers that he has some personal business to attend too. In reality, Masterson is really going to find Spider-Man since the wall-crawler helped him out recently.[Continuity 4] Going into a nearby alley, Masterson slams his walking stick on the ground, transforming himself into Thunderstrike. Unsure how to find the wall-crawler, Thunderstrike begins scouring the city in a grid pattern in the hopes of bumping into him. While at the home of Peter Parker, he succumbs to exhaustion. However, he wakes up after a nightmare. However, he thinks about how much of a nightmare his real life has been. These tragedies include the death of his best friend Harry Osborn,[Continuity 5], the revelation that the people claiming to be his parents were impostors,[Continuity 6] and lastly, his Aunt May suffering a stroke.[Continuity 7] Peter wonders when it will all end, and decides to go out as Spider-Man to get his mind off his problems.
By this time, Thunderstrike is about to give up trying to find Spider-Man when he hears the sound of a burglary alarm. He interrupts a bank robbery being committed by Hydro-Man and his minions. Despite his superior strength, the hero is no match for Hydro-Man's water based powers. Coincidentally, Spider-Man happens to be passing by and hears the alarm as well. Seeing that Thunderstrike is having trouble against Hydro-Man, the wall-crawler leaps in to help. With a exposed wire, Spider-Man swings down and tosses it on Hydro-Man. The electrical jolt stuns Spider-Man's foe. While back at the gambling den of Frankie the Fish, the mobster and his men have just finished cleaning up his illegal gambling den. Frankie is furious that Hydro-Man trashed his joint and orders his men to go out and find him. Back at the scene of the battle, Hydro-Man has escaped. When Thunderstrike wakes up, he is upset that Spider-Man almost electrocuted him as well. However, remembering that he came out looking for Spider-Man to see if he can help.
With their animosity aside, Thunderstrike suggests that they go get pizza. After a brief moment to duck in an alley and switch back to Eric Masterson, Thunderstrike returns with money to pay for the meal. While at their hideout, Hydro-Man is furious that their heist was spoiled by Spider-Man and demands that they go back out there and get revenge. While at that moment, Spider-Man and Thunderstrike are eating at a local pizza parlor. There, Spider-Man admits that he struck the person because he put too much trust in his reflexes. The idea that Spider-Man could make a mistake is a surprise to Thunderstrike. Their meal is interrupted by the arrival of Hydro-Man who begins to rampage in the street looking for them. With Thunderstrike keeping Hydo-Man distracted, Spider-Man attempts to give his enemy a jolt with yet another exposed wire. However, Hydro-Man manages to splash Spider-Man before he has a chance to use it, giving him a jolt instead. While the two heroes fail to contain their foe, Frankie the Fish arrives with a street sweeper. Although Hydro-Man quickly blasts Frankie off the vehicle. Thunderstrike tries to attack again but is enveloped in Hydro-Man's liquid form. Struggling to get free, Thunderstrike strikes his hammer on the ground, quickly changing between his civilian identity of Eric Masterson, the jolts of lightning stunned Hydro-Man long enough for Spider-Man to suck him up in the street sweeper. In the aftermath of the battle, Thunderstrike points out that the only way they can restore the public's faith in them is to always try.
Appearing in "Lives at Risk"
- Micky Hamilton
- Matthew Beacher (First appearance)
- Casey (police officer)
- Tony Reeves (Only appearance)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Lives at Risk"
While in Chicago, Spider-Man joins the police in chasing Slyde, who has just finished robbing a bank.[Continuity2 1] Spider-Man is eager to capture Slyde since he managed to escape him in the past.[Continuity2 2] Spider-Man tries to catch Slyde by pinning him in by wrapping webbing around some lamp posts. However, his trap is knocked down by the arrival of Cage, who is not happy with Spider-Man being in his city.[Continuity2 3] While doing so, Cage allows Slyde to get away. When Spider-Man asks why Cage explains that he is doing it to keep his city stayed.
Not understanding this reasoning, Spider-Man lashes out at Cage and the two come to blows. When the police arrive on the scene, they are looking to arrest Spider-Man. However, Cage tells them that the wall-crawler didn't do anything wrong and offers to pay for the damage. Not understand anything that is going on, Spider-Man swings away in frustration. Arriving on the scene is Tony Reeves who is a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle who is in town for a photographer's convention. Reeves is wondering why the police aren't arresting Cage. When they explain that he is a licensed private police officer. Tony is unimpressed with this, pointing out that Cage must be dirty. The cops stop listening and walk away from an indignant Reeves. Suddenly, a whip wraps around Tony's throat and he is pulled away. He finds himself the prisoner of Nautilus and Razorwire two enforcers for the Hammerhead family in Chicago. The pair tell Tony that if he plays ball with them they will give him the story of the year: The death of Luke Cage and his sidekick Slyde.
The next day, at the photographer's convention, Peter Parker is unable to focus because his mind is still on his battle with Luke Cage. It has him on edge because it wouldn't take much for him to cross the line like Cage. His thoughts are interrupted by Beecher who has come to chide Peter Parker, promising that he will one day prove that Spider-Man is as dirty as Cage. Insulted, Peter prepares to storm off when he runs into Micky Hamilton head photographer for the Chicago Spectator. He tells Parker that Cage may be trouble, he is full of surprises. While at the officer of Heroes for Hire, Cage meets with Slyde.[Continuity2 4] As it turns out, Cage is helping Slyde gather money so that he can pay back the Maggia for the money he stole, as they have kidnapped his brother.[Continuity2 5] However, Cage insists that once they gather the money he will step in and save his brother and the stolen money will go back. As they continue planning, they are unaware of the fact that Spider-Man had tagged Cage's coat with a spider-tracer.
That night, back on the McCormik Center, a special pannel is put on about photographing the modern masked hero are Peter Parker and Mickey Hamilton.[Continuity2 6] The panel is moderated by Tony Reeves who uses it as a soap box to air his mistrust for masked super-heroes. Although Peter tries to defend heroes, it does little to convince Reeves otherwise. That evening, Cage and Slyde meet with Nautilus and Razorwire to exchange the money for Slyde's brother Matthew Beacher. However, before they can turn on the two mobsters, they attack Cage and Slyde.
Also on the scene is Reeves who is trying to photograph the event as proof that Cage is up to no good. Spider-Man arrives to lend a hand, and eventually, they defeat their foes. However, when Cage rips apart Nautilus' armor. However, this destabilizes the villain's missile pack threatening to destroy them all. Pulling off the missile pack, Spider-Man herds everyone out just moments before the missiles explode. Although Slyde tries to escape with the money, Cage manages to capture him again and return the money to the police, proving that he was on the up and up the whole time.
Appearing in "Unnecessary Roughness"
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Unnecessary Roughness"
Since Flash Thompson broke up with Felicia Hardy, he has been keeping himself busy taking up more hours as an EMT ambulance driver.[Continuity3 1] On his way out of the hospital at the end of his shift, he is stopped by the janitor who remembers him. As it turns out, the janitor is Tony Marcheyk, a football rival from his high school days. Tony is furious that Flash won their game at the state championships securing his scholarship at Empire State University. While Flash got the opportunity, while Marcheyk did not and ended up becoming a janitor, that he blames Flash for him being in this situation. Flash brushes this off, but Marcheyk is not willing to let his grudge go so easily.
Later that evening, Flash hangs out with Peter Parker, but his mind is still on Tony Marcheyk. He talks about that big game that landed him his ESU scholarship. He was so focused on the game, he committed an offside penalty while tackling Marcheyk, but the referees didn't call it. He didn't say anything because he wanted the scholarship badly. Peter tells Flash to stop beating himself up over the past, saying it wasn't intentional. When they return to Flash's apartment, he finds a death threat from Marcheyk on his voice mail.
Over the next few days, Tony makes Flash's life miserable with various threats and pranks. One day, Flash comes rushing in with an injured patient who needs to be stabilized before he dies. With all the other doctors busy, Flash asks Marcheyk to keep the pressure on his wound while Flash performs CPR. Although they get the patient stabilized, Tony takes the opportunity to lash out at Flash, accusing him of throwing away a chance of being a pro football player to be an ambulance driver. Flash defends himself, but the outburst is seen by the director of the hospital who fires Tony on the spot. Flash tries to convince the director to give him a second chance. Tony tells Thompson to save his breath and storms out. Flash says he doesn't want to judge Tony because if circumstances were different, he could have been in Tony's position.
People Like Us!
- This "innocent person" was actually aiding and abetting the Scorpion, as seen in Spectacular Spider-Man #215.
- Daredevil's comments about change is regarding the fact that, at the time of this story, Daredevil had faked the death of Matt Murdock as seen in Daredevil #320–325.
- The Daily Bugle has been printing negative stories about Spider-Man since Amazing Spider-Man #1.
- Spider-Man helped Thunderstrike in Thunderstrike #4–6.
- At the time of this story, everyone thinks that Harry Osborn is dead following the events of Spectacular Spider-Man #200. However, unknown to everyone at the time, Harry survived as explained in Amazing Spider-Man #581. He will resurface again in Amazing Spider-Man #545.
- The impostors claimed to be Peter's parents in Amazing Spider-Man #365, Spider-Man learned the truth in Amazing Spider-Man #388. The real Richard and Mary Parker died on a government mission two decades earlier in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5.
- Aunt May suffered a stroke in Amazing Spider-Man #391. Unknown to Peter at this time, his Aunt May was swapped with an impostor sometime around Amazing Spider-Man #392. This is revealed in Spider-Man #97.
Lives at Risk:
- The narrative of this story states that this story takes place prior to Amazing Spider-Man #390.
- Spider-Man fought Slyde in Amazing Spider-Man #272 and Web of Spider-Man #23.
- Spider-Man calls Luke Cage by his old name, Power Man. An identity that Cage dropped following the events of Power Man and Iron Fist #125. Since moving to Chicago in Cage #1, he started referring to himself simply as Cage.
- Cage mentions his past troubles with the Chicago police. He is referring to the events of Cage #18.
- Slyde stole this money in Web of Spider-Man #23.
- They mention how they couldn't convince retired photographer Phil Sheldon. Sheldon is famous for his book titled "Marvels" which featured photographs of superheroes as seen in Marvels #0–4. The reason why Peter is part of this panel is due to his own photobook, titled "Webs" which was published in Amazing Spider-Man #304.
- Felicia Hardy and Flash Thompson had recently broken up in Spectacular Spider-Man #210.
A flashback in Unnecessary Roughness affects the chronology of the following characters: