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Appearing in "Behind the Terror"

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Synopsis for "Behind the Terror"

A group of armor enhanced mercenaries called Terror Unlimited emerge from the New York City subway system and fly toward the site of the World Trade Center.[Continuity 1] At the Skyline Restaraunt inside the WTC, Mary Jane has lunch with her friend Carly, who has just heard the news that Mary Jane is pregnant.[Continuity 2] The wonderful news is interrupted by the arrival of Terror Unlimited who secure the area, taking them hostage as part of "Operation: Shakedown".

Not far away, Ben Reilly returns to his apartment where he finds Rich Gannon waiting for him. Rich wanted to thank Ben for sticking up for him the last time they met. Rich tells Ben how things have turned around for him. He got his job back at Stark Enterprises and he is no longer living on the street. Reilly is glad he was able to help and learning that Rich is moving into the neighborhood hopes to see him around. Gannon leaves, telling Ben that he is volunteering at the Southside Mission. Inside his apartment, Ben begins reading the newspaper and learns that Doctor Octopus has been murdered.[Continuity 3] This news wakes old memories that reach back to the early career of Peter Parker.[Continuity 4] Needing to get some fresh air, Ben changes into the Scarlet Spider so he can get some fresh air. Once he is outside, the Scarlet Spider begins feeling better the moment he starts web-slinging. At that moment, Spider-Man returns to the home he shares with his wife Mary Jane.[Continuity 5] There he finds a note from Mary Jane telling her that he is out. Exhausted, Peter decides to get some sleep while she is gone and passes out.

Meanwhile, the authorities have arrived around the base of the World Trade Center. On the scene is Lieutenant Dan Carr who is put in charge with negotiating with the terrorists. Put in touch with the leader of Terror Unlimited, who demands a large sum of money and a plane out of the country.[Continuity 6] Carr assures them they are is making arrangements as quickly as possible. However, this is not good enough and the leader of Terror Unlimited fires a blast out of a window which strikes the nearby South Street Mission as a means how showing that they are serious. The explosion attracts the attention of the Scarlet Spider who is swinging by on his way to Queens to check in on Aunt May.[Continuity 7] Hearing the explosion, the Spider decides that Aunt May can wait and swings over to see what caused the blast. While at the Daily Bugle, Ken Ellis is upset that Joe Robertson has decided to send Ben Urich to cover the situation at the World Trade Center.[Error 1] Still, Ken convinces Joe to let him go to cover the humanitarian impact caused by the destruction of the shelter. Ellis is certain that his reporting will overshadow Ben Urich's story.

Back at the World Trade Center, the members of Terror Unlimited continue with the next phase of their plan. Leaping across to one of the other nearby buildings they intend to plant nuclear explosives in the elevator shaft.[Continuity 8] As they close the gap between the two buildings, one of the terrorists is struck by a bullet shot by a security guard in the other building. The others come crashing through and as the group sets up the explosives their leader tosses the security guard out of the building to his death. At that same moment, the Scarlet Spider sees the ruins of the Southside shelter and begins digging through the rubble for survivors. That's when he discovers the body of Rich Gannon. The Scarlet Spider is greatly upset to discover Rich's body but quickly turns his attention to the survivors that are crying for help. After everyone is safe, he learns the explosion was caused by missiles fired from the World Trade Center. The wall-crawler then heads off in that direction, just missing Ken Ellis as he arrives on the scene.

Meanwhile, inside the restaurant, one of the hostages asks one of his captors if his son can use the bathroom. In response, the drone shoots the man who would dare question, Rushing to his side, Mary Jane asks if there is a doctor who can help. When there is no immediate aid, she then begins chastising the leader of the group for allowing one of his men to shoot one of the hostages and demands that they get him medical attention immediately. In response, the leader shoots his subordinate dead. Mary Jane is horrified, but grateful that she didn't get shot for her troubles. Looking out the window, she can see someone climbing up the side of one of the other buildings and assumes it is her husband, and begins to feel some relief. However, she is wrong, as Peter Parker is still at home and taking a shower after his nap. As he listens to a radio he hears a news report about the hostage situation at the World Trade Center. Recalling Mary Jane's note saying that she was going to be there, Peter changes into Spider-Man and rushes to the scene. At that moment, Ken Ellis has decided to investigate the human interest element to the death of Rich Gannon. He goes to a nearby bodega to interview the owners. They praise the way Rich turned his life around. However, Ellis has learned how they chased Gannon out of their store days ago. This causes the shop owners to change their tone and they kick the reporter out of their business. At the same time, Terror Unlimited finishes planting their bombs, and recover the detonators from their fallen comrade before the police can get them. When a news helicopter begins flying over the scene, they shoot it out of the sky. Luckily, Spider-Man is just arriving on the scene and uses his webbing to create a net to catch the helicopter. Arriving on the ground, the wall-crawler to compare notes with the authorities. Meeting with Lieutenant Carr, he learns how serious the situation actually is. Learning that the terrorists are held up in the restaurant above, Spider-Man rushes up the side of the tower, all his thoughts focused on his wife.

While in the opposite building, the Scarlet Spider interrupts some of the terrorists as they are planting their bombs. Webbing them up and taking their communicators, he hears that the others are coming to bring down the detonator. Glad to hear this, the Scarlet Spider gladly waits for them. While back at the main tower, Ken Ellis uses fake credentials to get into the World Trade Center, gloating how he will get a better story than Ben Urich could. Using the elevator to get up to the hostage situation, Ken is unaware that Spider-Man has been following him. Spotting one of the leaders of Terror Unlimited, Ellis weighs his options on waht to do next. In the next building, a pair of the terrorists arrive with the detonators and are incapacitated by the Scarlet Spider. The police soon storm the building, prompting the Spider to assist them in taking down the group in this building. In the main tower, while Ken Ellis is interviewing the leader of Terror Unlimited, Spider-Man gets Mary Jane's help to sneak the hostages out of the building. When the leader notices this, he blames Ellis for allowing them to escape and grabs him by the neck. He then holds Ellis out of the broken window and threatens to set off the nuclear bombs planted in the other building. Spider-Man swings in and saves Ellis, quickly trouncing the leader. Meanwhile, the twin brother of Terror Unlimited's leader tries to take flight but is brought down by the Scarlet Spider.

In the aftermath of the crisis, Spider-Man chastises Ellis for putting everyone at risk for his story. When he asks why Spider-Man does what he does, the wall-crawler responds by telling the reporter that he cares. At the same time, the Scarlet Spider is giving a similar answer to Lieutenant Carr, who asks why the Spider risked his life. Soon, both wall-crawlers depart to head back to their respective lives. Despite the fact that he was only after a story, Ken Ellis' reporting of the crisis lands on the front page of the Daily Bugle.


Continuity Notes

  1. This story is set in the original Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. 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. Modern readers should ignore all references to the original towers and consider this story as happening in the new building that stands in their place.
  2. Mary Jane revealed that she was pregnant in Spectacular Spider-Man #220.
  3. Doctor Octopus was killed by Kaine in Spectacular Spider-Man #221.
  4. Doctor Octopus was one of Spider-Man's oldest foes, first fighting him back in Amazing Spider-Man #3.
  5. 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.
  6. The leader of Terror Unlimited specifically asks for a Concorde jet out of the country. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 due to the fact that the Concorde jets were retired in 2003.
  7. The woman everyone thinks is Aunt May is actually an impostor who took her place sometime during Amazing Spider-Man #392. This is revealed in Spider-Man #97.
  8. This story depicts this building as one opposite of the twin tower of the original World Trade Center site. As mentioned above, this depiction should be considered a topical reference. One can assume that in lieu of the original towers a modern interpretation of this story would be that Terror Unlimited is planing explosives in one of the other six buildings that are located at the site of the World Trade Center.

Continuity Errors

  1. A coloring error depicts Joe Robertson as caucasian here.

Publication Notes

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