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Appearing in "The Spider and the Ghost"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #25.

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  • None

Synopsis for "The Spider and the Ghost"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #25.

Spider-Man has just caught two men trying to steal equipment from Empire State University. After he knocks out the crooks he begins looking through the packages of stolen material and all he finds is a bunch of melted metal that appears to be worthless. Before the wall-crawler can learn anything else, he is interrupted by the campus security guards. As he tries to explain that he wasn't stealing anything, he is interrupted by Arthur Dearborn an employee of the Roxxon Energy Corporation. He explains nobody was stealing anything and that these materials that were being experimented upon by the university under a Roxxon grant. He explains that the two men work for his company and would be pressing charges if he didn't agree that the scene didn't look suspicious. Spider-Man meekly departs from the scene. As the web-slinger leaves the scene, he heard about the experiments because he is a student at ESU and his is supposed to take pictures for the Daily Bugle for Roxxon's big press conference the following day. He recognizes the metal slag as being made out of Vibranium and wonders what could have done that to the expensive and durable metal. When he returns home to discover that his wife Mary Jane has prepared a romantic evening because she has figured that Peter has told her that he loved her a million times.[Continuity 1]

Meanwhile, in midtown, the Kingpin meets with the industrial saboteur known as the Ghost. The Kingpin offers him a job to steal the secrets of Roxxon's new secret procedures. An offer that the Ghost accepts because he has a score to settle with Roxxon and offers to do it for free.[Continuity 2] However, the Kingpin considers what the Ghost may do against him in the future and decides to plan for this contingency. The next day at Empire State University, Peter Parker finishes an assignment for Professor Evan Swan and is on his way to the Roxxon press conference. On the way, he is stopped by his classmate's Chip and Ethan to help move an oscillator that they are using in an experiment to accelerate plant growth. Chip complains about the funding and recognition the Roxxon experiment is getting when he is experiment could double a farmer's crop each year. After helping his classmates and changing into a suit and tie. He can relate to Chip's frustration give his background in science.[Continuity 3]

Not far away at the stage set up for Roxxon, Mary Jane is recognized by T'Challa who is surprised to be recognized by royalty. As they talk, they witness Iron Man arrive on the scene, worry T'Challa who secretly worries about why Tony Stark came as his alter-ego instead of himself. His thoughts are interrupted when Mary Jane's husband Peter snaps a photo of the pair together. Peter apologizes for taking advantage of a photo opportunity. T'Challa understands, pointing out one should always take advantage of opportunities if there is no harm done. He then expresses his fear of what Roxxon is going to announce today as it may affect the economy of Wakanda, the world's only source of Vibranium. Meanwhile, Iron Man gets a club soda to drink. He is all too aware that people are noticing him in his armor. Unfortunately, it cannot be avoided as the armored hero needs to wear his armor all the time.[Continuity 4] Meanwhile, Arthur Dearborn has his lab assistants setting up their demonstration he sees Iron Man in the crowd and greets him. The two have a friendly relationship, even though Iron Man is troubled that an honorable man like Arthur would work for a shady business like Roxxon.[Continuity 5]

Soon the demonstration is ready, and Roxxon's Executive Vice President, Jonas Hale, who demonstrates a new form of synthetic Vibranium. This demonstration involves a guard trying to shoot Hale through a thin sheet of the material. The audience is shocked when the bullet bounces harmlessly off the material. He calls this synthetic material Nuform and announces it as a boon for businesses offering an affordable alternative to genuine Vibranium. The demonstration is interrupted when some Roxxon employees report an incident in the lab. Jonas excuses himself and asks Arthur to join him. There, he learns that one of the scientists mad the mistake of wearing a metal watch around his writs and the Nuform melted it into his wrist. Hale is furious, reminding the scientists that they were all warned not to wear metal in the lab. He then orders the injured man to be discreetly transported to the Roxxon building downtown for treatment. Arthur expresses his concern regarding the safety of Nuform. Jonas agrees that Nuform can degrade into a material as similar as the metal melting Antarctic Vibranium, but assures that this can be avoided when the material is bombarded by microwaves. Satisfied, Dearborn departs the lab, leaving Jonas with the scientists. When one of the scientists points out that Nuform could be deadly if used before it can be properly stabilized. However, all Jonas is interested in is the massive profits that he will reap before any disaster happens.

Meanwhile, in Colorado, an army of Guardsman are transporting Ultron-13 to the Vault for containment.[Continuity 6] Feigning unconsciousness, Ultron manages to use his control over electricity to overload his shackles. Blowing up the prisoner transport, Ultron gloats over his escape. Among the wreckage, he finds the remains of a newspaper report about Nuform and decides that he will take it to make himself more powerful than ever before.

Back in New York City, Spider-Man returns to Empire State University wondering what melted the metal being hauled out off ESU property the night before. He is not the only one who doesn't think that Roxxon isn't on the level as the Black Panther has also arrived to investigate the situation. Agreeing to work with each other, the two heroes spy into the window into the lab. They witness as the Ghost passes through the wall and begins killing the scientists and setting up charges. Spider-Man tries to catch the Ghost in a web net, but the villain turns intangible and it passes harmlessly through him. As Spider-Man dodges blasts from the Ghost's gun, allowing the Black Panther to ambush the villain. Outnumbered, the Ghost turns invisible, leaving the two heroes to deal with the explosives. Recovering the bomb, Spider-Man quickly covers them in webbing so they explode harmlessly. When the Ghost tries to attack Spider-Man from behind, the hero's spider-sense warns him and he is able to land a blow. Hearing the commotion, Arthur Dearborn decides to go an investigate. Back inside, Spider-Man and the Black Panther decide to use their enhanced senses to their benefit. They shut off the lights, leaving the Ghost blind.

However, their plan fails when Dearborn enters the room and turns the lights back on. The Ghost uses this opportunity to take posses of a computer that controls a beam projector. When the Black Panther ends up in its range, Arthur pushes him out of the way and is seemingly incinerated. However, the blast has triggered Dearborn to transform into the Sunturion who vows to kill them all.

This story continues in The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #11...

Appearing in "Spider-Man: Unmasked"

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Synopsis for "Spider-Man: Unmasked"

This issue is a series of profiles that explain Spider-Man's powers, the personal life of Peter Parker including his friends and family, as well as his friends and foes as Spider-Man. All profiles were considered current when this issue was published in 1996.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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