Appearing in "The Mutant Factor!"
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "The Mutant Factor!"
Spider-Man is web-slinging across the city out looking for the mutant known as the Beast. He thinks back to the events that happened that brought him there. He and his wife Mary Jane were discussing the possibility of having children.[Continuity 1] On top of the large responsibility, they would have as parents, there are also other concerns. Namely, what affect Peter's altered genetics would do to their child. Peter recalls the troubles Reed and Sue Richards had with their son Franklin, and Sue's recent miscarriage.[Continuity 2] They fear that their child could be born a mutant, or complications during pregnancy could cost Mary Jane her life. Since Peter doesn't have the answers and having just read about the Beast making an giving a lecture at Empire State University. Spider-Man finishes his recollection just as he arrives at Empire State University. There he witnesses a large group of protestors waiting outside the lecture hall.
Meanwhile, at a nearby hospital, a doctor and a nurse are checking in on a patient. The patient appears to be doing fine when suddenly he transforms into a massive form and attacks them, then leaves the hospital. Back at Empire State University, a mutant woman calling herself Powerhouse has come to attack the protestors because of their anti-mutant bigotry. this leads to a battle with the Beast. As the crowd runs to safety, Spider-Man swings in to lend the Beast a hand. While Spider-Man fights Powerhouse, the Beast turns his attention to her partner, another mutant calling himself Masterblaster, knocking him out with a single blow. Meanwhile, Spider-Man begins to feel weak as he succumbs to Powerhouse's ability to absorb the strength of the others. With Masterblaster down for the count, the Beast comes to Spider-Man's aid. While Powerhouse is distracted, Spider-Man's strength quickly returns to him and he knocks her out with a single blow. Hearing police sirens approaching, Spider-Man and the Beast agree to depart. On a nearby rooftop, the wall-crawler explains his situation and asks for the Beast's advice. However, the mutant cannot say with any certainty what can happen if Spider-Man and his wife have a child. It could be normal or born a mutant, or with a physical or mental disability. He points out the troubles of a child that is born different, particularly if it is a mutant, they will have to deal with prejudice and fear from others. The web-slinger thanks Beast for his advice, and asks him to keep the fact that he is married a secret.
Their conversation is suddenly interrupted by yet another rampage, this time caused by the mutant from the hospital. The two heroes leap down to the street and battle it out with the rampaging mutant. The Beast is knocked aside, and while Spider-Man clashes with the mutant, they end up smashing through the street into the sewers below. By the time the Beast as recovered and leaps down after them, Spider-Man has just finished webbing up the mutant. Unfortunately, the webbing isn't strong enough and the mutant breaks free. It knocks the Beast aside once more and then grabs Spider-Man by the throat and attempts to drown the wall-crawler in the fetid waters of the sewer. The wall-crawler struggles to get free but can't get enough leverage. His mind focuses on the idea of having children, and remembers how his own parents lived a life of danger and died, leaving him orphaned.[Continuity 3] Suddenly, two others arrive on the scene and recognize the rampaging mutant as their son Joey. When they call out to Joey, he lets go of Spider-Man. The wall-crawler is surprised when the massive creature suddenly changes shape into an infant child.
Talking to the couple, they learn that their child was sick and was brought to the hospital.[Continuity 4] They were going to leave the boy there in the hopes that he was given a better life. The Beast offers to connect them with a facility called the Nursery, which helps parents who have mutant children. In the aftermath of the situation, Beast has some more advice for Spider-Man: No matter what his child turns out to be, he will love it no matter what. When the wall-crawler returns home, Mary Jane tells him that she has a lot to think about when it comes to having children. The couple both agree that they have plenty of time to decide to have a family. Peter agrees to take it slow but assures her that when they do have children, they will be the best parents they can be.
- Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage was erased from existence by the demon Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.
- Due to her exposure to cosmic rays, Sue Richards has had complicated pregnancies. Her first son, Franklin was born after some complications in Fantastic Four Annual #5. Her second child died during childbirth in Fantastic Four #267. However, years later, this second child was resurrected by her brother as seen in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #54.
- Peter Parker's parents were CIA agents who were killed in the line of duty as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5.
- Although not implicitly stated here, Joey and his parents are members of the Morlocks. This is specified in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #7.
- The cover of this issue is one of the 21 that appears in the comic gallery from the Sega CD version of the video game The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin.
- Only one page of original art for this issue still exists, as the original art for the rest of the story was destroyed when Erik Larsen's house was destroyed during the 1991 Oakland fire.