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Appearing in "Why Me?"

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Synopsis for "Why Me?"

At the offices of the Daily Bugle, Peter Parker has turned in exclusive on-set photos of the upcoming Arnold Schwartzenheimer film. Joe is surprised that Mary Jane took the role since Peter had an issue with the nude scenes.[Continuity 1] Peter tells Joe that she didn't actually take the role, but was able to get him on set for some pre-publicity photos.[Continuity 2] Joe pays Peter a generous bonus for his work. That's when J. Jonah Jameson comes bursting in the room. He is angry that the mail room delivered him a message intended for Spider-Man by Captain Britain. Peter takes a look at it and discovers it is a call for help. He believes the authenticity of the note since it is attached to broken staff that resembles Captain Britain's own power staff. Peter hopes that Mary Jane will understand when Peter has to use his bonus money on a trip to England to help out Captain Britain. The only clue he has to the Captain's whereabouts is a single clue on the note, the word "Sherlock".

The next day, Spider-Man finds himself atop Big Ben in the pouring rain, trying to make sense of the map he purchased. He is determined to try and find Captain Britain because of their past association.[Continuity 3] Spider-Man eventually gets himself to Baker Street, the fictional home of Sherlock Holmes. As Spider-Man scopes out the scene, he is caught by surprise when the stone gargoyle he is standing on comes to life and starts attacking him. Spider-Man is pulled into the sky. He manages to kick into the side of the gargoyle, revealing it to be a robot. Before he can get free, the web-slinger is sprayed in the face with knock out gas and dropped down a smoke stack. This stack is actually tunnel that dumps him in a park someplace else. There he is confronted by what appears to be the Juggernaut. As Spider-Man defends himself, he notices that the structure nearby is the Arc de Triomphe and doesn't understand how he can suddenly be in France. Even more bizarre, the Juggernaut suddenly begins to fly. He then webs up his foe and forces him to crash to the ground near the Eiffel Tower. There the masked hero is confronted by the members of Excalibur, who act as though he is the Juggernaut and he has attacked their teammate Captain Britain. Much to the wall-crawler's surprise, Captain Britain pulls himself out of the crater where the "Juggernaut" crash landed. Although he isn't sure why Phoenix is among the rest of his team, Captain Britain joins the members of Excalibur in trying to stop the "Juggernaut".[Continuity 4]

Spider-Man begins climbing up the Eiffel Tower, and seeing the "Juggernaut" climbing up the side of the building so quickly, Captain Britain tells his teammates to hold back. That's when the demons D'Spayre and Nightmare appear, claiming responsibility for the illusions. Phoenix remembers the pair from their previous encounters.[Continuity 5] When she tries to attack D'Spayre, she is easily swatted aside. As Spider-Man swings down to rescue Rachel Summers, Captain Britain goes after D'Spayre. The rest of the team faces Nightmare and are seemingly wrapped up by by Eiffel Tower. As the battle rages on, Captain Britain watches in horror as his teammates are seemingly crushed to death and goes into a rage. Meanwhile, Spider-Man tries to give Phoenix, but it doesn't seem to work. Realizing something strange is going on, Spider-Man plunges his fist into Phoenix's chest. This apparently gives Spider-Man the power of the Phoenix and he uses this power to destroy Nightmare and D'Spayre, saving Captain Britain. This attack wipes him out and Spider-Man begins to fall out of the sky. Captain Britain saves the wall-crawler from a deadly fall. The hero reveals that Phoenix was a robot and he pulled out her inner workings, and it was that made him appear as though he gained the power of the Phoenix. This gives Captain Britain hope that his "teammates" were robots as well.

The pair compare notes, and Spider-Man learns that Captain Britain's ally, Dai Thomas, had gotten a similar message for Captain Britain that Spider-Man received in New York. As the pair begin to wonder who is responsible for this trap, they are ambushed by what appears to be the Rhino, Doctor Octopus, the Vulture, the Green Goblin, Vermin, the Lizard, Silvermane, the Tarantula, and the Scorpion. Knowing that some of these villains are at least dead or incarcerated, Spider-Man correctly deduces that they are robotic constructs as well. Captain Britain assures Spider-Man that he can handle the situation as he is not the "wannabe" super-hero he was when he and Spider-Man first met.[Continuity 6] The pair make short work of the robots and they begin wondering who is responsible for everything that happens. Thinking there is an illusionary aspect to this trap, the quickly realize that they are wearing some camouflaged helmets that have altered their perceptions. Upon ripping them off, they discover that they are not in France, but a massive underground complex. The removal of the headgear causes the high tech equipment to short out and blow up. Thanks to Captain Britain's ability to fly, the two heroes manage to get out before they are caught in the explosions.

Later, at Darkmoore Prison, Arcade is visited by what appears to be his assistant Miss Locke. He explains his entire revenge scheme was orchestrated using some Shi'ar technology he recently obtained from one of their foot-soldiers.[Continuity 7] After he gloats over the useless Earth material he traded the Shi'ar for the technology, he begins to laugh.[Continuity 8] After this confession, "Miss Locke" turns out to be Meggan, Captain Britain's teammate. She is joined by the Captain and Spider-Man who reveal that they are alive and well and that the parole board will be interested in hearing about his recent assassination attempt.


Continuity Notes

  1. 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.
  2. Mary Jane was offered the role from Spider-Man #18 but ultimately turned it down in Spider-Man #23.
  3. Brain Braddock, aka Captain Britain, briefly billotted with Peter Parker and fought along side Spider-Man in Marvel Team-Up #6566.
  4. At the time of this story, Phoenix recently went into space, as seen in Excalibur #52.
  5. Excalibur encountered both demons in Excalibur #29 and 35 respectively.
  6. This is a reference to a flashback in Excalibur #53 wherein a novice Captain Britain came seeking Spider-Man's expertise on being a super-hero.
  7. A footnote states that this happened during Operation Galactic Storm, however this is something that happened behind the scenes as this deal was not depicted during that event.
  8. Arcade states that he exchanged some exotic tapes on VHS. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.

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