Appearing in "Brainstorm!"

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  • None

Synopsis for "Brainstorm!"

At the new Mad Dog Ward, Doctor Hope has finished the latests tests on patient 2020, aka Brainstorm, causing him to transform into a primitive beast that is ruled by his lizard brain.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man has decided to take Captain Zero under his wing and help him hone his skills so he can perform rescues without causing harm to others or damage to property. Using a dummy, Spider-Man performs a mock rescue and demonstrates to the Captain how to complete the task. However, when Captain Zero tries it out for himself, not only does he cause some property damage, he also manages to puncture the training dummy in the process. Although Zero is hard on himself for failing on this practice run, the wall-crawler tells him that he needs to continue honing his skills. Running late for a meeting, Spider-Man heads to a nearby hospital. Changing back into Peter Parker, he meets up with reporter Maggie Laroca. He offers her an excuse for running late. Hearing his explanation, she reminds him of the report they did on Liars Anonymous, and how she had a follow-up interview with the founder. He had told her that people don't just lie out of convenience, but to cover up an inability to face who they really are. Peter brushes off this insight and asks how her current investigation is going.

She has been trying to track down Doctor Hope, the former director of Plesant Valley Mental Hospital and their Mad Dog Ward.[Continuity 1] Their search has brought them to this hospital, where Hope has been confined to their high-security wing. As they look around, Peter once again begins questioning why he lies to people all the time. He is certain that he does so to protect his secret identity, but begins to wonder if he is really hiding who he really is. Meanwhile, Peter's wife Mary Jane has come to the neighborhood of the little boy who she found on her roof earlier that day.[Continuity 2] Daniel spots her and invites her into one of the abandoned warehouses. There she is surprised to find a strange wonder-world have been constructed within. This is the world of an elderly African-American man, who has been caring for the boy. She is surprised to hear that the old man also believes that Daniel is an alien and asks Mary Jane that if she wants to help the boy, she can assist in their attempts to contact his family in outer space.

Back at the hospital, Maggie Lorca and Peter Parker meet with the administrator only to be stonewalled on getting any information on Doctor Hope. The pair leaves with Maggie vowing to write a piece on how he refused to assist them. Once outside though, Maggie admits to Peter that she was only bluffing. However, her words bother the administrator enough that he places a call and demands something be done to distract her at the Daily Bugle while they move the Mad Dog Ward elsewhere. Listening to these orders the head doctor prepares to shut down operations and tell Doctor Hope that it is time to unleash MD 2020. Hope thinks this is mad, as his patient is not yet ready for field operations. Later, Mary Jane is waiting outside the Daily Bugle to meet her husband for lunch. Spotting Peter out with Maggie Lorca makes her upset, because she fears that the two may be having an affair and leaves. As Peter approaches the Bugle building, his spider-sense begins to go off. He tells Maggie that he has got to go, and as an afterthought, he thinks that Mary Jane will be understanding that he missed their lunch date to investigate this warning. Changing into Spider-Man, Peter looks around from the rooftops and finds nothing amiss.

When Maggie comes out of a coffee shop, she is suddenly pulled into an alley by a massive man in a trench coat and hat. Spider-Man swings down to help her, and is horrified when he gets a good look at the reptilian face of her attacker. Removing the trenchcoat, the lizard-like Brainstorm attacks the wall-crawler, ranting about the mankind's return to its primitive beginnings. As they fight, Spider-Man is suddenly jolted backward by a telepathic attack that floods his mind with images of dinosaur-men, leaving him open to attack from Brainstorm. At that very moment, Mary Jane has gone to the local child welfare office. There, she is still upset that Peter stood her up for Maggie Lorca, however, she still refuses to completely believe that his regular lies are covering up a secret affair. As she sits in the waiting room, she is recognized for her role on "Secret Hospital" by one of the other women. When she learns that Mary Jane is trying to find Daniel a home, the woman figures that the boy is doomed because anyone looking to adopt a child these days is looking for a baby. She then suggests that Mary Jane should do a story about this on her soap opera. When Mary Jane points out that she doesn't have any control over her character on the show, the woman asks if Mary Jane is saying that about her character, or herself.

Back on the rooftops, Spider-Man continues to get trounced by Brainstorm and is sent falling into a nearby alley. Still being affected by the creature's mental transmitter, Spider-Man begins to flee due to a triggered fear response. Confused, he briefly sees people on the street as his friends and loved ones. All of them blame Spider-Man for lying to them all the time. Shaking his head, the web-slinger realizes that he was hallucinating. Brainstorm attacks again, taking their fight to a nearby construction site. There, the wall-crawler is stunned by another mental blast. While the hero is disorientated, Brainstorm picks Spider-Man up and dumps him inside a cement mixer and turns it on. While back at home, Mary Jane is upset that Peter didn't leave a message and decides to go out and do her own thing, figuring that when her husband is ready to deal with her, he can come looking for her. While elsewhere in the city, Captain Zero decides he has had enough practice and goes looking for crimes being committed in the area. While not far away, Maggie notices the ground starts shaking again and realizes that Brainstorm is stalking her once more. Lastly, Spider-Man struggles to get free from the cement mixer, but the images forced into his mind make it difficult and he fears that he may drown unless he can do something to free himself.


Continuity Notes

  1. Spider-Man ran afoul of the Mad Dog Ward during the Mad Dog Ward event.
    Life in the Mad Dog Ward
    Web of Spider-Man #33 Amazing Spider-Man #295 Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #133
  2. 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.

See Also


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