Appearing in "Light the Night!"
- Sarah Klein (First appearance)
- Charlie Buchanan
- Jack Steuben (Only appearance) (Carnival Ringmaster)
- Herbie (Bartender)
- Anna (Store Clerk) (First appearance)
Races and Species:
- New York City
- Steuben's Travelling Freak Show
Synopsis for "Light the Night!"
Max Dillon is being strapped into an electric chair. He's not the least bit concerned. When the switch is thrown by the executioner, Dillon screams in pain and is seemingly killed. However, when he opens his eyes again, the audience watching this mock execution begins to cheer. Dillon has retired from his criminal career to become a sideshow attraction. This is a humiliating job for him and he reaches the limit when a carnival barker makes him put a lightbulb in his mouth. Hearing the audience laughing at him angers Max to the point where he overcharges the light bulb and it explodes.
The next day, at the Top of New York hotel, a petty crook named Charlie Buchanan is in the process of robbing an elderly man. The robbery is interrupted by the arrival of Spider-Man. As it turns out, Charlie was bluffing about having a gun and makes a run for it. Before the wall-crawler can go after him, he hears a traffic accident from below. Spider-Man stops an out of control cab and pulls the driver free from the wreck. When he swings back up to the hotel and frees the old man who is tied up and assures him that he will catch Buchanan. When the man asks how he will find the crook, Spider-Man tells him that he never forgets a face. Spider-Man searches the neighborhood but can't find the crook. He has to stop the search, Spider-Man heads back to the Daily Bugle where he is running late for an appointment with publisher J. Jonah Jameson. Jonah is upset that Peter is late for his meeting Sarah Klein who wants Peter to take promotional photos of the Top of New York hotel.[Continuity 1]
The following day, Charlie Buchanan is at a bar drinking away his sorrows. He tells the bartender that he keeps on running afoul of Spider-Man. In fact, the hero has captured him a total of six times over his criminal career. Adding insult to injury, every time Spider-Man caught him, the hero never remembered who he was.[Continuity 2] Meanwhile, Max Dillon is back in the city trying to figure out his next move. When he walks into a store to purchase a bottle of booze, he is ignored by the cashier who is too busy gossiping with one of the locals to serve him. With a storm raging, Max walks down to the countryside where he curses the heavens that he is a nobody. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning strikes him. As he attracts more lightning, Max Dillon refuses to be a nobody anymore, reminding himself that he is Electro. He then sits down on the ground to think about what he can do to show the world that he is a big man and suddenly gets some inspiration. Back at the Daily Bugle from Sarah Klein that the Top of New York has been spending a fortune renovating the building to restore its original art-deco appearance. Peter also finds out that Sarah is actually the daughter of a close friend of Jameson's and that is the only reason why he is sending Parker to take the photos. Sarah tells Peter that if he does a good enough job taking photos of a charity gala it could be a lucrative job. As Peter walks out, Jonah warns Peter not to be late for a meeting again.
Later, having changed back into Spider-Man, Peter happens upon a purse snatching. He quickly corners the thief. It is none other than Charlie Buchanan, and he is once more upset that Spider-Man has nabbed him. This time, Buchanan has a gun and he threatens to shoot the wall-crawler. Spider-Man calls his bluff as his spider-sense is not going off, and sure enough, the gun isn't loaded. Spider-Man quickly knocks out Buchanan with a single blow. Noticing that this crook reacted as though he had past encounters with Spider-Man, the wall-crawler gets a closer look of Charles but doesn't recognize him. The following morning, Peter is awoken by a phone call from his Aunt May who is worried about him. When she starts fussing over how "fragile" he is, Peter loses his temper and snaps at her. He quickly realizes what he has done and apologizes, then agrees to go over for dinner. Later that day, Max Dillon arrives in Manhattan and crosses paths with Charlie Buchanan, who is begging for change. Max doesn't buy Buchanan's story that he is a homeless veteran and tells him to get lost.[Continuity 3] When Dillon sees the Top of New York hotel he suddenly has inspiration. That's when he notices that Charles is still pestering him for change. He tells Buchanan to get lost and fires a bolt of electricity. Realizing what he has done, Max Dillon makes a run for it. However, Charles Buchanan isn't thinking of that, as he is looking up at the Top of New York building himself, and is also struck by sudden inspiration.
Later in a sleazy hotel room, Max Dillon is putting on his Electro costume. He has finally come up with a way to be the big man he has always wanted to be. He fires a bolt of electricity out his window. It strikes the Top of New York's rooftop sign shorting out all the lights on the display. Satisfied that he is at his peak, Electro intends to light up the entire night.
- Jameson calls Peter a high school kid. Peter corrects him by saying he hasn't been in high school for years. Peter started working for the Daily Bugle when he was in high school in Amazing Spider-Man #2. Peter graduated high school in Amazing Spider-Man #28. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, Peter graduated from high school roughly 8 years prior to this story.
- Two of Charles Buchanan's previous arrests were chronicled in Amazing Spider-Man #3 and 4.
- Charles states that he fought in the Vietnam War. Although he is lying, this should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters: