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Appearing in "Above it All"

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Synopsis for "Above it All"

After the Kingpin of Crime fell it create a void in the New York City underworld.[Continuity 1] Intending to fill this void, the elderly mobster known as Don Fortunato has returned to the city to reclaim the role that was rightfully his many years ago.[Continuity 2] He has set up operations in a grocery store that is a front for his empire. He sits in silence pondering his next move with his loyal wolf, Angel, at his feet. Above him, his minions set up sophisticated defenses and weapons around the base, all cloaked from the naked eye using advanced technology.

Elsewhere in the city, Peter Parker is joining Ben Urich on an investigation for the Daily Bugle. Urich has just leaped across a rooftop and is now telling Peter to man up and make the leap himself. Although Peter has done this countless times before as Spider-Man, he is apprehensive about taking the risk now that he no longer has these powers.[Continuity 3] Peter takes the leap with his eyes closed and almost falls over the edge of the opposite building, but is grabbed by Urich. Ben tells Peter to step on it as they are trying to spy on a secret meeting of high-level crime bosses. At that same moment, Ben Reilly has finished his shift at the Daily Grind after saying goodbye to his boss, Shirley Washington. As he walks through the rain, Ben takes in the sights of New York City, loving every moment of it. That's when a heavyset man pushes past Ben, telling Reilly to get out of his way. This man sets off Ben's spider-sense and as he wonders what the danger could be, a drive-by shooting breaks out. Seeing that Ben is in the line of fire, the large man doubles back and pushes Reilly to the ground, saving his life. As the gunmen chase his savior down an alley, Ben decides that he can't just let them kill the man in the street. At that moment, in Hong Kong, at Stacy and Cheung International Investigation, Arthur Stacy catches up on the news stateside. With articles about Spider-Man, Arthur feels his past catching up to him. Picking up a photo of his family and that of his late brother George and his daughter Gwen, Arthur thinks about how he hasn't forgotten how Spider-Man irreparably changed their lives.[Continuity 4]

Back in New York City, Ben Urich and Peter Parker have broken into an old theater so they can spy on the mob meeting. This meeting is between Hammerhead and Don Fortunato's men. Hammerhead has come to tell Fortunato that after the Kingpin fell, he has taken over the underworld and for the Don to operate in Manhattan, he must be paid tribute. That's when Fortunato's men hand one of Hammerhead's men a briefcase that explodes the moment it is in his hands. Both Peter and Ben watch in horror things get bloody down below. Peter cannot let anyone gets killed and decides to distract the mobsters down below by "accidentally" setting off the flash on his camera. As Fortunato's men open fire at the balcony, Peter and Ben flee for their lives and Hammerhead escapes. While at the other side of town, the man who saved Ben Reilly's life -- Jimmy-6 -- is pinned down in a dead-end alley. There he is struck in the kneecap by enemy fire. That's when Spider-Man steps in and knocks out the assassins and lifts Jimmy to safety of the rooftops. Jimmy protests this intervention as more assassins come arrive on the roof to finish Jimmy off. At that same moment, Peter and Ben Urich manage to get away from their pursuers by hopping into a cab.

By this point, Spider-Man has finished wrapping up the assassins that have been after Jimmy-6, Jimmy makes a run for it. When Spider-Man tries to come to Jimmy's aid, the wall-crawler is told to bug off as he doesn't need help. Not willing to abandon this man, the wall-crawler swings away and changes back into Ben Reilly. He catches up with Jimmy-6 just in time to grab him as he falls down. Ben explains that he came back because he wanted to return the favor when Jimmy save his life. This time, Jimmy accepts the offer for help. At that moment, in Forest Hills, Peter Parker returns home as Mary Jane unpacking the kitchen.[Continuity 5] He is excited after his night out with Ben Urich, with this, their move back to New York, the loss of his powers, and a new baby on the way, he has never felt happier in his life.[Continuity 6] As Peter helps to unpack, suddenly his hand seizes up and he collapses to the floor. Seeing her husband go down, Mary Jane rushes to his side as Peter begins to convulse on the floor. Peter insists that he will be fine, but as he gets worse he tells Mary Jane that he loves her before blacking out. Mary Jane calls for an ambulance and then begins giving her husband CPR, pleading with him to pull through and not leave her and their baby alone.

This story continues in Spectacular Spider-Man #236...


Continuity Notes

  1. The Kingpin lost his criminal empire following the events of Daredevil #300.
  2. Don Fortunato's previous criminal empire was explored in Amazing Spider-Man #-1.
  3. At the time of this story, Peter had just recently lost his powers in Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #4. These abilities will eventually return in Spectacular Spider-Man #237.
  4. Arthur's brother, George, was killed during a battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus in Amazing Spider-Man #90. George's daughter Gwen was later murdered by the Green Goblin in Amazing Spider-Man #121.
  5. 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.
  6. Mary Jane announced she was pregnant in Spectacular Spider-Man #220. Peter and Mary Jane moved to Portland and Peter lost his powers in Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #15. They decided to move back to New York last issue.

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