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Appearing in "The Promise"

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Synopsis for "The Promise"

After some of his men failed to eliminate Hammerhead, Don Fortunato has decided to make an example of them. To show his other minions the price of failure, Fortunato has the two men dropped down a well, at the bottom is a pack of hungry wolves that devour the two men. Turning to the observers, he warns his men that any further failures will be treated the same way.

Meanwhile, at the New York University Medical Center, Peter Parker clings to life as his body is wracked with seizures due to an unknown illness. As his wife Mary Jane watches on, Curt Connors and his team of doctors manage to stabilize Peter for the time being.[Continuity 1] Mary Jane then pulls Connors aside and asks for the truth. Sadly, Curt doesn't think they will be able to cure Peter and he may not live through the night. Putting on a brave face, Mary Jane goes back into the room and spends time with her husband who is exhausted after his ordeal. He learns that Ben hasn't arrived yet and Mary Jane tells him to get some rest, promising to be by his side when he wakes up. At that moment, Ben Reilly is out as Spider-Man investigating a strange train robbery that appears to have been committed by the Trapster. This is yet another in a series of robberies, apparently committed by other criminals including the Ringer and the Shocker. This leaves the wall-crawler to wonder if all of these criminals are working together.[Continuity 2] Realizing that he is late to meet up with Peter and Mary Jane at the hospital, Spider-Man swings off to the hospital.

At that moment, an emergency room doctor ducks into a room to get some rest after a particularly busy night. Unfortunately, his rest is interrupted by Hammerhead who threatens the doctor with a gun and demands immediate medical attention after his encounter with Don Fortunato's men. By this point, Ben Reilly has arrived at Peter room to meet up with his "cousin" and Mary Jane. After sending Mary Jane off to get something to eat, Peter asks Ben to do him a favor.[Continuity 3] Ben tells Peter he will do whatever is asked of him. That's when Peter tells Ben that he is dying, and figures it is due to the cellular degeneration that affects all of the Jackal's clones.[Continuity 4] He asks Ben to look after Mary Jane and his baby after he dies. Ben promises to do just that and a relieved and exhausted Peter Parker slips back asleep.

Meanwhile, Hammerhead's wounds have been patched up and he begins thinking about his next move.[Continuity 5] Peeking out of the hospital room, Hammerhead spots Ben Urich talking on a nearby payphone. Remembering how Urich was present when Fortunato's minions attempt on his life and decide that he and the reporter need to have a talk. Back upstairs, Ben Reilly is leaving Peter's room when he runs into Mary Jane. When he tries to talk to her about what Peter told him, she stops him saying that she needs to believe Peter will pull through this, reminding Ben that they are fighters. Ben understands, hugs Mary Jane and then goes downstairs for coffee. At that moment, outside Ben Reilly's apartment, Jimmy-6 knocks at the door. With his life still in jeopardy, Jimmy needs a place to lay low and decided to take Ben Reilly up on his offer to crash at his place. Fearing that he is being observed, Jimmy uses a pocket knife to pick the lock to Ben's apartment and invites himself in. Back at the medical center, Ben Reilly bumps into Ben Urich. Their talk about Peter's condition is interrupted when suddenly Hammerhead reaches out from the room behind Urich and pulls him in, just as Reilly's spider-sense begins going off. Putting a gun in Urich's face, Hammerhead demands the reporter to tell him what he knows about Don Fortunato's hit on him.

That's when Spider-Man comes crashing into the room to stop him from harming Ben Urich. The wall-crawler is looking forward to talking to Hammerhead about his recent battle with an assassin named Delilah.[Continuity 6] Hammerhead doesn't know what the wall-crawler is talking about but is spoiling for a rematch. That's when the mobster rips open his shirt revealing an exoskeleton he recently started wearing again to boost his powers.[Continuity 7] As the two battle it out, Spider-Man seals off the hallway in webbing to prevent the mobster from grabbing any hostages. When the web-slinger rips off the power packs from Hammerhead's exoskeleton, stripping him of his enhanced strength. Unwilling to surrender, Hammerhead begins shooting his gun. Although Spider-Man dodges the bullets, they strike some nearby oxygen tanks causing an explosion. As Spider-Man recovers from the blast, Hammerhead manages to get away.

That's when he overhears a code blue being called to Peter Parker's room. Fearing the worst, Spider-Man rushes to Peter's room. With his vital signs fading, Peter reminds Ben of his promise. He then tells Mary Jane that he loves her. Peter then begins to black out as his heart monitor begins to flatline.


Continuity Notes

  1. 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.
  2. The "Ringer" and "Shocker" robberies were committed in Sensational Spider-Man #7 and Amazing Spider-Man #414 respectively. However, all three of these robberies were committed by the Looter, as revealed in Sensational Spider-Man #8.
  3. Mary Jane's pregnancy is mentioned here. She has been pregnant since Spectacular Spider-Man #220.
  4. At the time of this story, Peter Parker was led to believe that he was a clone and that Ben Reilly was the original Spider-Man in Spectacular Spider-Man #226. This is a deception created by the Green Goblin as revealed in Osborne Journals #1. Peter mentions how he retired as Spider-Man, that happened in Spectacular Spider-Man #229.
  5. Hammerhead mentions the recent fall of the Kingpin, that happened in Daredevil #300.
  6. Delilah claimed she was hired by Hammerhead in Amazing Spider-Man #414, when in reality she is in the employ of the Rose.
  7. Hammerhead states that this is the same exoskeleton that was given to him by the Tinkerer in Fantastic Four #233.

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