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Appearing in "You've Got to Have Friends (of Humanity?)"

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Synopsis for "You've Got to Have Friends (of Humanity?)"

Running late for classes at Empire State University, Peter Parker swings to school and ducks into an unused office to change into his civilian clothes. Just as he finishes, Paul Stacy begins banging on the door to be let in. Robin Vega -- who will be using the office in her capacity as Doctor Lanning's senior assistant -- insists that there isn't a lock on the door. Slipping out the window carefully sneaks out of the office careful not to be spotted by student protestors on the quad and campus security. Going around the corner, Peter offers his aid to help open the door, telling him that they sometimes stick. Using his spider-strength, Peter shoves the door open and quickly scrapes off the webbing he used to seal the door and stuffs it in his pocket. He then asks Paul if he can reschedule their tutoring session as he has some scheduling conflicts. Paul tells Peter that this is his problem as he doesn't have any more free time and if Peter wants to benefit from his tutoring, Parker will need to work out of his schedule. After Stacy storms off, Robin introduces herself to Peter. Hearing that she is going to be heading up the Lanning project instead of Paul Stacy pleases Peter greatly and offers to take her out for coffee to get to know her better.

As they pass through the student demonstration, Robin explains how she decided on working on Lanning's project because it has to do with her field of study, metallurgical properties. She then asks him what life is like on campus and Peter tells her that it is usually quiet. Today there is a rally being held by the Friends of Humanity, and their representative Donovan Zane, who is attempting to take over leadership after the death of their leader, the late Graydon Creed.[Continuity 1] As Donovan takes the stage to address the students, he begins a racist anti-mutant speech. Peter stops to take photos, telling Robin that he is a freelance photographer. However, hearing Donovan Zane's speech about mutants hiding among them stops her dead in her tracks and she abruptly runs away. This concerns Peter, but he is distracted by the arrival of his wife Mary Jane and her friend Jill Stacy.[Continuity 2] As Zane Donovan's speech heats up, Mary Jane suggests they go somewhere else as Peter is getting visibly upset, and reminds him that they have a couple's therapy session coming up. That's when Zane Donovan begins burning an effigy of Spider-Man, and proclaiming to the frenzied crowd that the wall-crawler is a mutant that needs to be driven out.[Continuity 3] That's when Peter spots Paul Stacy on stage, shaking hands with Zane.

Later, at the Friends of Humanity Compound in Westchester, Donovan Zane welcomes Paul Stacy among their ranks. However, Paul isn't certain that he wants to join the Friends of Humanity, and seeing the massive mansion, he wonders what he could possibly offer the organization. Zane begins telling him about the Friend's mandate to protect human purity. To punctuate his ideas, he finds a hybrid plant among his "pure" flower garden and plucks it out. This bigoted speech is interrupted when a young man leaps over the retaining wall and confronts Zane about his racist ideas. He tells Donovan that his sister was a mutant and after constant harassment from people like the Friends of Humanity, she committed suicide. This does little to sway Donovan who has his men beat the young man up and toss him off the property. Zane concludes by telling Paul that they will need the best and brightest minds to help protect humanity against the threat of mutants. Finally being respected for his abilities, Paul begins to smile.

Back at Empire State University, things between protestors and counter-protestors get heated and a fight breaks out. Seeing this, Peter tells Mary Jane to get to safety and slips away to change into Spider-Man. As the wall-crawler tries to stop the riot, he realizes that these people are too consumed by hatred to even hear his usual quips. When some of the Friends of Humanity accuse a woman of being a mutant they attempt to stone her. However, Spider-Man manages to shield the woman with his webbing. Unfortunately, he is doing nothing to quell the angry mob, who accuse him of being a mutant. When campus security arrives on the scene, they tell Spider-Man to get lost as he is only making things worse. Realizing that they are right, the wall-crawler flees. His departure is observed by a bearded man who knew that if he bided his time he would eventually cross paths with Spider-Man again. After the mob is disbursed, Peter and Mary Jane return to the quad. There, Peter thinks he is useless in a situation like this, saying it is easier battling a foe like Doctor Octopus. That's when they spot Paul Stacy having a heated discussion with Robin Vega.

Paul tells her that the Friends of Humanity know who and what she is and they don't want her kind on campus. That's when the Parkers intervene, Paul isn't phased by Peter's attempt to be a hero and tells Peter to stay out of his way in the future. As he leaves, Paul warns Robin to take what he said seriously. When Peter and Mary Jane try to find out what's wrong, Robin is too upset to talk about it and runs off. Deciding to get to the bottom of this, Peter follows Robin up to the roof of the science building. There she reveals to Peter that she is a mutant and has been forced out of towns in the past. Regardless of her attempts to hide who she is, someone always finds out what she really is and she has to start her life all over again. She admits that she has never used her mutant powers before and has spent her entire life trying to suppress them. Having had enough, she reveals her true nature by transforming into a liquid metal form. She has now decided that she is going to take control of her life and go after those that would seek to harm her. Before Peter can talk sense into her, Robin's liquid metal form flows down the side of the building and out of sight. Not wanting things to escalate, Peter decides that there is another way he can approach this.

Later, on the balcony of his penthouse apartment, Paul Stacy realizes that the Friends of Humanity have been manipulating him into doing what they want. It's there that he is confronted by Spider-Man who informs Paul that he knows about his involvement with the Friends and how he has been harassing his classmate, Robin Vega. However, Paul isn't impressed with being questioned by Spider-Man and questions if the wall-crawler will kill him if he doesn't comply. Spider-Man denies he would do such a thing, but Paul brings up the fact that he was involved in the death of his uncle George and his cousin Gwen.[Continuity 4] Paul goes on to say that the reason why the Friends of Humanity are appealing to him is that if superhumans like Spider-Man still existed, George and Gwen would still be alive today. When Spider-Man tries to warn Paul that Robin Vega might be coming after him, the wall-crawler is suddenly struck with another bout of vertigo, a side-effect of being bitten by Morbius the Living Vampire.[Continuity 5] As he struggles for balance, Spider-Man is pushed over the edge of the balcony by Paul Stacy.

Firing a web-line, Spider-Man manages to save himself from a fatal fall, unaware that he is being watched by the same man who saw him at Empire State Univesity. Unable to hold onto the web for much longer, Spider-Man clings to the side of the building. However, the vertigo refuses to go away, leaving Spider-Man to wonder how long he can cling to the side of this wall before he ends up falling to his death.

Solicit Synopsis

From THE PAGES OF THE X-Men strike THE FRIENDS OF HUMANITY! Get an inside view of the hate-mongering anti-mutant movement as Paul Stacy becomes deeply involved in the group's E.S.U. chapter.

Notes

Continuity Notes

  1. At the time of this story, Graydon Creed was recently assassinated in X-Factor #130.
  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.
  3. Donovan mentions the apparent deaths of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. At the time of this story, both groups were believed to have died during the events of Onslaught Marvel Universe #1. In reality, they survived and are currently living in a pocket dimension as seen in the Heroes Reborn event. They will later return to their proper home in Heroes Reborn: The Return #1-4.
  4. George and Gwen Stacy both were killed during two separate Spider-Man battles in Amazing Spider-Man #90 and 121 respectively.
  5. Morbius bit Spider-Man in Spider-Man #77.

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