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Marvel Database

Appearing in "Vertigo"

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Synopsis for "Vertigo"

At the Empire State University Administrative Building, Mary Jane is in a psychology session with Doctor Reandeau. Mary Jane is telling the doctor about the financial struggles that she and her husband, Peter, are having now that they are going back to school.[Continuity 1] When asking if Peter will be joining them for this session, Mary Jane is forced to admit that Peter is not very punctual, but she insists that this is because he takes responsibility for everything. As she is telling this to their psychologist, Mary Jane is unaware that Peter -- as Spider-Man -- is clinging to the side of a wall for dear life as a wave of vertigo sweeps him.[Continuity 2] With Paul Stacy's life at risk, the wall-crawler struggles to maintain his focus as he crawls up to an open window. Paul has been targeted by his classmate, Robin Vega who was recently harassed by Paul and the Friends of Humanity for being a mutant. Even though the web-slinger does not like Paul, he can't sit back and let him be murdered. As Spider-Man makes his way to safety, the man who has been observing him has crossed the street to the building and blasts his way into the open office so he can wait for the web-slinger to arrive as they have unfinished business to attend to.

Back at Empire State University, Mary Jane explain to Doctor Reandeau how Peter's sense of responsibility comes after the murder of his Uncle Ben while he was still a teenager.[Continuity 3] While she doesn't think this is a bad thing, she feels that Peter's sense of responsibility overshadows his responsibility as a husband, how she wants him to focus more on their future. She admits that they are still young sometimes she thinks that the pair rushed into getting married.[Continuity 4] When Mary Jane struggles to find words to explain her relationship with Peter, her psychologist tells Mary Jane that she can tell her anything in confidence. Unable to reveal that her husband is really Spider-Man, Mary Jane can only look at the time and wonder what is keeping Peter. While at his apartment, Paul Stacy begins to have doubts about involving himself with the Friends of Humanity, however, he makes him feel like he belongs to something. That's when Robin Vega, in her liquid metal form, comes crashing through his window and asks him if he wants to try intimidating her again.

Back on the side of the building, Spider-Man's spider-sense begins going off, alerting him to the fact that someone in the window is watching him. When he asks for help, the man refuses before blasting the window open. This surprise attack has come from the Shocker who wants to get his final revenge against Spider-Man after all the years of defeat. Caught off guard by the blast, Spider-Man almost ends up falling to his death but manages to grab hold onto a ledge. At ESU, Mary Jane tries to explain how her marriage is unconventional, but not boring. This leads to questions about Peter and Mary Jane's friends. When Mary Jane mentions her friends Gwen Stacy and Harry Osborn, she doesn't want to get into the subject of their deaths.[Continuity 5] Through the entire session, Mary Jane is more focused on what is keeping her husband. While at Paul Stacy's apartment, Robin Vega expresses her anger of constantly being on the run every time she has been outted as a mutant. Shaping her body in more and more violent ways, she explains how she had originally come to kill Paul for ruining her life. However, she quickly resumes a relatively human form and tells him that she has decided not to sink to his level. Shockingly, Paul Stacy is unimpressed by this display. While outside, one of the Friends of Humanity has been staked outside and reports to his masters on what to do next.

Still clinging to for his life, Spider-Man is still trying to fight off his vertigo. It's then that he realizes that he should get some medical help for his condition, but has very limited options in that regard.[Continuity 6] That's when the window above him is shattered by the Shocker. The villain enjoys seeing Spider-Man at his mercy but has noticed that there is something wrong with the wall-crawler. Since he has an upcoming job that will put him in the big leagues, the Shocker decides to spare Spider-Man, reminding the hero how easy it would have been for him to kill Spider-Man. The Shocker leaves Spider-Man to his fate, while at that same moment Mary Jane is telling her psychologist how the two have a committed relationship. As Spider-Man loses his grip and begins to fall, his only thoughts are that of his wife, Mary Jane. While at Paul Stacy's apartment, Paul hopes that Robin is finished with her drama. He admits to her that mutants are beneath his notice and his only interest in the Friend of Humanity was due to the possibility that Spider-Man might be a mutant. Since he is trying to learn if Spider-Man was responsible for the death of his uncle George and cousin Gwen.[Continuity 7] That's when they are suddenly ambushed by members of the Friends of Humanity who have come to kill Robin.

As Paul runs for his life, the attack sets fire to the building. No longer afraid of her pursuers, Robin easily subdues the Friends of Humanity and uses her powers to brand the word "mutie" onto their foreheads. Outside, a crowd has formed to watch the blaze. When Paul notices that a child is trapped inside, he rushes back in to save the young girl. He and the young girl are pulled up to the rooftop by Robin who is convinced that Paul is actually a good man, pointing out that he selflessly saved the young girl without a second thought, pointing out that the girl could grow up to be a mutant. By this time, Mary Jane has returned home to Queens where he Aunt Anna tells her that she has not seen any sign of Peter. Mary Jane figures that wherever Peter is, he is fine, unaware that the only trace of Spider-Man is a scrap of his costume that is hanging off the ledge he has fallen from.

Solicit Synopsis



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. Spider-Man has been suffering from vertigo ever since he was bitten by Morbius the Living Vampire in Spider-Man #77.
  3. Peter's Uncle Ben was murdered by a burglar back in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  4. Peter and Mary Jane were married in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. As per Civil War #2, Peter was 15 when he first got his powers. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, that would have made Peter roughly 21 years old when he and Mary Jane got married. At the time of this story, he would be roughly 23 years old.
  5. These deaths are entangled in Peter's double life as Spider-Man:
  6. Spider-Man states that Reed Richards and Henry Pym are dead. At the time of this story, the members of the Fantastic Four and the Avengers were believed to have died during Onslaught Marvel Universe #1. In reality, they live on in a pocket dimension as seen during the Heroes Reborn event. They will return to their native reality in Heroes Reborn: The Return #14.
  7. George Stacy was killed during a battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus in Amazing Spider-Man #90.

See Also

Links and References


  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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