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Appearing in "Sin-Cere"

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Other Characters:




  • None

Synopsis for "Sin-Cere"

Stan Carter sits silently in his room at a mental institution. He is haunted by the illusion of his alter-ego the Sin Eater, who tells Stan that they will never be separate. Outside, two nurses stand by the door, discussing Carter's impending release. They still think he is crazy and wonders why nobody visits him. Inside, the specter of the Sin Eater is angered by their mockery and suggests that Stan blow them away. However, Stan won't do it as he is intent that he has been cured. While in a nearby office, a group of mental health specialists debates on setting Stan Carter free. While Dr. Costello believes that Stan is well enough to be released, his colleagues aren't convinced. As they deliberate, Dr. Lopez isn't familiar with the case. His colleagues explain that Stan Carter used to be an agent of SHIELD. He was part of an experiment to test out the strength-enhancing properties of illicit drugs. The drugs drove him berserk and ultimately he was discharged from SHIELD after the drugs were seemingly purged from his system. He ended up becoming a detective for the NYPD. Tragedy struck when Stan's partner was killed in the line of duty. This caused a bout of depression and alcoholism that reactivated the drugs that had been laying dormant in his system. Deciding to kill those he thought were responsible for the corruption of society, he adopted the identity of the Sin Eater. They then outline his victims, Captain Jean DeWolff, Judge Horace Rosenthal, and Reverend Bernard Finn. He was eventually captured by Spider-Man and Daredevil, although the wall-crawler seriously beat Sin Eater before his arrest.[Continuity 1] Concluding their review of Carter's case, Dr. Costello concludes that SHIELD examined him and gave him a clean bill of health with no chance of a relapse. Also, they intend to keep an eye on Carter and make sure he continues regular counseling sessions. Back in his cell, Carter continues to ignore the taunts of the Sin Eater when Dr. Costello enters the room. When the doctor asks if Stan would like to go home, he tells Costello that he would.

Meanwhile, at the apartment shared by Peter Parker and his newlywed wife, Mary Jane sets up an automatic camera to take photos of herself in a bikini.[Continuity 2] She hopes to convince him to give up his job shooting photos at the Daily Bugle and pursue a career in photography for modeling agencies. She hopes that these racy photos will help convince him. However, as she poses for the photos, Peter sneaks up on her by crawling on the wall and catches her by surprise. Elsewhere in the city, Max Dillon walks the street brooding over his many incarcerations during his career as Electro. Many of these arrests were thanks to the meddling of Spider-Man.[Continuity 3] Deciding to commit a robbery more subtly, Max enters a jewelry shop. There, Dillon pulls a toy gun out of his pocket and demands the clerk hand over the jewels. The clerk scoffs at the gun, but Dillon uses his electrical powers to make the gun appear to fire a bolt of electricity. When the clerk's assistant comes out of the back room, he complies with Max's demands.

Not far away, Peter and Mary Jane are trying to determine where to go out for dinner. Passing a newspaper stand, Peter is horrified to see the news that Stan Carter is going to be released from custody. Peter is furious because Carter killed Jean DeWolff. However, Mary Jane tells her husband that he can't follow Carter everywhere to make sure he stays inline. However, Peter suspects that Stan won't need to know that if he puts enough fear into the man. This frightens Mary Jane, and although Peter apologizes he still heads off to set his plan into motion. Back at his apartment, Peter calls Joe Robertson at the Bugle to get Stan Carter's address. Changing into Spider-Man, Spider-Man swings off toward Carter's apartment. He hates the fact that he had to leave his wife but thinks she wouldn't understand how Stan Carter duped him while he was investigating Jean DeWolff's murder. However, Peter wonders if this about Carter's victims or his own pride. Soon Spider-Man arrives near Stan Cater's apartment to discover that there is a media circus surrounding the building. The wall-crawler is disgusted when he witnesses a personal agent addressing the throng of reporters. This convinces Spider-Man that he is doing the right thing and he slips into Stan's apartment through a window.

There he confronts Stan Carter and is shocked to discover that Carter walks with a limp and speaks with a stutter. Unphased by the hero's intrusion, Stan invites the wall-crawler in for coffee. Discovering that Stan is also hard of hearing, Spider-Man asks if he sustained these injuries. Stan tells him that when Spider-Man attacked him he broke Carter's jaw, clavicle, and inner ear among other injuries. He assures Spider-Man that he had gotten what he deserved for the crimes he committed. Thinking that Carter is trying to lay a guilt trip on him, Spider-Man angrily lashes out, telling him that Stan is disgusting for trying to cash in on his crimes. Stan explains that the agent showed up and has been trying to represent him, even though he has no interest. He insists that he deserved every injury he sustained, however Spider-Man orders him to keep away and leaps out a window. With the wall-crawler gone, Stan is visited again by the illusion of the Sin Eater. When his alter-ego mocks him, Stan tries to strike at the hallucination with his cane but ends up falling to the floor for his troubles. Not far away, Max Dillon continues his crime spree. After another robbery, he is surrounded by police, but keeps them at bay with his "lightning gun".

Meanwhile, Spider-Man is heading back home and is surprised that he feels guilty for not keeping his temper and strength in check when he was dealing with the Sin Eater. Coming upon Max Dillon trying to make his escape, Spider-Man recognizes him instantly. However, fearing that he might harm Dillon in the same way he injured Stan Carter, the wall-crawler pulls his punch. Put on the defensive, Spider-Man is quickly defeated when Dillon realizes that he can affect Spider-Man's wall-crawling ability by nullifying static electricity in the area. Max stops short of killing Spider-Man, deciding to let him live with the knowledge that one of his oldest foes has finally defeated him.


Continuity Notes

  1. The Sin Eater's original rampage was chronicled in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #107-110.
  2. Peter and Mary Jane refer to themselves as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage was erased from existence by the demon Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such, they should be considered a common-law couple here as opposed to husband and wife.
  3. Dillon recounts how he got his powers. That happened in Amazing Spider-Man #9. The flashback of his more recent battle with Spider-Man is from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21.

Chronology Notes

A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:

In addition, when Mephisto erased Peter and Mary Jane's wedding from existence it altered the chronology of the following characters:


Publication Notes

  • This issue is reprinted in other comics and books, see references for more info.[2]

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
  2. This story is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:

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