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Appearing in "Night of the Living Ned!"
- Ned Leeds (Spirit)
Synopsis for "Night of the Living Ned!"
As a storm rages in the middle of a cemetery, the body of Ned Leeds emerges from his grave.[Continuity 1] The corpse that was once Ned Leeds calls out to his wife, Betty Brant to join him in the grave. Joining him in this choir are the corpses of Gwen Stacy, and surprisingly, Spider-Man, even though he is not dead.[Continuity 2] However, this is only a vision that appeared in Betty's mind as she was helping Flash Thompson board up the windows and doors in Flash Thompson's apartment.
Hearing Betty's screams, Flash comes to her side to comfort her by trying to convince her that she was having a nightmare. Betty insists that it was all real. Flash thinks about all the tragedy in Betty's life and wonders if this is another struggle she needs to overcome.[Continuity 3] He assures Betty that there is nothing wrong with her, it's the city. Going into the living room, Flash notices that Betty had turned on the gas heater, he shuts it off before it could set a fire. Betty thanks Flash for letting her stay at his place until she gets back on his feet.[Continuity 4] Looking out the window they see all the chaos that is swarming the city. Both wish that Spider-Man could be there to protect them, unaware that they are being watched by demons hanging outside the window. The demons decide to play with their prey before eating them. They then merge together into an energy form and go into the building.
Inside the building, Flash Thompson continues to board up the rest of the doors and windows. Going up onto the roof, he is greeted by what appears to be Spider-Man. Letting his guard down, Flash leaves himself open to being attacked by the wall-crawler. While in the apartment below, Betty hears a rapping at the window. She looks outside and is horrified to see the rotting corpse of her late husband, Ned. The spectre comes crashing through the window and pursues Betty as she flees for her life. Betty stumbles downstairs and lockers herself in one of the abandoned apartments and cowers as the undead body of Ned Leeds knocks on the door and asks to be let in. Back on the roof, the being that appears to be Spider-Man has webbed Flash to a television antenna so that he will be struck by lightning. Thompson asks the masked man why he is doing this and is told that his hero worship of Spider-Man is annoying. While his attacker is distracted, Flash uses a screwdriver in his pocket to cut through the webbing. While below, Betty continues to cower until she is visited by what appears to be the spirit of her late husband. Ned tells her that the dead cannot help her, but she can help herself. His parting words are that he loves her and to be strong. The spirit disappears and Betty lets go of her fear and suddenly feels rage towards all those who have nearly destroyed her life.
Meanwhile, on the roof, the being posing as Spider-Man gloats about the coming demise of Flash Thompson. His back turned, he is unaware that his victim has cut himself loose. Flash strikes the impostor with the back of the head with a hammer. Flash leaps at his attacker, demanding to know who he really is. He removes the Spider-Man mask and is horrified to see a demonic version of Spider-Man's mask underneath. The demon laughs and begins mocking Flash for his failed potential. As the two struggle on the roof, Betty returns to Flash's apartment where she is confronted as the demon posing as the rotting corpse of Ned Leeds. Betty tells the creature to stop posing as Ned. Since his ruse has been exposed, the ghoulish face of Ned Leeds changes into that of its true demonic form and charges at her. As the creature shambles toward her, Betty picks up the gas heater and turns it on. By this point, Flash pushes himself and the phony Spider-Man into the television antenna and swings down into his apartment below. In doing so, they knock over candles that were being used to light the place, causing a fire. As Flash gets to his feet, Betty cranks up the gas on the heater and rams it through the stomach of the demon who posed as her late husband. The pair then flees out of the apartment just moments before the gas heater explodes, destroying the demons.
Outside, the couple are happy to be alive and Flash was impressed by Betty's ability to defend herself. Looking around, they are surprised to see that the city is turning back to normal.[Continuity 5] In the aftermath of their nightmare, Betty and Flash realized that they were able to help themselves instead of relying on masked heroes to come in to rescue them.
|Amazing Spider-Man #311||The Spectacular Spider-Man #146||Web of Spider-Man #47||Amazing Spider-Man #312||The Spectacular Spider-Man #147||Web of Spider-Man #48||Amazing Spider-Man #313||The Spectacular Spider-Man #148||Inferno Event|
- ↑ Ned's tombstone states that he was born in 1955 and died in 1986. These should be considered topical references per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Modern readers should interpret this as Ned's death happening a short time prior to this story and that he was 31 years old when he died. Ned was murdered in Spider-Man Versus Wolverine #1.
- ↑ Gwen Stacy died in Amazing Spider-Man #121. Although Spider-Man is not dead, he has a tombstone in a cemetery after he was buried alive in Web of Spider-Man #31.
- ↑ Other than the death of Ned Leeds, Flash recounts how her brother Bennett had apparently died during a battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus. That happened in Amazing Spider-Man #11. Unknown at this time, Bennett actually survived and will resurface years later in Venom Vol 2 #19-21. He also mentions Betty's time as a member of the Cult of Love. That happened in Web of Spider-Man #40-43.
- ↑ Betty gave up her property to the Cult of Love in Web of Spider-Man #40. Flash mentions that Betty used to date Peter Parker. They dated from Amazing Spider-Man #7-18.
- ↑ This moment happened when the X-Men and X-Factor defeated N'Astirh and the Goblin Queen in X-Factor #38.
- This issue is reprinted in comics and books, see references for info.
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