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Appearing in "The Search for Robbie Robertson"
- Daily Bugle Staff
- Flash Thompson
- Harry Osborn
- Liz Osborn
- Black Cat
- Marla Jameson (See chronology)
- Normie Osborn
- Dr. Susan Ransome
- Aaron DeWeiss (First appearance)
- New York
Synopsis for "The Search for Robbie Robertson"
Spider-Man is searching the forests of the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania for any sign of Joe Robertson and Tombstone after they escaped from prison. The wall-crawler hopes that Joe is still alive, as he is the only one who treated both Spider-Man and Peter Parker fairly. As he searches the shores of the Susquehanna River river for a sign of them. Suddenly, his spider-sense goes off warning him of danger nearby. In the shadows, he spots a massive creature passing by. With no other leads to follow, Spider-Man decides to follow the massive humanoid, who is walking toward a nearby fire. There, Spider-Man discovers a small town of backwoods locals. He is amazed by how primitive this group of people are, thinking that they have no knowledge of modern conveniences, much less Spider-Man.[Continuity 1] As he observes from a nearby tree, Spider-Man's spider-sense begins to go off. Suddenly, the tree begins shaking, thanks to the shaking caused by the massive brute that he followed. The wall-crawler falls out of the tree and into plain view of the locals. He tries to explain to them who he is and that he is looking for a friend. Looking at their dull expressions, Spider-Man tells them that he plans to leave.
However, the massive brute, named Banjo, refuses to allow Spider-Man to leave thinking that the hero had followed him to cause harm. Not wanting to fight, Spider-Man tries to subdue Banjo with a line of webbing. However, the powerful hillbilly manages to snap the webs and then tosses the engine of a car at the hero. Spider-Man easily dodges this attack but is soon blasted by energy projected from the mind of Banjo's younger brother, a kid named Bugeye. As the locals surround the downed hero, Banjo and Bugeye's mother tells them to be careful, and if the intruder moves an inch, to kill him. Meanwhile, back in New York, Mary Jane is hosting a painting party in her and Peter's new SoHo loft.[Continuity 2] When Flash asks where Mary Jane's husband Peter is, he tells Flash that he is out taking photos for the Daily Bugle.[Continuity 3] Mary Jane offers pizza for her guests, but Glory Grant declines the offer as she isn't hungry. When Betty Brant asks her how she is doing, Glory says she hasn't been sleeping well, concerning Betty as she heard that she was forced to shoot her boyfriend Eduardo Lobo to save Spider-Man's life.[Continuity 4] When Flash tries to pick up Mary Jane's friend Regina, she shoots him down. This upsets Liz Osborn, who was Flash's boyfriend back in high school and feels guilty that she found happiness with Harry Osborn.[Continuity 5] When Mary Jane notices the time, she rushes out the door to go and visit her cousin Kristy before visiting hours at the hospital are over. As she leaves, Flash sullenly thinks to himself how all his friends are in long-term relationships except him, unaware that the Black Cat is observing him from the skylight.
At that moment, at the offices of the Daily Bugle, publisher J. Jonah Jameson tells his wife Marla that someone is engaged in a hostile take over of the Bugle. Marla wants to be with Jonah, having taken a break from her research sabbatical in Europe to be with him. Their intimate conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Thomas Fireheart, who informs Jameson that he is the new owner of the Daily Bugle. By this point, back in the Appalachian Mountains, Spider-Man wakes up following his attack from Bugeyes. His mother scolds Spider-Man for hunting and harassing her eldest, Banjo. Spider-Man tries to explain that he is looking for his missing friend. However, the woman refuses to believe, thinking that the wall-crawler is someone sent by the government. She explains her distrust for outsiders by explaining how she used to live down river a decade earlier. Their farm was close to a nearby nuclear power plant. One day, there was a strange glow in the air.[Continuity 6] Later, when she gave birth, the doctors were horrified to discover her children were deformed. As they grew, her children were bullied by the normal children. In order to protect her kids, she took them into the woods where she hoped they would be safe. Now with Spider-Man's intrusion, the woman believes that safety has been shattered.
Spider-Man's attempts to rationalize with the family fail and Bugeye mind blasts the wall-crawler again. Once the hero has fled far enough into the woods, Banjo is sent in after the masked hero. Back in Queens, Kristy Watson is sitting through another therapy session with other women who suffer from eating disorders. When Doctor Ransom tries to get Kristy to talk about her experience, she refuses to acknowledge the fact that she has an eating disorder and storms out of the meeting. In the hall, Kristy sees Mary Jane and Aunt May and begs them to take her back home. However, Mary Jane insists that this is the best place for Kristy to get better. Kristy reacts in anger, slapping Mary Jane across the face and running off, claiming that she wishes she were dead. Aunt May tries to console Mary Jane, explaining that Kristy is young and angry and doesn't mean what she is saying. While back in the Appalachian Mountains, Spider-Man frantically flees through the woods while under the influence of Bugeye's powers. Smelling smoke, Spider-Man follows the scent to the location of an underground coal fire. This allows Spider-Man to get to cover long enough for his vision to clear. When Banjo finally catches up, Spider-Man has the element of surprise.
However, Banjo knocks the hero into the area of the burning coal mine and grabs the hero in a bear hug. Spider-Man struggles to break free, and succeeds. He slaps Banjo on both sides of the head causing him to flee in pain. Banjo then breaks through some boards covering up a mine shaft. Before Banjo can plunge into the flames below, Spider-Man saves his life and brings him back to his people. Bugeye and Banjo's mother think that Spider-Man harmed Banjo. However, before Bugeye can attack Spider-Man anew, Banjo tells his brother to stop. Finally believing Spider-Man's story, the locals tell him that he is the first stranger they have seen in over a year. This leaves Spider-Man to wonder where Joe Robertson might be. Meanwhile, some ways down river, Joe Robertson and Tombstone have washed up near an Amish farm. With Joe's leg broken, Tombstone flags down a farmer named Aaron DeWeiss, who offers his aid. Tombstone asks DeWeiss to help his friend, as he owes Joe Robertson too much.
- ↑ Specifically, Spider-Man states that these mountain people have "hardly ever heard of the 20th Century". This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- ↑ Peter and Mary Jane moved into the SoHo loft in Web of Spider-Man #57.
- ↑ Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from existence by the demon Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple as opposed to husband and wife.
- ↑ Glory fatally shot Eduardo Lobo in Web of Spider-Man #55, however unknown to everyone, she was aiming for Spider-Man, not Eduardo.
- ↑ Liz Allan used to date Flash in Amazing Fantasy #15, although the pair drifted apart when they graduated high school in Amazing Spider-Man #27. Liz and Harry first met in Amazing Spider-Man #154. The pair began a romance that ultimately led to their marriage in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #63.
- ↑ She refers to the nuclear facility as the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant which experienced a minor nuclear accident in 1979. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Particularly since the nuclear plant is scheduled to close in 2019.
Due to Mephisto's altering of history in Amazing Spider-Man #545, it has affected the chronology of the following characters:
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