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Appearing in "Bugged"
Synopsis for "Bugged"
Six-weeks out of prison and the Beetle is flying across New York City.[Continuity 1] Paranoid that he is going to get captured, he spots Spider-Man swinging by and manages to slip away and hide behind a billboard before the wall-crawler can spot him. As soon as Spider-Man is out of sight, the Beetle continues his course to Fisk Tower where he has a meeting with the Kingpin's assistant, the Arranger. The Arranger tells the Beetle that he would like to hire him to kill Spider-Man. However, the Beetle is not interested in hunting down Spider-Man, telling the Arranger that he is only looking to do straight crimes. The Arranger then decides to offer the Beetle a job robbing an armored car carrying a supply of diamonds. The Beetle accepts the offer and leaves. Once the villain is gone, the Arranger picks up the phone and calls the Daily Bugle and asks to speak to Peter Parker.
The following morning, Peter Parker has surprised his wife Mary Jane breakfast in bed.[Continuity 2] However, they are interrupted when Kate Cushing who tells Peter that the Arranger is giving the Daily Bugle an exclusive. She has decided to assign Joy Mercado to write the story and tells Peter that the Arranger had specifically asked for Peter to be the photographer. Soon, Peter is on the scene, where he and Joy are told that the Arranger's employer, Wilson Fisk, wanted to do his civic duty and provide information about the Beetle's upcoming heist. When Peter asks why they went to the Bugle instead of the police, and why he asked for Parker specifically, the Arranger explains that Peter Parker's book "Webs" ensures that Spider-Man will assist in stopping the Beetle as the authorities were not capable of handling on their own.[Continuity 3] Peter tells him that he can't guarantee that he can get in touch with Spider-Man at the time and storms out.
Later, the Beetle makes the final preparations for his heist and flies out into the city to catch up with the armored car. The Beetle blasts the armored car, making it crash. Ripping open the back doors, the villain is shocked to find Spider-Man waiting for him inside. As the two fight it out, the Beetle quickly realizes that the Arranger set him up for a fall. The battle comes to a quick end when the Spider-Man damages the Beetle's wings causing him to fall into the smokestack of a passing cruise ship. Thinking the Beetle is dead, Spider-Man swings off to pick up his camera expecting that there will be a larger story for the Bugle's late edition. At that point, back at Fisk Towers, the Arranger continues his interview with Joy Mercado. He is briefly interrupted by one of his guards who tell him that the Beetle failed to eliminate Spider-Man. The Arranger tells them to beef up security in case the Beetle realized he was set up. However, despite these preparations, the Beetle manages to smash his way up through the floor to deal with the Arranger. When Joy Mercado points out that the Beetle can't kill the Arranger in front of a witness, the villain decides to eliminate her as well.
Unfortunately for the Beetle, Spider-Man comes crashing in through one of the windows. The two begin fighting in the office building, but the gunfire from the Kingpin's enforcers prompt them to take the battle outside. The two end up fighting over an industrial building where the Beetle seemingly perishes again by flying into a smokestack. However, Spider-Man is not going to fall for the same trick twice and pulls the villain out of the smokestack. Spider-Man orders the Beetle to surrender, however, the Beetle refuses to go back to jail and fights back. At his wit's end, the web-slinger incapacitates the Beetle's armor and lashes into him. Surrendering, the Beetle asks why the Arranger wanted Spider-Man dead. The wall-crawler surmises that it was likely to cover up the deal the Arranger made with Spider-Man during the gang war with the Lobo Brothers.[Continuity 4] With the danger over, Joy Mercado leaves to write her story, telling the Arranger he can read about it in th e Bugle. No sooner is she gone is the Arranger ordered into the Kingpin's office. Fearing for his life, the Arranger goes to face his employer.
Finally, Spider-Man returns to find that his wife Mary Jane has fallen asleep waiting for him. This comes as a disappointment because Peter was hoping to spend the entire day with her. However, as he is sulking on the edge of the bed, Mary Jane wakes up and pulls him into bed with her.
- ↑ Among the buildings in the New York City skyline is the original twin towers of the World Trade Center. However, this should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. The twin towers were destroyed in a terrorist attack in 2001 and a new building has been built in their place.
- ↑ Peter and Mary Jane are identified 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.
- ↑ A number of Peter Parker's photos of Spider-Man was collected into a book called "Webs" in Amazing Spider-Man #304.
- ↑ The Lobo Brothers were furious at a failed assassination attempt arranged by the Arranger in The Spectacular Spider-Man #143. The gang war erupted in the pages of The Spectacular Spider-Man #152-153 and Web of Spider-Man #53-55.
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