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Appearing in "Ordeal"

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Synopsis for "Ordeal"

Peter Parker has agreed to come to the Thomas Fireheart's reservation in New Mexico. With a spider painted on his face, he sits in meditation in a sweltering hot cave. Across from him is Thomas Fireheart who has a puma painted on his face. The ceremony is being conducted by the Puma's uncle, Joseph Threetrees, who asks Peter to drink a liquid from a bowl. As he drinks, Peter begins to drift back to the events that led up to this moment...

In New York City, Spider-Man swings across the city to the offices of the Daily Bugle. He has become fed up with the positive promotion that he is getting from the Daily Bugle.[Continuity 1] When the wall-crawler reaches out to touch Fireheart, he angrily grabs Spider-Man's hand and tosses the wall-crawler across the room. Spider-Man is spoiling for a fight and agrees about finishing things. Reigning in his Puma form, Fireheart tells him that they should finish it, but not there, telling Spider-Man to meet him at his private hanger at JFK Airport at midnight so they can go to New Mexico and deal with their rivalry once and for all...

At that moment, Thomas Fireheart drinks from his own bowl and begins recounting his activities before he left for New Mexico...

Thomas Fireheart meets with J. Jonah Jameson at a fancy restaurant, Jameson sarcastically wonders if Fireheart is going to purchase his new business. However, Fireheart points out that he purchased a controlling share in the Daily Bugle fair and square. However, as they sit down, Thomas Fireheart gives Jameson an astonishing offer: His 51% stock in the Daily Bugle for one dollar. There is one condition however, Jameson must promise to print an obituary, either his or Spider-Man's...

... The ceremony begins as Threetrees begins chanting a spell. Suddenly, the cave fills with swirling mist. The mist takes on the form of Mary Jane, much to Peter's delight. However, as he reaches out to this illusion it fades away. Peter once more thinks back...

... Peter has just finished telling his wife Mary Jane his plans to go to New Mexico.[Continuity 2] Mary Jane doesn't want him to go, not because she is concerned for him, but for herself. Unfortunately, Peter insists that this is something that he needs to do. She reminds him that no matter what happens he is the only man she has ever loved and kisses him...[Continuity 3]

... Peter snaps out of his recollection, and as he does, Thomas Fireheart transforms into the Puma. As he transforms he begins to question who he really is. Is he a businessman or the champion of his people? Is he a man of honor, or not? His mind drifts back to his arrival in New Mexico...

... Peter and Thomas Fireheart have arrived in New Mexico aboard Fireheart's Lear jet. They are greeted by Thomas' uncle. He tells the old man that his life has fallen off balance and he needs to restore his sense of honor. Threetrees tells Thomas that he has abandoned his honor and has no shame, stating that he has squandered his power, which is supposed to be used to the benefit of his people. When Thomas tries to explain that the fortune he has earned in business has been beneficial for his tribe. Threetrees points out that money is the least of all things and honor is important above all else. As they drive to the reservation, Joseph asks why he has come. Fireheart explains that he misjudged Peter Parker, bringing shame to him.[Continuity 4] Fireheart explains that no matter how much he tries to restore this debt of honor, he finds himself indebted to Spider-Man further. He insists that only way for honor can be restored is through blood. Threetrees concedes, but tells both men that they need to be cleansed before this can be done...

... By this time, Thomas has returned to human form, and now it is time for Peter Parker to undergo a transformation himself. Suddenly, Peter's body painfully transforms into a spider. He hallucinates that he has all his friends and loved ones caught in a web of his own making. Peter screams out, denying that he is a monster and discovers that it was all in his mind. James Threetrees tells Peter that every man has a monster inside them and that if a man wants to live with honor he needs to face this monster. He then tosses a handful of magic dust into the fire. This causes the shadow forms of a puma and a spider to emerge from Thomas and Peter's bodies. The shadowy figures cross to opposite sides of the fire. Peter finds himself battling the specter of the puma, while Thomas has to fight that of the spider. They seemingly destroy the creatures, but they reform and begin clashing each other. Suddenly, the two creatures explode filling the cave with smoke. When it clears, they find themselves in costume on top of a butte. Threetrees tell the two men that this battle of honor must be a battle to the death.


Continuity Notes

  1. Thomas Fireheart purchased the Daily Bugle out from under J. Jonah Jameson in The Spectacular Spider-Man #156.
  2. 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 here.
  3. The reason why Mary Jane is concerned is that she is being seduced by an actor named Jason Jerome, as seen in The Spectacular Spider-Man #166, and she fears that she might give into his advances.
  4. This was when the Puma thought Spider-Man was a thief when in reality he was employed by Silver Sable, as seen in Web of Spider-Man #50.

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