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Appearing in "The Return of the Green Goblin"
- Daily Bugle Staff
- Green Goblin (Phil Urich)
- Mary Jane Watson-Parker
- Ben Reilly
- Ken Ellis
- Ben Urich
- Sammy "The Smiler" Skalek (Only appearance; dies)
- William Gardner (Only appearance)
- New York City
Synopsis for "The Return of the Green Goblin"
This story continues from Spider-Man #56...
A costumed man with a flaming hand murders a homeless man named Sammy Skalek in the middle of an alleyway. Due to the poor lighting in the alleyway, eyewitnesses and officers can't make out who the killer is, but they believe it is the same lunatic that has been reported about in the Daily Bugle.
Meanwhile, Peter Parker pays a visit to the grave of his friend Harry Osborn.[Continuity 1] He has come to "talk" to Harry about his feelings following his encounter with the new Green Goblin.[Continuity 2] With all the madness with clones in his life at the moment, Peter doesn't know what to make of this new Goblin. Peter wonders if this is some trick Harry is playing on him from beyond the grave, or if Harry somehow cheated death.[Continuity 3] Peter half expected to find Harry's grave freshly dug up and is relieved that this is not the case. After his visit, Peter puts on the Scarlet Spider costume he brought with him. He feels strange wearing it, but all of his own costumes have been destroyed. He thinks about how he has been recently arrested for murder and how he thought Ben was responsible until Reilly offered to change places with him in prison.[Continuity 4] Ben did this so Peter could not only spend time with his pregnant wife Mary Jane, but also find the real killer.[Continuity 5] The only suspect that Peter can think of is the vigilante known as Kaine. He has his work cut out for him since he is also trying to hunt down the Jackal, this new Green Goblin, as well as the original Gwen Stacy clone.[Continuity 6]
Peter Parker is not the only one who is thinking about the new Green Goblin. In his secret lab, the Jackal is furious that this new Green Goblin was meddling in his plans. Since he can't deduce who the person is behind the Goblin mask, the Jackal decides to go and find out who this newcomer really is. While at the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson and Joe Robertson are in a private meeting. Seeing this, Ken Ellis asks Ben Urich what's going on. Ben tells him that they are arguing over how much coverage they should give Peter Parker's murder trial.[Continuity 7] Back at the Parker residence, Mary Jane has just finished up making a new Spider-Man costume for Peter. She is trying to keep her mind off of the concerns for her baby that have been raised when she agreed to be examined by Ben Reilly's friend Seward Trainer.[Continuity 8] That's when Peter comes home and he is happy to see her, however, his visit is going to be brief. With his trail coming up, he needs to find Kaine and bring him to justice. Mary Jane insists that Peter needs to take a break and spend time with her. That's when a news report comes on about the homeless people being murdered in the city. Resigning to the fact that her husband is going to go back out into the city, she realizes that he isn't ignoring their problems, that he needs to keep moving in order to prevent himself from giving into the fear that is rushing through his mind. As Peter leaves his home, he is unaware that he is being observed by the Jackal. Meanwhile, Mary Jane wishes she had someone she could talk to about everything that is going on in her life, when she suddenly remembers that she does -- it's Ben Reilly.
Meanwhile, Phil Urich puts on his Green Goblin costume. Upon putting on the Goblin mask he is jolted with the energy that activates his powers. He then uses his glider to go out looking for a homeless person. Finding an ideal candidate, he hovers over silently nearby, when he is suddenly ambushed by Spider-Man. The wall-crawler thinks that the Green Goblin is responsible for the death of the homeless. Put on the defensive, the Green Goblin tries to explain that he is innocent, but the web-slinger isn't willing to listen. Realizing that he is in over his head, and he wants to avoid hurting Spider-Man with his lunatic laugh, the Goblin flees. With this second encounter, Spider-Man is certain that this is not Harry Osborn, and wonders who this inexperienced new comer is and where his powers come from. Watching the battle is the Jackal who is very interested in seeing the outcome of this battle. As Spider-Man chases the Goblin, the real killer -- a costumed criminal calling himself Firefist -- selects another victim. At that moment, Mary Jane visits Ben Reilly in prison to ask for his advice on what to do about the baby. She wonders if she should get an abortion before it is too late. Ben surprises her by saying that he is pro-life. However, he tells her that the choice is ultimately hers, but she should wait until she gets all the facts before making a decision.
Back in the alley, Firefist is ranting about how America has been infested wit hthe weak and that he does what he does to make his country great again. Before he can kill the homeless man, the Green Goblin arrives and pulls him away. Taking a cue from the Goblin, Spider-Man swings in and attacks Firefist. The wall-crawler is quickly put on the defensive when Firefist begins whipping fireballs with his flamethrower gauntlet. Ultimately, Firefist damages the side of a building burying Spider-Man alive. Seeing this, the Jackal is about to step in since he still has a need for Parker, but that's when the new Green Goblin comes to Spider-Man's aid. Seeing this, the Jackal is convinced that this new Goblin is not another Osborn. While back at the Daily Bugle, Joe Robertson continues to argue with Jameson about the murder trial. He points out that they are being scooped by every other paper in New York and they need to report on this, otherwise all the awards the Bugle have won for journalism will mean nothing. With that, he storms out of the office leaving Jameson to think this over.
Meanwhile, the Goblin keeps Firefist on the defensive using his sonic laugh to confuse his foe. This gives Spider-Man time to dig himself out of the rubble, wondering why this new Goblin would risk his life to save Spider-Man. THe wall-crawler quickly knocks out Firefist, and while he is busy wrapping up the killer for the police, the Green Goblin flees the sene. As he heads for home, the Goblin can't believe that he was unable to take down such a pathetic villain and briefly considers giving up on being a hero. Once Spider-Man finishes wrapping up Firefist, his spider-sense briefly goes off, finally detecting the presence of the Jackal. However, as the villain slips away and the warning subsides, the web-slinger dismisses it and heads for home. Soon, the Jackal returns to his lab when he is joined by the Peter Parker clone. He is delighted, because he had been waiting for this clone to arrive.
...This story continues in Web of Spider-Man #126.
Appearing in "He Was Such a Nice Boy..."
- Spider-Man (Peter Parker) (Appears in flashback)
- Flash Thompson
- Betty Brant
- J. Jonah Jameson (Appears in flashback)
- Vulture (Recap)
- Anna Watson
- Aunt May (Appears in flashback)
- Liz Allan (Recap)
- Mary Parker (Only in flashback)
- Richard Parker (Only in flashback)
- Uncle Ben (Only in flashback)
- Principal Andrew Davis
- New York City
- Vulture's Wings (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "He Was Such a Nice Boy..."
Assigned to do a story on Peter Parker, Ben Urich, and Angela Yin begin interviewing those who knew him best. They start their interviews with Flash Thompson, who they meet at a local youth center. Flash tells them how Peter Parker was a hard-working student in high school and how he bullied Peter until college when he finally began to understand what a great person Peter Parker was.[Continuity2 1] Despite the fact that there is compelling evidence that Peter Parker was responsible for a murder, Flash Thompson refuses to believe it and insists that they have the wrong person. As they leave, Angel asks Ben what he thinks. Urich tells her that his opinion doesn't matter, that their task is to report the facts.
They next interview Andrew Davis, Peter's principal when he attended Midtown High. Davis relates how Peter was a mild-mannered student, but recalls the day that Flash Thompson broke Peter's glasses. The pair decided to settle their differences in a boxing match, which Peter surprisingly won in a single punch.[Continuity2 2] Interestingly, Davis recalls that after the incident, Peter never went back to wearing glasses and assumes he switched to contact lenses.[Continuity2 3] When they interview Anna Watson, she also thinks the charges are absurd. She tells them how Peter was left in the care of his Uncle Ben and Aunt May by his parents prior to their tragic deaths and was raised him properly.[Continuity2 4] Anna recalls how Peter was there for his Aunt when her husband was murdered by a burglar and he never left her side, as though he felt responsible for Ben's death.[Continuity 9]
They then move on to members of the Bugle staff who knew Peter personally, starting with Betty Brant. She recalls when he first started coming by the Daily Bugle to sell photos to the newspaper and how well mannered he was.[Continuity2 5] She remembers the day that her romance with Peter blossomed, during an attack on the Bugle by the Vulture.[Continuity2 6] She remembers how Peter was there for her when her brother Bennett died as well as her husband Ned.[Continuity2 7] This brings up some painful memories, prompting Ben to apologize. When Jonah demands to know what's going on in his office. Ben points out that he is covering the Parker story.
When Angela asks him Jonah about his relationship with Peter Parker. Jonah talks about how he always wondered how Peter was able to get his shots of Spider-Man in action, mentioning once he hired a private investigator to find out.[Continuity2 8] Jameson eventually learned that Peter actually had an agreement with Spider-Man, splitting the profits from the photos.[Continuity2 9] Suddenly, Jonah makes a connection that Spider-Man was the one who caught the man who murdered Ben Parker, and begins to think that Parker was framed by the wall-crawler. Urich is unimpressed that Yin inspired Jameson with a new topic for his latest anti-Spider-Man editorials and gets to work. Typing away at his computer, Ben tries to make sense of everything he learned about Peter Parker, but can't figure him out, not making the connection that Parker is secretly Spider-Man.