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Untold Tales of Spider-Man

Title
Untold Tales of Spider-Man
Universe

Novel Details

Publisher
Penguin Putnam


Previous Novel

Appearances

Appearing in "Side by Side with the Astonishing Ant-Man!"

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  • Tarantula

Appearing in "After the First Death..."

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Appearing in "Celebrity"

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Appearing in "Better Looting Through Modern Chemistry"

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Appearing in "Identity Crisis"

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  • Smitty
  • David

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Appearing in "The Doctor's Dilemma"

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Appearing in "Moving Day"

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Appearing in "The Liar"

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Appearing in "Deadly Force"

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Appearing in "The Ballad of Fancy Dan"

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Appearing in "Poison in the Soul"

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Appearing in "Livewires"

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Appearing in "Arms and the Man"

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Appearing in "My Enemy, My Savior"

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Appearing in "The Stalking of John Doe"

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Plot

Side by Side with the Astonishing Ant-Man!

This story, written by Will Murray, takes place between Amazing Spider-Man #2 and #3.

Following reports of Spider-Man's debut, Ant-Man decides to follow the masked man via his ant network. A man calling himself the Tarantula converts the Ant-Man's message and takes the opportunity two weeks later to send a large tarantula suspended between the Excelsior Building and Goodman Towers. Peter Parker notices the large arachnid and goes there to take pictures, but decides not to switch into his Spider-Man costume so the police do not think he is the cause of the problem. Ant-Man's ants alert him of the spider's presence and Ant-Man immediately goes to the building expecting Spider-Man.

Commissioner Maneely and Captain Grobé try to take care of the tarantula by sending in helicopters, but the arachnid sends a strand of spider silk to jam the first copter's blades and crash. Commissioner Maneely orders the other helicopters to stay back. Ant-Man picks up a signal from his helmet saying "Spider-Man. Spider-Man. Where are you? Come join me. Come join the Tarantula."

After Peter finishes taking pictures, he feels his spider-sense tingling and decides to switch to Spider-Man. He finds Ant-Man falling to the ground like a leaf saves the small man with his webbing. Ant-Man assumes his normal size and tries to surprise Spider-Man with a roundhouse right, but Spidey dodges every blow Ant-Man directs at him. Spidey restrains Ant-Man's hands before he can grab his reducing vial, which Spidey takes from him and accidentally shrinks them both.

The large tarantula descends and attacks them with spider-web, causing both the super heroes to scatter. Spidey deals with some attacking ants while Ant-Man climbs onto the tarantula using a web strand, discovering that it is actually a machine. Spidey hitches a ride on a flying ant, but discovers it is heading toward the tarantula. Ant-Man climbs on with Spidey and they fly clear of the tarantula. The two super heroes meet each other, and Ant-Man says the tarantula is sending a signal to prevent him from controlling his ant allies.

Ant-Man and Spider-Man exchange each other's helmet and mask, giving Spidey the ability to communicate with spiders. Spidey leads his team of spiders onto the mechanical tarantula and sends them in through the eye to attack the pilot. The man calling himself the Tarantula ejects out of the tarantula and escapes over the Atlantic. The two super heroes meet on the roof of the Excelsior Building. Ant-Man says the tarantula pilot was a man who normally calls himself Egghead and that he planned on teaming up with Spider-Man to defeat Ant-Man. The two re-exchange headgear and go their separate ways.

After the First Death...

This story, written by Tom Defalco, takes place in the general vicinity of Amazing Spider-Man #10.

Spidey spends night patrol in New York City as it starts to rain. He reminisces on his current financial issues with his mortgage payment for his house in Forest Hills and Aunt May's birthday soon approaching combined with the fact that he is currently broke. On a rooftop, he meets Kent and Wayne Weisinger, brothers and partners-in-crime, preparing for their next burglary.

Peter Parker sets up a camera and tries to prolong the fight so he can sell some pictures to the Daily Bugle. When Kent charges at Spider-Man, Spidey nimbly jumps out the way. Kent crashes into his older brother, Wayne, who plummets to the ground. Forgetting about the second burglar, Spidey takes off as soon as he hears the police sirens. Kent tells Wayne's wife, Jeannette Weisenger, about her husband's death at the hands of Spider-Man.

Peter wakes up the next morning contemplating the actions he should have taken during the last night's fight. Aunt May tells him Spider-Man is now a wanted criminal. Peter's boss J. Jonah Jameson calls Peter and finds out about the pictures Peter took. Peter reluctantly agrees to sell Jameson the pictures, and he stops by the Bugle to drop off the roll of film. Jameson introduces Peter to Jeanette Weisinger, who tells Peter that she plans on suing Spider-Man for his crimes. After school, Peter spends his money earned on his mortgage payment and goes shopping for Aunt May. He witnesses a mugging, but hesitates to change to Spider-Man in fear of causing another accident, allowing another citizen to tackle the thief.

Later, Peter runs into a hostage situation and changes into Spider-Man, forgetting that he has an arrest warrant. However, the police agree to arrest him after he frees the hostages. Meanwhile, Kent agrees to speak out about the events leading to his brother's death, and says that he deliberately pushed his brother off the roof because of past frustrations. Jeannette retracts her lawsuit and the next day's Daily Bugle includes pictures from the hostage incident which Spidey cleared up.

Celebrity

This story, written by Christopher Golden and José R. Nieto, takes place shortly before Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1.

J. Jonah Jameson gives Peter Parker the assignment of taking pictures of Johnny Storm (a.k.a the Human Torch) and teenage movie star Heather Fox dining at Angelique's before her big movie premiere. Johnny and Heather eat on the outdoor patio, and Peter joins the press paparazzi. Meanwhile, Will Baker also spends his dinner at Angelique's with his date, Candace, and becomes alerted of the Human Torch's presence.

Will Baker, an ex-convict, decides to avoid raising a fight with the Fantastic Four leader if he can help it. However, when Candace continues showing more interest in Johnny Storm than her own date, Will Baker turns into the Sandman and decides to show Candace what a "real man" is by confronting the Human Torch. They bring the fight to the ground and Peter hurries and changes to his Spider-Man costume to help the Torch. On the balcony, Candace meets Heather, who admits she really does not care for dating men like Johnny and only did the whole thing by request of her agent.

Sandman pummels Spider-Man, sending him flying twenty feet across the street. The Torch subdues the Sandman, who escapes through the sewers once he gathers himself. The rest of the Fantastic Four arrives at the restaurant to pick up Johnny. Heather Fox declines his offer to take their date elsewhere, instead opting to share a meal with her new friend, Candace.

Better Looting Through Modern Chemistry

This story, written by John Garcia and Pierce Askegren, takes place a few weeks after Amazing Spider-Man #36.

Peter Parker waits in line at ChemCo chemical supplies to buy the plastic polymer needed to make Spider-Man's webbing. A man Peter seems to recognize stands at the front of the line, trying to buy two helium cartridges. The clerk informs the man that he can only buy one cartridge since the prices have gone up. The clerk also tells Peter that the prices for the plastic polymer has gone up too, forcing Peter to leave the store empty-handed.

On the Empire State University campus, Gwen invites Peter to join her and her friends at a basketball exhibition. Peter declines the offer, saying he has an errand to run. Peter asks Jameson if he can have a paycheck advance, and Jameson agrees once Peter promises to take pictures at a scientific exhibit for a new section of the Daily Bugle.

Norton G. Fester enters the Neville K. Trelayne Memorial Mineral Museum at closing time by knocking out the guard. He pries into a meteorite's display case and breathes in the released cloud of dense vapor. Fester steals a motorcycle parked outside the museum and throws it into a fuel truck. Fester dons his Looter costume and heads toward a small electrical substation and tears down the tower with his meteorite-enhanced powers.

Peter tries going back to ChemCo, but finds it is closed for the weekend. He meets fellow student Sally Green, who invites Peter to Chesney's, the local soda fountain. Elsewhere in the city, the Looter tears apart train tracks. At Chesney's, Peter discusses his interests in science with Sally and tries to invite her to the science exhibit, only for it to be ruined when Gwen, Flash Thompson, and Harry Osborn interrupt him.

Without webbing in his web-shooters, Spider-Man hitches a ride on a news chopper to get to the Looter's site of chaos. Spidey deals with the burning fuel truck while the Looter initiates Phase Two of his plans by pulling off multiple jewelry heists. Next, Spidey saves a man from the crumbling electrical towers by donning heavy rubberized boots and gloves over his suit and running into the wreckage.

At the Bugle's science exhibition, Jameson becomes annoyed at Parker's absence and vows to make the freelance photographer pay for years to come. Suddenly, the Looter shows up at the exhibition and attaches his instruments to siphon the gasses from a space rock known as the Wakanda Find. Spidey tries to stop the criminal, but the Looter gets away and drives to the ChemCo supply house to get more helium for his personal backpack air balloon. Spidey once again hitches a ride on the news chopper and meets the Looter at the ChemCo store. Spidey uses the chemicals to help reprimand the Looter and calls the cops to alert them of the criminal's whereabouts.

Identity Crisis

This story, written by Michael Jan Friedman, takes place a few weeks prior to Amazing Spider-Man #39.

J. Jonah Jameson and Norman Osborn enjoy a smoke at a club in upscale New York. Jonah asks Norman if he has ever told him about "deep background," information not normally published in the newspapers but kept for future use. Norman seems intrigued by the idea of such confidential files.

Later, Norman descends upon the offices of a metropolitan newspaper. He finds a young cameraman holding pictures of Spider-Man, a janitor, and a few workers. The Green Goblin holds them hostage and demands they give him their deep background information on Spider-Man. While most of the hostages seem hesitant to give into the Goblin's requests, the photographer says they have to give him the information so nobody gets hurt.

As the situation grows more intense, the photographer says that he is Spider-Man and tells the Goblin to now leave them alone. The Goblin tests the boy's claim by throwing him out the window. When the real Spider-Man shows up to save the boy, the Goblin realizes he has wasted most of his bags of tricks and flies away from the Daily Globe, choosing to try checking the Daily Bugle next.

The Doctor's Dilemma

This story, written by Danny Fingeroth, takes place shortly after Amazing Spider-Man #42.

Dr. Bromwell pays the Parker residence a visit. He warns Peter about his dangerous job as Spider-Man's photographer, but Peter says it is the only way he can currently help his Aunt May. In his office, Dr. Bromwell considers offering Peter a job in the medical field. Spider-Man encounters a new enemy while web-slinging through the streets of New York. The giant, who calls himself Impact, steals money for his family from an armored car. The mutated man uses his Hulk-like strength to knock out Spidey and gets away.

The next day, Peter manages to shrug off his injuries with Aunt May, but Dr. Bromwell spots them and shows more concern. The doctor offers Peter a job helping him with his research and lab work. Peter accepts the job and starts working the next day. Peter reads about Impact (a.k.a. Walter Cobb) and his family in the papers. Peter also takes the opportunity to research and confirm Impact's story about radioactive steroids. While Dr. Bromwell helps some of Impact's victims several nights later, Spider-Man follows Impact's trail of destruction.

Spidey finds Impact holding a young couple as hostage. Spidey prepares to help the cops with the situation, but he starts to relax when Impact's family shows up behind a police barricade and they try to stop their enraged father. However, a shot from an unknown source enrages Impact, causing him to go berserk and throw all manner of debris at the crowd of bystanders. Thinking fast, Spidey creates a huge barrier of webbing between Impact and the crowd. Spidey tries to stop Impact's fury, and they become engaged in an intense battle. Impact grabs Spidey and starts pounding him. Finally, Impact gains a glimmer of intelligence and stops pounding Spidey. The steroid-powered man staggers forward and lurches toward the barricade where his wife and children hide, but keels over and dies.

The next day, Peter buys a copy of the Daily Bugle and finds his pictures of Impact on the front page. He goes home and has dinner with Aunt May, who tells him that he can keep working as Spidey's photographer as long as he is not doing it for her. She explains that they could still figure out a way to handle the financial issues even without Peter's job at the Bugle. Later, Peter goes to work at the doctor's office, but Dr. Bromwell chastises him for turning back on his promise to stop taking pictures of Spider-Man. The doctor tells Parker to pack up his things and resume his work at the Bugle.

Moving Day

This story, written by John S. Drew, expands on the events of the last page of Amazing Spider-Man #46.

May Parker prepares herself emotionally for her nephew Peter Parker to move to Manhattan with his college friend Harry Osborn. However, May's memories of her husband's murder come back in full swing and make the move much harder for her. May rides in the moving truck with the driver, Joe, while Peter and his friends take the subway. May listens passively to Joe's stories while she recalls her married life with Ben Parker.

Joe notices a fight on the Chrysler Building and turns on the radio to find out that the two figures are Spider-Man and Mysterio. As the battle continues, May turns off the radio, saying she can not listen to it anymore. Joe asks her why, and May answers that she is worried about the danger her nephew will get into as Spider-Man's photographer. Just when it seems like the battle is over, Mysterio takes the battle to the bridge Aunt May and Joe are on and stopping traffic.

Mysterio prepares to throw Spidey off the bridge, but Joe decides to help save his masked hero by hopping out of the truck and charging directly at the villain and knocking him to his knees. Mysterio draws back his fist to punch Joe, but Spidey stops him with some webbing and Mysterio escapes with the scene by jumping off the bridge and leaving behind a few lingering wisps of smoke as he disappears.

Joe gets back into the truck with May, who asks him why he would ever do such a foolish and life-risking thing. Joe replies that he felt that everybody has to do what they feel is right, and for him it was helping Spider-Man. When the moving truck reaches Peter's new apartment building, Peter and his friends help unload. He tells them that he had to ditch them at the subway to get pictures of Spidey's fight with Mysterio. Back at Peter and May's old home, May says good-bye to the place and goes to live with her neighbor Anna Watson.

The Liar

This story, written by Ann Nocenti, takes place shortly after Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5.

Peter Parker watches a spider weave its web, which Peter equates as the spider's "lie." He wonders what how he could have anything in common with the arachnid and swats away the spider-web, suddenly feeling guilty for ruining the spider's work. Peter goes downstairs and Aunt May expresses concern about the university calling and saying Peter has missed three days of school. Peter shrugs it off, saying the computer attendance must have made an error. Aunt May also questions him about washing something red in the sink last night, and Peter says he had a small nosebleed while he was really washing his mask.

Peter stops by a newsstand and picks up a Daily Bugle to find J. Jonah Jameson has gone off on another one of his tirades against Spider-Man. Angrily, he crumples up the paper and throws it toward a trash can, knocking it down with his Spidey strength. Peter runs to get to his Chemistry Lab, where Mary Jane Watson asks him to hang out with her later to get a sundae. After Peter suffers through Mr. Sebastian's "chamber of boredom" in chemistry, his advisor Ms. O'Grady approaches him about his truant classes during the past three days. Peter tells her that his Aunt May did not know about the absences because her memory is not what it used to be.

After his classes, Peter and Aunt May go grocery shopping together. Peter notices a man crossing the street outside and makes an excuse to leave the market. Peter quickly changes into his Spider-Man costume and finds the man wearing a ski-mask robbing the cashier. Spidey quickly apprehends the robber and the crowd cheers. The store boss offers Spidey a free cart of food, but Spidey declines the offer and instead points to Aunt May and asks them to take care of the "poor woman [who] got the worst fright."

After Peter reunites with his Aunt May, she tells her nephew about the robbery incident. Peter leaves to meet Gwen Stacy at the movies where they watch Casablanca. After five minutes, Peter leaves with the excuse of going to the bathroom and instead meets Mary Jane at an ice cream shop. Peter notices two large bird flying in the distance and realizes it is actually the Vulture. He leaves MJ with the feeble excuse that he has to help some guy with a large bird delivery.

Spider-Man swings through the city and finds the Vulture at the waterfront where he targets the Marine Midland Bank. The Vulture has added razors to his feathered wings and gotten a clone to try to trick Spidey, but the poorly trained clone only falls down. Spidey targets the real Vulture's eyes, but more Vulture-clones attack the super-hero and lift him up into the air. Spider-Man struggle free, but finds himself falling in the middle of the water with nothing around him to swing onto. Spidey loses consciousness and dreams of his parents when he was younger. Spidey wakes up and finds himself still falling over the water and notices a passing tugboat, which he uses to weaken the momentum of his fall.

On the tugboat, Spider-Man meets Captain Gallager. Spidey asks the captain what he thinks of liars, and the man responds that he has to lie every day to keep his men alive. Peter goes back to his date with MJ and finds his sundae all but melted. After he escorts MJ back home, Peter returns to his date with Gwen just as the show lets out. He says he could not find their seats after going to the bathroom and had to watch the movie from the back.

Deadly Force

This story, written by Richard Lee Byers, takes place shortly after Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5.

Spider-Man swings above the streets of Manhattan and notices a shadowy figure skittering up the side of an office building. He finds that the figure is the criminal mastermind dubbed by the tabloids as the Rooftop Ripper. News reports had it that the man would take attractive blonde girls onto rooftops where he would murder them and tear them apart. The two enemies exchange a few words before Spidey leaps into the air and prepares to attack the serial killer. However, the Rooftop Ripper sidesteps Spidey's attack and grabs Spidey's other arm, using his momentum to swing him into a ventilator. The killer soon overpowers Spidey, who falls unconscious.

When Spidey awakes, he finds himself cradled in the arms of a person he first assumes to be Gwen Stacy, but soon finds out that it is actually a dead corpse and another one of the Ripper's victims. The experience unnerves Spidey by reminding him of Gwen's death in Amazing Spider-Man #121. Peter walks the Empire State campus with his appetite lost and wonders what he could have done different to stop the Ripper. He wonders if he should have gone all out on the killer using all his strength despite the permanent damage it might have caused and remains undecided.

Spider-Man visits the crime scene of another one of the Rooftop Ripper's victims and talks with a nearby detective. The detective tells the super hero that he wishes Spidey had finished off the serial killer when they first met. Peter goes to the Bugle to further investigate the Ripper's crimes, but J. Jonah Jameson gives him the assignment to photograph the murders. After Jameson says he will publish a page one editorial to see if Spider-Man is the Ripper, Peter decides he will not hold back when dealing with the killer.

As Spider-Man later goes swinging through the city, he hears a woman cry for help. Spidey swings down and finds her wrestling with a man wearing a leather jacket and a ski mask. Determined to stop the Ripper once and for all, Spidey punches the man in the shoulder and breaking the man's bone. Spidey prepares to kick the man in the face, but withdraws his attack when he realizes the man is actually a teenager wearing a wool cap and is definitely not the Ripper. The woman says the teenager was actually trying to snatch her purse, but reprimands Spidey for being unnecessarily brutal.

After the ambulance picks up the teenage boy, Spider-Man re-evaluates his method of attacking the Ripper and decides to keep his head cool and use more of his tricks and tactics the next time the two meet. Later, while patrolling the city, Spidey notices the Ripper snag his next victim and bring her up to the roof. Spidey resists the urge to immediately save the girl and instead stealthily climbs up the building.

The Ripper senses Spidey's arrival and taunts the masked vigilante before attacking. Spidey dodges the killer's attacks and knocks him down when the killer staggers. The Ripper gets up and continues approaches Spidey, this time more slowly. Spidey moves from defense to offense. The Ripper decides to move to defense, picking up his next potential victim and running across the roof. Spider-Man stops the masked killer and wraps him up in a webbing cocoon for the police to handle.

The Ballad of Fancy Dan

This story, written by Ken Grobe and Steven A. Roman, takes place right after Amazing Spider-Man #146.

Spider-Man swings through Hell's Kitchen. He notices a man thrown out the window of Moe's Tavern and goes in to investigate. He finds a man named "Fancy" Dan Brito standing in the midst of the chaos. Fancy Dan tells Spidey that he came to the bar looking for information that his associates refused to procure. Spidey wraps up Fancy Dan with his webbing strands and picks up the villain and proceeds to take him to Ryker's Island prison.

As Spidey swings across town he notices that Fancy Dan is unusually quiet with all of the fight gone out of him. Fancy Dan asks Spidey for help, saying his son, the teenage piano virtuoso Rudy Loyola, has been kidnapped. Spidey agrees to look for Fancy Dan's son but still turns Fancy Dan over to the police. Spidey goes to the Daily Bugle as Peter Parker to research the kidnapping case. Ben Urich tells Peter that goons snatched the teenager from his limo and that the boy's stepfather is Joseph "Baby Joe" Loyola, the big time Atlantic City mobster.

Spider-Man slips through the security maze into "Baby" Joe's house. He notices a large Steinway piano in a room guarded by three FBI agents, as Ginger Loyola enters the room and talks to an agent. Spidey follows Ginger and tells her about his commitment to her ex-husband, Fancy Dan, to find her son. She tells Spidey she has not heard from the kidnappers and Spidey leaves when the three FBI agents from before show up.

As Spidey seeks shelter from the rain, a hail of bullets almost catches him. The man who calls himself "Monk" says that he purposely missed Spidey to get his attention. Monk says his boss, the Kingpin, has information on the kidnapping that he is willing to share. Spidey visits the Kingpin, who says his sources indicate that Rudolph is being held captive by Martin Severino, a competitor of the boy's stepfather. The Kingpin says that the boy is being constantly moved, but tells Spidey to keep an eye on Howie's Harmonies.

Spider-Man spies on the music shop for two hours before he sees a man wearing a trench coat. Spidey recognizes the figure as a poorly disguised Fancy Dan and snatches him up. Fancy Dan explains that his lawyer helped him get out of jail legally. Fancy Dan says he got word from Kingpin that his kidnapped son could be held at the music shop. They watch Ox walk into the store. Fancy Dan attempts to charge at his traitorous former henchman, but Spidey stops him, saying it would ruin their chances of saving Rudy.

Spidey and Fancy Dan follow Ox around town to a large building. They figure Ox and his twin brother, Montana, must be hiding Rudy in the penthouse and climb up there. They peek in and find Rudy sitting at a Steinway piano surrounded by guards and Montana. Ox gives him the sheet of music he bought at Howie's Harmonies and Rudy starts playing. Martin Severino enters the room and says that he brought a bit of home back to Rudy and gives him the battered form of his stepfather, Joseph Loyola.

Martin asks "Baby Joe" Loyola why he refuses to sell his the casino when it would make Rudy's life less "complicated." Martin unholsters a gun, causing Fancy Dan to snap and charge after the alleged gangster. Spider-Man charges in, too, dealing with Ox and Montana. As the scene unfolds, Severino bolts from the room and Fancy Dan helps Spidey defeat his Montana. Ox attacks Fancy Dan, who tells his henchman that Rudy is his son. Ox soon realizes his mistake, and Fancy Dan quickly overpowers him.

The FBI handle the crime scene in the penthouse. Rudy reunites with the rest of his family and thanks Fancy Dan for saving him and his dad. Fancy Dan realizes that his son does not know that he is his biological father. Later the Kingpin reads the story of the Loyolas' rescue in the Daily Bugle. The Kingpin smiles at the story and the uninvited Spider-Man emerges from the surrounding darkness, accusing the crime lord of having his hand in this from the start. Kingpin does not confess to Spidey's accusations, but says that, in the end, "the good guys won, and the bad guys lost," even if a third party had been involved.

Poison in the Soul

This story, written by Glenn Greenberg, takes place around the events of Amazing Spider-Man #183-184.

Two burglars, Markie and Ralphie, rob the Adelman's Fine Jewelry Shop on the Upper East Side of New York City. However, they meet Spider-Man, who turns the two partners in crime to the authorities. As Spidey continues swinging through the city, he thinks about an engagement ring he had recovered in Ralphie's pocket and compares it to the one he had given to Mary Jane the other day. He knows that he would have to tell him his secret identity as Spider-Man, but he wonders at what time he should do it.

Harry wakes up Peter the next day, telling him that his college friend from Freshman year, Martin Schultz, had committed suicide, leaving a note saying "poison in the soul." Peter takes the personal blame for Marty's death, reasoning that a time when he missed an opportunity to reconnect with his old acquaintance. Peter then remembers that he had been busy at the time saving people from a burning building. Peter goes to Marty's funeral the next morning where he sees Mary Jane Watson and Flash Thompson, but stops when he realizes he can not go there if he was part of the reason Marty had died.

Seeking a familiar setting, Peter goes to the Daily Bugle where J. Jonah Jameson gives him the assignment of taking pictures of the Shocker, who had broken out of jail the previous night. Peter goes as Spider-Man and finds the Shocker in the center of Broadway and Nineteenth Street, blasting away all surrounding police cars. Spidey swings down and connects a punch to the Shocker's jaw. The Shocker recuperates from the blow quicker than Spidey had suspected, and Spidey reasons that the Shocker's insulated mask must have absorbed the punch.

Spider-Man prepares to cut loose with his attacks when the Shocker suddenly attacks a residential building on Nineteenth Street. Spidey swings in to the falling rubble to help the people trapped in the building, but the Shocker attacks Spidey from the back with a vibro-blast. The Shocker retreats and Spidey sends a spider-tracker that attaches itself to the back section of the Shocker's belt

Later, Spidey finds the spider-tracer abandoned at the Forest Hills Cemetery. Spidey remembers the death of Uncle Ben when he first acquired his Spider-Man powers and the later death of Gwen Stacy. Spider-Man realizes this is the cemetery where they had buried Marty Schultz and resigns to visit the teenager's grave. Suddenly, the Shocker emerges from the shadows and reveals that Marty is actually his younger brother. The Shocker says he broke out of prison to visit his brother's grave because they would not allow him to visit the funeral. Spidey covers the Shocker's wrist devices with webbing and allowed the criminal to pay his final respects to his brother before bringing him back to prison.

Livewires

This story, written by Steve Lyons, takes place shortly after Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #45.

Steve Hopkins runs from his cubicle to his office door for a chem lab session and crashes into Debra Whitman. As Steve gathers his things, Debra picks up a rubber spider, wondering if this would be another one of his practical jokes on Marcy Kane. Steve confesses and goes off to help Marcy with her research project for Dr. Sloan.

Peter Parker visits Marcy to his assignment from the Daily Globe to take pictures and monitor the situation. Marcy has arranged for the villain Electro to be taken from Ryker's Island prison to Empire State University so she could figure out how Electro uses her powers. Since Hopkins does not arrive on time, she asks Phillip Chang to be her replacement assistant. Marcy's machine counteracts Electro's powers to stop him from escaping, but Electro refuses to use his powers so Marcy can not collect any data.

While attending his classes, Peter tells Debra that he can not make their date the next evening because of his assignment for the Globe. Electro still refuses to cooperate with the tests. Marcy tells Steve that he has been replaced by Philip as her assistant. Steve taunts Electro and tricks him into using his powers. The evening comes, and Peter Parker goes as Spider-Man to patrol the entrance to the lab in case Electro caused some trouble. With no signs of trouble, Spidey decides to retire from his post early and get some work done at the Globe.

At his cubicle, Peter notices Steve preparing to pull off a prank in Phil Chang's cubicle. Steve tells Peter that he has crosswired Phil's entire cubicle. Peter realizes that since much of the building's power is being used to contain Electro, the strain Steve puts on the building might be too much. However, Steve ignores Peter's short warning and flips the switch in Phil's cubicle. The lights in the entire building go out.

Electro seizes the opportunity to escape. Peter vanishes from the main building and Spidey asks to Marcy and Philip about Electro's escape. Spidey figures that Electro must not still be fully charged and seeks after the villain. Max Dillon runs through blacked out corridors of the university's main building yielding a gun he had stolen from a guard. Dillon runs into Steve Hopkins, whom the criminal recognizes the man who had previously taunted, and aims his gun at him. Suddenly, a booming voice announces that the police have surrounded the building.

Spider-Man stops searching the surrounding streets and swings to the main building to join the police. Spidey tells Lieutenant Billinghurst that his best chance of defeating Electro is a direct confrontation before he fully regains his powers. Electro takes Steve as hostage, putting the gun next to the man's head. Electro turns his weapon on Spidey, who takes the opportunity to knock the revolver away. Electro fires sparks at Spidey, who back handsprings away, but is clearly shaken.

Spider-Man retreats into Phillip Chang's cubicle. Electro powers down to recuperate, and Spidey throws a harmless pen at the villain, who fires a critical blast at it. Spidey tackles Electro, but Electro gains the upper hand again by grabbing Spidey's wrists and channeling electric energy to the super hero's grounded body. Steve attacks the villain with a non-conductive makeshift weapon, which is later revealed to be a plastic skeleton, and the battle ends. About an hour later, Marcy tells Peter that she had collected enough information to finish her research.

Arms and the Man

This story, written by Keith R. A. DeCandido, takes place right after Amazing Spider-Man #15.

Writer Randall "Randy" Andros sits with his editor Kathryn Elisabeth Huck at a nice Midtown Manhattan restaurant. Randy recounts the time when he told Kathryn he wanted to write a biography about Otto Octavius. Randy calls that action "the dumbest thing [he] ever did." Randy proceeds to tell his editor how she wrote the biography, initially titled Requiem for an Octopus: The Life of Dr. Otto Octavius.

In his story, Randy Andros starts by researching Dr. Otto Octavius' origins and how a laboratory explosion had fused the tentacles to his mind and body. Randy went on to interview friends and family members. Randy finds one of Dr. Octavius' former workers at the the USARC, Brian Huss and Dinah Dunn. Brian Huss tells Randy that the only person who knew Dr. Octavius on a personal level was Dr. Mary Alice Anders. He says they dated for a bit before breaking up. Dinah Dunn reveals that she started calling the man Dr. Octopus, instead of the presses as Randy had first believed, when Octavius first got his tentacles.

Four days later, Randy goes over his notes and finds out that everybody seems to have different impressions of Dr. Octavius. Randy tried contacting Mary Alice, but finds she is still in the hospital from a car crash that had killed her husband, Ronald Burke. Randy decides to talk with reporters for the Bugle and J. Jonah Jameson. Mr. Jameson calls Dr. Octavius "nutty as a fruitcake" and "as big a menace as Spider-Man," and goes on a rant about Spider-Man.

Next, Randy learns about brain specialist Dr. Kevin Hunt, who proclaimed that Octavius had suffered from brain damage after the explosion. Randy interviews Joe Robertson, who provides the names of some of George Stacy's friends, as George Stacy was one of Doc Ock's most famous murders. After the interview, Ben Urich introduces Randy to Phil Sheldon, who had interviewed Doc Ock shortly after George Stacy's death. Sheldon tells Randy that despite all the talk of how crazy Doc Ock was, the man he interviewed was "frighteningly sane."

Randy finds Dr. Kevin Hunt working at the ESU Medical Center, who says he is still not one hundred percent sure of his initial diagnosis declaring Dr. Octavius brain damaged. Rather, he theorizes that the strange brain behavior he had observed came from Dr. Octavius' brain adjusting to the four new limbs. Randy finds Doc Ock's cousin, Thomas Hargrove, and learns more about Otto Octavius' childhood. Peter Parker calls Randy after she tells Urich and Conover to pass his number to the photographer. Peter recounts the time when his Aunt May had taken in Octavius as a boarder looking for a place to stay.

The next day, Mary Alice Burke's lawyer, Clarice Levin, calls Randy and says she will have to advise her client not to speak with him. Clarice says any information her client gives to Randy might jeopardize her pending lawsuit against Octavius. Randy's next phone call comes from the Vulture's lawyer, Ruth Asby. She tells Randy she has advised her client not to talk with the autobiographer in fear that it might interfere with his rehabilitation. Later that day, Kathryn Huck calls Randy and tells her to come to her office fast. There, she meets Dr. Octavius' lawyer, Alan Schechter, who says he has issued a court order to stop Randy from publishing his book until after his client's trial. Doc Ock's lawyer finishes by indefinitely postponing his client and Randy's meeting.

However, the following day, Schechter calls Kathryn and says his client wants to talk with Randy. The biographer hurries to Ryker's Island to talk with the criminal. Octavius asks Randy why he wanted to write about his life. Randy replies by saying he had finished writing Iron Man's biography and was interested in paranormal beings. Throughout their interview, Octavius asserts that he is the master of radiation, and that everything under his control goes as planned. Doc Ock explains Spider-Man in terms of a lab experiment. Doc Ock says he grows bored of Randy's questions and asks him to leave.

Randy leaves the interview in a daze and starts to agree with Phil Sheldon's characterization of the villain. When Randy enters his apartment, he finds a stranger sitting on his couch reading a magazine. The man points a silenced gun at Randy and says, "My name's Niner. We got a mutual acquaintance in common, Mr. Andros. Name of Otto. He wanted to send a message to people who mess around with his life."

The man pulls the trigger and leaves, leaving Randy to die. However, Spider-Man swings by to tell Randy to pick a different subject for his next biography, but realizes he is too late, instead calling an ambulance. As Randy loses consciousness, he tries to explain to Spidey that Octavius is not crazy, but just plain evil.

Later, Randy wakes up in the hospital and spends the next three weeks recovering. He receives a note from Spider-Man saying he hopes she was wrong about Octavius. Randy decides to stop writing the biography and instead turns his career to the realms of fiction.

My Enemy, My Savior

This story, written by Eric Fein, takes place during the continuity when the book was published in 1997.

In his office, J. Jonah Jameson practices his acceptance speech for the title of Humanitarian of the Year. Mr. Jameson leaves work for the night, leaving his office to be cleaned by a night porter whose name Jameson could not remember. Jameson goes to his limo and continues working on his speech. Suddenly, the limo starts driving out of control and the driver says he can not lift his foot. The limo crashes, and Jameson gets out and falls unconscious, before seeing the form of a large man approaching. The large man is revealed to be MacDonald Gargan (a.k.a. the Scorpion) who had sabotaged Jameson's limousine with a spider-like droid.

Spider-Man swings through town to the Daily Bugle and changes to Peter Parker to sell the Bugle some of his pictures of Spidey in action. However, Peter finds the Bugle in a frenzy over Mr. Jameson's abduction. Meanwhile, Jameson wakes up and finds himself chained to a hospital gurney in a high tech lab where normal Spider-Slayers construct a large mechanical Spider-Slayer.

A voice tells Jameson that this is his funeral and Jameson sees that it is Alistair Smythe, who has teamed up with the Scorpion. Smythe says he can not bear the hypocrisy of Jameson earning the Humanitarian of the Year award because he still holds Jameson responsible for his father's death. Smythe says the large Spider-Slayer has been designed to hold a passenger and that he intends to put Jameson in so that he can die at the hands of Spider-Man. Smythe gives Jameson audio and video access to the events that happen outside the Slayer, but keeps the controller to himself.

Spider-Man receives a tip from one of his street sources that the Scorpion was involved in the kidnapping. The large Spider-Slayer attacks Spidey on the Bugle's roof. Spidey tries toppling some of the Bugle's letters on the Slayer, but it continues attacking him with its four limbs which each split into two tendrils. One tendril manages to catch Spidey's leg, but Spidey breaks it away using his spider-strength. Spidey jumps onto the Slayer's back and punches the joint that connects the head to the body and pulls out as much circuitry as he can.

The mechanism stops attacking and announces that it will self-destruct in sixty seconds. Spider-Man throws the Slayer into the East River. The Scorpion takes the opportunity to attack Spidey and thank him for taking care of Jameson. Spidey realizes the Slayer must have had a passenger and jumps back to the Slayer and saves Jameson. Back at Smythe's lab, the Scorpion prepares to celebrate their victory before Smythe informs him of their defeat.

Smythe attacks the Scorpion with his Spider-Slayers and Spider-Man shows up using a spider-tracer he had placed on the Scorpion. Spidey pummels Smythe and flips over the Scorpion when he tries to attack. Spidey left the two criminals for the cops to handle. The next night at the Humanitarian of the Year Award dinner, Jameson turns down the honor would be hypocritical to accept the award after facing two villains whose origins could slightly be traced to himself. Nevertheless, Jameson says he will still continue his crusade against dangerous costumed vigilantes, especially Spider-Man. Meanwhile, Peter's spider-sense alerts him to a band of heavily armed men about to break into the banquet. Spider-Man stops them and the story makes the front page.

The Stalking of John Doe

This story, written by Adam-Troy Castro, takes place during the continuity when the book was published in 1997.

Dr. Gwendolyn Harris works at the Emergency Psychiatric Unit of Midtown Hospital during a particular stormy night. Bill The Security Guard tells Dr. Harris that they have another "John Doe." The patient arrives at the Unit wearing two straitjackets and escorted by five cops. John Doe screams, "He's coming to get me! He'll be here before you know it! He'll kill all of you to get me, don't you know that?"

John Doe struggles to escape and Dr. Harris moves closer to calm the man. John Doe stops struggling when she introduces herself to the man. John Doe says she can not be "Gwendy" because the Goblin killed her. John Doe pleads with Dr. Harris, saying "the Hunter" shot him with a venomous dart that makes all his nightmares come back. The five cops, security guards Gordy and Flack, and Dr. Harris take John Doe to a padded isolation cell.

The cops tell Dr. Harris that they found the man attacking a bunch of folks at the Cineplex. As the cops leave, Dr. Harris asks Gordy and Flack to stick around while she attempts to do blood work on John Doe. As she quickly does the blood work, John Doe starts ranting about spiders and how "the Hunter" will get him. Dr. Harris runs down to the lab and tells the tech, Willie, about John Doe's blood status and state of health.

Outside, the cops receive reports of a half-man, half-lion creature spotted on rooftops. Later that night, Dr. Harris reads John Doe's lab report and finds the man's blood has tested positive for snake venom. Dr. Harris goes to John Doe's padded cell and finds the man has somehow escaped from being strapped to the railing. Dr. Harris goes inside the cell and the man tells her about how "the Hunter" probably already knows where he is and watching the building. The man stares at her and comes to the conclusion that she is not Gwendy, but only looks a bit like her.

John Doe says the Hunter jumped him at SoHo and he had to take off suit and ditch the mask to escape. John Doe realizes she can see his face and promptly covers it with his hands. Dr. Harris says she does not care what he looks like, but only wants to help him. John Doe soon becomes convinced that Dr. Harris is his Gwendy, but Dr. Harris reminds him that she is not. The man stands up and walks over to open up the locked door, bringing a large piece of the wall with it. John Doe easily passes Gordy and Flack and almost escapes as the two guards chase after him, but suddenly the man turns back at the guards and gestures at them with both hands and becomes surprised when nothing happens. The two guards tackle the man, and John Doe only stops wrestling with them when Dr. Harris yells "Stop!"

The Psychiatric Unit decides to take no more chances with John Doe and they secure him with every restraint they can find. Dr. Harris asks Willie the lab guy if there was any chance John Doe could be a paranormal. Willie says that the man has some blood factors that his test could not account for, but says it is possible. Bill The Guard suddenly rushes by Dr. Harris' office and says there has been a breach in security. Dr. Harris becomes convinced that the intruder is John Doe's "Hunter." Dr. Harris goes to John Doe's cell and finds the man has gone ballistic. John Doe starts ripping off the padding from the cell and slams his body against the door to make a crack large enough for him to slide through.

John Doe asks Gwendy for gauze so he can protect his identity from the Hunter, and Dr. Harris gives some to him. John Doe urges Dr. Harris to hide while he faces off against the Hunter. Dr. Harris, not intent on leaving her patient alone, decides to help John Doe and her staff. As the two fight, Dr. Harris looks for an opening but can not find any. Gordy gets up and charges at the Hunter, distracting the man for a second. John Doe escapes and the Hunter makes eye contact with Dr. Harris. John Doe picks up Dr. Harris and carries her along the corridors, throwing her in the supply closet.

Knowing that it is likely the last thing she might ever do, Dr. Harris charges outside the supply closet and plunges two hypodermic needles filled with Thorazine into the Hunter's neck. The Hunter threatens to break Dr. Harris' neck. John Doe screams "No! Not again!" and attacks the Hunter with a rapid series of blows. The Hunter flees for his life and John Doe pursues him after checking on Dr. Harris. Two weeks after the incident, Dr. Harris finds a vase of roses and a letter from John Doe on her desk. In the letter, the unnamed man writes that he is sorry for the trouble he brought to Dr. Harris' Unit and thanks her for her help. Dr. Harris notices a spider on the vase and sets it free outside.

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