- Spider-Man is back-- and I'm here to stay!
- -- Spider-Man
Appearing in "The Spider and the Scarecrow"
- Green Goblin (Norman Osborn)
- J. Jonah Jameson
- Anna Watson
- Dr. Bromwell
- Liz Allan
- Jason Ionello
- Tiny McKeever
- Iron Man (Tony Stark) (Recap)
- Vulture (Adrian Toomes) (Mentioned)
- Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius) (Mentioned)
- Goblin Glider
Synopsis for "The Spider and the Scarecrow"
In the dead of night, the villain known as the Scarecrow breaks into a penthouse apartment and steals a collection of jewels and money from a safe with the help of his specially trained crows. With a job well done, the Scarecrow disappears into the night, laughing the whole way.
Elsewhere in the city, Peter Parker is brooding over his recent problems. His Aunt May is sick, Betty Brant is angry with him, and the whole world thinks Spider-Man is a coward after he was forced to flee a battle with the Green Goblin.[Continuity 1] His thoughts are interrupted when J. Jonah Jameson's limo pulls up. Jameson spotted Peter and tells him about the recent string of robberies by the Scarecrow and tells Peter to go out and get some exclusive pictures of the villain. Before Peter can provide an explanation of why he can't do it, Jameson pulls away. Peter once again fears what might happen to Aunt May if he gets hurt while being Spider-Man, but needs to make money to pay for her medical bills. With no other choice, Peter changes into Spider-Man and begins patrolling the area where the Scarecrow has been sighted. Sure enough, he spots the villain slipping into a nearby skylight. Getting in closer to set up his camera, the wall-crawler is suddenly swarmed by the villain's trained crows and is sent crashing through the window into the building.
This blows Spider-Man's element of surprise, but when the Scarecrow tries to attack the web-slinger leaps out of the way, wanting to avoid a fight. Refusing to explain why, Spider-Man at least gets Scarecrow talking about his own origins and learns how he was a contortionist and escape artist who decided to use his skills for crime after he used his abilities to capture a crook. After devising the identity of the Scarecrow, the villain then explained how his first foray into crime was abruptly ended after a run-in with Iron Man.[Continuity 2] Although Spider-Man finds this all very interesting, he tries to excuse himself but his exit is blocked by the murder of crows. Figuring the stories of Spider-Man being a coward are true, the Scarecrow then lunges at the hero. Still, the wall-crawler manages to slip away and escape. Still, after this latest bit of cowardice, Spider-Man figures that his career is finally over.
Returning home, Peter changes back into his civilian identity and is delighted to see that his Aunt May is up an about, feeling grateful that her friend Anna Watson has been around to help. Going up into his room, Peter strips off his Spider-Man costume and tosses it in the trash figuring he is done with being Spider-Man for good. He then tries to focus on his studies, but can't focus and decides to go out for a walk. He bumps into Flash Thompson who begins asking Peter if his aunt is feeling better. Despite Flash's genuine concern, Peter angrily tells Thompson to leave him alone and storms off. This outburst is also witnessed by Liz Allan and both agree that there is something wrong with Parker. That's not all, Liz notices that Flash has a black eye. He explains that he attempted to repair Spider-Man's damaged reputation by masquerading as the costumed hero. Unfortunately, this led to his getting beaten up.[Continuity 3] When Liz tells him not to do a stunt like that again, Flash assures her that he can't as the costume went missing shortly after his stunt. Later that evening, the Scarecrow has completed yet another robbery. As he is making his getaway he is confronted by the Green Goblin, who is impressed with the Scarecrow's abilities. When the Goblin offers Scarecrow a place in his gang, the villain turns it down. Angered at this rejection, the Goblin flies away vowing that the Scarecrow will regret turning him down.
The next morning, Peter wakes up and is surprised to see his Aunt May walking around against doctors orders. When he walks her to her wheelchair, she explains that despite the fact that she is old and frail, she won't let her infirmities stop her from fighting. That's when Doctor Bromwell arrives for his house call and is happy to hear that May is in good spirits.[Continuity 4] May's speech also inspires Peter, who finds himself smiling for the first time since Aunt May first got sick. After school, Peter goes back up to his room and recovers his Spider-Man costume from the trash. Later that evening, Peter goes out as Spider-Man again and tracks down the Scarecrow. This time, he is willing to fight, which catches the thief off guard. As fate would have it, the battle is witnessed by Flash Thompson, who is glad to see Spider-Man is back. After webbing up his foe's army of crows, Spider-Man then tricks the Scarecrow into snapping open one of his web-cartridges, wrapping up the villain for the authorities.
After the battle, Spider-Man gives Flash an autograph, but refuses to be called a hero, telling his greatest fan that policemen and firefighters are the real heroes before swinging off, assuring Flash that Spider-Man is back for good. Elsewhere in the city, someone removes Flash Thompson's missing Spider-Man costume from a bag. As they flatten out the costume, the person who took it begins to laugh as he considers the next step of his plan.
- The sinister Scarecrow is scaring the beejeezies out of New York!
- How can one little wall-crawler take down the guy who fought Iron Man to a standstill?
- Plus: Peter's relationship with Betty takes a turn for the worse!
- ↑ This is all referencing the events of Amazing Spider-Man #17. Betty Brant is angry with Peter for going to a meeting of the Spider-Man Fan Club, thinking he snubbed her to go with Liz Allan. Aunt May suffered a heart attack, and upon hearing this he was forced to leave his battle with the Green Goblin. This story takes place between the events of Amazing Spider-Man #18.
- ↑ The Scarecrow battled Iron Man in Tales of Suspense #51. That story was also expanded upon in Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin #3. Spider-Man remarks to the opposite parallels between their origins. He is referring to how the murder of his Uncle Ben in Amazing Fantasy #15 convinced Peter to become a hero.
- ↑ Flash posed as Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #18.
- ↑ Here, May states that she is sixty-years-old. As this story takes place during Amazing Spider-Man #18, this story takes place during "Year One" of the Modern Age per the Sliding Timescale. May is stated as being in her "Early Seventies" in Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #2, which -- per the Timescale -- takes place roughly 10 years after this story. As such the age that May states here should be considered accurate.
Events in this story occur behind the scenes that affects the chronology of the following characters:
- ↑ Spider-Man:
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