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Quote1 That's what I like about you, Torch -- you're so gracious! Quote2
-- Spider-Man

Appearing in "Double Jeopardy"

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Vehicles:

  • Train
  • Wizard's van

Synopsis for "Double Jeopardy"

As Spider-Man collars a jewel thief, he is almost struck in mid-air by the Human Torch who is racing to LaGuardia Airport. Spider-Man wonders what the hot-head is up to when he catches a news report about how the Human Torch is trying to prevent disasters set up across the city set up by his foe the Wizard. In order to challenge the youngest member of the Fantastic Four, the Wizard has provided a number of riddles, the answers of which will lead him to the location of the disasters. Hearing that the riddle the Torch is trying to solve is "LaGuardia was the first", Spider-Man realizes that there are two answers to that riddle and the Torch is going to the wrong location. With lives on the line, Spider-Man rushes to Gracie Mansion, the residence of the Mayor of New York City. Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia was the first mayor to reside in the mansion when it was first built. Sure enough, when the wall-crawler arrives on the scene he witnesses people fleeing the mansion which has been filled with gas. Creating a crude gas-mask out of webbing, Spider-Man crawls into the mansion and finds the device emitting the gas and tosses it into the nearby river. Figuring that the danger is over, Spider-Man heads back to Queens so he can get to class. Along the way, he recalls how the Wizard was a brilliant inventor and escape artist. When his fame was overshadowed by the appearance of the Fantastic Four, he made it his mission to destroy the Human Torch and regain his lost fame.[Continuity 1]

When Peter Parker arrives at class, Flash Thompson and his friends are listening to radio reports about the Wizard's attack on the city. Flash is confident that the Wizard will eventually get defeated by Spider-Man and the Human Torch. When they notice Peter, Flash scoffs at Parker for not using his intelligence to help solve the Wizard's riddles, totally unaware of the fact that Peter is secretly his hero Spider-Man. Sitting at his desk, Peter finds a note in his math book from Aunt May reminding him that he has an appointment with his optometrist that afternoon. Peter is dreading this appointment because, since his glasses broke, he discovered that his vision had been corrected by his newfound spider-powers. He is afraid that an eye exam might turn up something about his eyes that will compromise his double identity.[Continuity 2] That's when another news bulleting comes on the radio. It reveals that the Wizard's riddle is "the only building in Manhattan that isn't wrong." Quickly deducing the answer, Peter claims that he is feeling ill and is excused from class.

Changing into Spider-Man and swinging into the city, Parker arrives at the Guggenheim Museum to discover that a massive energy dome has been erected around the building. His arrival is followed by the Human Torch, who is surprised to see the wall-crawler there. The Torch figures he has the situation well under hand, using his flame powers to try and blast through the force field, but this has no effect. That's when Spider-Man spots a device at the top of the dome and direct the Torch to use his flame on that. With the device reduced to slag, the force field disappears. That's when Spider-Man and the Torch are approached by a representative of the mayor's office. He tells him that he is part of a taskforce put together by the mayor which includes research librarians, as well as experts in history and the sciences that have been gathered to help crack the Wizard's riddles. However, the Torch refuses this offer of aid, telling them that he and Spider-Man will be able to figure out the riddles on their own. Once they are away from everyone, the Torch admits that he doesn't like the wall-crawler overly much, but he'd rather deal with Spider-Man than city officials.

Meanwhile, back at Midtown High, Jason Ionello finds Sally Avril practicing gymnastics in the gym. He tells her that he just came up with an idea to make them popular among their classmates, more popular even than Flash Thompson. This proposition greatly interests Sally, who asks Jason to tell her more about his plan.

Back in Manhattan, Spider-Man and the Human Torch begin solving the Wizard's riddles with relative ease. As a result, they stop attacks on Radio City Music Hall, Battery Park, and Stuyvesant Park. While at the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson is furious that Peter Parker has not been around to provide photographs for the paper.[Continuity 3] That's when Betty Brant informs him of Spider-Man and the Human Torch's activities in the city and suggests that Peter is out taking photos of that. This improves Jonah's mood who already begins thinking up ways to spin the story to fit his anti-Spider-Man editorials. By this point, Spider-Man and the Torch have stopped the latest of the Wizard's traps. However, Spider-Man is becoming increasingly concerned that someone will eventually get hurt and suggests that they change tactics. The wall-crawler has the Torch take him to the Fantastic Four's headquarters at the Baxter Building. There, the web-head explains that the Wizard is using radio broadcasts to transmit his riddles. However, he must be using a mobile broadcasting station in order to evade FCC tracking methods. As Spider-Man scrambles to build a device that will help him track the Wizard, the villain broadcasts his next riddle. This one "always walk the plank" has the Torch thinking that the threat is to the waterfront. However, Spider-Man knows better deducing that this is a reference to Plank's Constant a complex mathematic equation. From that equation, he realizes that the attack is happening at the subways station between 626 and 755 6th Street.

Going into the subway station, the two heroes discover an army of robots trying to disassemble the subway tracks. The pair begins battling the robots until Spider-Man spots an oncoming subway train. He quickly orders the Torch to use his powers to fuse the tracks back together, quickly diffusing the current crisis. With the danger over, the pair uses the devices that Spider-Man rigged up to triangulate the Wizard's location. They find the Wizard working out of a moving van and quickly subdue him. When the authorities arrive to arrest the Wizard he is furious at being bested by two youths. He is even more enraged when Spider-Man quickly deduces his next riddle that would have led them to an attack on the Cloisters. In the aftermath of the battle, the Torch invites Spider-Man back to the Baxter Building to see his new car. However, he becomes exasperated and leaves when Spider-Man is more interested in seeing more of Reed Richard's lab and flies away. Later, Peter develops his photos and sells them to the Daily Bugle, even though Jameson has issues with their quality. When Peter says he is going home to relax, Jameson scolds him for slouching on the job, saying that there are mobsters running wild on the street and the paper needs pictures.

While at a diner in Queens, Peter's classmates are talking about the latest edition of the Daily Bugle which is offering a large reward for proof of Spider-Man's secret identity. That's when Jason Ionello informs his classmates that he and Sally intend to uncover Spider-Man's secret identity and claim the reward.

Notes

Continuity Notes

  1. This is recounting the Wizard's origins from Strange Tales #102.
  2. Peter's glasses were broken by Flash Thompson in Amazing Spider-Man #8. In reality, Peter may not have needed glasses to begin with as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #-1, Aunt May bought Peter glasses out of concern that he might be straining his eyes by reading so much.
  3. The headline on the Daily Bugle mentions the Big Man's crime spree. The Big Man's reign of terror was chronicled in Amazing Spider-Man #10.

See Also

Footnotes



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