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Quote1 Listen, if Spidey wants to keep his identity a secret, I'm sure he has a good reason, and that's all I need to know! I'd never do that to Spidey -- never! Quote2
-- Flash

Appearing in "On the Trail of the Amazing Spider-Man!"

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Synopsis for "On the Trail of the Amazing Spider-Man!"

Spider-Man is speaking with Batwing and offers to take him to Reed Richards to help find a cure for Batwing. Louring the frightened creature out of hiding with food, Spider-Man tries to convince Batwing to come with him. However, Batwing is afraid of doctors and tests and flees before the wall-crawler can convince him to come.[Continuity 1] As Spider-Man wonders what to do about Batwing, he is unaware that he is being observed by Sally Avril and Jason Ionello. The pair are spying on the wall-crawler in the hopes of figuring out Spider-Man's identity and claiming a reward being offered by the Daily Bugle. The web-spinner catches them, asks them to leave him alone, and swings away. The next day Jason makes up a story about how Spider-Man was going to attack him but Sally calls him out on being scared. Walking past them is Peter Parker, who is amused when he hears Jason's tall tale. That's when Peter Parker is handed flyer for a new eye clinic. Peter recalls how his Aunt May has been after him to get an eye exam done since his glasses were broken, he has been afraid to do so because his usual eye doctor might notice something different about his eyes and compromising his double identity.[Continuity 2] He figures that this new eye doctor will be the solution to his situation and books an appointment with Dr. Winslow under an alias. Winslow takes Peter into his examination room where he has Peter sit in a strange machine that Winslow claims is supposed to test his vision. Peter's spider-sense goes off as the machine is activated by he blacks out before he can react. Later, Dr. Winslow wakes him up and escorts him out of the office. As it turns out "Doctor Winslow" is actually a rogue scientist named Gerard Winkler, who is working with the villain known as Electro. This was the last of Winkler's tests of his new brainwashing device. Satisfied that his plan will work, the two villains begin plotting opening eye-clinics all over the city so they can use their device on many more unsuspecting victims.

Meanwhile, Peter arrives at the Daily Bugle office to pick up Betty Brant for a date. J. Jonah Jameson yells at Peter on his way out to get some pictures of The Big Man and his Enforcers. That's when reporter Frederick Foswell suggests that there might not be a Big Man, that he may be a fabrication to throw off the authorities. Jameson likes this theory, thinking that this would be just the thing Spider-Man would do to cover up his crimes.[Continuity 3] During their dinner, Peter feels woozy so they end their date early. Before she leaves, Betty hugs Peter and says she hopes she doesn't lose him either. When Peter asks what she means, Betty walks away without an explanation.[Continuity 4] Deciding to go out on patrol to get a lead on the Big Man, Spider-Man interrupts a robbery. However, while trying to convince one of Big Man’s henchmen to tell him where to find him, he gets dizzy again. Entering a trance-like state Spider-Man grabs two bags of stolen cash from the robbers and heads to Dr. Wilson’s office, following a group of people all doing the same. This strange procession is spotted by Sally Avril and Jason Ionello who had resumed their hunt for Spider-Man's identity. Realizing that there is more going on here, Sally and Jason decide to follow after them.

Spider-Man and the other enthralled people return to Winkler's optometrist's office. There he and Electro are surprised to see that Spider-Man is among those they have entranced. This causes Electro to recalls how he got his powers when he was struck by lightning while working on high tension wires and how Spider-Man defeated him by using a firehose during their first battle. Seeking to get revenge against the wall-crawler, Electro attempts to unmask Spider-Man. Sally and Jason are watching from the side and decide to take a picture. Not only does the flash alert Electro of their presence, but it also snaps Spider-Man out of his trance. As Spider-Man and Electro trade blows, Gerhard Winkler orders his slaves to attack Spider-Man. However, they end up swarming Electro instead, allowing the web-slinger to grab his foe and toss him into Winkler's machine, destroying it. This causes the entranced people to snap out of Winkler's control, prompting the scientist to flee before he is recognized. However, Electro is not down for the count and he is about to attack Spider-Man when he is kicked in the face by Sally Avril. This stuns the villain long enough for Spider-Man to knock out his foe with single punch. To thank Sally and Jason for their help, Spider-Man takes their picture with Electro, a photo that lands them on the front page of the Daily Bugle.

The next day at school, Sally and Jason are the talk among their peers thanks to the front page photo. With the attention shifted away from him, Flash jealously walks away from the group. This is seen by Peter Parker who tries to talk to Flash, but he isn't interested in talking to Parker about his feelings. When Parker asks why he doesn't also try to uncover Spider-Man's secret identity, Flash explains that he could never do that it his hero. Hearing this touches Peter, who tells Flash that he isn't as dumb as he looks. This backhanded compliment confuses Flash who wonders what Parker's comments are all about. Meanwhile, Jason and Sally have agreed to stop chasing around Spider-Man. However, Sally has become addicted to the thrill of danger and has come up with a whole new idea.

Notes

Continuity Notes

  1. Spider-Man recounts his past encounter with Batwing. That happened in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #2.
  2. Peter's glasses were broken by Flash Thompson in Amazing Spider-Man #8.
  3. This story takes place during the events of Amazing Spider-Man #10 when the Big Man and his Enforcers were busy terrorizing the city.
  4. Betty is referring to her brother Bennett who, at the time of this story, is in deep debt with the mob as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #11.

See Also

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