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Appearing in "There, But for Fortune!"

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Synopsis for "There, But for Fortune!"


In the early days of World War II, before America entered the conflict, Dominic Fortune found himself smashing up a casino operation along with his female companion Sabbath Raven. They have been hired to recover some plans that had been stolen by Nazi spies. The pair managed to round up the spies and helped capture their leader Baron Wolfgang von Lundt. Their capture landed them in the newspapers.


An elderly Dominic Fortune struggles to flee from a gang of thugs who want him dead.[Continuity 1] As he flees down an alley, Dominic trips over a discarded can. He manages to get his footing, but he is cornered in a dead end. When he offers to pay the men off, in order to spare his life, they refuse. Not far away, Spider-Man is web-slinging across the city. He is in a depressed mood. He wonders what he is going to do with the solid gold notebook he took from a building that the Beyonder turned into gold.[Continuity 2] He considers this as big a mistake as the night that he allowed a burglar get away, who later went on to murder his Uncle Ben.[Continuity 3] He wishes his Uncle Ben was still alive so he'd have someone to talk to so he can do the right thing.

Back in the alley, Dominic Fortune finds a metal pipe in a trash can and uses it to defend himself. When one of his attackers pulls a gun, Spider-Man arrives on the scene and webs up the gun and trounces them. By this point, Dominic finds himself having trouble breathing. Spider-Man realizes there is trouble, he swings off with Fortune to get him medical attention. Meanwhile, at the 68th Street office of Steele Enterprises, Simon Steele is furious to hear that his men were defeated by Dominic Fortune.[Continuity 4] They explain that Spider-Man interfered, but Steele decides to prepare for further interference from the wall-crawler, as he does not want Dominic to accomplish his goals.[Continuity 5] Steele wonders what Dominic would think if he knew he was being targeted once more by Baron Wolfgang von Lundt.[Continuity 6] Meanwhile, at a nearby hospital, Dominic Fortune is visited by his son Jerry insists that his father returns to a retirement home. However, Dominic refuses to do so. This leads to an argument between the two. That's when Peter Parker enters the room, telling Jerry that his father has become quite a hero and has come to take photos of him for the Daily Bugle. Jerry asks if Peter will be there to take photos when his father is found dead in a gutter and walks out of the room.

Dominic tells Peter to ignore his son's comments, telling him that his son would rather he lives a quiet life with Jerry's family. However, the quiet life drove him crazy he had a thirst for adventure, leading to his recent adventure with Spider-Man. Peter mentions that his Aunt May lived at Restwell Retirement Home with Dominic and that she now runs a boarding house. Dominic turns down the offer to move in there, telling Peter that he won't rest until he found his former lover, Sabbath Raven. On his way out, Peter asks Jerry who Sabbath is. Jerry has nothing nice to say about Raven, saying that she is likely dead and his father is risking his life for nothing. Peter suggests that his father's search is harmless, however, Jerry asks Peter if he would think the same thing if it was his father. Having nothing to say in response, Peter walks away. Later that evening, Simon Steele and his men have driven to a run-down part of the South Bronx. There they go into a building to see the man that Steele intends to hire to eliminate Dominic Fortune. The ramshackle building hides a fancy apartment owned by the costumed criminal known as the Shocker. He demonstrates the power of his vibrational gauntlets by shattering a chunk of granite. However, Steel is not convinced and orders his men to attack the Shocker. The masked villain easily trounces his attackers. This impresses Steele and he hands the Shocker a contract. The Shocker signs it but won't let himself be treated like a chump like when he worked for Egghead.[Continuity 7] To this end, he has set up a video camera to record everything so if things go south, the Shocker can tie Steel into his hit job. Looking over the contract, he notices a mention of Spider-Man and asks what it is about. Steele explains that Fortune sometimes works with the wall-crawler and will pay him triple if he kills Spider-Man as well.

A few days later, Peter is heading to the Daily Bugle office to see if there are any photo assignments when he bumps into Dominic Fortune, who asks Parker for help. Peter agrees and they go down to the Daily Bugle's morgue to look for records of what happened to Sabbath Raven. He explains that he is looking into it and suspects Wolfgang von Lundt, who fled to the United States after the war and changed his name to Simon Steele. They look through the Bugle's archives and find the records they have on Sabbath Raven. According to these records indicate that had gone missing in 1942 and is presumed dead. The last newspaper article about Raven is about her disappearance in Europe. This angers Dominic who decides that the only place he will be able to find answers is by going to Europe. When Peter tells him to be reasonable, Dominic explains that he intends to find Sabbath or die trying.

The next day, Dominic goes to JFK Airport to catch a plane. However, he is ambushed by the Shocker. That's when Spider-Man swings in and starts battling his foe. The villain is not alone, as some of Steele's minions have come as well. Spider-Man tries to disarm the Shocker by removing his gauntlets. However, the Shocker had planned for this and built his vibrational powers directly into his costume. While Dominic deals with Steele's men, Spider-Man is fighting a losing battle with the Shocker. Seeing the wall-crawler in trouble, Dominic hops into a jeep and runs into the villain. This allows Spider-Man to rip apart the Shocker's suit, rendering him powerless. Although he is arrested, the Shocker is happy that he will share a cell with Steele. However, the former Nazi has other ideas, after hearing that the Shocker failed, he has the villain's apartment blown up, destroying all evidence of his involvement. Steele is then visited by a woman named Sabbath who asks him to join her for champaign.[Continuity 8] The next day, Peter Parker goes to Mount Sinai Hospital just in time to see Jerry Fortunov storm out of his father's hospital room. Peter asks Dominic if perhaps he is pushing himself to hard for someone his age. Dominic guesses that he could take it easier and play it safe like Spider-Man.

Solicit Synopsis

What do Spider-Man, a sanitarium, and fugitive Nazi war criminals have in common? 80-year-old detective Dominic Fortune, that's who! Everyone thinks Dominic's chasing Nazi-spy fantasies. Will someone have to die before Spider-Man can discover the truth?


Continuity Notes

  1. Dominic Fortune's past is locked in the latter half of the 20th Century. As such, the length of time between his wartime activities and the present gets longer as the Sliding Timescale moves forward. As such, it becomes increasingly difficult to explain how he could still be in relatively good health as his age advances. Marvel has yet to provide a specific explanation. However, a probable explanation is that he had access to some kind age slowing serum given his interactions with Nick Fury, and Kraven the Hunter in the 1950s as seen in Avengers 1959. Both Fury and Kraven had access to formulas that slowed the aging process.
  2. The Beyonder turned a building into gold in Secret Wars II #2. Spider-Man recovered the gold notebook from the building in Web of Spider-Man #6/Amazing Spider-Man #268.
  3. Uncle Ben's murder happened years ago in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  4. Steele states that Dominic Fortune was a swashbuckler from 45 years ago. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. The length of time between Fortune's wartime adventures and this story will continue to get longer the more the modern age slides forward.
  5. Steele mentions that Dominic Fortune had worked with Spider-Man before. That was in Marvel Team-Up #120.
  6. Steele is Von Lundt. However, much like Dominic, Marvel has yet to explain how Von Lundt could be in good health in the modern age. Given the amount of Nazis who have slowed or completely stopped the aging process, there is likely some kind of plausible explanation.
  7. The Shocker worked for Egghead's Masters of Evil in Avengers #228229.
  8. This isn't the original Sabbath, but the daughter of Raven and Von Lundt as revealed in Web of Spider-Man #72.

Chronology Notes

A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:

See Also

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