Appearing in "Darkness Descends"
- Ashley Kafka
- Daily Bugle Staff
- Amy Powell
- Marla Jameson
- Mike Wilson
- Archer Bryce (First appearance)
- Dr. Thomas Haney (Only appearance; dies)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Darkness Descends"
Spider-Man arrives outside the grand opening gala for the Macro Science Museum. He wishes he could be down amongst the crowd as Peter Parker for his educational curiosity as well as taking photos for the Daily Bugle, but he has business to attend to as Spider-Man. Regardless, he is in little mood for partying after his recent encounter with the Chameleon.[Continuity 1] He has come to watch over the event because some street punks tipped him off about a robbery that was planned to strike the gala.
Among those gathered is Lance Bannon and his fiancee Amy Powell. The pair are also celebrating the fact that Lance has just been promoted to the head of the Bugle's photography department. The couple are sharing a kiss when they are interrupted by Cole Cooper, a new photographer who hopes that an old pro like Bannon can teach him the tricks of the trade. Also among the crowd is Felicia Hardy, who has been hired as security for the event.[Continuity 2] Mingling among the other guests, he isn't able to pick up anything interesting on her audio-implants other than the jaded chatter of New York's idle rich. Betty Brant is also present, trying to get background information on the curator's responsibilities for a Daily Bugle article. It's how she meets Archer Bryce, a renown European industrialist. Having known Betty's late husband, Bryce begins pouring on the charm immediately.[Continuity 3] In addition to this, J. Jonah Jameson is also present with his wife Marla Madison. The couple are delighted when they also bump into Jonah's son John and Doctor Ashley Kafka, the head of the Ravencroft Institute. Jonah's mood sours when he learns that his son is not taking up his job offer and is taking a job as head of security at Ravencroft instead.[Continuity 4] This denouncement angers John who storms out of the room.
Back outside, Spider-Man spots a light in one of the darkened rooms and figures this is what he has been waiting for and swings in to investigate. While inside, Felicia Hardy manages to learn the location of the micro-fusion generator is only the second floor of the facility. While Archer Bryce has agreed to an exclusive interview with Betty Brant before asked away to watch the demonstration that is being given downstairs. On the way downstairs, Lance Bannon earns the ire of Jonah when he asks the publisher to get Cooper off his back so he can enjoy the evening with Amy. Ashley Kafka tries to get John to talk about what is bothering him, but the younger Jameson doesn't want to have to talk about the ill feelings he has for his father and decides to be by himself. The attendees all gather in an auditorium where they witness a demonstration being put on by Doctor Thomas Haney. Haney works for Morelle Pharmaceuticals and has been working on new breakthroughs in bio-circuitry and reveals his latest invention: a suit of battle armor the Full Acclimation Combat And Defence Explo-Skeleton -- AKA FACADE. While the audience is protected by a plexiglass shield, Haney demonstrates FACAUDE's offensive and defensive capabilities.
Elsewhere in the building, Spider-Man is still searching for the intruder, when he is suddenly ambushed by the mutant thief known as Gambit. He is wondering why one of Charles Xavier's X-Men is here, but Gambit informs the wall-crawler that he is here on business for the Thieve's Guild.[Continuity 5] When Spider-Man tries to stop Gambit, the mutant tosses some kinetically charged playing cards at the web-head, forcing him to leap to safety. The smoke from the resulting explosion, allows Gambit to slip away. Back in the auditorium, Felicia Hardy hears the muffled explosion thanks to her audio-implants and decides to go and check it out. It's at this point that Dr. Thomas Haney shows that the FACADE armor is powered by the bio-energies of the human pilot that operates the suit. It's then that Betty Brant notices that Archer Bryce is missing and goes looking for him. Seeing this, Lance Bannon figures that Betty has her story and slips away for a private moment alone with Amy. Lance pulls Amy into a storage closet where he produces a ring and asks Amy to marry him. She is taken back by this and accepts his proposal. Elsewhere, Felicia Hardy has doffed her evening gown for her Black Cat costume and continues her hunt for the sound of the explosion. Hearing a fight happening nearby, the Black Cat moves to intercept them.
In the museum's lunar display, Spider-Man manages to use Gambit's trench coat against him, by webbing it to a display of lunar rock. As the web-slinger approaches, Gambit begins charging a card that he had hidden a hidden pocket in his jacket. His spider-sense warning him of danger, Spider-Man tries to strike the mutant but hits the charged card instead. The resulting blast allows Gambit to get free. However, before they can resume their battle, they are interrupted by the Black Cat, who points out that Gambit isn't the thief either, having heard a noise somewhere else. The trio agrees to work together and go straight to the generator. There they find the guards knocked. They are then attacked by a group of thieves called the Silencers, who utilize stealth technology to make themselves practically invisible. With the entire museum plunged in darkness, the partygoers flee the scene. Ultimately, the three heroes manage to stop the thieves from stealing the generator. Thinking that the danger is over, they all part company. Not long after, Lance Bannon and Amy Powell emerge from the storage closet after a moment of romance. Unaware what happened, Lance almost trips over a dead body and tells Amy to take cover back in the closet while he looks around. Entering the auditorium, he manages to photograph someone climbing into the FACADE Armor. Realizing that he is being watched, the thief blasts Lance with the armor's energy weapons. However, before he can kill the reporter, the man in the FACADE armor escapes when a group of guards arrive. They are joined by Amy Powell who runs to Lance's side when she spots him laying on the floor.
- At the time of this story, the Chameleon was one of the masterminds behind tricking Peter Parker into thinking his parents were alive. This was done through artificial constructs claiming to be Peter's parents in Amazing Spider-Man #365. The truth was revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #388. Spider-Man then hunted the Chameleon down and brought him to justice during the Pursuit event.
Pursuit Spider-Man #45 Spectacular Spider-Man #211 Web of Spider-Man #112 Amazing Spider-Man #389
Peter's parents died about 20 years prior to this story while on a government mission as detailed in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5.
- At the time of this story, the Black Cat had just opened her own private security firm, as seen in Felicia Hardy: The Black Cat #1–4.
- Betty Brant married Ned Leeds in Amazing Spider-Man #156. At the time of this story, Ned was murdered relatively recently in Spider-Man Versus Wolverine #1.
- Jonah offered his son a job as a special correspondent for the Daily Bugle in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #27. Instead, John took up the role of head of security at Ravencroft in Web of Spider-Man Annual #10.
- At the time of this story, Gambit was a relatively new addition to the X-Men, having joined the team in Uncanny X-Men #273. However, prior to his membership in the X-Men, Gambit was a master thief and member of the Thieves Guild of New Orleans, as revealed in X-Men (Vol. 2) #8.