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Appearing in "The Call"

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Synopsis for "The Call"

The Clone Saga continues from Spider-Man: Funeral for an Octopus #3...

The Scarlet Spider is swinging across the city, feeling guilty about how much he is enjoying the thrill of being able to do so. Suddenly, his spider-sense goes off as the image of the Jackal appears before him. Panicking, the Spider lets go of his web-line and falls to the rooftop below. Rolling with the fall, he manages to survive impact but is still haunted by images of the Jackal.[Continuity 1] Ben Reilly is not the only one who is having visions of the Jackal, as the same thing is happening to Peter Parker. Getting ready to go out for dinner with his wife, Mary Jane, Peter finds the sudden vision of his old foe to come as a shock.[Continuity 2] He wonders if this is a lingering side effect of the virus he purged from his system.[Continuity 3] He wonders why he is now seeing visions of the Jackal after so many years.[Continuity 4] When his wife tells Peter to hurry up, Peter is surprised by how she dressed up for the evening. When the two kiss, he is suddenly disturbed by the sudden image of Gwen Stacy that pops in his head and he pulls away.[Continuity 5] When Mary Jane asks what's wrong, he tells her he figures that he is still shaky after being cured of the virus. When she suggests that they cancel their dinner plans, Peter picks her up and carries her up to the roof of their home. He tells her that he wants to celebrate the fact that Mary Jane is pregnant with their child and he wants to focus on the future they will have together.[Continuity 6]

Meanwhile, the Scarlet Spider has been drawn to mountains outside the city, however, he doesn't know why or how. That's when he is confronted by a diminutive man dressed up in a Jackal costume. The being insists that the Spider calls him Jack. Following the stranger, he is led to a massive metal doorway seemingly floating in mid-air. Jack explains that this has been set up years ago by the Jackal and what lays behind that door is the Scarlet Spider's destiny. However, in order to get inside, Jack tells the Spider that he needs to get past its defender. Just then the Scarlet Spider is ambushed by a massive being that looks like Peter Parker. However, this Parker is massive and horribly scarred. At that moment, Peter Parker makes a stop at the Daily Bugle to make arrangements for his insurance coverage while he is off work during Mary Jane's pregnancy. Joe Robertson congratulates Peter for the great news. However, as Peter Parker leaves the building, J. Jonah Jameson emerges from his office with Detective Jacob Raven. Raven swears Jonah to confidence over what they discussed. Jonah, clearly hurt by the news, agrees not to say anything.[Continuity 7] When Joe Robertson asks Jonah who the man is, Jameson tells his friend that he doesn't want to know. Not far away, Peter is waiting for the elevator and thinking about potential names for his children. That's when he is struck with a number of images of emerging from a cloning tank and the Jackal causing him to become dizzy. Jacob Raven helps him up causing Peter's spider-sense begins going off, although he can't figure out why. As his elevator arrives, Peter dismisses Raven's concern for him and abruptly leaves. This causes Jacob to become even more suspicious of Peter Parker.

Meanwhile, Mary Jane is visiting May Parker in the hospital with her Aunt Anna. May is still in a coma after suffering a stroke.[Continuity 8] Anna is happy to hear that Mary Jane is pregnant, and suggests that May dying could be her way of making room for her and Peter's unborn child. As Anna tries to comfort her about the idea of May passing on, they don't notice when May's eyes briefly open and sheds a tear before she goes back into her coma. Back in the mountains, the Scarlet Spider is fighting for his life against the Jackal's Guardian. As he is savagely attacked by the horribly scarred creature he is unaware that Kane is nearby watching the proceeding. Ultimately, the Guardian proves too powerful for the Scarlet Spider and beats the web-slinger into unconsciousness. With the battle over, Jack leads the Guardian back to the doorway, telling him to be prepared for the arrival of the "other one". This "other" is Spider-Man who is now swinging across Manhattan trying to make sense out of the visions that have been appearing in his mind. Suddenly, he sees the image of the Scarlet Spider laying motionless in the snow. Realizing that Ben Reilly is in trouble, Spider-Man swings toward his location intending to rescue him.

... Smoke and Mirrors continues in Amazing Spider-Man #399.


Continuity Notes

Smoke and Mirrors
Web of Spider-Man #122 Amazing Spider-Man #399 Spider-Man #56 Spider-Man The Clone Journal #1

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

  1. These visions are memories from the moment that Ben Reilly woke up from the cloning chamber as seen in the Double story arc.
    The Double
    Web of Spider-Man #117 Amazing Spider-Man #394 Spider-Man #51 Spectacular Spider-Man #217

  2. Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from existence by Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.
  3. Peter was infected by a virus by the Vulture, but he was ultimately cured by Doctor Octopus. These events occurred in the Back From the Edge and Web of Death story arcs.
    Back From the Edge
    Spider-Man Unlimited #7 Amazing Spider-Man #395 Spectacular Spider-Man #218 Amazing Spider-Man #396 Spectacular Spider-Man #219
    Web of Death
    Amazing Spider-Man #397 Spectacular Spider-Man #220 Amazing Spider-Man #398 Spectacular Spider-Man #221

  4. At the time of this story the Jackal is assumed to be dead after the events of Amazing Spider-Man #149.
  5. Gwen was Peter's one true love, she was murdered by the Green Goblin in Amazing Spider-Man #121.
  6. Mary Jane revealed that she was pregnant in Spectacular Spider-Man #220.
  7. Jacob Raven is investigating the murder of his partner a few years prior to this story. She was murdered by Kaine in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #3. However, as will be revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #400 the evidence is pointing toward the wrong man.
  8. Although Aunt May suffered a stroke in Amazing Spider-Man #391, this woman is an impostor who took her place sometime during Amazing Spider-Man #392. The truth is not revealed until Spider-Man #97.

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