Appearing in "Opening Statements"
- Judas Traveller
- Judge Sandra Franklin (First appearance)
- Blake Tower
- Mr. Locker (First appearance)
- Anna Watson
- New York City
Synopsis for "Opening Statements"
The Clone Saga continues from The Spectacular Spider-Man #225...
As Spider-Man swings across the city searching for Kaine, he thinks about how strange his life has become. Particularly since the return of his clone, Ben Reilly, who was long believed to be dead. When Peter was arrested for murder, Reilly stepped in and took his place so that Peter could search for the real killer.[Continuity 1] However, his search comes to an abrupt end when he is suddenly ambushed by Kaine. The assassin was waiting for the wall-crawler to come after him as he knew that Ben Reilly took his place in prison. The ambush sends them landing into a dance studio. There, Kaine tries to explain that he was intending to frame Ben Reilly for murder and never intended for Peter to take the fall for murder. With a group of young dancers in danger, Spider-Man tries to knock Kaine out. Although this fails, he still manages to usher the young dancers out of the room. Although Kaine is immune to Peter's spider-sense, the wall-crawler is able to evade his next attack thanks to the mirrors that cover the walls of the dance studio. Spider-Man intends on beating Kaine into submission and then forcing him to confess his crimes.
Meanwhile, at the Manhattan City Courthouse, the case of the City of New York vs. Peter Parker has just begun. As the Judge Sandra Franklin makes her opening statements, Ben Reilly thinks about how his return threatened to ruin the life of Peter Parker, hence why he took his place in prison and now sits on trial in his place. After the judge is finished speaking, she turns the floor over to District Attorney Blake Tower. Tower addresses the jury and tells them that he will prove that Peter Parker is a cold-blooded killer without a shadow of a doubt. His damning opening statements strike a chord among those watching the trial, which includes Peter Parker's wife Mary Jane and her Aunt Anna.[Continuity 2] Hearing all this, Ben really hopes that Peter will come through and find the evidence needed to clear his name. While back at the dance studio, Spider-Man continues his battle with Kaine. The killer refuses to do anything that will assist Ben Reilly, hoping that he is found guilty of the crimes that Peter Parker has been accused of.[Continuity 3] Spider-Man refuses to let Ben take the fall for a crime he committed and is willing to do whatever it takes to bring Kaine down and force him to confess. Not wanting to fight the wall-crawler, Kaine is not against doing so if he must.
As Kaine overpowers the wall-crawler, he is reminded that Kaine is much more powerful than him and wonders where Kaine comes from.[Continuity 4] As he smashes Spider-Man's face into a nearby wall, Kaine forces the web-spinner to take a good look at his reflection. Kaine rants and raves about how everything he does, he does for Peter Parker and that Ben Reilly does not deserve any consideration. Still, Spider-Man fights on, but Kain soon grabs him by the throat, Kaine then warns Spider-Man that he is willing to cripple the wall-crawler if it ensures that Ben Reilly will suffer. At that same moment, Jacob Raven has found himself in an unlikely alliance with the villain known as Stunner. The pair are no staking out the courthouse in the hopes that Kaine will attack, as they both want to bring him to justice.[Continuity 5] That's when Jacob picks up a radio report about Spider-Man's battle with Kaine and calls Stunner down from her post to inform of this recent development. She agrees to accompany him and follow his plans, however, she secretly intends to kill Kaine on the spot.
Meanwhile, inside the courthouse, the trial turns to the defense to make their opening statement. "Peter Parker's" lawyer, Mister Locker, addresses the jury telling him that the prosecution's only evidence is circumstantial in nature. He then tosses doubt to their claims and suggests that if they find "Peter Parker" guilty they are going to lock up an innocent man while the real killer remains free. Back at the dance hall, Spider-Man is faltering in battle when a police officer arrives on the scene and orders Kaine to surrender. As Spider-Man struggles to get back to his feet, Kaine is about to harm the officer. The wall-crawler rescues the officer, forcing himself and Kaine out of a nearby window. They land on the street just as Jacob Raven and Stunner arrive. Stunner orders Spider-Man to step aside because she wants to destroy Kaine. Spider-Man refuses to allow her as he needs Kaine to make his confession. As Stunner threatens to go through Spider-Man, the wall-crawler notices someone or something teleporting onto the scene. Back at the courthouse, Mr. Lock finishes his opening statements. When he returns to his table, Ben is astonished when Locke admits that despite his impassioned speech, the evidence doesn't look good. That's when the judge asks the prosecution to call their first witness. Blake Tower shocks the entire courtroom when he calls on Mary Jane, Peter Parker's wife. While at that moment, Judas Traveller appears before Spider-Man and Kaine. Although the wall-crawler has no time for this madman, Traveller insists that he needs them both and teleports both Spider-Man and Kaine away to points unknown.
... The Trial of Peter Parker continues in Amazing Spider-Man #403.