Appearing in "The Longest Road!"
- Spider-Man (Peter Parker) (Main story and flashback)
- Virginia National Guard (Only in flashback)
- Seth Hanks (Last appearance) (Only in flashback)
- Charla Hanks (Last appearance) (Only in flashback)
- Deputy Sheriff Sarah (Only appearance) (Only in flashback)
- Sheriff Andrews (Only appearance) (Only in flashback)
- FBI (Mentioned) (Only in flashback)
- Eddie Brock (First appearance; hand only) (Unnamed)
Races and Species:
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
- United States of America (Main story and flashback)
- Spider-Man's Red and Blue Suit (Destruction) (Main story and flashback)
- Web-Shooters (Main story and flashback)
- Spider-Man's Black Suit
- Venom Symbiote (Behind the scenes)
Synopsis for "The Longest Road!"
Mary Jane has been spending the past few days cleaning Peter Parker's apartment from top to bottom while waiting for Peter to return home. She is starting to worry especially when she gets the runaround whenever she calls Now Magazine. Suddenly, she hears Peter fumbling with the door. She rushes to it and opens it and is surprised to Peter wearing nothing more than a trench coat and the final rags of his costume. He collapses in Mary Jane's arms out of exhaustion and tells her he really needs a shower. As soon as he is out of the shower he looks as the remnants of his red-and-blue costume and comes to terms with the fact that it is not salvageable, and he'll have to stick to his black-and-white costume from now on.[Continuity 1] It is just as well, as Peter shows her that his web-shooters are also damaged and gets to work on repairing them. Mary Jane demands to know where Peter has been for the past three days. He reminds her how he was sent to the Appalachians for a story with Joy Mercado. He explains that he ended up tangling with a costumed villain named Magma below the town of Temple Corners. It ended with an underground explosion. Luckily, Spider-Man managed to escape out through a new fissure in just moments to spare but was still caught in the force of the blast.
Knocked out for some time, Spider-Man woke up to hear members of the National Guard searching the area. Not wanting to be seen, the weary wall-crawler leaps up into a tree. From this vantage point, Spider-Man can see that the authorities are arriving and that Joy Mercado, Charla Hanks, and her son Seth are safe and sound. Assessing himself, Spider-Man finds that his costume is in rags and one of his web-shooters is damaged. Still, one of the web-shooters works and Spider-Man uses it to swing away. Discarding most of his tattered costumes, Peter Parker comes upon a farmhouse. Seeing the farmer busy at work, Peter steals his trenchcoat so he can cover himself and begins hitchhiking. After a string of bad luck, Peter is later picked up by a long haul trucker who takes him into the state of Delaware. Growing hungry, Peter heads into a nearby town but remembers he has no money or identification and ducks into an alley to think about his next move. As he considers eating a discarded apple core out of the trash he suddenly picks up the scent of a blueberry pie cooling on a nearby window. When he leaps up to snatch it, the woman who baked it sees his face reflected in her teapot. Unaware of this, Peter greedily eats the pie on a stoop he is caught by a woman named Sarah, the local Deputy Sheriff. Hearing that he will have a cot to sleep on, Parker voluntarily surrenders so he can get some rest and think of a better solution to his problems.
At the local jail, Peter gives them the name "Jay Jameson", and is processed by the officers.[Continuity 2] Sheriff Andrews sizes Peter up and thinks he would be useful to put to work in the alfalfa fields. However, Sarah thinks this is a bad idea as they don't know if "Jay Jameson" is dangerous or not. Peter is then sent into a jail cell that holds a number of prisoners. Laying down in the nearest cot, he is surrounded by the other prisoners who think that he is easy pickings. He shows them otherwise by using his spider-strength to crumple one of the bedposts, and that all disperse without another word. Seeing this, Sheriff Andrew thinks that he can make use of this new prisoner. The next day, Peter is taken out of his cell to work, but instead of being loaded in the prisoner transport, Sheriff Andrews put him in the back of a squad car and drives him personally. This entire scene is witnessed by Sarah, who is suspicious of the Sheriff's activity.
Soon, Peter is brought to a mansion owned by Medgar DuPaul. DuPaul gives the Sheriff $500 per person and invites the prisoners in. He shows them around the mansion and explains that he had to work since he was four years old and never had a childhood. Now that he's rich, he has been trying to recapture his youth. However, this takes a sinister turn when the Sheriff removes Peter's handcuffs. Medgar tells Parker that he is being set loose on the property to be hunted. If DuPaul fails to hunt him down, Peter is free to go. Peter bolts for it, and figures this is going to be easy. This changes when his spider-sense warns him of a massive flying saucer armed to the teeth with weapons. Although Peter is able to evade the flying bullets, he notices a camera and realizes he can't go all out without revealing his identity. He manages to flee to a nearby pond and dives in. As the massive drone moves on, Peter resurfaces from the water and tosses mud at its onboard camera. He smashes the drone, killing the video feed to DuPaul's monitors. As Medgar and the Sheriff try to figure out what's going on, they are interrupted by Sarah who holds them at gunpoint. Unfortunately, she gets distracted by a pair of prisoners fleeing the room, allowing Sheriff Andrews to get the jump on her.
Outside, Peter tries to make a break for it until he comes across a number of shallow graves. Turning back, Peter comes smashing in through one of the mansion windows and knocks out the Sheriff with a single punch. DuPaul tries to flee, but Sarah manages to get her gun on him. After the Sheriff and DuPaul are arrested, Sarah gets word back from the FBI that reveals that "Jay Jameson" is not wanted for anything. She decides to let him free but warns him not to stick around town until past sundown. Peter then high tailed it out of the county and on a nearby highway, he hitches a ride on the back of a semi-truck and rides it the rest of the way home.
With his story over, Mary Jane tells Peter that she is glad that he is back and goes to get him another bowl of soup. When she returns from the kitchen, she sees that he has fallen asleep on the couch. The next day, Peter goes to the offices of Now Magazine where he gives J. Jonah Jameson and Joy Mercado a fake story to account for the time he was missing. Glad to see he is alive, J. Jonah Jameson tells Peter to get some rest as he has an assignment for him tomorrow. Later, while waiting for a subway train, someone manages to push Peter onto the tracks without triggering his spider-sense. Pulled to safety before a train can hit him, Peter is left to wonder what is wrong with his spider-sense.
Where has Spider-Man been? The mystery is revealed here! Peter's a man with no ID. no money, no clothes ... and he's one long way away from home! How he gets back to New York City from Appalachia will have Spideyphiles everywhere on the edges of their seats!
|Missing in Action|
|Web of Spider-Man #16||Web of Spider-Man #17||Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #117||Amazing Spider-Man #279||Web of Spider-Man #18|
- ↑ Although the red-and-blue costume is destroyed "for good" here, Mary Jane makes him a new one which Peter starts to wear in Amazing Spider-Man #300.
- ↑ The officer who processes "Jay Jameson" is using a typewriter. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as typewriters are an obsolete technology.
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