Appearing in "Torch Bearing"
- Avacado Rebels
- Milicent Peabody
- New York City
- California (Only in flashback)
- Staten Island Ferry
Synopsis for "Torch Bearing"
Peter Parker and Mary Jane are taking a ferry across New York Harbor. After Mary Jane remarks how the torch of the Statue of Liberty looks brand new.[Continuity 1] This makes Peter start laughing and she asks him what is so funny. He tells her that the torch has been through a lot recently. He tells her how the Statue of Liberty is one of the places he likes to be when he wants to be alone as Spider-Man and that he used to stash street clothes in the torch. This became a problem during the recent renovations of the Statue, which involved the removal of the torch. This could have compromised his identity because not only did the clothes have his identification in it, but also a web-shooter that malfunctioned during his last outing. When Spider-Man went to the statue to catch the torch before it was taken away, he miscalculated his aim.
Returning home, Peter began to think about how to solve this current crisis. He realises he can't go to where the torch is being kept as Spider-Man due to security, so he decides that his position at the Daily Bugle would be the best way to try and pull this off. The next day at the Daily Bugle, Peter learned from Joe Robertson that the torch was brought to California to be part of the Tournament of Roses Parade.[Continuity 2] Peter makes an excuse about wanting to take photos of the restoration process for the Bugle, but this complicates things. However, Peter gets the save he is looking for when Joe decides to send Peter to cover the parade for a Sunday feature. However, things did not go as smoothly as Peter hoped, he tells Mary Jane how, at that moment, a group of bored rich kids from Beverly Hills were plotting to steal it and hold it for ransom as a means of bringing attention to the plight of local avocado growers. The mastermind behind this plot was Herschel, and the others agree except for Reuben who questions how they are going to learn how to drive a eighteen-wheeler in such a short period of time.
Later, when Peter arrived in California and goes to the warehouse where the torch is being stored, he finds that it is still in a massive crate. The guards tell Peter that he should save his photographs for the parade and hit the beach. Peter decides to take them up on their offer. There, Peter fell asleep in a lawn chair and not only missed the opportunity to rub down an attractive woman with sunscreen, he got a sunburn as well. Meanwhile, Herschel and his friends are preparing for their heist. To assist in this robbery, Herschel outfits his friends with tasers which they can use to incapacitate someone with a single jolt. When Rueben protests this move, Herschel tests out their tasers on his cowardly colleague. That evening, Herschel and his friends make their moves. His girlfriend, Milicent uses her attractive good looks to drop in on the guards at the warehouse and distract them long enough for the others to stun them. When Spider-Man arrives on the scene, the rich yuppies are loading the torch onto the back of a flatbed truck. When he tries to stop them, they blast him with their tasers. This only stuns Spider-Man momentarily and leaps onto the roof of the getaway car driven by Reuben and Milicent.
That's when Mary Jane interrupts Peter's story and asks if Hershel's scheme was true. Peter explains that, according to police reports, Herschel was actually deceiving his friends. He intends to use ransom money for himself. Deep in debt due to his lifestyle, he was planning on selling the torch to a French millionaire. After this explanation, Peter continues his story, telling Mary Jane how the chase ended in a car pile-up that saw the crate carrying the torch smashed open on the street and the torch lands on a car. When Spider-Man went to get his torch, the added weight causes the car to roll down the street. Quickly, Spider-Man uses his webbing to create a massive net to stop the out of control vehicle. Finally able to search for the torch to find his clothing stash. However, he quickly realises that this is not the real torch, but a replica. After the parade, Peter returned to New York City and discovered that the real torch was being kept in a warehouse. After recovering his clothing, he overheard the police guards who are talking about how they sent a replica because the President of the United States didn't trust transporting this national treasure to Los Angeles.[Continuity 3]
With his story over, Mary Jane finds the entire tale hilarious. When she asks him what happened to the fake torch, but he doesn't know. Meanwhile, at that moment at a palatial estate in the south of France, the phoney torch is on display at a swanky party.
When the Statue of Liberty torch is stolen, Spider-Man discovers that he must find and return it fast or his secret identity will be revealed!
- This entire story is framed around the 1984 repairs and renovations that were done to the Statue of Liberty in 1984, which included a replacement of the original torch with one made out of gold. Any specific references to that renovation should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- Joe states that it is the 1984 parade but this, of course, is also a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- Ronald Reagan is identified as the President of the United States in this story. This is another topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:
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