Appearing in "What's the Matter with Mommy?"

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Synopsis for "What's the Matter with Mommy?"

In the family kitchen, Vicky Gibbs is haunted by her husband's career. Her hysterics are interrupted by her son Jacob who has finished packing his and his sister Tanya's bags. They are planning on leaving Vicky's husband Frank. She tries to explain the situation to her children who are confused. As they try to sneak out of the home under the cover of night. However, they are caught by Frank who has just returned home from work. Realizing that his wife is trying to take his children and leave. Seeing that they are serious about leaving, Frank tells Vicky that he doesn't care and goes into the house. Vicky tells her kids to stay put and goes in after her husband. However, Jacob decides to disobey his mother and takes Tanya back in with him, because he is certain that his mother will cave and they will be staying after all. Vicky tells Frank that she can't handle that he works for the mob anymore and that is why she wants to leave. This angers Frank, who grabs her by the arms and explains that his job is what brings them the money they need to have a happy life. When Vicky says she almost called the authorities, Frank becomes violent, but she breaks away and runs off. Vicky locks herself in her bedroom with her children. Grabbing a gun, she picks up the phone and calls Seargent Rolands of the police and asks for help. Frank forces his way into the room, disarms his wife and takes the phone away from her. Realizing she was talking to Rolands, he tells her that the situation than a marital spat. He hangs up and tells his wife that he may have just signed his death warrant.

Suddenly the phone rings and Frank answers it ready for the worst. It is the Kingpin's aid, the Arranger. He tells Frank that he is upset to hear how Frank's wife is potentially compromising their operations with threats of going to the authorities. He suggests that they send Vicky away to get some mental help. Realizing that he has to allow them in order to spare his own life and reluctantly agrees. At that moment, at the Pleasant Valley Mental Hospital, that staff of the Mad Dog Ward struggles to sedate patient #2020. They are joined by Doctor Hope, who tells them that the Kingpin is bringing a woman to their ward. Examining 2020, Hope wants his dosage increased as the Kingpin wants them to test out their new patient. Later, at the offices of the Daily Bugle, Peter Parker arrives at a commotion at one of the windows. Going to see, he discovers that it is only a massive promotional balloon that has gotten loose and is stuck between two buildings. Walking through the office, Peter thinks about how he had made plans to see Aunt May even though he is still recovering from being buried alive, how his newlywed wife Mary Jane is off on a photoshoot in Paris.[Continuity 1] As he worries about earning money, he is oblivious to J. Jonah Jameson's tirade about the quality of his photos. To add insult to injury, Peter is complimented for his shows of a battle against Electro where Spider-Man is being blamed for causing damage to a building.[Continuity 2] Peter once again finds himself trapped in the endless cycle of taking photos of Spider-Man that ruin his reputation. Seeing what time it is, Peter realizes that he is late to meet Aunt May for dinner.

Torn between needing to take pictures and keeping a promise to his aunt, Peter goes to Queen for dinner with May. Later that evening, Peter begins walking to catch a bus back into the city when an ambulance speeds past him. This triggers his spider-sense when suddenly two children run into him. These children are Jacob and Tanya Gibbs, and they tell him that they are taking their mother to Pleasant Ville. Peter brushes off their concerns that they are taking her away to keep her quiet and suggests that they go and visit her. Jacob thinks this is a great idea and takes Tanya home so they can prepare to go see their mother. As Peter continues on his way he hopes the kids will talk to their father about it instead of doing something rash like trying to see their mother this late at night.

However, when Peter gets back to his apartment he can't sleep as he keeps thinking of the children he encountered earlier. He tries to convince himself that the situation is none of his business. However, he can't get it out of his man and decides to check out Pleasantville as Spider-Man. At that moment, outside the facility, Jacob and Tanya are on the roof. Jacob has taken his father's gone and is intent on freeing his mother from the facility. They are interrupted by their father who has followed them. Although Tanya is happy to see her father, Jacob is not and points the gun at his father. Jacob blames his father for his mother being taken away and threatens to shoot him. Frank realizes how this situation has forced Jacob to grow up. Hearing his brother threatening to kill his father, Tanya becomes upset, telling him that if he shoots their father, he won't see their mother again. Wanting her mom, Tanya runs to the roof access door and begins pounding on it, setting off the alarm. They are quickly surrounded by guards who call it in. Learning that they are the family of Vicky Gibbs, they call the Mad Dog Ward and are ordered to bring them all down.

That's when Spider-Man swings in and knocks out most of the guards. In the confusion, Frank has ran away, and as Jacob explains everything to the wall-crawler, they soon discover that Tanya has been snatched by the last guard standing. The guard threatens to drop the child off the roof if they don't surrender. As Spider-Man tries to think about what to do next, the guard drops the child anyway. Spider-Man swings out and saves her, but he is shot twice in the chest. Landing roughly on the ground, the wall-crawler tells Tanya to run and call the police before collapsing on the ground.

This story is in Amazing Spider-Man #295...

Solicit Synopsis

Why is the Kingpin's right hand man, the Arranger, having a woman committed to an asylum? And why does it look like Spider-Man's going to join her?!


Continuity Notes

Life in the Mad Dog Ward
Web of Spider-Man #33 Amazing Spider-Man #295 Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #133
  1. Spider-Man was buried alive during Kraven's Last Hunt which occurred in Web of Spider-Man #31-32, Amazing Spider-Man #293-294, and Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #131-132. He also mentions his then-recent marriage to Mary Jane Watson in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. However, years later, the demon Mephisto erased their marriage from existence in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here, instead of a married couple.
  2. Spider-Man battled Electro in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 or, alternatively, in Amazing Spider-Man #638 (in the altered history created by Mephisto).

Publication Notes

See Also


  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks

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