Appearing in "When Strikes the Slasher!"

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  • Dakota North's Motorcycle
  • Rocky North's car

Synopsis for "When Strikes the Slasher!"

The police are investigating a murder of a woman whose body has been dumped in a field. The woman, a fashion model, had her throat slashed with a straight razor, they are convinced that this is the third victim of a killer that has been dubbed the Slasher. With the police facing heavy criticism from the press, the fashion industry pooled money to hire Dakota North, a private detective to assist the police on the case. The detective on the scene is unimpressed with her involvement, thinking that she is capitalizing on the grisly murders. North brushes off these criticisms and goes back to her car where he brother Ricky is waiting for her. She tells her brother that she is five steps behind the killer, but Ricky is certain that she will close that gap. He then reminds her that it is their father's birthday tomorrow, and asks what she plans to do. Dakota tells Ricky that she and her brother can't stand each other and she stays away because she loves him regardless of their differences.

A few days later, Spider-Man is swinging across the city, he feels great because of his recent marriage to Mary Jane, as well as being assigned to an out-of-town freelance gig that will get him a lot of money.[Continuity 1] Landing on a rooftop of a convention center to meet up with his wife, Spider-Man begins to change out of his costume when suddenly police come bursting out onto the roof. Remembering that security has been stepped up because of this Slasher character, Peter leaps off the side of the building and disappears from sight. Looking for an empty room, he spies a model that he finds attractive if a little weird. He quickly crawls away, trying to convince himself that he is not a peeping tom. The model in question is Elyse Nelson, is soon joined by Mary Jane, who she is working with. Elyse makes a crack about locking her door in the future with the Slasher on the loose, but Mary Jane reminds her that they have a lot of guards protecting them. She then asks Nelson why she is looking at herself in the mirror. Elyse responds by telling Mary Jane that she is looking at all the fat. Mary Jane doesn't know what she is talking about. Suddenly, there is a knock at the door. Covering herself up, and thinking that it is Mary Jane's husband, Elyse answers the door.

However, this turns out to be Harvey Finklestein, a would-be actor that is a huge fan of Elyse. He has come to give her some flowers and see that she is doing okay. She wonders how he got past security, but he explains that he pretended to be a busboy and slipped past. Accepting the flowers, Elyse sends him on his way because she is busy. On his way out, Harvey bumps into Peter Parker and angrily tells Parker to watch where he is going. Even though Peter's spider-sense warned him, he wonders what the guy's problem was. When Peter knocks on the door he is greeted by an annoyed Elyse Nelson, who thinks it's Harvey coming to bother him again. This catches Peter off guard because this was the woman he was looking at earlier. Mary Jane briefly introduces her husband to Elyse before leaving with him. Soon the couple is in a car where Mary Jane tells Peter that she and Elyse are going to be participating in the Fall Fashion Expo taking place at the Grand Adventure Amusement Park. Peter then tells her that he can't be there because of his new photo assignment. This disappoints Mary Jane, but Peter explains that he needs the gig to pay his tax bill. That's when Mary Jane tells him that she already paid it for him. This makes Peter feel bad, because he feels as though he is not doing his part in their marriage. Peter says he will check out the expo after all, saying he can keep an eye out for her because of the Slasher. Mary Jane tells him to go on the assignment, as she doesn't want him to babysit her all the time.

Later, at an unemployment line, Harvey Finklestein is waiting for his turn. His mind is focused on trying to get Elyse to notice him, he wonders how he can do it. Noticing the large man standing behind him is reading a newspaper with a front-page story about the Slasher, Harvey suddenly gets an idea. Interrupting the man, named Leslie, Harvey asks him if he is interested in making some money. He details a plan where the man breaks into Elyse's apartment and threatens her with a straight razor. That's when Harvey shows up in the nick of time and "saves" her from the "Slasher". However, when executing this plan, the bus Harvey is riding on breaks down, forcing him to walk the rest of the way. Meanwhile, the man he hired to terrorize Elyse continues with the plan. When the doorbell suddenly rings, he makes a break for it. However, it isn't Harvey coming to the "rescue" but Mary Jane and Peter Parker. Telling them that she was just attacked by the Slasher, Peter tells the two women to stay put while he goes after him. Leaping down the fire escape, Peter can't find any trace of the attacker, and his spider-sense doesn't pick anything up. Unsure where the man went, Peter runs out of the alley and bumps right into Dakota North. Up in Elyse's apartment, Dakota explains that she and her brother had come by to talk to her because she was at all of the fashion shows where the Slasher took a victim. Dakota suspects that the killer may have an obsession with her. Listening to this, Peter beats himself up over letting the Slasher get away, when he has gone toe-to-toe with much more dangerous threats.[Continuity 2] However, he decides that there is no way he is leaving town now.

Later, Harvey meets up with Leslie, and although things didn't go as planned, he still wants to try again. Leslie isn't certain since Elyse will be more protected the next time around. Looking around Leslie's apartment, Harvey notices that he has newspaper articles about the Slasher taped on his wall and a lot of sharp knives. When he asks what these are all for, Leslie explains that he is a character actor trying to get into his role. On the day of the Fashion Expo, Peter has decided to lie to his wife and go to the expo to keep an eye on her. Coincidentally, Harvey and Leslie are on the same bus that Peter is taking to the amusement park. Both men are nervous about what they are attempting to do. Also on the scene is Dakota North, who is overseeing security. She has concluded that the attack on Elyse was a setup, especially if her prime suspect is who she thinks she is. With the authorities guarding the building where the models are getting ready, Peter begins lurking around to keep an extra eye on things. However, his spider-sense begins going off and he is caught by the guards lurking in the bushes. Meanwhile, a man in a police uniform comes in to check on Mary Jane and Elyse. When they assure him they are fine and they need to get ready, Leslie pulls out a switchblade and threatens Elyse. Outside the door, Harvey waits for his moment to interrupt the "attack" when he discovers that Leslie locked the door for some reason.

Outside, Peter Parker is trying to explain himself to the officers as he is being handcuffed. While Leslie threatens Elyse, Mary Jane tosses a vase out the window. The breaking glass alerts both Dakota North and Mary Jane. Fearing the safety of his wife, Peter fights his way free and rushes to her aid. By this point, Elyse slams another vase in Leslie's face. This allows her to get free and both she and Mary Jane flee out of the dressing room, bowling Harvey over. Leslie follows out after them, blaming Harvey for this stupid scheme going bad. Unwilling to let the women get away, Leslie chases after them. Shortly thereafter, Spider-Man and Dakota North arrive on the scene to see that everyone has fled the scene. Radioing her brother Ricky, Dakota is told about a strange man lurking around. Catching up with Ricky, Dakota chases after the suspect, while Spider-Man and Ricky search for the women. Leslie flees onto a nearby roller coaster. Surprisingly, Dakota follows after him on her motorcycle. On one of the coaster's peak, Leslie bails out of the car and tries to climb down a service ladder. However, Dakota shoots out one of the rungs causing him to fall into a net weaved by Spider-Man. Dakota is furious that Spider-Man disobeyed her orders, telling him that he may have signed Mary Jane's death warrant.

Elsewhere on the park, Mary Jane and Elyse believe they have gotten away. Suddenly, Elyse begins acting strangely and pulls out a straight razor. As it turns out, Elyse was the real Slasher the whole time. She has been killing other models because she thought they were more attractive than her. When Elyse corners Mary Jane, she is about to strike when Spider-Man arrives and pulls her to the ground with a web-line. In the aftermath of the situation, Dakota North explains to them that Elyse suffered from mental illness, making her the prime suspect in the murders.

Solicit Synopsis

A knife-wielding murderer is killing beautiful models — a crime calling for the skills of private investigator Dakota North. But when Mary Jane Watson-Parker becomes the killer's next target, nothing can keep Spider-Man away!


Continuity Notes

  1. Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. 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 as opposed to husband and wife here.
  2. Specifically, Peter thinks about how he went up against both Wolverine and Firelord. Spider-Man fought both in Spider-Man Versus Wolverine #1 and Amazing Spider-Man #269-207 respectively.

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks

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