Appearing in "The Crimelord of New York!"
- Daily Bugle Staff
- Kristy Watson
- Lorraine Mandell
- Lorraine's parents (Only appearance)
- Oswald (Hammerhead's Guard) (Only appearance; dies)
- New York
- Washington, D.C.
Synopsis for "The Crimelord of New York!"
The Chameleon has gathered the directors of the Maggia to express his bid to become the next crimelord of New York City. He explains that with the looming gang war between the Kingpin and the Lobo Brothers has given them the opportunity to swoop in and take control of the power vacuum.[Continuity 1] After proving his credentials, the Maggia bosses accept the Chameleon's plans and give him their support. After leaving the meeting, the Chameleon is happy with how is plans are coming along. shapeshifting into the form of J. Jonah Jameson, the Chameleon waits for a limo to pick him up. Meanwhile, Spider-Man arrives at a local bus station where a number of the Kingpin's men are fleeing town. They tell him that they are getting out of town because of the wolves. Spider-Man wouldn't have believed them if not for his recent run-in with a werewolf the night before.[Continuity 2] He isn't sure what is going on, but the prospect of a gang war involving werewolves is going to wreak havoc on the city.
The wall-crawler returns to his Aunt May's home in Queens, finding it strange to be living here again after being on his own for so many years.[Continuity 3] Slipping into the bedroom, Peter changes into a bathrobe and heads to the bathroom. There he hears the sound of someone throwing up. He's surprised when it turns out to be Mary Jane's cousin Kristy. When Peter asks if she has food poisoning, Kristy goes along with it.[Continuity 4] However, Peter doesn't buy it and wonders what is going on with Mary Jane's cousin and wishes her parents would come back from Europe soon. Meanwhile, at the apartment of J. Jonah Jameson, the Daily Bugle publisher is brought breakfast by the Chameleon. As he spoon-feeds Jameson, he tells the publisher that he is using his position to gather intelligence and maintain focus on Wilson Fisk so that his activities go unnoticed. When Jonah lashes out, vowing that his friends will stop him, the Chameleon smirks. Resuming his disguise, the Chameleon tells Jameson that nobody will rescue him because he has no friends.
Later that morning, Peter Parker has more of his photos turned down by Kate Cushing. When Peter asks why she explains that J. Jonah Jameson has changed the editorial policy and refuses to publish anything about Spider-Man unless they make the wall-crawler look bad, like the photos taken by Nick Katzenberg. Seeing "Jonah" with Katzenberg triggers Peter's spider-sense, making him wonder why "Jameson" would be kicking it off. "Jonah" goes to Glory Grants desk to find Joy Mercado standing in for her so she can take an early lunch. When "Jameson" asks for the file the Bugle has on the Kingpin, Joy discovers that the file is missing. This is a setback to the Chameleon's plans, leaving him to wonder who took the files. Down in the lobby of the Bugle Building, Glory is handing over the file to Eduardo Lobo. She tells Eduardo that she could get in big trouble, but he assures her that it will remain their secret. Glory kisses him unaware the Lobo intends to dispose of her once he has finished going through the file on the Kingpin. When Peter Parker comes out of the elevator he sees the couple kissing and decides not to interrupt. As he passes by, his spider-sense goes off again, leaving Parker to wonder if he's been working too hard recently.
Soon Peter meets up with Mary Jane to check out an apartment in the Upper East Side. Peter is concerned that this part of town is too expensive. Mary Jane assures him that her friend Regina said the apartment is rent controlled and they can afford it. However, when they actually see the place, they discover that it is incredibly small. Mary Jane is furious that her friend would suggest a bachelor apartment for them. Peter tries to calm her down, but Mary Jane is still upset that they have been evicted by Jonathan Ceaser and her money is caught up in the courts for the foreseeable future. She is so angry that she throws her portfolio book on the ground, scattering her pictures to the wind. Peter makes a joke about how it is free publicity and his wife can't help but laugh. He assures her that they'll work things out and kisses her. They then go to Midtown General Hospital to visit Mary Jane's friend Loranne Mandell, who is going through rehabilitation after struggling with drug addiction.[Continuity 5] Mary Jane feels responsible for Lorannes recovery because she helped Mary Jane get into the modeling industry. Peter tells her to slow down, reminding her that someone has to want to kick their addictions, having learned a valuable lesson years earlier when Harry Osborn was struggling with his own drug problems.[Continuity 6] Still, Mary Jane wants to try to help, leaving Peter to wonder if she is diving into this because of her father's struggles with alcoholism.[Continuity 7] When they visit Loranne, she is unhappy to see them as she is going through withdrawal. Mary Jane tells Loranne that she can't help her unless she wants to. Soon, Loranne's parents arrive and she freaks out, accusing Mary Jane of betraying her. This hurts Mary Jane, but Loranne's parents assure her that she is very sick and thank her for all her help.
That evening, the Arranger is in his limo going over reports of the latest string of killing. He is starting to feel the pressure of running the Kingpin's organization while his employer is focused on his vendetta against Daredevil.[Continuity 8] His thoughts are interrupted by something landing on the roof of the car. It's one of the Lobo Brothers who has come to kill the Arranger. As the werewolf begins pulling the Arranger out of his car, the driver crashes. However, before the Lobo can harm the Arranger, Spider-Man comes to his rescue. The wall-crawler is slashed by Eduardo, who warned Spider-Man to stay out of their business. Feeling that he owed a debt of honor to the hero for stopping the Punisher from killing him and his brother, but this debt has been annulled. That's when the Arranger's bodyguard pulls him out of the wreck and begins firing at the werewolf, forcing it to flee. Grateful for having his life saved, the Arranger offers Spider-Man a proposition. Meanwhile, at a Long Island estate, the Chameleon has come to visit the occupant of the house. When the guard comes to the car to ask who has come to visit and is shocked when the Chameleon assumes his form. Killing the guard at the gates, the Chameleon uses his disguise to ambush the rest of the guards
Inside, the Chameleon takes on the form of the Kingpin and interrupts Hammerhead during an exercise session. Thinking this is really the Kingpin, Hammerhead charges at the intruder but misses. The Chameleon then changes form to resemble Spider-Man and continues taunting the mobster. Dodging another attack, the Chameleon is suitably impressed with Hammerhead's abilities. Revealing his true form, he explains that he has come to seek an alliance with Hammerhead at the Maggia's recommendation. The Chameleon then tells Hammerhead that he hopes that he wasn't just seeking an ally, but hopefully a friend. At Fisk Towers, the Arranger asks Spider-Man's assistance in stopping the Lobo Brothers. The wall-crawler refuses to help scum like the Arranger but finds himself in a bind when the Arranger points out the innocent lives that will be put in danger by a gang war happening in the city.
This story is continued in Spectacular Spider-Man #152...
You remember what happened the last time there was a gang war in New York City, right? Well, this time the Maggia's given the Chameleon the green light to seize control of the NYC underworld from the Kingpin! And to make matters worse for ol' webhead is the return of Hammerhead!
- The gang war started because of a failed attempt to assassinate the Lobo Brothers in Spectacular Spider-Man #143.
- Spider-Man ran into one of the Lobo Brothers in Spectacular Spider-Man #150.
- Peter and Mary Jane were forced to move in at Aunt May's after they were evicted by their condo in Amazing Spider-Man #314. Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage was erased from existence by the demon Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545.
- Kristy is hiding the fact that she has an eating disorder, as revealed in Web of Spider-Man #53.
- It was discovered the Loranne had a drug addiction in Web of Spider-Man #49.
- Harry's own drug problems were chronicled in Amazing Spider-Man #96-98.
- Mary Jane detailed her troubled family life in Amazing Spider-Man #259.
- The Kingpin has been obsessed with getting revenge against Daredevil following the events of Daredevil #227-233.
- First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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