Appearing in "Flesh and Blood"
- Daily Bugle Staff
- Dr. Susan Ransome
- Chaim Cross (Only appearance) (Eddie's Father)
- Evan Swann (Mentioned)
- Joey (Bystander) (Only appearance)
- Unnamed skinheads (all four die)
- New York City
Synopsis for "Flesh and Blood"
After being doused in an experimental batch of web-fluid, the white supremacist named Eddie the Cross has been turned into a fluid mass of skin calling itself Skinhead. After seeing what has become of their leader, the rest of his gang flee from their junkyard hideout. Hungry for new flesh, Skinhead catches up with his former friends and consumes their bodies. After absorbing their flesh, Skinhead returns to his humanoid form, leaving nothing left of his friends but bones. As he rants about his quest to eliminate other races, he realizes he needs to stop talking to himself or lose touch with reality. He then spots Spider-Man swinging by and figures the hero is trying to track him down. He decides to lay low until he has a better handle on his new powers before attacking the wall-crawler.
Finding no trace of Eddie the Cross, Spider-Man heads back to Empire State University where the authorities have come and gone. He finds the Rocket Racer who asks if the wall-crawler had found Eddie yet. The Racer feels responsible for what happened to Eddie since it was his rocket that shattered the flask filled with the chemicals that ate away at his flesh. Spider-Man points out that Eddie was asking for trouble and he shouldn't punish himself for making a mistake. They both agree to keep on searching for Eddie in the hopes of getting him medical attention. They both split up so they can learn what they can about Eddie the Cross in the hopes that may give them a clue as to where he went. As he swings away, Spider-Man admits to himself that he feels guilty for what happened to Eddie himself, as it was his experiment that spilled over the bigot. In Soho, Mary Jane is unpacking boxes in their new loft apartment, looking at Peter's clothes she finds them hideous and makes a not to conveniently lose some of them.[Continuity 1] When Peter returns home, Mary Jane is happy to see him and literally knocks him off his feet and begins covering him with kisses.
Their moment of romance is interrupted by the sound of someone coming up the elevator into their loft. With no actual rooms in their new home, Peter opts to hide in a box. When the elevator door, Mary Jane is shocked to see that it is her cousin Kristy. Kristy had fled the hospital where she has been undergoing treatment for an eating disorder.[Continuity 2] Even though she is deathly ill, she is in denial about her condition and passes out in Mary Jane's arms. Unsure what might be happening, Mary Jane calls for an ambulance while Peter gets changed out of his costume. Back at Empire State University, the Rocket Racer has been searching the computer records to see if Eddie the Cross was ever a student at the school. He finds a record for one Edward Cross, who was an A+ student majoring in Mideastern studies. Locating his address, the Rocket Racer calls for Peter Parker at the Daily Bugle, per Spider-Man's instructions. Nick Katzenberg answers the phone and promises to give the message to Parker, but in reality, has no intention of doing so.
While at the Queens Medical Center, Kristy has been rushed back to the eating disorder unit. As she is being carried away on a stretcher, Peter and Mary Jane ask Doctor Ransom what the situation is. Susan explains that they are trying to get her potassium levels stabilized and are treating the hemorrhaging in her esophagus. However, this is only a short-term solution to a long-term problem. When asked if they were able to get ahold of Kristy's parents, the Parkers have been unable to do so, but they left word at the American Embassy in Paris in the hopes they will get in touch soon. When asked what they can do to help, Susan tells the couple that they need to stop helping Kristy maintain her system of denial. That it is this denial that allows her to justify her binge and purging habits. Mary Jane tells Peter that she will handle this situation on her own, as Kristy is her responsibility, and Peter has other things to do. Mary Jane doesn't like what she is going to have to do, especially with her history of running away from her own problems. However, she gathers her strength and goes back inside the hospital. She bursts into Kristy's hospital, furious with the teen, saying that Kristy is forcing her to watch her kill herself and that she is sick of it. This comes as a shock to Kristy. Mary Jane reminds her that she does care, but she will only be there if Kristy wants to get better, otherwise, she is on her own. With this bit of tough love, Mary Jane leaves the room slamming the door behind her. Coming to terms with the reality of her situation, Kristy breaks down and begins to cry.
When Peter Parker arrives at the Daily Bugle, he is upset to learn that Nick Katzenberg took his call and went off to follow the lead. Kate Cushing however knew that the former paparatzi was going to pull a fast one like this. As such, she found his notebook and by rubbing a pencil on the top page, revealed the impressions of what Nick wrote on the other page. It is an address in Queens, giving Peter a clue to move on. Quickly changing into Spider-Man, Peter races to the last known address of Edward Cross in Rego Park, Queens. Meanwhile, the Rocket Racer has already arrived and has been telling Eddie's father, Chaim, about his son's recent activities. This is hardly a surprise to Chaim, who is Jewish, he explains that his son is an angry and impulsive young man. A devout Zionist, Edward dealt with bigotry and racism all his life. As he grew older, Eddie became the thing that he hated most. When he asks Chaim where Eddie might have gone, the gelatenous mass of Skinhead comes bursting through the window. He strikes Rocket Racer with a blow strong enough to send him crashing out a window and bowls over Nick Katzenberg. Fleeing his son, Chaim is chased by Skinhead, denouncing his son as a monster.
Before Skinhead can absorb his father, Spider-Man arrives and attack. He realizes that he is fighting Eddie the Cross, recognizing the Swastika tattoo that the youth had on his face. As Spider-Man begins throwing punches in to the bigot's amorphous form, he realizes that Skinhead is trying to absorb him as well and leaps away. As Skinhead tries to capture Spider-Man, his father pleads for his son to kill him instead since he represents everything he hates. As Skinhead turns to oblige his father, Spider-Man gets an overhead view of Skinhead and can see his skeleton within the mass of his liquid skin. Thinking this might be a weakness he can exploit, the wall-crawler takes the risk and pluges right into his foe. Even though he can't breath, Spider-Man forces his way down to the skeleton and begins beating on it, causing Skinhead a great deal of pain. Finally, Spider-Man strikes Skinhead strong enough to knock him out. Suddenly, the amorphious blob reverts back to humanoid form, freeing Spider-Man. Eddie's father blames himself for what happened because he was proud to be different, making his son an outcast. Spider-Man tells him that everyone is a little different from one another, and that regardless of what people look like they should carry the torch of human dignity. Hearing Nick Katzenberg muttering in his sleep, Spider-Man sighs, and points out that then there are people like the slobbish parparatzo.
The origin of Skinhead! And unless Spidey can stop it, the death of Rocket Racer!
- ↑ Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from existence by the demon Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here as opposed to husband and wife.
- ↑ It was discovered that Kirsty suffers from bulimia in Web of Spider-Man #53 and has been recovering in the hospital ever since.
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