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Appearing in "Rematch"

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Synopsis for "Rematch"

At a dive bar on the Lower West Side of Manhattan, Maxwell Markham relives his glory days by going over a scrapbook of his wrestling victories and his short-lived career as a costumed super-villain. The locals are used to seeing this and make fun of Markham over his defeat at the hands of Spider-Man.[Continuity 1] Two of the bar-flies ask him how he was able to battle Spider-Man, and he tells them about the Grizzly suit that was given to him by the Jackal. They continue to mock him until Maxwell loses his temper and slams their faces on the bar. He gets up and asks the other patrons if anyone else wants to laugh at him. He insists that he almost beat the wall-crawler and if he had a rematch against the masked hero he would beat him. He then leaves the bar, planning to get that rematch, and he will see who is laughing afterward.

While in Midtown, Spider-Man web-slings across the city to meet up with the Puma. The Puma is unhappy with the meeting and demands to know why the wall-crawler called it. Spider-Man wants to know what the Puma's alter-ego, Thomas Fireheart, had recently bought the Daily Bugle from J. Jonah Jameson in a hostile take over.[Continuity 2] He points out that the purchase destroyed J. Jonah Jameson and broke his heart. The Puma explains that he did it to square the debt that he owes Spider-Man so he can use the Bugle to fix the wall-crawler's reputation. With this explanation, Puma departs. Spider-Man thinks about all the trouble Jameson caused him through the Daily Bugle, and figures he hasn't seen anything yet. Meanwhile, on the Lower East Side, Maxwell Markham pays a visit to a repair shop owned by the Tinkerer to pay for the repairs and upgrades done to his Grizzly costume. After collecting his suit, Maxwell tells the Tinkerer that he intends to use it to have a rematch.

Later that day, Spider-Man returns to the new Soho loft that he and Mary Jane have moved into.[Continuity 3] Hearing voices inside, Peter quickly changes out of his Spider-Man costume while riding the freight elevator. Once in his loft, he sees that his wife Mary Jane is hosting her Aunt Sybil and Uncle Lou, who are finally back from an extended vacation in Europe.[Continuity 4] They have come after hearing news about how their daughter Kirsty is in the hospital. Peter realizes very quickly that Lou is impatient and wants to see his daughter. As they head out the door, Mary Jane tells Peter to not take the cold reception personally as they are naturally upset after hearing that Kristy is suffering from an eating disorder.[Continuity 5] She tells Peter that Joy Mercado had called and he has a train to catch and sends him on his way. Noticing that her aunt has been acting strange, Mary Jane finally realizes what Kristy had to deal with at home when Aunt Sybil nonchalantly comments on the weather.

When Peter arrives at the Daily Bugle, he catches up with Joy Mercado just as she has summoned a taxi. He learns that they are going to Philidelphia because Joe Robertson has been found alive and is going to surrender to Federal Marshals.[Continuity 6] As they get into the cab, Peter's spider-sense goes off, but he can't see any immediate danger. He narrowly avoids an encounter with the Grizzly, who was waiting for Parker in the hopes he could use him to get Spider-Man to fight him. He then decides to follow after the taxi, in the hopes of carrying out this goal.

Soon, Peter and Joy are aboard a train travelling to Philidelphia from New Jersey. With them are Martha Robertson, her son Randy, his wife Amanda, and Joe's lawyer Cynthia Bernhammer. Along the way, they update Peter on what happened to Joe following his escape from prison.[Continuity 7] When he asks about Tombstone, Cynthia explains that she didn't ask, as she was only concerned about her client.[Continuity 8] Suddenly, Peter's spider-sense begins to go off again. Telling the others that he is starting to feel motion sick and leaves the train car. Between cars, Peter narrowly avoids being struck by Grizzly. He tells Parker that he has come to him in the hopes of getting into contact with Spider-Man so that they can have a rematch. Remembering who the Grizzly is, and hearing his demands, Peter can't help but laugh at his foe. This angers the Grizzly, and he rips the roof off one of the train cars and tries to smash Parker with it. Peter leaps out of the way, and grabs onto the side of the subway car. Realizing that he made a mistake, and with the other passengers including the Robertsons in danger, Peter changes into Spider-Man.

Meanwhile, at the Queens Medical Center, Kristy Watson is scolded by her father, who is annoyed that her eating disorder interrupted their European vacation. Watching this drama unfold is Mary Jane and Kristy's doctor Susan Ransom watch. Lou Watson doesn't want to pay for the treatment because he thinks his daughter is faking it. When Kristy asks if he'd prefer it if she dropped dead, Lou prepares to strike his daughter. That's when Mary Jane steps in and grabs him and pulls him away from Kristy. She tells her uncle that he needs to show Kristy compassion instead of a holier-than-thou attitude. Having had enough Lou tells Mary Jane that if she knows what is best for his daughter, he can deal with her. Lou then grabs his wife and storms out, intending to go right back to Paris. Mary Jane apologizes for Kristy's parents, but Kristy is extatic that Mary Jane will be looking after her. Remembering her own troubled childhood, Mary Jane wishes she had someone to take care of her like she is taking care of Kristy.[Continuity 9]

Back aboard the train, Spider-Man leaps onto the roof of the train car to face the Grizzly. He begins fighting Grizzly. The wall-crawler runs circles around the Grizzly and hears how the villain wants to defeat Spider-Man in battle so that people will stop laughing at him. As the two fight it out, Spider-Man's concern for the Robertson's safety makes him come to the conclusion that the only way to end this battle without anyone getting hurt is to allow the Grizzly to defeat him in battle. Spider-Man then leads Grizzly to think he is defeating the wall-crawler. Catching Spider-Man in a bear hug, the Grizzly then tosses him off the side of the train. Thinking that he finally defeated Spider-Man, the Grizzly boasts that the laughter of others won't bother him again and leaps off of the train. Spider-Man, meanwhile, had survived by grabbing onto the side of the train. With the Grizzly gone, he quickly changes back into Peter Parker. Soon, the Robertson family is happily reunited with Joe and learn how he had been spending weeks recovering at the home Aaron DeWiss, a local Amish farmer. Even Joe is looking at being returned to prison, he seems strangely at peace, leaving Peter to wonder what became of Tombstone. Soon Federal Marshals come to take Joe back into custody. Seeing that Joe has let go of some of his past demons, and hopes that the Grizzly was able to do the same for himself.

Back in New York City, Maxwell Markham is looking over his scrapbook at a diner. There, another patron sees his newspaper clippings and asks if he ever won a championship belt. Markham laughs, saying he came close, but his opponent threw the fight. He remarks that he could have went looking for a rematch, but figured he had his shot, that he knows he is good, and whatever others think about him doesn't matter.

Solicit Synopsis

Find out what's going to happen to Kristy. Discover more on J. Jonah Jameson's reaction to Puma's takeover attempt of the Daily Bugle. Witness Spidey's battle with the Grizzly in an Amtrack train.


Continuity Notes

  1. The Grizzly battled Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #139140.
  2. Fireheart bought the Daily Bugle in Spectacular Spider-Man #157.
  3. Peter can't believe that he finally has his own place again. Peter and Mary Jane had moved into Bedford Towers in Amazing Spider-Man #300, but were ultimately evicted in Amazing Spider-Man #314 forcing the couple to move in with Aunt May. They recently moved into this loft provided to them by Harry Osborn in last issue.
  4. 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. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here as opposed to husband and wife.
  5. Kristy's struggle with Bulimia was revealed in Web of Spider-Man #53.
  6. Joe Robertson was accused of accessory to murder for not reporting a murder committed by Tombstone 20 years prior, as revealed in the Spectacular Spider-Man #139. Joe pleaded guilty and was sent to prison in Spectacular Spider-Man #150. In the same prison as Tombstone, Joe was forced into participating in a jailbreak in Spectacular Spider-Man #155 but was missing and presumed dead after both fell out of a helicopter. However, Joe and Tombstone survived and Joe turned himself over to authorities in Spectacular Spider-Man #157.
  7. Peter thinks about how he searched for Joe, he searched for Joe in Spectacular Spider-Man #156 but came up empty handed.
  8. Tombstone managed to escape capture joining up with the Chameleon and Hammerhead in Spectacular Spider-Man #157.
  9. Mary Jane came from an abusive household with an alcoholic, as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #259.

See Also

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