BEING A SLIGHT
EXPLANATION OF THE REAL STORIES
OF SOME COMIC BOOK "SUPERHEROES" IN THE WNU
This may be the most controversial of the articles concerning the reality of comic book heroes in the WNU since much about what we think we know about this beloved character is false.
Here is a short recap of the comic book origin for those who may be unfamiliar with it.
Peter Parker is an orphaned high school student living with his aunt and uncle. He is a slightly built, bookish fellow interested in science. At a science exhibit he is bitten by a radioactive spider and finds that afterwards possessed the proportional strength and powers of a spider. He decides to use his powers for entertainment creating a spider costume as part of the show.
While on his way to the television studio a man runs past him. A cop tells him to stop the man but Parker refuses, tired of being bossed around.
Later a burglar shoots his Uncle Ben. Parker discovers that the police have him holed up in a warehouse. Parker decides to use his powers to capture the burglar. He does so and discovers that the burglar that killed his Uncle was the same man he had let go earlier. Overcome with guilt he vows to use his powers responsibly.
The reality of the situation is close to this but differs greatly in many ways.
Ben and May Parker lived very normal lives, almost boringly so. They stressed in Peter the need not to make waves, to do nothing to bring attention to himself. He was to turn the other cheek if confronted. Part of this training came from deep religious devotion, they also thought it was too dangerous for Peter to do anything attract any type of attention.
Peter Parker however excelled at the sciences. He created a liquid adhesive substance that would dry rapidly, and is as strong as steel, for about an hour depending on the climatic conditions. Humidity and water made it breakdown more rapidly.
He won his local science fair and at a city wide science fair, he prepared his mixture for a the judges. He noticed an unusual reaction in one of the beakers and shouted for everyone to back away. The resulting explosion knocked him over into another student's exhibit. This student was demonstrating the intelligence of crustacean life forms, crabs, crawdads and spiders. Peter was bitten by a tarantula.
The painful bite healed rather quickly. Although there was nothing unusual about the spider from the time of the biting, as Peter would always associate his new life as having started with that event, Peter noticed changes in himself. His reflexes became extremely fast, his coordination became finely tuned, he felt filled with excess energy which he burned off by exercise, the increased exercise bulked up his musculature into a wiry, steely strength. He believed that the spider bite had triggered changes in his muscle and bone tissue making it denser and with greater tensile strength. His senses also intensified his hearing, touch, taste, smell and even his weak eyesight improved (1).
Perhaps the oddest change in all was that Peter had premonitions of events that were going to occur but only a few seconds in advance. These flashes of precognition, he also attributed to the spider bite, calling the precognition a spider sense. All of these senses saved his life when he was crossing a street distracted by a personal problem. He had heard his aunt and uncle discussing their finances which were at an all time low. He had sensed a car bearing down on him and jumped out of the way. Th car nearly ran him down, he jumped out of the way and had broad jumped ten feet. (2) What's was more intriguing was that he had landed up against a brick wall and clung there. His sense of touch had grown so acute and the strength of his fingers had increased to such a rate that he was able to sense the minute flaws in the brick wall and cling to them. Using his premonition sense, his ability to touch and his newly found strength he was able to scale the wall. It appeared that he was clinging to the wall like a spider.(3)
Knowing that his aunt and uncle were struggling Peter had tried to get companies interested in his adhesive. Having heard of his debacle at the science fair most would not even give him a chance to demonstrate his product. Others said that the hour of viability was useless for their purposes, if it could be more stable then they would be interested.
Depressed at this state of affairs Peter was in a foul mood when a bully who had tormented him for years tried to push him down a flight of stairs. Peter moved out of the way and the bully went tumbling. The bully came to his feet swinging at Peter. Peter easily avoided the punch with his premonition sense and fast reflexes. He floored the kid with one punch.
Later that evening Peter was watching television with his Uncle Ben who was a big wrestling fan. "Professional" Wrestling was then undergoing one of its spurts of popularity. In one contest was a wrestler called The Thing, who wore a costume that seemed as though it were made of rock. (4) In this match he was wrestling against the world renowned wrestler from
, The Saint or El Santo. Despite the Thing's size and great strength Santo held his own and used the Thing's size and bulk against him and flipped him several times, giving some credence to the rumor that Santo had strength beyond those of most men. Mexico
Peter was stunned when after being flipped and nearly pinned by Santo, the Thing ran out of the ring and disappeared into the crowd. (5) Santo won the match!
Taking a cue from Santo Peter believed that with his superior speed and quantitative strength he would be a good wrestler even when pitted against larger foes. Using some old clothes he sewed himself a red and blue suit with a spider web design and mask based on Santo's but without a mouth. Calling himself the Spider, inspired by his encounter with the tarantula which he believed had triggered his newfound abilities. (6)
Peter managed to get an audition in which he easily defeated two opponents, using an almost instinctive combination of his speed, strength and premonition sense. He was also able to duplicate the movements of his opponents within a few moments of observation.
As a lower echelon wrestler he began making a name for himself, especially when he discovered a way to shoot his liquid adhesive from devices he attached to his wrists. He would swing into the ring and after he had pinned his opponents he would web them to the mat. He would also web any unauthorized persons trying to enter the ring.
One of the people who had expressed a moderate interest in his adhesive formula made a connection between this new wrestler the spider and the adhesive that he used. He and members of his organization had been told to watch out for people with remarkable abilities, as this wrestler seemed to possess.
The person who had made the connection called upon one of his men to rob the arena where the Spider wrestled. He was to make certain that he ran past the Spider as a means of testing the Spider's true abilities, to see how easily the man could be captured. However the Spider failed to take the bait and allowed the robber to run past him without even attempting to stop him.
So the "robber" was to burglarize the Parker home to see what links could be found between this Spider and Peter Parker. Ben Parker resisted the home invasion and was shot by the 'robber". Peter Parker was not at home. May Parker had come after the burglar with a frying pan after he had shot Ben Parker and the burglar at shot her as well. The bullet creased her forehead, knocking her out and giving her a nasty head wound.
A patrol car had been in the area arbitrating between two homeowners who had gotten into a fistfight over lawn boundaries. They spotted a man running out of the Parker home with a gun and gave chase. When Peter Parker returned home he discovered several patrol cars parked in front of it as the CID was collecting evidence.
The detective in charge, Lt. Stacy, informed Peter of the situation. His aunt was hospitalized and would have no problem with recovery. Ben Parker was pronounced dead on the scene. Stacy told him that they would soon have the murderer, he was holed up in the old Acme warehouse. Peter was familiar with that warehouse (7), and knew that it had all sorts of places for the murderer to hide If he could wait the police out the murderer could possibly give the police the slip. Filled with rage and a burning purpose, Peter decided to use his abilities to bring the murderer to justice.
Using his web shooter, Peter swung over the police cordon of the warehouse and broke inside via the roof. With his heightened senses Peter was able to find him. Although the burglar fired at him several times, Peter was able to avoid the bullets with his premonition sense and enhanced reflexes. When it came to hand to hand combat, Peter defeated him in short order and continued to beat on him until the man was battered and bruised. He came close to killing him but brought his bloodlust under control. It was then that he recognized the man as the one he had refused to stop at the wrestling arena. He wrapped the broken man in one of his webs and dropped him at the feet of the police cordon.
Feeling great remorse over the death of his uncle and the incapacitation of his aunt, Peter Parker embarked on a new secret career as a costumed vigilante. Although it was rumored that Santo was a crime fighter as well as a wrestler, Peter decided that since he had to take of his aunt while still attending school, the wrestling career would be too time consuming. He thought about trying to see if the Four needed another person on their time but discarded that idea since the globe-trotting adventures of the Four would take him far from his home.
As it would turn out, Peter Parker would need to find a job for money quickly became a problem. Ben Parker did not have any insurance. Someone else owned the house that they lived in, at least on paper, although Ben Parker had been paying the mortgage. May Parker had some costly medical bills because although she came through the ordeal physically with only a small scar on her head she did not come through mentally sound. She believed that Ben was alive and traveling and that Peter was a small child. Intensive therapy failed to shake her of this traumatic condition.
Although his Uncle did not have many possessions, Peter did find a couple of cameras among them. A couple of miniature cameras with timers. By concentrating long and hard enough on his premonition gift, Peter Parker would usually get a headache and the vision of a probable event. Many were not newsworthy, although enough were that he was able to show up at various scenes in time to snap a newsworthy photograph. He worked as a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle, Daily Star, Daily Planet and Gotham Gazette. At first he did not photograph himself working out his frustrations by beating up and capturing criminals while in the costume. However the publisher of the Daily Bugle began to ask photographers for pictures of the costumed vigilante, telling him he would pay extra.
Mr. Jameson, the Publisher/Managing Editor of the Daily Bugle was well known for his conservative stance on many issues however he is probably best known for his one man crusade against the vigilante known as the Spider-Man, as he called him. The reasons for Jameson's anathema for the Spider-Man has been cited as jealousy, genuine concern for public safety or personal. In the latter category many cite the incident where the Spider's capture of The Octopus knocked off the story of Jameson's son successfully orbiting the earth, the Daily Bugle was in fact the only paper to carry the Jameson orbit, which was old hat by then as the lead story. As with many other tales of this sort the story grew until it had the Spider hijacking a plane, riding on the wing and hopping onto Jameson's plummeting capsule to create a web parachute that saved the astronaut's life. Mr. Jameson would, according to this tale, claim that the Spider had sabotaged the capsule and saved his son so that he could have all the glory.
The truth of Mr. Jameson's antipathy towards the Spider is actually rather complex. Jameson was a young reporter back in the thirties, he was acquainted with a few of the costumed vigilante's of that era, the Shadow, The Whisperer, the Avenger, the Bat-Man and the Spider. He was also acquainted with and casual friends with Richard Wentworth. Although like many Jameson had lauded the work of the costumed vigilante's in keeping the criminal element down, he began to be disenchanted with their kill and ask questions later approach. He also became quite convinced that they were, indirectly perhaps, responsible for the existence of the so called super-villains and became convinced that if the costumed vigilantes were not operate then all the super-villains and their accompanying calamaties would not be plaguing New York and other cities. (8).
Jameson eventually discovered that Richard Wentworth was in fact the Spider and he felt absolutely betrayed. When this new costumed vigilante showed up several years later, despite the differences of the costume and modos operandi, Jameson was strongly reminded of the thirties Spider for some reason. Jameson hated the costumed vigilante for what he represented, for the trouble he would bring upon the city, for the resemblance to the original Spider. In an odd sort of dichotomy, Jameson also hated the costumed vigilante because he did not think he could hold a candle to Richard Wentworth.
As a costumed vigilante Peter Parker had no greater ambition than to fight petty criminals, prevent some street crime and possibly do some good in little ways. He considered his abilities to be a far cry from the likes of Batman, Superman, or even the Daredevil.
Yet destiny chose another path for him, it is almost as Jameson stated, once Peter started to wear the costume to combat crime, he began to attract costumed criminals or freaks of nature. In his first year of crime fighting, he would battle the villains known as The Vulture, the Octopus, the Sandman, Dr. Doom, the Lizard, Electro and a protection racket known as the Enforcers. The comic book tales were of course at wide variance with the real events or the actual identities of these criminals. The Vulture was actually a gang lead by a thin, bald headed man. The Vultures wore costumes designed to resemble birds of prey that were part glider and part rocket pack technology. They would swoop down on banks, jewelry stores armored cars, etc. Peter managed to take out enough of the gang and follow them to their headquarters and capture the leader.
The Sandman was in reality not a criminal at all but was rather an alias of Ralph Dibney Like his father before him Dibney was an operative for the FBI attached to CIALD. Dibney created the false identity of Flint Marko alias the Sandman. Dibney's fluid nature of course allowed him to alter his features. As part of his cover Dibney would occasionally be captured and sent to prison, where he would shortly escape. The false orgin of Flint Marko and his powers as the Sandman were also part of his cover story. Unlike his father and many of the others affected by Founder DNA, Dibney could transform himself into other substances for fleeting moments. This included sand and glass. His ability was classified and very few others knew about it. He did not use it very often since it taxed his strength to the point of utter fatigue. A more extreme case of this was seen in the case of Rex Mason, who could transform himself into about any chemcial compound, except unfortunately his original human form.
The Lizard was not named Dr. Curt Conners although he was indeed an medical doctor that was turned into a reptile on occasion. The Doctor's actual name was Dr. Mark Sinclair, inspired by the apparent success of the Unknown Soldier to regenerate lost tissue but not being recruited by the government to work on experiments of this nature he began experimenting on his own. He began with various reptile organs and enzymes to recreate the lizards ability to regenerate lost tissue.
Intrigued by his early successes the army offered him the access to experiment on extremely wounded soldiers that were willing to risk his unproven techniques. One who was willing to risk it was Paul Webster. He was a war hero who had been blown apart, losing his arms and legs.
Sinclair's serum worked and Webster regrew his limbs. He left the hospital and married his sweetheart. However something went terribly wrong. The serum began to transform him into a humanoid reptile, resembling a ambulatory alligator. (9) Sinclair was called upon to reverse the treatment. For his trouble he had his arm ripped off by the frightened Gator-man. Webster escaped into the
bayou and was never seen again except in legend. He may have been around in the early nineties but the information is not verified.(10) Louisiana
Realizing that there was either something unique in Webster that made him change into an alligator man or a flaw in the formula. Dr. Mark Sinclair reconfigured his formula so that it would not cause him to gradually transform into a reptilian creature. It did regrow his arm and seemingly had no aftereffects. It would however not work on anyone else and in fact made most people violently ill.
After a couple of years however his regrown arm began to wither. He injected himself with the serum once again. His arm regained its strength and vitality. At the time Dr. Mark Sinclair was going through a rough period, his marriage was in trouble, his research was stymied and his superiors at the medical research company where he worked were pressuring him for results.
When one of his highly expensive, elaborate experiments failed miserably, he flew into a rage smashing equipment and delicate instruments. He noted with some detachment that his hands had grown sharp talons, that his skin grew green and scaly and that his intelligence decreased as his rage increased. He saw himself growing a reptilian snout just before he lost all higher cognitive function.
Theories abound as to what happened to Dr. Mark Sinclair ranging from the idea that the serum unlocked a theriomorphic trait in him or that Dr. Mark Sinclair was a descendent of a hybrid of the one of Serpent People of Valusia and a human being and the serum brought forth his reptilian ancestryor that serum over time rewrote his DNA interlacing it with a reptilian code, that any sudden shock would make one code dominiant for a short time. The actual truth is no one really knows why periodically Dr. Mark Sinclair becomes a reptile man, only that he does.
Electro was indeed named Max Dillon, although that was an alias provided by the government.
Max Dillon was actually named Dan McCormick. After surviving an accident that threw a bus into a high voltage electric tower, McCormick lived and performed at a sideshow as "The Electric Man". This was circa 1938.
A Dr. Lawrencewas curious about McCormick's ability to absorb electricity and experimented on him with McCormick's consent. They learned that he could absorb electricity and discharge it at will. It also supplied McCormick with vitality and strength.
Dr. Lawrence's assistant Dr. Rigas, however is an associate of Dr. Peter Drury, who was a Nazi double agent. Drury had compromised quite a few scientists and corrupted or blackmailed them into working for the Third Reich. Dr. Rigas saw a way to create a race of living zombies with electrical powers which could be used to make the armies of the Third Reich supreme over all the decadent western powers. To this end Rigas pumped McCormick with larger amounts of energy, turning him into a monster that could kill with the merest touch. Rigas forced McCormick to kill Dr. Lawrence. Rigas used some manner of device that either used radio or microwaves to control McCormick using McCormick's own enhanced eletrical field as a conductor. The device controlled McCormick's nervous system allowing Rigas to cause him great excruciating pain, seize control of his autonomous functions and induce McCormick to do almost any task guided by remote control.
After committing a series of crimes for Dr. Rigas McCormick was forced to discharge all of his electrical energy. Dr. Rigas considered the crimes to be experiments in fine tuning his control over McCormick. The crime spree also netted him a tidy little sum. When McCormick was captured he was tried and convicted for the murder of Dr. Lawrence. He was sentenced to die in the electric chair. Even the voltage of an electric chair did not destroy McCormick but made him stronger. He escaped from the prison and made his way towards Rigas. Rigas seized control of McCormick again. Yet McCormick overcame the excruciating nerve induced pain long enough to seize Rigas, electrocuting him. According to the film depiction of these events, McCormick caught on some barbed wire and discharged all of his energy in one burst and shrank to nothing but smoke. (11)
He did in fact become entangled with barbed wire and discharged his electricity but he did not disappear in a puff of smoke but became a man trapped in barbed wire. Project Rebirth snapped him up immediately. The strain of overcoming Dr. Rigas mind control had caused Dan McCormick to undergo a personality change. He became bitter and surly. He also lost the ability to absorb electricity, despite efforts to make him do so which caused him a great deal of pain and fueled his resentment.
Since Dan McCormick was officially dead, a new identity was created for him. Private Max Dillon was inducted into the army and sent to the signal corps. His superiors often disciplined Dillon since his experience with Dr. Rigas and Project Rebirth had left him with a serious lack of regard for authority but he had a knack of making radios, telephones and telegraphs work like no body else.
After the war he went to work for Con Edison as a lineman. While repairing a line during a rainstorm, he was struck by lightning, the electrical current also coursed into him and Max Dillon was knocked to wet ground in a fireworks display of sparks and electrical bolts. He awoke feeling energized. He realized that he once again had the power to absorb and discharge electricity. This time he used his electrical engineering knowledge to regulate his intake and discharge by designing a suit for that very purpose. Like the comics his suit was a bright green affair with a yellow star shaped mask. He believed that it was so ridiculous looking that people would discount it as some type of costume or gimmick. Of course by then it would be too late.
Dillon decided to use his abilities to get rich so he would never to do anyone else's bidding again. For easy money he turned to crime, starting with robbing an armored car. He became one of Peter Parker's most persistent foes.
A criminal who plagued Peter Parker time and time again was The Octopus. He battled The Spider-Man on different occasions during his first year as a crime fighter.
The Octopus was according to the comic book origins a renowned physicist named Otto Octavious who created an apparatus of flexible mechanical arms to carry out experiments with radioactive materials. In a freak atomic explosion the mechanism was bound to his flesh. The radiation had also damaged his mind and giving him the mental ability to move the metallic limbs as he would his own flesh.
The truth is a bit more complex than that. The Octopus was indeed named Otto Octavian and he was a physicist and did possess mechanical limbs. The Spider-Man and The Octopus had a connection that neither of them knew about at first.
Otto Octavian was the son of a man named Chase. Chase was a banking Magnate. He invested in communications, transportation and various industrial resources with the intention of ruling the
. He ran a technical school, which allowed him to purchase technical equipment without arousing suspicion. The Octopus organized acts of terror against the resources he seeks to control. He had Roberts of Roberts trucking killed (a relative of the Roberts family) and Mason of Mason Metal works killed so he could put his own people in charge of these firms. United States
The Octopus was thwarted by the Spider, Richard Wentworth, who shot him dead. Or so it was believed. The Octopus merely switched places with one of his minions and escaped death. He was later seen causing the Spirit some manner of trouble but was once again reported shot to death. (12)
Defeated several times in his endeavors Chase went into hiding with his son. Chase was obsessed with the number eight and with the marine creature the Octopus. Chase was influenced by the theories of Pythagoras, although like many people influenced by philosophies he agreed only with jibed with his own personal philosophy. Chase had a driving ambition to become supremely powerful. What initially drove him has not been determined.
From what little remained of his personal correspondence and notes, the number eight is very important to him. Yet in Pythagorean philosophy it was not all that important. It may have been that he was the eighth child in a family but since his true origins are unknown, this is only speculation. Among his surviving writing fragments is a quotation from a book of numerology. "The number 8 is described as being Decisive, forceful, good with money. Accomplished. Often lacks feeling for those who stand in the way of goals." And these cryptic statements found in various book flyleafs or the backs of old envelopes:
-The Golden Verses of Pythagoras of
Samosnumber 8 states "Now, Power is a near neighbour to necessity."
-Eighth card of the tarot is the Card of Strength.
-The Octopus with its giant brain, eight arms, its patience, its ability to squeeze into a small space .....Great Old One.father of Cephalapods....
-Symbol of Chaos is eight armed. Known to Cimmerians. Grome equals Crom the Dark Demon. Chaos not of Nyar? Nyar aspect of Cth? (13)
Chase kept control of his organization but kept their activities subdued. He wished to extend his influence throughout the world, slowly, silently and surely, so that when the time was ripe his son would grasp the reins of power. He named his son Otto Octavian, this was in keeping with Chase's fascination with the number eight and also as coded signal that this would the future ruler of the world.
Otto did not have his father's obsession with the number eight and it is quite likely that he was not an adherent of his father's "religion". Otto Octavian became a renown physicist, working at various times with David Bruce Banner and his cousin Robert Bruce Banner. It was not however a violent radioactive explosion that bound experimental mechanical arms to him but rather radioactive poisoning. The radiation poisoning caused muscular degeneration in Otto Octavian, he was eventually confined to a wheel chair. His father offered him a chance at a cure but that warned that it would be extremely painful.
When Otto awoke he found he had been made into a freak. His father had somehow grafted some prosthetic limbs onto his spinal column flexible. The limbs were of telescoping metal which ended in three claws. The metal limbs were made of the same metal as Captain
's shield, this technology had been stolen from the Project Rebirth. Otto had to learn to use them as a child must learn to use his limbs. America
Chase was pleased with his work, remarking that Otto was a living symbol of Chaos, a hybrid of the ancient rituals and new technologies, the first to bear a cybernetic mark of Cthulhu. Otto discovered that in addition to giving him the cybernetic limbs his father had somehow stopped his muscular degeneration so he was no longer in danger of wasting away. Otto was however permanently a freak, he would never again be able to pursue a normal life. His father had forced him into the underworld.
Once he had gained total control of his metal limbs, Otto went on a rampage seeking to kill his father by destroying the private hospital where he was staying. His father was not at the facility. Otto was certain his father's absence was deliberate, that he had sensed that Otto would be seeking to do him harm.
Otto decided that he would dedicate the rest of his life to the goal of destroying his father's organization and also the atomic industry which had caused his downfall. His first main action killed two birds with one stone. His father owned an nuclear medicine research facility in
. Otto broke in there with the intention of destroying it and leaving radioactive slag behind. Otto however had not planned too well. He had failed to count on his father's influence. Within a half hour of Otto entering the facility it was surrounded by police officers and the National Guard. New York
Not certain how to extricate himself from the situation, Otto took hostages. The hold off between the so called Dr. Octopus and the police came to the attention of the publisher of the Daily Bugle who sent Peter Parker to get pictures. Peter donned his costume, set his cameras and went to find Dr. Octopus. His first battle with Dr. Octopus did not go well. As a matter of fact for the first time in his crime fighting career Peter had to make a strategic retreat. His failure to beat Dr. Octopus added to his general depression. Mr. Jameson had rejected his photos of the battle with Dr. Octopus and so money was a problem. Peter's aunt's condition was worsening as she began to suffer symptoms of heart disease because her beloved husband was overdue from his business trip.
Johnny Storm of the Four guest lectured at Peter's high school and Peter was instilled with a new confidence.
Peter was able to defeat Dr. Octopus with a combination of speed, guile and fighting skill. Dr. Octopus also possessed what is commonly known as a glass jaw, so when Peter was able to slip through his defenses he laid the good Doctor out.
The Doctor was kept in a state of the art penal institution. He was however a model prisoner. Dr. Octopus was given a relatively light sentence due to his lawyer's arguments about Otto's mental state at the time of his capturing the facility. Dr. Octopus served seven months of a three year sentence. Once out of prison he wasted no time in forming his own organization to combat his father's organization and to provide the funds with which to carry out his vendetta and provide him with creature comforts. He broke "Gaxton", a criminal leader out of prison for a large sum of money and provided protection while the crime boss attempted to sneak out of the country.
Peter Parker tried to stop this flight. The Spider-Man fought Dr. Octopus and the thugs from Gaxton's organization. Dr. Octopus escaped with a suitcase of money. He used the money to bankroll his next caper which was to hire men to launch a crime spree in
. He was trying to draw The Spider-Man out so he could destroy him once and for all. Peter was sick with a serious flu bug. Dr. Octopus finally kidnapped Jameson's secretary Betty Brant in an attempt to extort money and positive publicity from the Daily Bugle. The Spider-Man tracked down Dr. Octopus despite being quite ill. Since Peter had been dating Betty, Dr. Octopus had inadvertently made it personal. Peter managed to free Betty Brant but he is so sick and weak, that Dr. Octopus easily defeated him and unmasked him. New York
Peter was exposed as The Spider-Man or rather he was exposed as a high school boy who tried to impersonate the crime fighter. The police took the unconscious Peter Parker home.
It is about this point that the comic book history of Spider Man and the true story of the Spider-Man seriously diverges.
In the comics Aunt May took care of Peter, feeding him soup and medicine. When he was better she admonished him for posing as that dreadful Spider-Man.
In reality Peter realized with a shock while eating breakfast that his Aunt is different in many ways, her stance and demeanor have all changed. She greeted him as usual but Peter realized that she no longer believed him to be a small child.
May mentioned the costume that he had been wearing when the police brought him home. She told him that she should have expected it but it was still a shock. She then shocked him when she told him if he is going to do this thing, he might as well do it right and learn from his relatives. There was no use in hiding any more, they would come after him in various ways so he needed to be ready.
Aunt May poured herself a glass of whisky and after a moments pause handed Peter a smaller one, telling him he would need it. He was going to learn the truth about his family.
First of all his real name was not Parker. May and Ben Parker were not blood relatives of his. All of his papers and identity were false, provided by friends in the intelligence community. Ben Parker and May Reilly had been operatives for the government, Ben had been a FBI agent, May had been recruited by Bureau 13 back in 1925 for her involvement in a case involving zombies and the underworld of the Broadway area. Ben and May had met on a few occasions prior to 1938 when they became involved in the war against Dr. Alex Zorka and his wide ranging war against the
. May and Ben had met Peter's parents and some of his other relatives during this conflict, although most accounts of the incident do not tell of the original Spider, Captain Midnight, The Shadow or the Avenger's involvement in this case. Ben Parker's involvement, at least in the released versions of the story was kept at a minimum. United States
May and Ben first met Peter's parents in this adventure although they were not at that time involved with one another. They meet during this adventure which took place in July to September of 1938. Peter's mother had only inadvertently been involved because of Zorka's use of dirigible's, she was an experienced pilot.
Ben Parker was descended some western lawmen among which included Hanging Judge Parker of
. Ben had joined the FBI after college having gotten an Accounting degree. May Reilly as stated was recruited for intelligence work after a situation which involved Zombies on Broadway. (14) May was perhaps one of the best agents in espionage work because of her apparent naivite, seeming frailty and innocent demeanor. She was very good at dissembling and at investigation. Although these are intangible qualities, she had some credentials as to a career in espionage. She was the daughter of Bella Thorn, a secretary to a master-criminal who repeatedly foiled his plots. (15) Bella left the adventuring business to get married. Her first marriage ended tragically as associates of the criminal she had put away killed her husband. Bella married a second time to Sydney Reilly, the so called Ace of Spies. Reilly, was despite his great abilities and charisma, a duplicitous canard. He was, if accounts can be believed a triple or quadruple agent, working for several various governments at the same time. (16) Oklahoma
In 1904 when Bella Thorn met Sydney Reilly he had just finished with some business in
and was living the life of a man of leisure in the Germany West End. Bella met him at a book store and they quickly became a pair. In late 1904 they wed. In early 1905 Reilly departed abroad for what would become known as the D'Arcy affair. He returned in 1908 disenchanted with the British Intelligence agency. To Bella's dismay he wanted little to do with their daughter. To her horror he changed his name to Rosenblum and opened up a patent medicine business. He revealed that he was in reality a Russian Jew.
Feeling betrayed and shamed by her marriage, Bella left
to live in the England where no one would know her. She swore off marriage and raised May by herself. United States
May continued with her story. Peter Parker's parents were named Margaret Rassendyl and Fergus MacMurdie. Margaret Rassendyl was a pilot and an adventurer she had been recruited to join Bureau 13 in 1940. She and May became very good friends. Bureau 13 was unlike most of the U.S. Government Intelligence/Investigation agencies in that it was unknown to most of the other agencies and it specialized in investigating outré, unexplained, supernatural and extraterrestrial threats to the
. As a consequence its agents were a pretty eclectic bunch. They often worked along with some of the costumed vigilantes against major threats to the United States although the costumed vigilantes always got the credit. Bureau 13's involvement was even removed from most published accounts written about the costumed vigilantes. United States
Margaret worked on more than a few cases with the Spider and the Shadow, mainly because of her skills although there was a familial connection. The Spider and The Shadow were her uncles. Her father, and Peter's grandfather was Bruce Hagin Rassendyl, an aviator and adventurer. During the Great War, that is WWI he was known simply as G-8 an ace pilot who ran against some very strange foes. He was an operative of the Secret Service as well as being a aviator. One of his cover identities during the war was as Red Albright, a name he continued to use as a cover after the war. As Red Albright, he had earned the sobriquet Captain Midnight.
After the First World War and before resuming a full fledged adventuring career he had worked as a barnstormer. His barnstorming activities took him to
, where he met the formidable Janie Frete. (17) Nevada flew between the former adventuress whose activities often skirted the law and the pilot. They were married in 1920 and Margaret came late that year. Sparks
The relationship between Janie and Bruce was passionate and they went back and forth between loving and hating each other. Margaret spent long periods with either parent and grew up resilient, strong willed and extremely talented. Her father introduced her to his brother Allard Kent Rassendyl, who was also a talented aviator and adventurer, although he found very little time for familial connections being constantly busy in his crime fighting career as the Shadow. Margaret also met her Uncle Richard, although he was Bruce's half-brother. Margaret would tell May that she found Richard Wentworth to be a bit scary and it took a lot to scare her. She remarked that whenever he would discuss his alter ego The Spider his eyes would glaze over with a sort of madness.
In addition to having the costumed adventurers The Spider, The Shadow and Captain Midnight as his part of his family, Peter's ancestor had been the Scarlet Pimpernel.
Peter's father was Fergus MacMurdie a hugely built Scotsman. Peter took more after his mother's side of the family. Fergus MacMurdie was a former pharmacist and chemist, which would explain Peter's proclivities in this area. His first wife and child had been killed when one of his pharmacies had exploded. The explosion was caused by a bomb thrown by a protection racket which MacMurdie had refused to join. This incident at first sent Fergus into a deep depression but this was eventually filled with a thirst for vengeance against crime and criminals. He joined forces with Richard Henry Benson in the organization known as Justice Inc. Richard Henry Benson was distantly related to Peter as well, he was the man called The Avenger by the press.
Justice Inc. had a occasional working relationship with Bureau 13, although the connection was never publicly known. Fergus and Margaret kept running into each other and finally started to date. They were married in the summer of 1942. Peter was born in 1943 and Nicholas was born in 1944. In 1948 the MacMurdies discovered some very disturbing things that they kept secret from even their best friends Ben and May Parker. They began to make elaborate arrangements that would keep their children safe, even at the cost of splitting them up.
Peter speculated that it had been one or more of the enemies of his great uncles or grandfather had decided to target them.
May shook her head and continued.
The danger came neither from their family's vigilante activities nor from their involvement in secret service or adventurism but rather was a family matter. May described Peter's "spider" abilities and asked how he supposed he had gotten them. He told her from the bite of spider. Laughing she told him that they were inborn abilities triggered by his near death experience. His father had them but to a lesser degree, he had very sharp hearing, could move very fast despite his bulk, could identify chemicals just by smell and touch etc. Fergus MacMurdie's abilities were however not any where near as powerful as Peter's were. Peter was rather unique in that he had developed them so acutely without going blind first.
In 1948 Fergus MacMurdie received a letter from his mother asking him to return to
because she was dying. Fergus had left Scotland in his early twenties to attend school in the Scotland over his Father's objections. He had tired of his Father's iron fisted control of his life. He and his bride went and received a shocking revelation from his mother. Fergus MacMurdie's real name was not MacMurdie. United States
Peter muttered something to the effect of, imagine that, but fell silent at a glare from his Aunt.
Fergus MacMurdie's true birth name was Murtagh. His father was Aloysius Murtagh. To his relief his mother actually was named Heather Ridd of Dugaloch. Aloysius' family were English but he had fled for his life in his early twenties, leaving behind a fortune. He had always been told that there was the possibility that his life could be in danger one day but had always thought the idea was bosh and that his Uncle's tales were the ravings of a madman. After Aloysius had escaped by extreme fortune three different attempts to seriously injure him, he had realized that his Uncle was not mad after all. His Uncle had perished in the last attempt to seriously injure Aloysius.
So Aloysius fled without another word, hoping to spare his family further peril. Aloysius' Uncle or in actually his great Uncle had claimed that his family had escaped from bondage from the grasp of an organization which bred their family like chattel. They had bred within the Murtagh family the ability to foresee the future. While this gift or curse often manifested to some degree in sighted individuals it was stronger in those who were blind and stronger still in those who were born with sight and then became blind. The loss of sight often occurred naturally or was triggered by a slight injury to the eyes as it had in Aloysius' cousin Wynn Murtagh. Other times the mysterious organization would cause those they felt had a strong form of the ability to be blinded. They would arrange accidents for their subject to be blinded in so as not to cause suspicion. Sometimes the prospective blind seers as those with the gift were called would die in the attempts to blind them, this was factored into their breeding program.
So after madman had come after Aloysius Murtagh's eyes with a poignard, after a chimney sweep accidentally tossed a ashes mixed with caustic lye at Murtagh's face, after an Anarchist tossed a bomb into their carriage and killed his Uncle. Aloysius believed the stories and left without a word, fled to the hinterlands of
. Despite meeting and marrying Heather Ridd he had kept to himself. His restrictive rules on Fergus were for his own protection. Shortly after Francis was born Aloysius became certain that the organization had found his whereabouts. He changed his name to MacMurdie and changed Francis Murtagh's name to Fergus MacMurdie. Fergus grew into his assumed name. Scotland
Fergus MacMurdie's mother told him some even more disturbing news. The bomb that killed Fergus' first wife and child was not meant for him. The protection racket was just a front. The bomb was meant for Fergus' child, to blind her and bring forth any blind seer abilities she might have. By the time they had found Fergus he was too old to be of any use to them. However his children were in danger of either being harmed or abducted.
Fergus and Margaret used all of their contacts and skills to track down this mysterious organization. They discovered that it was all too real but protected by various other organizations and persons many of whom were involved in national governments and intelligence organizations. Uncovering this organization would take time and a massive effort. So Fergus and Margaret took the extra step of setting up a complicated set of blind alleys and false identities to safeguard their children should anything happen to them. They entrusted each of their sons to the care of a different couple who did not know the other's identities.(18)
In 1949 Fergus and Margaret's plane went down over the
Atlantic Ocean. When they did not check in as planned, the couples with whom the children had been placed went to ground and resurfaced with new identities. This was why Peter and his brother were split up and Peter was told that his brother died shortly after his parents. This was also why the Parker's had emphasized that Peter not bring attention to himself. Apparently it was all for naught for the organization had been aware of Peter all the time.
May Parker believed that the so called Burglar had been sent to blind Peter and had killed Ben and thought he had killed May so that it would be easier for Peter to be "adopted" by a distant relative. If Peter had been a regular child and his abilities had not manifested then the organization might have lost interest in him as possible blind seer. He was already close to to age when they believe the blinding would not have a very good chance of releasing dormant powers. However since Peter had demonstrated Seer abilities he would have to be on constant vigilance.
If for that reason and no other he needed to train to develop his abilities to their utmost and he needed to learn how to fight. He did very well as untrained fighter but really needed formal training. He also needed to learn to fight with weapons.
Since their cover was blown so to speak, May Parker took care of some of the details she should have taken care upon Ben's death. She contacted Peter's cousin, Matthew Murtagh, a lawyer and straightened out the ownership of their house. Ben had come across a newspaper article earlier in the year about a blind Lawyer named Murtagh who had opened up a legal practice. He had investigated him and discovered that he was a Blind Seer. She also set in motion via Matthew Murtagh, the series of financial transactions and property transfers that would lead to freeing up Peter's inheritance. Along with the finances that Peter would inherit he also got a couple pieces of property, among them was the infamous Acme Warehouse where Peter had captured the man who had murdered his Uncle.
Crated in storage was some material and supplies left by the Spider, Richard Wentworth when he and Nita Van Sloan had disappeared in 1943. He had signed this particular property along with its contents over to his brother, Bruce who had left it to his daughter.
Despite having a great deal of money at their disposal, May Parker continued to live frugally and warned Peter that he should do as well. If the secret organization knew that Peter had access to a great deal of money they might be able to use their influence to somehow rob him of it. Despite the fact that Peter knew that the organization was aware of him, they might not know that he was aware of them. It was better to keep a semi-low public profile. So they continued to live in the small house, Peter kept attending public high school and he kept his freelance work as photographer.
May made a few calls and pulled in a few favors and part of the old Acme warehouse was converted into a training facility by some government contractors. Peter received private martial arts training from Ram Singh who had become a freelance operative and trainer after Richard Wentworth had disappeared. May personally supervised Peter's acrobatic, gymnastics, weight training and small arms training.
Peter trained hard for six months. Although he was thinking about making changes to his costume to better reflect his heritage, he was not certain what changes he would make. So he first fought his greatest enemy in his original costume. He later came to the conclusion that the costume did not really matter too much, it was how he acted that was the best tribute.
The Spider-Man's greatest enemy was the Green Goblin. It was he that caused The Spider-Man to gain his powers by nearly being killed by an explosion, it was he that arranged for the death of his Uncle and it was he that would kill his great love.
In Green Goblin's comic book origin he was an chemical industrialist named Norman Osborn who gained control of his company by having his partner jailed for embezzlement. He also stole the partner's work he stole his partner's biochemical formula intended to boost a person's strength and intelligence. He is injured in an explosion resulting from the mixing of the chemical compound. The vapors of the compound have increased his intelligence, strength and stamina. It has also driven him insane. He uses the facilities at Osborn Chemical Factory to create a costume and weapons to make him an unbeatable criminal. His insanity combined with his ambition made him want to become leader of all the criminal gangs in the city. He thought he could gain great status by killing The Spider-Man.
What was Norman Osborn's true story? Well, it is not hard to cipher out, the clues are all there. His name is a giveaway
means Northman. The Norman were Vikings who settled on the coast of Normans , in the region that became known as France . They conquered Normandy in the 11th century. Osborn is god-bear from the Old English. Os "god" and beorn "bear". The Bearsarkers were Viking warriors gripped with a a fighting madness who were often depicted as shifting into the form of a wolf or Bear. They were sacred to Odin. Norman Osborn was an agent of the Nine, possibly of the tribe of Othinn or Xauxaz as he was also known. England
The chemical formula that he used to increase his intelligence and strength is also a clue albeit perhaps not as compelling. The chemical compound was in reality a derivation of the elixir used to instill strength, stamina, longevity and increased body tissue regeneration. The active ingredient of the elixir was most likely from an extinct plant to which the Nine had access. Although the Nine did not discourage their agents from attempting to replicate the formula, they believed that lacking the plant, no one would ever succeed. Iwaldi, one of the Nine had stolen the notes of Dr. James Caliban whose work showed early signs of promise. Although Iwaldi would claim that he stole the research after Doc Caliban left the Nine, it appears that he did so earlier than than. He used a variety of scientists start from Caliban's research and replicate the Nine's elixir.
A pair of these scientists were Norman Osborn and his partner. Their version was a near success. However it had the unfortunate side effect of increasing the user's paranoia and violent tendencies. (19) Despite the formula's liabilities Iwaldi still remained in contact with Osborn believing that Osborn could be useful in Iwaldi's coming war against the rest of the Nine. Since Xauxaz was Iwaldi's silent partner, Osborn readily accepted adoption into Iwaldi's clan.
Since Iwaldi needed the use of Blind Seers not corrupted by the Nine, he told Osborn to keep his eyes out for certain qualities to appear in a couple of families which the Nine had been watching as uncontrolled test subjects. If either one of these had children that appeared to manifest Blind Seer capabilities to test them and then blind them. Peter Parker escaped both attempts to blind him. Iwaldi thought that he would be too intractable anyway and so his use would be limited. Instead of pursuing Parker Iwaldi had Osborn test out an early example of the duplication of the Elixir on himself. When this was an apparent failure Iwaldi gave him a simpler task of starting a criminal organization unrelated to any existing criminal organization. This was to be composed of men who could be used as cannon fodder against the forces of Nine and to carry out missions of sabotage against the Nine.
The effects of the elixir on Osborn's mind twisted simple orders from Iwaldi into something else. He believed he was to create a criminal empire ala Jonathan Wild or Professor Moriarty. Yet Parker as The Spider-Man was fighting crime and so indirectly fighting him. Parker was to blame for his disfavor with Iwaldi. Someone had to step forward to kill The Spider-Man and make certain Iwaldi's plan was unhindered. To do so Osborn created a character based on his adoptive tribal heritage and straight out of the serials or newspapers of the time of his youth, (Thirties). Iwaldi was from a ethnic group now vanished. They were Caucasian with some Asian characteristics. They were also like the Mbuti, Baka, Aeta and ethnic groups from around the world rather diminutive in stature, although unlike the Mbuti and Aeta they had thick bones and were heavily muscled. Iwaldi's people had been known in European annals as Dwarves, Kobolds and Goblins. They had been miners and woodsmen of great repute and crafstmen of stone, metal or wooden objects that often had the reputation of having outre qualities.
Norman Osborn chose his secret identity because of the goblin heritage of his "tribe" and also because of the reputation of the goblin as being by turns mischievous and malevolent. He created a variety of weapons to go with his new accouterment; pumpkin bombs, gas bombs, razors shaped like bats, and sparkles which were blasts of high voltage electricity.
Osborn planned to face but did not want to do so in
or any large urban area, believing that the urban skyscrapers gave The Spider-Man a great advantage. While Osborn was prepared for a showdown with The Spider-Man he was made privy to some information that was certain to bring Parker to where Osborn wished. New York City
May Parker received some information via channels in the Intelligence community that someone in
had information regarding the deaths of Richard and Mary Parker. May flew to Nevada to talk to her informant. She was captured and held by the henchmen of Osborn. Osborn informed Parker that he held his aunt and would only release her if Parker came to get her. May Parker managed to free herself shortly before Peter Parker arrived. New Mexico
Osborn attacked Parker in his guise as the Green Goblin, using his costumed identity for the first time. Even without his costume and its weaponry, Parker was able to elude the Green Goblin's attacks and overpower his henchman. Discovering his aunt gone, Peter changed into his Spider guise and went after the Goblin with a vengeance, believing he had eliminated her.
The Goblin retreated into a cavern where he had stored some very powerful weapons to use against the Spider-Man. When the Spider-Man followed, the cave sealed with a stone slab. The Goblin discovered that his advanced weaponry had been destroyed by the mindless destruction of the Hulk who had taken refuge in this cavern. The Goblin attacked the Hulk and was nearly killed for his efforts. The Hulk also attacked the Spider-Man believing that he was also intent on hurting him. Peter Parker managed to stay away from the Hulk, in a rage the Hulk smashed the concrete slab blocking the cavern entrance and Peter dashed out.
The Goblin was gone by the time The Spider-Man had returned. Peter found his aunt alive and well with a contingent of agents from CIALD although The Goblin's trail was a bit blocked. When the Goblin had left town he had activated remote control explosives that destroyed evidence of his hideouts in the small New Mexican town. The CIALD agents sifted through the rubble and did find something that interested May Parker. Using another source in the Intelligence community, she found something disheartening.
The intelligence about the Parkers was not entirely bogus. Mary Parker, Margaret MacMurdie had indeed died in a plane crash in 1949. Her plane had been shot down by another plane of unknown origin. She had been piloting the plane. Rather than parachute from the plane she had guided it to an unpopulated area to crash. She had died in the crash, although gravely wounded her husband had lived. Fergus MacMurdie had been alive up until three months before the phone call that had drawn May to
. He had gone to work for the Internal Security Department, a rather mysterious section of the government intelligence services under the auspices of the CIA or NSA. MacMurdie had disappeared while down in New Mexico Central America, purportedly betrayed by a rogue agent named Benson (20)
May Parker was rather disgusted by how much the intelligence services depended on assassination and "dirty tricks". She made up her mind that when Peter's training was finished and he had graduated from High School that she would do what she could to bring back dignity and propriety to the game of espionage.
Upon his return to
, Peter continued to patrol the city in The Spider-Man costume. New York
May had not told him about the news of his father, wanting to make inquiries with Matthew Murtagh first.
Peter found himself hunted by a maniac who had taken "The Most Dangerous Game" to heart. Sergie Kravenoff, a expatriate Russian and one of the last of the big game hunters decided to hunt and kill The Spider-Man. (21)The Spider-Man captured this deadly opponent.
Shortly thereafter he found himself fighting the Circus of Crime! Like many of the comic book retellings of the Spider-Man's adventures the scope of the crimes have been exaggerated. According to the comic book the Ringmaster hypnotized an entire audience in a circus tent so they would hand over their valuables and be none the wiser. In reality the Ringmaster had the circus performers under his hypnotic control and he would hypnotize select members of the audience to do criminal acts for him or else allow his minons access to their homes and valuables.
The Spider-Man traced a series of seemingly unrelated crimes back to a small circus which was performing in
for a month. Despite his premonition sense, The Spider-Man fell victim to the hypnotic power of The Ringmaster. The Ringmaster had The Spider-Man perform an act to draw in more people. The Daredevil had also trailed the series of crimes to the Circus. When The Daredevil failed to be hypnotized, the Ringmaster had The Spider-Man attack the Daredevil. The Daredevil managed to get a hold of the Ringmaster's Hat (22) and broke the trance on The Spider-Man. Together they brought the Ringmaster to justice. New York
Otto Octavian, a.k.a. Dr. Octopus having learned that his Father had retired and merged his existing Octopus organization with the criminal empire of Scorpia decided to break out of jail and form his own organization. He wished to sabotage as many elements of the Octopus organization before it was fully incorporated into Scorpia. Dr. Octopus broke Electro, Kravinoff and the special effects wizard known as Mysterio out of jail. He put out the word that he would like to work with the Vulture Gang and Sandman. He convinced his new associates that the way to achieve the best criminal success is to dominate crime in the city, so by using his new associates he began to break up Octopus/Scorpia operations in
and New York, New Jersey . Connecticut
Dr. Octopus' operation was constantly being interfered by The Spider-Man. Dr. Octopus also received constant criticism from The Daily Bugle. So Dr. Octopus decided to kill two birds with one stone. New York
Dr. Octopus smashed his way into the offices of the Daily Bugle and took Jameson's secretary and Peter's Aunt May hostage. Dr. Octopus knew that The Spider-Man had a connection of some sort with the Bugle and also believed that he would try to rescue two female hostages.
Peter Parker, The Spider-Man was forced fo fight in quick succession, Electro, Kraven, Mysterio and The Sandman. The Sandman only makes a perfunctory effort against, The Spider-Man telling him that he owed him one. Peter then took on the Vulture gang and defeated them. His final battle was against Doctor Octopus in a booby trapped house. Peter easily avoided the booby traps (23) and managed to defeat Dr. Octopus.
The Goblin made the decision to destroy The Spider-Man in a public fashion. As a gracious citizen, Norman Osborn donated the funds to help create a Spider-Man Fan Club, the brainchild of one of Peter Parker's classmates. Osborn told the boy that he had arranged to have Spider-Man attend the first meeting. The boy managed to get Johnny Storm of the Four to attend. The Green Goblin showed up at the meeting and terrorized the teenagers, hurting a couple to make his intentions known. Johnny Storm ducked away and returned in his Four uniform with its devices. His powers however are mostly technological like the Goblins and he cannot prevail alone.
The Spider-Man arrived and began fighting with the Goblin. In the middle of the fight, which is going badly for the Goblin, The Goblin whispered that Peter's aunt is at this moment about to meet her maker. This demonstrated to Peter that the Goblin knew who he was. Spider-Man rushed out of the ballroom to see to his aunt.
The Goblin had indeed sent two men to kill May Parker but she had taken charge of the situation. They were found the next morning apparent victims of a gangland slaying. May told Peter to lay low with the Spider identity until the Goblin could be dealt with. Meanwhile however, The Sandman called the favor in on The Spider-Man. Sandman needed to gain a bit more respect in the criminal world, his recent defeats had made him a liability. The Spider-Man fought with the Sandman and then ran away in the middle of the battle. The Spider-Man was accused of cowardice.
May Parker was certain that the Goblin was a member of a certain criminal organization and began making inquiries as to his possible identity. Unfortunately since this organization had already had both Dr. Octopus and The Spider-Man interfering in their business, her inquiries sent signals to the organization that The Spider-Man had made their organization one of his primary targets. They felt the need to remove him. They sent a hit squad to take him out. The connection between Parker and the Spider is also investigated. The mysterious organization was Scorpia and Peter Parker would have many battles with them to come. In the comic depictions the members of Scorpia would for the most part be combined into his battling one character, named the Scorpion.(24)
Shortly after his first encounter with the agents of Scorpia, The Spider-Man once again encountered the Circus of Crime. The performers were not the unwilling dupes of The Ringmaster after all, but willing partners in a criminal operation disguised as circus. In the absence of the Ringmaster who was still serving time (25) the Circus has chosen a new leader who was called The Clown in this story. Whether they chose him or he chose them is a matter of debate. The Clown was of course also known as The Joker. He escaped shortly after being taken into custody.
In the months that followed as Peter Parker prepared for high school graduation he spent most of his time keeping his grades high so he could get a scholarship. He combated mostly small time criminals, although he did have another run in with the Goblin and agents of Scorpia. He also encountered a malfunctioning T-1000 Terminator robot. The T-!000 accidentally killed Mark Raxton. Raxton was or rather would have been the scientist who laid the groundwork for the smart metal body utilized by the T-1000 model series. The T-!000 killed Raxton prior to his breakthroughs. The temporal anomaly made the T-1000 malfunction. Using his mimicry abilities the T-1000 became Raxton and in time began to believe he was Raxton.
After Peter Parker graduated from High School he attend one of the Universities in
. There were big changes in his life at this time. May Parker decided to return to intelligence service despite her advanced age. She believed that Peter was as fully trained and protected as they could have made him. She also found the current state of intelligence services to be deplorable, often having agents resort to barbaric actions that only their enemies had previously been comfortable enacting. She also thought that as insider she could unravel the McMurdie's legacy and discover the whereabouts of Peter's brother. New York City
May Parker moved to a small apartment in Garden City,
and enlisted in the Central Intelligence Agency. She was at first hired as a courier but eventually became a full fledged agent. Although she would, between cases, remain part of Peter's life most of the subsequent story lines involving her after his graduation from High School were fictional. (26) Her "heart condition" was a pretense which allowed her to go into the hospital at a moments notice, or rather to pick up and leave on a mission for the CIA. New Jersey
While attending the University Peter made more of an effort to socialize. He entered into circle of close friends. There was Harry Osborn who went out of his way to befriend Peter Parker, there was Mary Jane Watson, the niece of one of May Parker's friends and there was Gwen Stacy, who became his closest friend. Peter, Harry and Gwen were all majoring in science, Mary Jane was majoring in Drama.
Although the comic book version of Peter Parker's life during his college years was fraught with constant danger, pathos and academic problems in truth it was not. Peter Parker cut back on his activities as The Spider-Man, patrolling and fighting crime when he needed a break from academia. He spent a lot of his time broadening his skills as a photographer, keeping his grades high in College and pursuing a romance with Gwen Stacy. He was already acquainted with Gwen Stacy's father, he had been the police officer that had told Peter Parker about his uncle's death. To Peter Parker's surprise, despite being a friend of Jameson's, Captain Stacy was an enthusiastic supporter of The Spider-Man.
As stated Peter Parker curbed his activities as The Spider-Man during this period of his life, although he would become fully active if forced by some of the psychotics who had an obsession with him, such as Dr. Octopus, Kraven, Green Goblin and the Lizard. Yet even in these forced appearances he made every effort to return to normality as soon as possible.
Although it is has been stated by eminent criminologists that The Spider-Man's less frequent activities during this period gave rise to the criminal known as the Kingpin, in truth, the Kingpin would have forced his way to a position of power sooner or later. With The Spider-Man's infrequent appearances the Kingpin thought that it was safe to move into a position of power. He began consolidating control over the criminal gangs in the
region by making alliances, subverting organizations, intimidation and outright violence. The Kingpin's expansionist policies brought him in direct conflict between his organization and that of Dr. Octopus'. The Spider-Man would have been content to have these two criminal organizations battle it out but when their battle began to involve innocent bystanders The Spider-Man had to intervene. New York
The Kingpin kidnapped J. Jonah Jameson as a means of coercion to make him stop printing articles that accused Fisk of being a criminal.
Dr. Octopus set a number of traps for The Spider-Man desiring to be rid of him before he pulled off one of his greatest crimes. He wished to steal an experimental weapon called the Nullifier which disrupted electrical fields, a sort of miniature electromagnetic pulse. Although its capabilities were exaggerated quite a bit in the comic book depictions the Nullifier was an effective weapon against personnel because at a low setting its steady stream of disruption caused most people to fall into a highly suggestive state similar to deep hypnosis. At a high setting The Nullifier could cause temporary amnesia. Just how long the amnesia would last depended on how long of an exposure to the nullifier that the person had received.
Dr. Octopus caught The Spider-Man with a high intensity burst of the Nullifier which rendered him unconscious and gave him temporary amnesia. Dr. Octopus convinced The Spider-Man that he was a criminal working for the Octopus organization. While under the influence of Dr. Octopus he helped the master criminal steal the Nullifier and test it on United States Army personnel and materiel that were attempting to recapture the device. He also aided Dr. Octopus in stealing a supply of the atomic isotope that powered the device.
Yet because Dr. Octopus kept trying to get The Spider-Man to remove his mask, The Spider-Man became suspicious of Dr. Octopus. When the Army finally does catch up with Dr. Octopus and The Spider-Man in the fight that ensued, Colonel Jameson managed to get a hold of the Nullifier and aim it at Dr. Octopus arms. The Nullifier disrupted the synaptic relays in his cybernetic mechanism, making Dr. Octopus temporarily crippled. He screamed at The Spider-Man to carry him out of there or to sacrifice himself against the Army. Confused, The Spider-Man ran away and eluded his pursuers.
Still amnesiac The Spider-Man wandered the streets and rooftops of
. Visiting New York at the time was a celebrity, John Cloamby, Lord Grandrith. He was rumored to be the son of the man upon whom Edgar Rice Burroughs based his most famous creation Tarzan. Lord Cloamby always denied the rumors yet also titillated the press by often doing stunts or bringing props along on his trips that reinforced the rumors. On this trip he has brought a Saber-Tooth cat which he rumor has it was either an atavistic sport or was actually discovered in a lost valley in the Antarctic. Whatever the truth of the rumors, Cloamby was known to be a great hunter equal to or better than Sergei Kravinoff. Publisher J. Jonah Jameson offered Cloamby ten thousand dollars to capture The Spider-Man. The Spider-Man was wanted for his connection to Dr. Octopus and because it is believed that he kidnapped Peter Parker who has been missing for days. New York
Although he does not need the money Cloamby accepted the contract, intrigued by the challenge and to see if the rumored cheapskate publisher would actually pay off. Grandrith tracked The Spider-Man from above, using rooftops while Grandrith's cat tracks from below. Most blase New Yorkers believe the big cat is part of a publicity stunt for a circus and give it a wide berth but ignore it as they are wont to do with most out of the ordinary occurrences. Grandrith and The Spider-Man fought but Grandrith maneuvered the Spider-Man into
It is significant to note that even in the comic book story, Lord Grandrith, called here Ka-zar, defeats The Spider-Man despite the super hero's super strength. The Comic stated that Spider-Man was disoriented from amnesia and so did not use his full strength. If he did not know his own strength then he would be more than likely to use too much of it rather than too little. The Spider-Man's strength was quantitatively larger than most men and it did achieve levels near that of Lord Grandrith but it was not vastly more than his. Grandrith had more strength, more fighting skill and much more experience, this is why Grandrith beat him. However the Spider-Man refused to go quietly and got in a lucky punch that stunned Grandrith. The Spider-Man jumped into a cold lake and refused to come out, afraid that the growling sabre-tooth would finish him off.
The Spider-Man nearly drowned and Grandrith rescued him. Grandrith suspected there was something peculiar to The Spider-Man's abilities, something akin to those mysterious figures that he had noticed near the Nine during the six months he was Speaker for the Nine. (27)
The Spider-Man's chance to talk to Grandrith is ruined when a squad of police arrived with nets and riot guns. They were coming to capture the escaped lion. Refusing to believe that that cat is tame, they attempt to net it. Grandrith attacks the police. The Spider-Man uses the chance to escape. Although the last few hours are a blank, his memory has returned.
Peter Parker returned to his apartment to reassure his roommate Harry Osborn and his girlfriend and her father that he was alright. No one is available. He does hear on the radio however that he was thought to be kidnapped by The Spider-Man. Parker decides to walk to the police precinct and tell them he is no longer missing. On his way Parker meets Lord Grandrith. In the comics it states that Kazar was out for an evening stroll and bumped into Parker and thought he sensed The Spider-Man.
In fact Lord Grandrith was tracking Peter Parker by smell. He stopped Parker and told him he knew he was The Spider-Man. Grandrith demands to know about Parker's abilities. When Parker was not forthcoming Grandrith named some of Parker's gifts, very accurately. Peter could see by Grandrith's eyes that this was not a man to ask twice nor was it a man you wanted on your bad side. Peter told Grandrith as much as he could without compromising May Parker.
Grandrith looked Parker over and told him to beware of the Nine and to think hard before selling his soul for eternal life. He added that although there were secrets that could destroy if they were widely known, to keep a secret from those you trust or love was to destroy that trust or love. After uttering those cryptic words, Grandrith turned and left Parker.
When Peter Parker did talk to the police he explained that the person committing the crimes with Dr. Octopus was not The Spider-Man, the real The Spider-Man had been captured and held prisoner with Parker. When Dr. Octopus had been captured, his henchmen had released both The Spider-Man and Parker. Since The Spider-Man had not previously committed acts of thievery and wanton destruction they tended to believe Parker's story, especially when Captain George Stacy vouched for him. There was one hitch however, the Nullifier had been stolen again. The army was not however going to launch an all out search as they had before. Dr. Octopus had done them a favor by field testing it, it had proved much less effective than they had hoped. Even the induced amnesia wore off on its own so it was not an effective brainwashing tool
As it turns out the Nullifier ended up in the hands of the Kingpin who had used his scientific genius to alter it so that its most effective component worked more efficiently.
Kingpin opened a nightclub that he had spared no expense in terms of decor, atmosphere and publicity to make "the club" for the elite of
society to go, this included elected officials, intelligentsia, politicos, law enforcement bigshots, upper society mavens and mobsters. The Kingpin planned to use the Nullifier in a variety of ways to brainwash his customers into doing what he wished. New York
Peter was forced to battle the Kingpin and free George Stacy and others from his mind control. George Stacy was more than convinced that Peter Parker was the Spider-Man.
Peter fought the Vulture Gang once more and had a rematch with the Kingpin. The Kingpin was after a stone tablet that purportedly contained a formula for an elixir of life. The Kingpin was forced to contend not only with interference from The Spider-Man but also the Mafia. The Kingpin successfully stole the tablet and kidnapped an archaeologist named Jones to decipher the tablet. The Mafia had kidnapped a visiting prize winning, biochemist Dr. Mark Sinclair
The Kingpin and the Mafia pooled their resources. Dr. Mark Sinclair produced an elixir that takes twenty years off the age of one of the Mafia Don's named Tessio. Tessio then had Sinclair taken for a ride. Sinclair was filled with rage and fear. When his amputated arm regrew, Sinclair lost control and transformed into the reptilian humanoid called the Lizard. The Lizard killed and then feasted on the Mafia thugs who were prepared to kill Dr. Mark Sinclair.
Peter Parker recaptured the Lizard and triggered his transformation back into Dr. Mark Sinclair without anyone discovering the Lizard's dual identity. He had to deal with a reappearance of Electro who was on parole. Electro was not on a crime spree but trying to collect on Jameson's standing reward on the capture and unmasking of The Spider-Man.
It is shortly after this incident that George Stacy confronted Peter Parker with his investigation into the identity of The Spider-Man. Stacy revealed that he knew Peter Parker's secret. To Peter's great relief, Stacy did not want to either turn Parker in nor stop his relationship with his daughter. He wished to help The Spider-Man's crusade against crime. Stacy had been a patrolman in the thirties and had seen Doc Savage and the original The Spider in action on a few occasions.
The Spider-Man got drawn into a crime war between the Kingpin and an upstart criminal. (28)It was 1967 and Peter Parker was in graduate school. He finally decided to reveal his dual identity to Gwen Stacy. The revelation nearly destroys their relationship. Gwen was angry not because Peter was The Spider-Man but because he had not trusted her enough to reveal it before. Nor had he given her credit for having figured it out long before he chose to reveal it. She also did not like that he revealed it to her Father before he revealed it to her. She also did not particularly like the idea that a man with as brilliant a mind as his chose to revel in his brawn. Nor did she like the fact that he was out there risking his life day after day.
Although Gwen Stacy tolerated his hobby she would not even consider marrying him while he still played at it. Although in time she would become his willing partner and advocate in his vigilante career, she was still firm in not wanting to marry a vigilante for despite how she loved her father, she had no real desire to be a police officer's wife either.
After the Kingpin's internecine war had been ended, Peter was once again forced to confront Dr. Octopus. From
's O'Hare airport a passenger plane left one morning in 1969. Upon this plane were Jameson and his son and two Generals from an East Asian nation. It is not certain whether they represented the Peoples' Republic of China or the People's Republic of Chicago . They were either on a diplomatic mission under the pretense of a visit or it could have just been a visit that the State Department hoped to turn into a diplomatic mission. Viet Nam
Dr. Octopus had been hiding in the luggage compartment after having escaped from Joliet Penitentiary. He left the compartment to steal food from the galley. Upon learning the identities of the two Asian gentlemen, Dr. Octopus decided to hijack the plane and hold the passenger's for ransom. He thought that the United States Government would pay ten million dollars to prevent a diplomatic incident with General "Su's" government. He took control of the cockpit just as plane landed
Peter Parker was on hand to take pictures of Jameson and General Su as they departed the plane. Protestors for or against general Su's government surrounded the airfield The plane landed but no one departed. In a few moments dozens of police arrived to clear the airfield of protestors. A melee started and Peter Parker used the confusion to scurry out to the plane. He changed into The Spider-Man costume. His premonition sense told him that Dr. Octopus was nearby. He found where Dr. Octopus' location inside the plane and used a small but powerful laser torch of his devising to cut away the skin on the top of the plane. The Spider-Man dropped in on Dr. Octopus and they wrestled. Dr. Octopus by this time had acquired more martial skill with his mechanical arms so the battle was not the easy affair that previous encounters had been. While Dr. Octopus was occupied however the crew and passengers escaped. Dr. Octopus managed to throw The Spider-Man out of the plane and attempted to fly the passenger plane. Not having any training at all Dr. Octopus managed to lift the plane off only to crash it seconds later.
The plane disappeared in a ball of fire. The newspapers declared the end of Dr. Octopus. The Spider-man was not so certain.
As it turns out Peter Parker was right. Dr. Octopus had wrapped himself in his arms and had survived the blast, although taking some serious flash burns. Dr. Octopus decided to get revenge on
and eliminate The Spider-Man once and for all. He made his way to one of the city's main power plants and began to use his nearly indestructible arms to tear the structure down. He hoped that by attacking the power plant the city will be crippled and The Spider-Man will be induced to fight him. (29). New York City
After The Spider-Man arrived the battle did not go as Dr. Octopus wished. The Spider-Man seemed more focused and faster than before. Dr. Octopus attributed it to his own lack of sleep and injuries. He developed a plan on the sly. Using one of his arms he set the controls in the Power Plant to overload. With two of the other arms he battled The Spider-Man. His last remaining arm darted out into the crowd of onlookers and sought a hostage. His arm darted for a little boy. An elderly man jumped in front of the arm and knocked the boy out of the way. Angered, Dr. Octopus took the older man hostage.
Dr. Octopus offered The Spider-Man a choice, he could save this one old man or he could shut down plant and prevent it from exploding. If The Spider-Man made a move towards the interior of the power plant, Dr. Octopus would squeeze the life out of his hostage.
To Peter Parker's dismay the hostage was George Stacy. Although the end of Dr. Octopus' tentacle was stuffed into Stacy's mouth, he motioned with his eyes for Peter to go inside the plant. Peter ran inside. It took him several minutes to figure out which buttons and switches to use, straining his premonition sense its utmost. When he hurried back out of the building he discovered that Dr. Octopus had not been bluffing. George Stacy had been pulped, his body having been squeezed hard enough to break his major bones and damage most of his interior organ. Unfortunately there were no dramatic last words, George Stacy had died almost instantaneously.
The Daily Bugle hawked The Spider-Man's complicity in George Stacy's death. A crooked politician and former enemy of George Stacy jumped on the George Stacy martyrdom bandwagon and joined forces with the Daily Bugle to condemn The Spider-Man.
Peter Parker changed that day, he became harder and more serious his role in fighting crime. He had been treating his role as a crime fighter as something of a game and had not been living up the legacy of his relatives. He rededicated himself to fighting crime with a more serious intent.
Joining him in this venture was Gwen Stacy. She became Nita Van Sloan to his Richard Wentworth helping him on various investigations and providing emotional support. Gwen helped Peter design new elements of his costume with his inventive genius and her genius at biochemistry, the concocted new weapons. Although he kept his bodysuit costume, he changed the blue to black, darkened the red from bright red to dark red and altered the black webs to white. He also added a fanged mouth to the mask.
The new weapons were neurotoxin darts which were also on shooters on his wrist and an electro-web shooter. This was a special web made of Parker's adhesive fluid and chemcial additions that made it electrically conductive. When it hit a target the web remained connected to Parker's wrist shooter and would send out an electrical charge of 100-400 volts. The power source of the electric charge was designed by Parker and Gwen Stacy, it was a thin middle layer of his suit comprised of thousands of fuel cells, based on the biochemistry and organic composition of electric eels.
One more addition to his costume that Parker made was a ring which had upon it a spider design. He would no longer leave notes stating that the prisoners were courtesy of "your friendly, neighborhood Spider" but would stamp the foreheads of those he caught or subdued. The ring left an imprint of indelible ink that took weeks to fade.
Since Dr. Octopus had escaped Parker's vengeance, he and Gwen looked for other targets. Sam Bullitt, the aforementioned crooked politician was making great inroads into the campaign for Mayor, using Stacy's death as a justification for his law and order platform. The Daily Bugle was supporting his campaign. Because Bullitt was using her father's name Gwen Stacy went undercover as a worker for his campaign. She discovered that Bullitt had strong ties to fascist and hate groups. Bullitt was being financed by a Klan sponsored group with strong ties to the criminal organization Scorpia.
Bullitt was also in good with Kingpin's organization. Gwen was snooping around in Bullitt's office when he returned with a couple of his cronies. Gwen was trapped with some incriminating documents. She signaled Peter to rescue her. The Spider-Man kidnapped her right out of Bullitt's offices. They dropped the evidence off at the Daily Bugle. Sam Bullitt made noise with that story until the stories about his sordid activities and ties to hate groups came out in the Daily Bugle.
Bullitt effectively killed his own political career by kidnapping The Daily Bugle's City Editor to make an example out of. The Spider-Man rescued the Editor as his camera snapped evidence of Bullitt on the scene.
As the Bullitt investigation wound down, Arthur Stacy, Gwen's uncle in
asked her to make a condolence visit to England . Peter could not travel with Gwen because of school commitments so he takes a flight a week later. Although he made no plans to engage in vigilante activities in England , events forced Parker to do so. When the plane landed at Heathrow the passengers were informed that they could not leave the plane due to a bomb being planted on the exit ramp. Peter entered the restroom and cut his way out of the plane with a laser torch. Clinging to the bottom of plane he crawled to the exit ramp and loosened it. He pushed the ramp away from the plane while covering the bomb with a glob of his webfluid. England
The bomb was too fouled to explode and so Spider-Man had saved the day. Peter Parker climbed back into the plane and changed out of his costume. Another ramp was rolled up to the plane and the passengers were quickly disembarked. As the passengers made their way to the terminal a car roared up to the crowd of passengers and three masked men wielding machine guns jumped out. They grabbed a diplomat and his son and forced them into the car.
Peter Parker jumped on the car but was forced to jump back off when the terrorists shot at him through the windows.
The terrorists held the diplomat and his son for ransom. Although it is not certain what organization these terrorists belonged to or what their true demands were, given the area they were probably either members or an associate of groups affiliated with either the Irish Republican Army or the Ulster Defense Army. Using one of his special tracer devices, Peter Parker tracked down the terrorists' car and as The Spider-Man attempted to stop it. The car crashed trying to avoid him. The diplomat and his son were not in it. The Spider-Man shook down one of the terrorists. They had no intention of honoring the ransom even if it was paid. The hostages would be killed at precisely . Time had sealed their fate.
Wracking his brain, Parker realized that the terrorists meant to blow up Big Ben. He hurries there but didn't have time to work his way through all of the building. Donning his outfit again he climbed up the side of the clock tower. He managed to disarm the bomb and save the diplomat. He then made his way to the Stacy's home.
Gwen pointed out that he had made a possibly serious miscalculation when she shows him the
paper. There were photos of The Spider-Man in action in London . People who hadn't before may begin to put two and two together. Why was Peter Parker never around when The Spider-Man is? Yet they always seemed to be in the same general location. Parker would deal with the consequences if it every came out. London
While Parker and Gwen Stacy were in
, Harry Osborn went going through some drastic physical and mental changes. In the comic books this was shown as drug abuse which was Marvel's method of being socially conscious and still somewhat faithful the reality of The Spider-Man's life. In actuality, Harry Osborn having reached his twenty-fifth year had been given the elixir of the Nine, at least the version formulated by his father. It made him quite ill. Norman Osborn believed that Harry's close association with Parker had made Harry weak and unworthy of the Osborn legacy. London
When Peter and Gwen returned from
they once again had to deal with the Green Goblin. Her participation put Gwen Stacy on the Goblin's List of enemies. London
Over the next few months Peter and Gwen received their Ph.D's. Gwen found work as a biochemist, Parker remained a freelance photographer. This allowed him to hang around the various newspapers and pick up information that he used in his crime-fighting career. The Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy encountered Morbius the so-called Living Vampire. (30). They once again met Lord Grandrith in an adventure that took them to the
and come into conflict with Kraven the Hunter (31). Savage Land
Peter's identity was nearly revealed once again, this time by the return of a foe called the Smythe the Spider-Slayer. In the comics Smythe had originally been hired by Jameson to capture Spider-Man but upon his defeat had made it his life long mission to kill The Spider-Man. Smythe had not been hired by Jameson he had been attempting to fill an outstanding contract put out by Scorpia. When Smythe had originally tried he had failed. Scorpia had then crippled him as an example of failure. Strangely enough there were not a lot of takers for the contract on The Spider-Man after that. Smythe persisted as if his life depended on it because it did.
When Peter Parker's aided Flash Thompson, a former high school classmate, The Spider-Man and Gwen Tracy became involved in an Asian martial cult, possibly related to or the same village that had found Peter's brother Nicholas Parker. The Asian Cultists believed that Thompson had led an American attack on their village. Their leader was wounded in the attack and had remained in a state of catatonia. The appearance of these cultists in
had also stirred the interest of Anton Zarnak. (32) While The Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy kept Thompson alive, Dr. Zarnak determined that the leader had been placed under a "spell" that induced catatonia. The spell consisted of a drug containing a compound similar to tetrodotoxin with a psychotropic agent combined with a mesmeric litany that induced the victim to continually dream nightmares. The compound had been administered by one of the villagers during the attack. The villager had been an agent of the Yellow Fang. The Yellow Fang wished to use the cultists like Fu Manchu used the Dacoits. Zarnak brought the Village Elder back to consciousness and resolved the crisis. New York
In between 1970 to 1973 The Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy confronted a few of The Spider-Man's most frequent foes such as The Green Goblin (although his presence was minimal due to the disappearance of his sponsors, XauXaz and Iwaldi) Dr. Octopus, the Vulture Gang and Scorpia but they mainly concentrated on street crime and political corruption. Due to his interference in their business, The Spider-Man became a hated enemy of the Mafia and to the non-affiliated crime groups. A few new menaces made their appearance, J. Johah's Jameson's son John Jameson was in military intelligence. He had been bitten by a lycanthrope on one of his missions and became a were-wolf. (33).
The Spider-Man also had a run in with the Hulk during mid-1973. It is not certain whether this Hulk was in fact Dr. Robert Bruce Banner or his cousin David Bruce Banner. This encounter however took place in
where Parker was investigating a connection between the Quebecois Liberation Front and Dr. Octopus' organization. Canada
Nita van Sloan was Richard Wentworth's girlfriend and a companion to the Spider. This ultimately lead to his exposure as The Spider and his subsequent retirement and disappearance in 1943. Rather than recreate a situation like that Gwen made certain that she kept a great deal of distance from The Spider-Man.
This however did not save Gwen Stacy from the consequences of her relationship with Peter Parker or The Spider-Man. The Green Goblin returned to wreak vengeance upon Peter Parker and his associates. Harry Osborn suffered a bout of insanity from his use of his father's elixir. This particular bout of madness drove him into the a state of catatonia. Norman Osborn blamed Peter Parker and The Spider-Man, believing that their association with Harry had weakened his innate strength.
also believed that Parker had doctored Harry's elixir. Someone had been trying to take over Osborn's company through stock manipulation, he believed Parker was also responsible for this. Norman
The Goblin sent a pumpkin bomb through Jameson's window at the Daily Bugle, Jameson and some of his staff were injured but not seriously, his desk had taken the brunt of the blast.
The Green Goblin kidnapped Gwen Stacy out of Peter Parker's apartment. Peter as The Spider-Man tracked the Green Goblin down. The Green Goblin stood atop one of the towers of the
, Gwen Stacy lay at his feet bound and gagged. The Spider-Man managed to dodge every one of the Green Goblin's tricks as he made his way up the bridge tower. The Green Goblin also managed to shake off the effects of The Spider-Man's trank darts and electro-web. Calculating the distance between himself and the top of the tower, The Green Goblin tossed Gwen Stacy off of the tower as he made his escape. Peter hurled himself after her and managed to snag her before she smacked into the water. Brooklyn Bridge
The shock of the fall had however killed her despite his frantic attempts to revive her. He stopped an ambulance that was traveling across the bridge and gave them her body. Peter Parker was going to destroy the Green Goblin once and for all. One of the Bugle's reporters had been on the scene as were a couple of police cars. The police officers shot at The Spider-Man and the Green Goblin who fought atop the Goblin's glider. The Green Goblin shook The Spider-Man off into the river and flew off.
Peter changed back to his civilian clothes and went to hunt for Osborn. Parker visited Osborn's town house finding Harry Osborn a bit disoriented but he seemed to recognize Peter after a few moments. He asked Peter to stay with him but Peter was too hellbent on revenge. As Spider-Man he visited the offices of the Bugle. The City Editor gives The Spider-Man a run down on the properties owned by Osborn. He showed The Spider-Man a copy of the paper that just went out which blamed The Spider-Man for the death of Gwen Stacy.
The Spider-Man visited several of Osborn's properties before discovering him in a warehouse. Their battle was not prolonged. Peter Parker was driven by rage but found his senses honed to their utmost. Despite Norman Osborn's enhanced strength and his tricks, The Spider-Man eventually wore him down. The Spider-Man then methodically beat Norman Osborn nearly to death and then deliberately impaled him on the pointed end of his Glider. The Spider-Man had killed his first criminal and having done so, felt he understood the original Spider's point of view. The friendly neighborhood Spider-Man died completely in that moment.
He unmasked Norman Osborn but left him in his costume and impaled on the glider. He slid his spider ring off and heated it with an acetylene torch. When it was red hot, he burned a spider emblem into the center of Norman Osborn's forehead.
When the body was discovered however all of the paraphernalia for the Goblin had been removed from Osborn's vicinity.
At the funeral of Gwen Stacy Peter Parker felt disoriented and his vision unclear. Probabilities flooded his mind like waking dreams. The mortician had in his opinion not done a very good job, the corpse had not looked anything like Gwen. When he complained the mortician calmly told him that Miss Stacy's face had been so battered that it was necessary to put a lot of make up on her.
Although the comics portray Peter Parker as the Spider-Man springing back into action within days of Gwen Stacy's death, this was not the case. It took six months for him to work through his grief. When he returned to crime fighting the wise-cracking, devil may care attitude was gone as was any hint of his original suit. Peter Parker redesigned his costume to reflect his more somber mood and to demonstrate that he meant business. The new design was also meant to be more of tribute to the original Spider. Although he retained the webshooters, dart shooters and electro-web design his suit was changed to be entirely black except for large white eyes, which retained the tribute to Santo, an mouth opening out which a fangs protruded and a large white spider emblem on his chest and back. He added to this ensemble a cape, a hunchback, a white fright wig and four revolvers; two in shoulder holsters and two in black hip holsters. The hunchback was actually a compartmentalized tank which held a larger battery for his electro-web, a larger supply of web adhesive and extra ammo packs for the guns.
Marvel continuity completely fractured from the reality of Peter Parker's life at this point. They could not very well turn their lovable, most popular character into a dour, gun toting vigilante bent on a violent vengeance against the criminal underworld. The seventies were much too early to try that sort of thing, the really psychotic, shoot first, shoot again and reload "heroes" did not appear until much later. Even the Punisher was more subdued than he would become.
So what they did was to split his persona into two characters. Whenever he fought costumed villains those stories would be transformed into stories about the old Spider-Man. In those cases when he went guns blazing against the underworld, the new character would be credited with those exploits. The new character was dressed in a black suit with a white skull on the chest and back instead of a white Spider. They called him The Punisher. To make certain that the public would not confuse the two characters, the original stories in which the Punisher appeared The Spider-Man and The Punisher were seen as fighting against one another.
There was a difference between The Spider of the forties and this new version of the Spider-Man in that Peter Parker as a rule did not use deadly force as his first choice. He however no longer shied from it if he was met with deadly force. He did however mark his captures living or dead with spider brands on their foreheads.
The new more violent Spider-Man spend much of the next year and a half fighting organized crime, either in the form of the Mafia, Kingpin's organizations, The Octopus organizations, The Vulture Gang and Scorpia. Once the Spider-Man's new violent tendencies were known by the leaders of these organizations they took even more offensive measures against him and to protect themselves from him.
In 1975 Peter Parker had to deal with three shocking occurrences the first of these was the return of the Green Goblin. This second Green Goblin was Harry Osborn who blamed Peter Parker for the death of his father. It wasn't so much because he mourned his father but rather because the sudden death of Norman Osborn caused Harry some troubles. The person who had been trying to take over Osborn industries was in fact Harry Osborn. He had been driven mad by the elixir but was not as mentally unbalanced as he had let on. Tired of waiting for his father to die off or perish in battle with the Spider-Man Harry had engineered a take-over of his father's business. When his father had died the business when to Harry but the business manipulations that Harry had contrived against Osborn Industries had cost him a great. He blamed Parker/Spider-Man for this.
At the end of their battle Harry lost and exposed Peter Parker as the Spider-Man and claimed to be the Green Goblin. He was declared mentally incompetent and confined to a private sanitarium for treatment.
The next shock for Peter Parker was the return of Gwen Stacy. There was little doubt that it was indeed her, the fingerprints and blood work matched, as did all of her medical records.
The third problem was the appearance of another Spider-Man.
In the comic book depictions of these events these two incidents are intertwined and in fact part of a rather lengthy story arc in which Peter Parker's former biochemistry professor had cloned Gwen and Peter and used the clones in a bizarre scheme to destroy Peter Parker for having caused the death of Gwen Stacy and also to win the love of the Gwen Stacy clone. Professor Miles Warren did in fact become a costumed "supervillain" called the Jackal and his primary motivation was to destroy Peter Parker and win the love of Gwen Stacy. However it was the return of Gwen Stacy that drove him over the edge. (34)
His clones were in fact from Peter Parker and several others students but they were force grown clones and were basically mindless automatons sent to kill Parker and capture Gwen Stacy. The Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy defeated them easily enough, although The Spider-Man did not hesitate to use deadly force to do so. The Jackal then hired costumed vigilantes to kill The Spider-Man.
After his hired flunkies went down, Miles Warren fell under the guns of the Spider-Man.
If she wasn't a clone who was this Gwen Stacy? She was Gwen Stacy. An exhumation of her coffin proved that the body that had been buried two years earlier belonged to someone else. Fingerprints proved her identity, the woman was someone who Gwen Stacy had believed she was for the past two years. Despite Jameson's demands to know, the authorities nor Gwen Stacy would state who the woman was until the woman's immediate family had been located.
What had happened was that two blond woman had been admitted to the emergency room at the approximately the same time. Both had suffered injuries sustained from a long fall and had battered faces. Gwen had died from a fall from the
, the other woman had died in a fall while engaged in a high rise burglary. Although Gwen was dead when Peter left her with the ambulance crew, they had managed to resuscitate her. Her lack of oxygen to her brain had however resulted in some brain damage, this combined with other head trauma had given her amnesia. She had been unconscious when her chart had been accidentally switched with another blonde woman. When she had become well enough to become ambulatory she had no memories of her previous existence except flashes without connection to event or chronology. Brookyln Bridge
Gwen believed that she was this other woman but the name and identity that this woman had given the hospital turned out to be false as was her residence. Remembering no other name Gwen used this name and established a life working as a waitress went through a general education diploma so she could enter some type of college. As the years passed her memories gradually came back. Stories concerning Spider-Man would fill her mind with images and sensations. She saw a picture of herself next to a picture of the old Spider-Man in a Daily Planet article by
Lois Lane. The article speculated on the changes of in Spider-Man which Lane pinpointed as happening with the deaths of George Stacy and Gwen Stacy. Gwen read the article several times and each time more concrete memories became accessible to her. She remembered who she was. Upon remembering this she remembered most of her relationship with Peter and hurried to find him.
The so-called clone of Spider-Man as reported in the comic depictions was actually the appearance of another vigilante calling himself the Spider. He eschewed disguises and dressed in white turtleneck sweaters, tan pants and double rig shoulder holster. He was often accompanied by a young woman and a tall bearded man who was from all appearances a Sikh. (35) Peter Parker investigated this other Spider. The man called himself Richard Wentworth and his male companion was named Ram Singh, although this itself did not mean anything since that was a common Sikh name.
Peter Parker finally decided to confront Richard Wentworth. His name was indeed Richard Wentworth, his father had been the original Spider and his mother was Nita Van Sloan. He did not wish to give out the details of his life. Suffice it to say that Richard Wentworth's parents had left the
to work with the United States in late 1943. They had married in 1944 and had Richard. Richard Wentworth's obsessive war against crime had become an obsessive war against the greatest evil in the world, Communism. Richard and Nita had fought against Communism in the Eastern Bloc, in OSS Asiaand in . They had disappeared in that country circa 1955. Richard Wentworth had been raised by the family of Ram Singh in Tibet . Richard had attended India . He then become a mercenary. He did not find it amusing when Peter asked if that had been his major. Cambridge
Having heard about the disgraceful namesake of his father Richard Wentworth had decided to come to
and take up the mantle of the Spider. Peter Parker told him not to get in his way and they would get along fine. The cousins eventually did have a confrontation in which Richard Wentworth was injured. He was still injured when he confronted Max Dillon. Dillon was in a new costume and calling himself the Shocker. After his encounter with Dillon Richard Wentworth suffered severe electrical burns and was paralyzed from the neck down. He and his two companions returned to New York . India
As for Gwen Stacy she also left. She had various reasons for doing so but mainly because Peter had changed over the past two years. She still loved him but knew that as things were she could not fit into his lifestyle without endangering him or the people around him. Peter told her that he would try to change. Gwen told him that it was too late he was too different ever to be the same man again.
Between 1975 and 1977 Peter Parker remained a freelance photographer and even garnered several prizes for his photographic work. Although the money was not fantastic it was enough to allow him to live comfortably without arousing suspicion so long as he maintained a modest lifestyle. Inspired by the Batman, The Green Hornet and most recently by his cousin Spider, Richard Wentworth, Peter Parker briefly used a car dubbed the Spidermobile, by the press. This was more of a van than the sports car portrayed in the comic books. Yet Peter discovered he preferred to be swinging across the rooftops and only used the van as a weaponry cache or during extremely inclement weather.
During this period he had two deadly encounters with Dr. Octopus which ended up with quite a few lower echelon criminals being killed or captured and branded. However in both encounters the wily scientist managed to escape from death or branding. He had another encounter with a Green Goblin, this however was a wanna-be Green Goblin. This Goblin received swift justice, execution and of course the ever present spider brand. The Spider-Man also encountered the Lizard but restrained himself to just capturing him. The Vulture gang also made an appearance and a couple more of them either went to jail or went to their maker.
Max Dillon crossed his path twice more, once as the Shocker and once as Electro. In the first encounter Dillon escaped The Spider-Man's justice by turning himself into the police while Parker dug himself out of a collapsed sewer. In the second encounter Captain
kept The Spider-Man from killing Electro. America
The Spider-Man had an odd encounter with the Kingpin. Fisk deliberately trapped The Spider-Man in order to kill him and save the life of his step-son at the same time. Like it or not Fisk needed Ricardo Rosario Fisk alive to cement his ties with the Mafia. Ricardo Rosario however is dying from a degenerative disease given to him by Scorpia. After failing to unseat Fisk,
had joined Scorpia. He had risen in the ranks but had failed in an important mission which was to subvert his step-father's organization. His superior ordered him dosed with the degenerative disease and sent back to Fisk. Rosario
Fisk's scientific genius had created a device to siphon The Spider-Man's life force into his stepson's body. The Spider-Man managed to break free before any large amount of his life force had been transferred. He and Fisk had a battle royal which ended up in both of them falling into the river. Both Fisk and the Spider-Man had to struggle to keep afloat. Fisk because of his great weight and The Spider-Man because of all of his equipment. Fisk apparently drowned and in doing so escaped the Spider-man's justice. Ricardo Rosario however recovered from his disease, the tiny bit of life force extracted from The Spider-Man had been enough to kick start his immune system.
Dr. Morbius made another appearance and The Spider-Man failed to totally destroy the vampire. This was mainly due to Parker not being able to discover just what would destroy Morbius type of nosferatu. Jameson's son was twice more struck by the curse of lycanthropy but since he managed to not kill anyone except a couple of criminals (although he did maim a few innocents) The Spider-Man used all his ingenuity to capture the Man-Wolf alive. He owed Jameson a few favors and he did not need any more grief from his old man than he already got.
The Spider-Man actually encountered Dracula although it was most probably one of his soul clones. This was on one of Parker's rare vacations. As with many other Wold Newton personages he was a bit of a trouble magnet.
He also had an odd run in with Shang-Chi, the son of Fu Manchu in which they started out as foes and ended up countering one of Fu Manchu's shenanigans. (36)
In late 1975, two women that had a profound effect on the rest of Peter Parker's life came on the scene. While he was in the midst of breaking up an illegal arms deal, a woman wearing a black body suit with white gloves and boots jumped on him. Her identity was hidden behind a domino mask. He recognized her costume as the thief that the press has dubbed the Black Cat. She proved to be very agile and swift eluding his attack. She managed to bury him under a pile of rifles. Her diversion gave the crooks time to escape.
The Spider-Man chased her and was stunned when she suddenly stopped and told him she was giving up. He was even more flustered when the stunning blonde woman lifted up his mask, removed his fangs and kissed him. The kiss is exceedingly familiar. The Black Cat is Gwen Stacy, although she is using the name Felicia Hardy, the name of the woman who had been buried in her place. Well, the assumed name of that woman. (37) Gwen reveals that she had left Peter because he had changed so much, because he had taken his fight against crime to a higher level and she believed that without the proper training she would not only have been a burden to him but a danger as well.
Gwen had contacted Peter's Aunt May and asked her to help her get the necessary training. May had reluctantly agreed. Gwen had spent the last two years becoming proficient at martial arts, at gymnastics and weapons training so she could be a true partner to The Spider-Man.
The Black Cat's crimes had been geared to create a reputation as a thief so she could work within the underworld from undercover while still helping to bring down much crime.
Peter was elated to have Gwen back in his life, he was less elated that she was more independent than he wished. She had changed, as had he. Their relationship was passionate yet at times strained. She remained more committed to stopping crime and bringing the suspects in alive than did The Spider-Man. This was a source of constant contention between them.
The second woman that had a great influence on Peter's life was called Madame Web in the comics' version of The Spider-Man's biography.
The Spider-Man attempted to stop a kidnapping attempt but failed due to his reluctance to use deadly force while an innocent was endangered. The Spider-Man discovered one of the kidnappers had dropped a piece of paper bearing the name of Madame Web, a psychic. The Spider-Man visited Madame Web and discovered an invalid old woman who sat in a life support chair. Tubes and wires ran into her chair like a Spider's web. She was blind and suffered from myasthenia gravis. Although blind she did have the ability to foresee probabilities in the present and future. She gave him enough information so that he was able to rescue the kidnapping victim and bring the kidnappers to justice. The Spider's justice.
When Peter Parker returned to thank Madame Web she revealed that she knew he was Peter Parker. She revealed to him her relationship to him and their shared power. Her maiden name was Cassandra Koluchy. She was a descendent of Sybil Koluchy and Jefferson Longstreet. Sybil Koluchy had been Peter Parker's great-grandmother. Cassandra's mother had been a Blind Seer working for the Nine as had she. When the Nine had apparently been destroyed by a Caliban/Grandrith and Iwaldi/XauXaz task force, the Blind Seers had been left to their own devices. Denied the elixir, Cassandra became ill and dying. Her husband had created the life support chair for her before he died.
Although he never became a true Seer, Peter Parker did learn to widen the scope of his prescient ability. Although Madam Web was trustworthy to Peter Parker, he did have suspicions about her motives. This was especially true when she called Harry Osborn and a few others to participate in a ceremony called The Gathering of Five (38). Harry Osborn and the other participants were members of families with long histories of being agents of the Nine. Yet none had ever been a true agent of the Nine but had received derivations of the elixir, none of which were completely successful.
By using her psychic abilities conjoined with a blood sharing ceremony, Madam Web was able to combine the disparate elements of elixir components in the five participants and create a new elixir. This elixir was different from the original in that it did not have to be imbibed but once. The new elixir would keep a person at their peak of physical maturity for as long as they lived, gave them great regenerative ability but did not confer true immortality in that the body could not be killed. Although three of the individuals such as Harry Osborn had criminal tendencies, Madam Web believed that most of these bad behaviors would be removed once the new elixirs took effect. Harry Osborn she did perform a bit of psychic surgery to make him forget being the Green Goblin.
Madam Web discovered that because of her physical state caused by the myasthenia gravis that the regeneration would take years. Although she was no longer confined to the life support system she was still confined to a wheelchair for a couple of years. Although Madame Web did not make many appearances in the comic book stories she was in fact an invaluable source of information to The Spider-Man and Black Cat in their anti-crime crusade. She was a mentor to Peter Parker and helped in many ways to curb a growing tendency for him to react with deadly force as his first option.
In 1977 despite her love for Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy felt that his methods were growing too extreme and cooled their relationship. They began seeing other people. He once again began seeing Mary Jane Watson, with whom he had an off and on casual relationship.(39)
When the comic book code was all but abandoned and the emergence of heroes who used deadly force as matter of course became the staple of comic book storylines, Marvel tried to recombine the two characters of the Punisher and The Spider-Man, not by merging the two characters but rather by gradually changing the costume and character of Peter Parker and phasing out the Punisher. However most fans rejected the idea of the black suit and the changes of the personality in Parker. They altered the story line so that the black suit was an alien symbiote that caused these changes
The closest they ever came to reconciling the differences was in a what if story about the Punisher being possessed by the alien symbiote suit.
The old costume was once again worn by The Spider-Man in the comics if not in reality.
The Spider-Man was attacked by a new villain who calls himself the Hobgoblin. He was in many ways almost exactly like the Green Goblin but used more powerful weapons and had little compunction about killing innocents to make his point. He seems content however to be an enforcer for the Rose, a fairly new crime lord.
The Spider-Man became involved in a gang war among the crime lords of the city. A crime war in which he was instrumental in igniting. He hoped by turning the crime lords against one another they would eliminate each other and save him some work. The main participants were of the gang war were the Arranger, a lieutenant of Kingpin's who had seized control of his organization in his absence. There was a masked crook called the Rose and a man called Hammerhead (40), Doctor Octopus and although he was not portrayed in the Marvel comics as participating due to legal reasons, The Penguin.
The Spider-Man's efforts to set the gangs against each other by attacking their various business interests and personnel seemed ineffective. He seemed to be prolonging the war by strengthening the positions of some leaders, causing alliances to be formed and others to fall apart. In the comics the gang war was depicted with The Punisher attempting to end it by taking out the main leaders of the gangs and with The Spider-Man in effect prolonging it by thwarting the Punisher's attempts at assassination. This conflict between the Punisher and The Spider-Man was done for dramatic purposes of course and to prolong the idea that the Punisher and The Spider-Man were two different characters. Yet it can also be seen rather metaphorically as Peter Parker warred against his more violent side. In many cases it was The Daredevil who actually stopped The Spider-Man from carrying out the assassinations.
There is one pertinent scene in which The Spider-Man attacked the Kingpin's motorcade only to discover the Daredevil impersonating the Kingpin. The Kingpin had been contacted by various financial and political interests in the city and asked to return. The self appointed city leaders thought that Fisk's presence would quell the gang war. The Daredevil had gone along with the plan and acted as a decoy so that the Kingpin could sneak back into the city. While the Daredevil and The Spider-Man fought the Daredevil tells The Spider-Man that the right thing is not always the easy thing.
This off handed remark stuck with The Spider-Man. Deadly force was too easy a solution for the complex problems that often accompanied criminal behavior. He began to have serious doubts about his continued use of deadly force as the best solution to crime. This was especially true when he used deadly force selectively. Although the Hobgoblin is far deadlier than most of the lower level criminals he has had taken out in the course of the gang war, Peter Parker hesitated to kill him because he thought it might be Harry Osborn.
The Kingpin arranged a meeting with the various crime lords and with his lieutenants. Believing that the Kingpin intended to eliminate all of his opposition, the Daredevil, The Black Cat, and most reluctantly the Spider-Man, interrupted the meeting. Shortly after their arrival the FBI arrived to take all the criminals in attendance into custody, save the Kingpin. He had made a deal with the FBI to turn his men in for a clean slate. He was then able to rebuild his organization and expand them without much opposition.
Infuriated The Spider-Man threatened keep a watch on the Kingpin and if he proved to be engaging in criminal activity again, he would take him out.
Despite his threats against the Kingpin, The Spider-Man was still undergoing a crisis in conscience of whether using deadly force actually did more harm than it did good.
The Hobgoblin was revealed to be someone other than Harry Osborn. One of Peter Parker's fellow employees at the Daily Bugle. Although the evidence seemed incontrovertible, Peter had a few doubts.
The Green Goblin turned up for what seemed to be the last time. Harry used a more potent form of his goblin elixir which caused him to die from toxic shock when he became overexerted fighting The Spider-Man. Even though The Spider-Man had only used deadly force by proxy in the death of Harry Osborn, all these deaths caused Peter to re-evaluate his position.
A crucial event that made his decision for him was the reappearance of Kraven the Hunter.
Kraven the Hunter as he was termed had not been getting his dosage of his "jungle elixir" after the death of his sponsor, Mubaniga. So he had been using the elixir derivation created by the Osborn family, which as you will remember had the added bonus of insanity among its other qualities. Since Kraven was already a few animals shy of a full herd anyway, this new elixir did not really do wonders for his mental stability.
Kraven believed that he needed to kill the Spider to remove a curse from his family that had begun prior to the Russian Revolution. To really destroy the Spider he had to know him intimately and to do this he had to become him. In the comics the Kraven had a method to block The Spider-Man's premonition powers, the truth he was able to confuse it by setting multiple traps that happened simultaneously, the Spider-Man avoided the most threatening and would sometimes be caught my the most innocuous seeming ones. Using this method Kraven managed to tranquilize The Spider-Man and kept him in a drug induced coma for two weeks.
During this time, Kraven donned The Spider-Man's suit and fought crime. He of course used brutal methods and deadly force. Although the comics show everyone wondering about the change in The Spider-Man actually not many people noticed the difference.
This nearly cost Peter Parker his life. Gwen Stacy and the Daredevil were the only persons that realized that someone else was wearing the Spider-Man's costume. Kraven however managed to elude their efforts to capture or follow him. Desperate the Daredevil used his own version of the premonition sense to discover Peter Parker's whereabouts, although the effort caused him a great deal of pain.
Gwen Stacy and the Daredevil arrived shortly after Kraven had killed himself while still wearing the Spider-Man costume. They unearthed the grave in which Kraven had placed the unconscious Peter Parker.
The fact that hardly anyone could tell Peter Parker from a bloodthirsty madman gave Parker pause.
It was on January 1980 when he was unearthed from his grave. The change of the decade helped make his decision. He was going to use deadly force only as an absolute last resort when his life or the life of innocents was at stake. He informed Gwen Stacy of his decision and asked her to marry him. They were married within the month (41). Within the year they had a child May Parker.
When May was less than a year old she was kidnapped.
Peter and Gwen used every means at their disposal to locate their daughter. Madame Web could only get flashes of locations but nothing concrete. Gwen assumed personal leadership of the Wild Pack to use its resources to locate their daughter.
Their efforts proved fruitless. Yet their inquiries and increasing desperation brought a visitor to their door, a visitor they thought long dead. Richard Parker a.k.a. Fergus MacMurdie a.k.a. Francis Murtagh. He told Peter and Gwen that he had faked his own death twice to shield Peter and his brother from the Nine and their minions however it had not done any good in the long run. The only thing that it had accomplished was to make his sons grow up orphans.
MacMurdie revealed that although the Nine were no longer together as a group after 1972 that all of the original Three were dead. There had remained two members of the Nine still alive. Shaumbim and Ing wielded great power among their remaining loyal agents of the Nine. Fortunately, however the two members of the Nine had been engaged in a long campaign to kill one another, a war that involved many of their member organizations. Recently an upstart from one of Iwaldi's clans had risen through the ranks of Ing's organization and had managed to wrest control of a couple of secret societies away from Ing.
One of these organizations was known as the Scriers. They were an odd sort of martial religious order. Each member possessed excellent fighting skills and espionage techniques. The Scriers were a secret, centuries old Cabal, an exclusive group of individuals who worshipped XauXaz the One Eyed God. The Scriers were in fact members of the Blind Seer families who like Peter Parker developed the enhanced muscular and coordination but not all of the sensory enhancements. Some were blind, most were not. Since they did not have full use of their abilities it was as if they were one-eyed, hence their worship of Odin or XauXaz.
The man who had seized control of the Scriers and who had been behind the kidnapping of the Parker's daughter was named Norman Osborn.
MacMurdie gave Peter and Gwen specific information about the Scriers. As he was leaving, McMurdie suddenly collapsed and went into convulsions. Bile and other fluids gushed from his body as he gasped out his life. His body began dissolving into a slimy gelatin material on the way to the hospital. Although the DNA matched, it was not certain if this had been the real MacMurdie whose had been giving some type of reagent that made his body breakdown chemically or if this was some type of biological construct.
When the Parker's returned home there was a picture of Norman Osborn tacked to their front door with the caption, "Gotcha!"
Gwen and Peter would eventually, after many hazards, confront Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin. Peter would be forced to kill Norman Osborn to save his child. After he removed the Green Goblin mask to give him the spider brand Peter discovered another mask below that. This was a Norman Osborn mask. The real culprit was Harry Osborn. Harry's journals kept in several different hands would piece together a bizarre story. Harry Osborn had acted as the Hobgoblin, he had also acted as Norman Osborn and had believed them to be separate people. The enhanced elixir had not killed him but rather put him in a coma like state while his body regenerated. When he awoke he was even more unhinged than before. He wanted to bring his father back so badly that he often became his father, if only in his own mind.
Peter did not brand Harry Osborn despite all he had done.
After Peter was forced to kill Harry Osborn, he made the decision not to carry live ammunition nor to set himself up as judge, jury and executioner. He still wore his whole costume because by now most criminals feared just the sight of The Spider-Man.
Between 1982 and 1985 Peter Parker actually devoted most of his time to being a newspaper photographer and he also took a job with his wife consulting agency. However job he spent as much time as he could at and the one that he enjoyed the most was in being a father. As a consequence much of his activity as The Spider-Man was curtailed.
In 1985 one of most tragic events in Peter Parker's life occurred. He and a couple of other vigilantes, including Captain
, Wonder Woman and the Daredevil were called into to stop a monster who had literally beat the life out of Power Girl and Superman. It took Wonder Woman's unbreakable rope, a full charge of Peter's electroweb and Captain America 's shield to bring the monster down. When the dust had cleared Superman and Power Girl were rushed to the hospital but were pronounced DOA. America
The dead monster reminded Peter of Mr. Hyde, a super strong villain he had fought on a couple of occasions but if it were he, then there had been some serious modifications made to his body. Peter and the Daredevil were still on the scene when two men in dark suits and sunglasses immediately claimed the body for Section 31 of the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency. Suspicious, Peter and the Daredevil followed them. They ended up in a facility in upstate
. Determined not to let the U.S. Government get their hands on the body. Daredevil and Peter confronted the two men. The men pointed an object similar to a pencil at Peter and the Daredevil and told them to forget all about the body and go back to where Superman had died. New York
The object affected Peter but did not affect the Daredevil. The Daredevil used his baton and smacked the device out of the older man's hand. The Daredevil turned their device on the two federal agents and told them to forget about the body and about the Spider and himself.
Rather than let anyone copy or vivisect the body, Daredevil and Peter buried it in some
woods. New Jersey
The death of Superman affected Peter on a deeply personal level. He had worked with Superman on a few occasions and although their methods differed and Superman was a bit of big boy scout, Peter never got the feeling that he was being judged and found lacking as he often did with other "heroes" he worked with. (42)
From 1985 to 1990, Peter made only sporadic forays as The Spider-Man and this was most often in the company of his wife's Wild Pack. Prince Zarkon requested that Gwen act as Sylvia Sablinovia more often than before because of the situation in the Balkans after the break up of the
Soviet Union. Her Wild Pack was often used by Zarkon to circumvent certain laws that he did not feel comfortable breaking and using their bounty hunter status to capture criminals without due process. The Wild Pack was often joined by a CIALD liaison, Ralph Dibney in his guise as Flint Marko, The Sandman.
1990 did not turn out to be a good year for the Parker's. Peter Parker's Aunt May died of heart failure at her small
apartment, at least that is what the official record showed. Peter's sources in the government stated that she was shot rescuing a group of Chinese dissidents near Taipan. The other tragic news was that May Parker the younger started going blind. Peter had hoped that she would avoid this genetic flaw of his family. He took her to his aging friend Dr. Mark Sinclair to see if some type of gene therapy could be performed that would prevent full blindness. New Jersey
Dr. Sinclair's tests showed something rather disturbing. May had been subjected to gene therapy when she was an infant. Apparently this gene therapy had intensified Peter contributions to the genetic mix and she had also been given gene therapy that matched Peter's cousin, Matt Murtagh. Someone had gone to great lengths to make certain that May Parker had at least the potential to become like Peter or Matt or even worse to become an actual Blind Seer.
Peter was certain that it was either Harry that had ordered the Scriers to do this gene therapy or else they had done it on their own.
Although Gwen and Peter had successfully hidden the fact that they were costumed adventurers they now felt compelled to tell their daughter. They even consulted Matthew Murtagh to see how best to develop the abilities with which he was gifted. May possessed enhanced abilities like her father and like Matthew Murtagh. She also possessed her father's Wold Newton heritage of quantitatively stronger muscles and intelligence.
In 1991 marked the return of Richard Wentworth jr. He was fully cured of his paralysis and of his affectation of dressing like the movie Matt Helm. He instead began wearing a costume that was a recreation of his father's with a white fright wig, blood red bandana mask, fangs, a wide grey cape with a crimson lining and a cowl, instead of a slouch hat, blood red gloves with spider ring. He also had automatic pistols and a sword. Because of his use of crimson on an other wise essentially colorless outfit he was dubbed the Scarlet Spider by the press.
His first major exploit was in exposing a New York Senatorial candidate as a member of a neo-Nazi movement with religious overtones. The cultists killed people deemed subhuman by the Nazi Racial Laws as a sacrifice. They worshipped the Master who was purportedly the resurrected Adolph Hitler. Their resurrected messiah was a rather decrepit old man. It may have been Jonas Sown who had survived his encounter with Doc Savage in 1950, although in a debilitated state. He may have been using his emotion machine to create an army of worshippers. (43)
The appearance of a second Spider gave the comic book company licensed to portray Peter's adventures as an excuse to refurbish their twenty year old clone story line. They called it the clone saga. This time the story was a bit darker because it involved a true death. They split the Richard Wentworth Spider into two different characters, the Scarlet Spider who was an exact duplicate of Peter and Kaine, another clone but one that was evil and had the power to leave a burned hand mark on his victims. This was their version of the spider brand. They even brought in the extraneous elements of the scriers and the kidnapping of Peter's daughter into the storyline.
Dr. Octopus appeared in town one day and went on a rampage of destruction hoping to lure the Spider-Man out of retirement. He got two Spiders for the price of one. Richard Wentworth considered The Spider-Man to be as criminal as those he fought because of his use of deadly force. It was however okay for Wentworth to use deadly force. In the odd three way battle that followed, Dr. Octopus was shot to death by Richard Wentworth while he was oddly enough saving the life of Peter Parker. Knowing Dr. Octopus' past history it is likely he did so because he would allow no one else the pleasure of killing The Spider-Man.
Wounded and having had the wind knocked out of him Peter Parker could only watch as Richard Wentworth snapped Dr. Octopus' neck for good measure, demonstrating he too had superior muscles, and branded his forehead.
Peter had to duck and dodge to escape from The Spider's fusillade of bullets.
Richard Wentworth's next had a case that was hauntingly familiar, since it almost seemed like a replay of one of his father's cases. Wentworth went against the Vampire King, who was in this case Kirk Langstrom the so called Man-Bat. He was actually a nosferatu stuck in a semi-transformed state. Langstrom used his vampiric vermin controlling power to control bats and rats. He also formed a cult of bitten acolytes.
The so called Scarlet Spider destroyed Langstrom and his vampiric get with lead, steel and fire. (44)
Peter Parker and Richard Wentworth clashed a few more times, each believed that the other man was a dangerous, bloodthirsty lunatic. However the relative peace of the city did not hold that much of an allure for a former mercenary like Wentworth so after a year or so, he left. He was reported to hunting down mass murderers and war criminals in
Africa, the Balkans and Asia. He was also said to have been spotted as the Spider fighting against emergent organized crime in the former . Soviet Republics
In 1995 once Richard Wentworth was gone, Peter Parker decided that perhaps the heritage of the Spider wasn't such a great one to pass onto his daughter. He began using a costume based on his original red and blue Santo inspired one. He began making more frequent appearances than he had in the last few years. He was often accompanied by the Black Cat or the mercenary called the Silver Sable, tagging along was a smaller, obvious feminine figure dressed in a Spider-Man costume. She used the name Spider-Girl.
In the year 2000 Peter Parker was fifty-six, although he did not look nearly that old because of his heritage he did feel every year of it. Although he did not make a public announcement, he quietly retired as the Spider-Man. His twenty year old daughter became the Spider-Woman.
1. That Peter Parker's vision improved makes him a bit of an anomaly in his family. Usually those who developed the increased sensory abilities, muscular enhancements and increased motor skills were blind. As seen in the Daredevil article of this series.
2. This can be seen that Peter Parker also inherited from his maternal side some of the quantative strength enhancement that apppear in many of the descendants of those present at the Wold Newton Meteorite Event.
3. Exactly how Peter Parker achieved his wall crawling feats that he demonstrated the early part of his career has not been determined. In many cases his sense of premonition, enhanced strength and manual dexterity did indeed allow him to feel flaws in surfaces and cling to them. This however does not explain his ability to walk on ceilings or slick surfaces. Some have theorized that he used his scientific genius to create devices that would exude a minute amount of fast dissolving adhesive that he used to cling, others have theorized powerful minute suction devices. One of his villianous foes claimed that he had the surface of his gloves and boots covered with tiny hooked needles made of an admantium alloy that acted like a velcro on most surfaces. One more theory which may have had some credence was that he somehow used static electricity using his suit as a large battery powered by fuel cells. Yet this may have been the case in his later career.
4. After his short lived Wrestling career Ben Grimm had returned to the company of Reid Roberts and his other crew members. Shortly afterwards they went public and became known as the Four. Athough their exploits were widely recorded most people tended to discount them as greatly exaggerated.
7. The reason that Peter Parker was familiar with the Acme Warehouse is because his uncle used to visit it to check up on various items that had been placed there. These items had originally belonged the Spider or the Avenger or G-8. Wentworth's trust owned the building. Ben Parker was the only available trustee.
9. Webster's tragic tale can be seen in the film The Alligator People. You will also be able to see a glimpse of the decay of John Talbot, the former Werewolf and soul clone of Dracula. John Talbot after the events depicted in Son of Dracula was somehow brought back to life cured of his vampirism and his lycanthropy. Yet he still had an usual bloodlust and a decaying mentality. Talbot is using the identity of Manon, a drunken Cajun (without a French accent) who hates alligators. Manon wears a hook on his left hand that he is constantly adjusting, which demonstrates that it is part of a disguise. Talbot's further deterioration is depicted in the film Dracula vs Frankenstein..
10. Webster may have been the friendly creature found in the swamps by children in the film The Legend of Gator-Face
11.The events of McCormick's dealing with Dr. Rigas are shown in the film, Man Made Monster, Universal, 1941
13, Although we cannot be certain it appears that Chase either belonged to some hitherto unknown cult or created some syncretic faith of his own devising. It used concepts from the Greek philosopher Pythagoras and combined them with a Cthulhuoid mysticism. Chase apparently equated the Celtic God of Crom with Cthulhu. He also believed that Cthulhu was the actual manifestation of Chaos and that Nyarlathotep.and or Azathoth in all their manifestations were merely avatars of Great Cthulhu. He apparently believed that in giving his son four mechanical arms he was creating a living Mark of Cthulhu.
14. This incident apparently took place after Jerry Miles and Michael Streger had returned from their trip to the
. They have a couple of Zombies in tow to act as publicity stunts to open the club owned by Ace Miller. They were pursued by the man they knew as Dr. Paul Renault, who was in reality the Zombie Master, Murder Legendere. Legendere works in concert with a couple of gangsters Dave the Dude and Benny the Blond Jew who want to stop Ace from opening his nightclub. Legendere makes Zombies out of Nicely Nicely Johnson and Harry the Horse. Bureau 13 managed to stop Legendere and get rid of the zombies. islandof St. Sebastian
17. Janie Frete was the heroine of Trail of the Otter Pelts, The Green Sachem, Janie Frete Intrudes, A Shortage of Perfumes, Janie Frete Pays a Debt of Honor and Janie and the Waning Glories. She was an adventuress with a troubled past that felt the need to atone for it by doing good deeds. She was smart, pretty and highly skilled. For more see Janie Frete entry at Jess Nevins' Pulp and Adventure Heroes.
18, Nick Parker was raised by distant relatives of Ben Parker. He may have known Nick's whereabouts even if he kept the information from May. Nick grew up to be a normal American boy without any distinguishing abilities. He was drafted and went to
. In 1969 during battle, he was blinded by a mortar attack. Seeking refuge in a small village, Parker is aided by friendly natives. He then learns the esoteric art of fighting without relying on what he observes. He learns the hard way that there is more to the scenario than what the eyes are allowed to witness. This village may have been the home Viet Nam villageof Mei-Lai. Nick Parker learns to be a formidible fighter and a superb swordsman. He will later return to and become the guardian of his fellow soldier's son. Part of his life can be seen in the film Blind Fury. America
19. The original elixir formula also had a tendency to make people go mad or at least this is what the Nine claimed when Doc Caliban and Lord Grandrith were set against one another. While insanity could be a side-effect of the elixir it could have been limited ot that particular family or more likely the insanity was caused by a substance introduced into Caliban's, Grandriths and their father's elixir doses at one time.
20. This at least was the tale put out by the ISD's Director Grayle. Grayle was however disseminated false information to both "protect" the Department and discredit his enemy Benson. This false information unfortunately served as the basis of DC Comics Justice/Betraya.l For more see this link.
21 Sergei Kravinoff was fixiated on killing The Spider-Man because of his recent bad experiences in
Africa. He had refused to obey the new hunting rules placed by the new governments of Central, West and East Africaand continued to poach. Kravinoff was visited by aShaman who claimed to be an avatar of Anansi. He cursed Kravinoff so that when he attempted to hunt animals that were taboo, he would become violently ill. Anansi is often represented as a Spider. The curse may have been nothing more than hypnonsis but it affected Kravinoff. He thought that if he killed the Spider-Man he would be freed of the curse.
22. The Ringmaster is another example of a character used by two different Comic Book companies in slightly different forms. The Batman also fought the villain known as the Ringmaster although under a different name, the Mad Hatter. The criminal actually did own and operate a circus although because of his resemblence to the Had Hatter of the
in Wonderland stories he was using the Alice stories as a theme in his Circus when he first fought the Batman in the forties. Having earned the name the Mad Hatter the name stuck. Alice
23. May Parker had noticed that Dr. Octopus was oddly attracted to her and had used this to get information from him. She had told Peter about the traps before he left to fight Octopus. The Spider-Man comics show the reltionship between Dr. Octopus as being one of mutual attraction, it was in fact one way with Otto Octavian being infatuated with May Parker. Why he was infatuated with a woman so many years his senior is best left for him to explain.
24. Like the Cobra or Kobra, these are not individuals but rather an organization. Scorpia is an international criminal/terrorist organization fought by Don Winslow of the Navy. It was one of the constant challenges of CIALD, although the comic version of CIALD (Shield) named the organization as Hydra.
25. Although the comic version does have an appearance by the Ringmaster who had served his whole sentence, only a few weeks have passed. The Ringmaster is not involved in this case.It is unlikely that Ringmaster could have served all of his sentence in the time that had elapsed, even accounting for chronological differences between the comic accounts and historical records.
26. If you think that his sounds somewhat familiar you are correct. May Parker is Emily Pollifax. Whether Mrs. Pollifax was a cover identity created by May Parker using her old acquaintances in the Intelligence community or whether it was a CIA cover identity is not currently known. When the Agency began to get bad press about some of its less than savory activities, they decided to leak the story of this mature woman who wished to be a spy. It became a series of best selling books although Dorothy Gilman, the author of the books, was given the minimum of facts to work with and so had to create her own background about Mrs. Pollifax
28. The upstart criminal called the Schemer was in the comic books revealed to be Richard Fisk, Wilson Fisk's son. This was only partially true. As one of consolidating his power, Wilson Fisk had married a beautiful woman named Vanessa Rosario nee Barzini. She was the widow of a Mafia bigshot. Richard was her son Riccardo Rosario. Richard was adopted by Fisk without the boy's consent. He was promptly shipped off to a Swiss boarding school. He faked his own death and came to
to take venegance on the man who had shamed his family. America
30. Morbius would fool a lot of people into buying his story of being a "living" vampire accidentally created by science. In truth he was simply a different and rare species of nosferatu which had a partial immunity to the sun and possessing of no extraordinary abilities other than enhanced strength, regeneration and the ability to make other vampires such as himself. The vampires he created however took years before they would come into their full powers and so were most often destroyed shortly after their creation.
31. This adventure with Lord Grandrith took place cira late 1970 early 1971. This was after the final battle with Grandrith and Doc Caliban against the Nine or Seven (with the absence of XauXauz and Iwaldi). This
is stated to be located in Savage Land Antarctica, this is misdirectional. It is however located near the Antarctic. In 1721 it was discovered by an Italian Navigator named Caproni, the Islandwas named Caprona. Outwardly it is a rockbound impenetrable coast which stretches for miles without harbor or beach. The island rock was purportedly composed of some sort of is also made of a strange metal which affected Caproni's ship's compass.
Caproni did in fact take several specimens that had been found drifting near the sea. The extinct animals piqued the interest of the Nine. They found Caproni and made it into a sort of Nature preserve and a retreat. They were quick to make certain Bowen Tyler's and Thomas Billings' accounts of the island were labeled as fiction.
Given its nearly impenetrable nature, its enclosure in a rocky fence of an odd metal and its odd bio-system, in which every individual recapitulates the earth's basic evolutionary progress culminating in a species of physcially modern mankind, it is possible that this island was an experiment or preserve of sometype created by the Ancients, Preservers or others of that ilk.
After the Nine were out of the picture, Lord Grandrith seems to have taken over the island as a sort of second home. Much like his doppleganger Tarzan traveled to Pellucidar to return to the primitive state in which they reveled. Kraven the Hunter may have known of the island by rumor by explorers or given that he claimed his powers were derived from a jungle elixir given to him by a African Witch Doctor, Kraven may in fact have been an agent of the Nine recruited by Mubaniga. Mubaniga was one of the Nine, personally killed by Grandrith. If Kraven was one of his clansmen, then he had even more of a reason to kill Grandrith.
32. Anton Zarnak was a well known occultist and also a physician working out of a small place on 13
Alley. He is a guardian of the world against dark forces. The comic book depictions of him are mostly highly exaggerated. He is known as Stephen Strange in the comics which puport to tell his story. His actual exploits are often altered, by his own request, to leave no mention of his involvement such as in the case of Lady Ainsley and the vampire Armand Tesla (Return of the Vampire). See the Children of the Night Timeline by Charles Loridans. China
33. John Jameson had acquired an amulet called the moonstone which allowed him to control his transformations but because its rarity the gem was sought after and often stolen. The Moonstone was the subject of a novel by Wilkie Collins, it had been removed from its idol once again circa 1948 after the Independence of India.
34. As any comic book, pulp, serial movie or television afficiando will notice that there does seem to be a bizarre diffusion between the reality of costumed vigilantes and their portrayal in various medium. A most interesting dissertation on how the media influences costumed villains and viglantes and vice versa, please consult Serial Killers: Images and Incarnations. Crippin and Landru Press, 1988 by Dr. Hannibal Lector, Ph.D.
35. This Richard Wentworth made a brief foray into crime fightng in the mid-seventies and although his methods were as violent as The Spider-Man's he immediately became more popular, possibly because he went unmasked, was attractive and dresssed in a fashionable if casual manner. His popularity was such that the publishing house that had published his father's exploits approached him to publish his exploits. He refused. The company sold the license to another firm which reprinted his some of his father's adventures suitably modernized with a public photo of Wentworth on the covers. The Pocket editions came out in 1975.
36. More about Shang-Chi can be found in the Batman article in this series. You may have noticed that I have not really delved into the various account of The Spider-Man teaming up with other vigilantes. This will be dealt with in the Marvelous Fantastic Team Ups article. Suffice it to say however that many of the comic book team ups are ficticious. Many heroes simply did not feel comfortable working with The Spider-Man after 1973, his shooting people made them uneasy for some reason.
37. Gwen Stacy would never become the Black Cat! Well, you are correct if you assume that the comic book depiction of Gwen's character was absolutely accurate as well as the depiction of the Felicia Hardy/ Black Cat character. In reality she was more than just the one dimensional college girl who wavered between being anry with Peter or being jealous or loving him. As the daughter of a well respected and much decorated homocide detective she had an upbringing that instilled in her a dislike of crime and criminals. When she fell in love with a man who turned out to be a costumed vigilante, her outlook towards them became less critical, especially when her father supported The Spider-Man's actions. After George Stacy was killed by Dr. Octopus she began to hate crime almost with as much of a passion as Peter had after his Uncle was killed. When she was "killed" by the Goblin she decided to fight crime directly as Peter did. Death was liberating for her as was her time spent as amnesiac. Gwen no longer felt tied or constrained by her former life as Gwen Stacy. All the expectations that people had of her could now safely fall to the wayside. She was free to reinvent herself. Basing her character on the costumed criminal Catwoman, Gwen Stacy using the name Felicia Hardy became the Black Cat.
38. The Gathering of the Five was in the comic book version not held until much later and had a resurrected Norman Osborn as the participant. Why the comics decided to delay revealing this information is unknown. Madam Web's psychic surgery was undone when Harry Obsorn discovered a secret cache of his father's Green Goblin equipment at one of the warehouses that appeared on an audit. Among the equipment was a vial of Norman Osborn's elixir derivative. Like a drug addict needing a fix, Harry drank the elixir and once again felt the supreme pleasure, power and mental clarity that he had possessed before. Prior to his becoming the Green Goblin again he systematically eliminated the other participants of the Gathering of Five ceremony. Madam Web did not forsee this because the participants of the Gathering of the Five were psychically blind to her after the ceremony. Spider-Man was able to save her life however. Harry would come to believe that he had initated the Gathering of Five as part of s master plan against Peter Parker.
39. Gwen Stacy was not necessarily inactive at this time. She was in fact extremely busy. While still keeping up her, admittedly more infrequent, excursions as the Black Cat, she also established a consulting agency in which she specialized in biochemical forensic investigations and biochemical research. She was contacted by various public and private organizations to do some specialized work. Among these were the Omega organization. Prince Zarkon was very impressed with her work. He revealed that he knew about her secondary identity and career as the Black Cat. He had an assignment for her if she was interested. There was a small nation near Calbia aka Lutha called Symkaria whose royal family had been slaughtered by neo-Nazi's intent on taking over the nation and using as a bastion of fascism and and base for international terrorism. Gwen bore a striking resemblence to Sylvia Sablinovia, the slain princess.
As part of a sting operation to trap the royal assassins Gwen Stacy assumed the identity of Sylvia Sablinovia. After this operation was successful a new government was formed with the smaller state electing to become a part of Lutha. Prince Zarkon felt that it was necessary to keep up the pretense that Sylvia Sablinovia was still alive at least for the time being. The Symkarian provincial government was highly factionalized and a symbolic monarchy was vital to unify the country. So once every so often she would make a public appearance as Sylvia Sablinovia. Symkaria maintained an embassy in
but all the actual diplomatic protocol was handled by Luthan representatives. Prince Zarkon also had use for the organization formed by the slain King, its mission had been to hunt down war criminals. It was variously known as the Wild Pack or Wild Huntsmen. New York
I know what you are thinking, Gwen Stacy is alive and she is both the Black Cat and Silver Sable? Well, did you really think that it was a coincidence that Peter Parker was involved with three platinum blondes?
40. Although the Hammerhead is depicted in the comics as having a wide flat skull that is as hard as steel, in reality he was called the shark because of he did have an odd shaped head, very wide set eyes and sharp teeth that reminded one of a Hammerhead Shark. He and the Penguin and he and Dr. Octopus had an especial antipathy towards one another. The Hammerhead rose through the ranks of organized crime starting out as a hitman to become a Boss. His origins are unknown but it appears that the began his criminal career as a juvenile in the
area. His family may have been located in another area of Massachuessets. Boston
41. What about Mary Jane? The whole Peter Parker marrying Mary Jane Watson was a pure comic book fictionalization to further seperate the comic book character from the reality of The Spider-Man. Surely you must wonder why the wrtiers could never figure out quite what to do with Mary Jane. One minute she is supportive of him being the Spiderman, then she opposes it. She is a model or actress then she decides go to school. She is dead and then she is alive but seperated from Peter. The same could be said for Aunt May. Is she or isnt she?
44. Richard Wentworth's jr.'s adventures with the Neo Nazis and with Langstrom were portrayed in the graphic novels The Spider: Master of Men, by Timothy Truman, Eclipse Comics 1991, and Reign of the Vampire King by Timothy Truman, Eclipse Comics, 1992. They were fictionalized to the extent that the author placed them as taking place in an alternate universe.
The Amazing Spider-Man Gallery
Farmer, Philip Jose A Feast
Doc Savage: An Aocalyptic Life, Bantam, 1974
The Mad Goblin/Lord of the Trees, Ace books, 1980
Tarzan Alive, Popular Library, 1976
Official Marvel Index to the Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Comics 1985
The Unofficial Spider-Man Web Page
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