Tag Archives: Spider-Man

TimeQuake I: In Which Mr Fantastic Is Snippy And Doctor Doom Does A Good Deed.

Since your sun burned hot in the sky and also since I started writing this thing lo those many years ago, there has been one standard in What If comics. The Watcher hangs around and doesn’t do anything. Except when he sent Wolverine back in time and accidentally ended the universe for no fucking reason. (Nice one, Watch.) All of that changes TONIGHT in What If’s very first ever five issue arc: TimeQuake! Which I read the last issue of when I was eight and thought was the coolest thing ever. And if the first issue is anything to go by, the old saying is true: Eight year old Matt was an idiot.

Uatu the Watcher in Watcher Battle Armor.
Uatu the Watcher in Watcher Battle Armor.

We open with Uatu doing his usual spiel about the multiverse and forbidden to interfere and then he starts going on about Nexuses. Apparently a Nexus is a particular person who has the power to change reality through… like, time travel or something. Apparently Kang is one. Immortus is another. Or possibly the same. Also that fucker Rick Jones because he can’t stop playing his harmonica on the multiverse dick. God, I hate that guy.

Uatu senses some kind of disturbance in the multiverse or whatever and sends his consciousness into the future and also an alternate reality where three giant cloak dudes called the Time Keepers watch over a bubbling cauldron and prepare to name Franklin Richards Thane of Cawdor. Actually, they’re just going to cause a very, very late abortion for Frankie Says Relax. It turns out Franklin is this universe’s Nexus and by killing him, the Time Keepers can continue to influence this reality. Or something to that effect. I don’t know, I stopped paying attention. Anyway, Uatu asks if he can watch because it’s what he does and the Time Keepers have no reason to question him so we jump back to the universe where Spider-Man Joined The Fantastic Four from What If 1*. Except that Sue divorced Namor, Namor undid his making her a permanent no-take backs fish person and then Sue hooked up with Reed, rejoined the FF and got pregnant.  No, it isn’t confusing at all! Shut up!

"Shut up, stop poking around and get in here, Uatu. You prick."
“Shut up, stop poking around and get in here, Uatu. You prick.”

Anyway, Sue’s having birth complications delivering Franklin so the FF travel to the Negative Zone to find the Cosmic Control Rod which can Cosmically Control Sue’s womb into not killing her or her enchanted baby. Of course Reed doesn’t actually tell Spidey, Ben or Johnny any of this, so when Spidey is captured by green armor jerk, Annihilus and accidentally steals the Cosmic Womb Wrangler, it’s a real lucky break for everyone.

Oh no, Dick Bats!
Oh no, Dick Bats!

Anyway, Spidey fights Annihilus and then the rest of the FF show up and they also fight Annihilus. The Time Keepers quickly realize that they are going to fail at killing this baby (Easily the simplest thing in the world! I mean, it’s like babies WANT to be dead.) so they send Doctor Doom to go fight the FF and steal the rod. Telling Doctor Doom what to do rarely works very well, but it seems to go pretty darn fine this time until a ghost steals Doom’s soul out of his body. Seriously. The ghost in question is a big scary cloak called the Whisperer so he could really be anyone. My money is currently on Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. The Ghost tells Doom that if Sue and Franklin die, Reed will lose his damn mind (in the west) and bathe the world in nuclear fire. Which is a perfectly rational thing to expect from Mr Fantastic. Doom agrees and tosses Reed the control rod and then he pushes Annihilus into the Antimatter Negative Positive part of the Negative Zone and they both get erased from reality except Doom is secretly saved by the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come.

Ooogidy Booogidy Boo!
Ooogidy Booogidy Boo!

The FF return to Earth and use the cosmic control rod to save Sue and the baby… somehow. And then they celebrate the birth of this kid and the death of their greatest enemy. Hooray!

Meanwhile in space, Uatu gloats and the Time Keepers prepare to kill another Nexus or whatever and we TO BE CONTINUE and GOD, I hope this thing gets better. That was a twenty-eight page punch comic. Yeesh.


*Not to be confused with the other reality where Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four, Sue married Namor, Spider-Man quit, Reed tried to destroy Atlantis and failed to identify a pregnant woman.

At least it isn’t Assistant Editor’s Month.

That’s right, Interfereacateers, just in time for Christmas, it’s the worst thing to happen to Forbidden To Interfere. Well, the worst thing besides me moving to America, getting a job and missing my fucking deadlines left and right. Why, yes, I AM plagued with guilt. Thanks for asking. Yes, instead of the usual fascinating, strange and occasionally ridiculous adventures to the alternate realities of the Marvel Universe, we have… the funny issue. I swear to god, I could not sigh hard enough.

We start with the rather bizarre first story (which is also told remarkably straight for a humor issue.) wherein during an epic battle between the Mad Titan Thanos and the World Devouring Galactus, Thanos uses the power of the Infinity Gauntlet to change Galactus into an ordinary human whom he abandons naked and alone on Earth. Galactus finds himself with a nasty case of amnesia in a trailer park in Kansas. Luckily, he’s quickly found by local woman Gertrude Rebmann who mistakes him for Elvis.

Yeah, this is where we’re going this week.

Gertrude takes Galactus in and attempts to return his memory by showing him old Elvis flicks, pompadouring his hair and feeding him peanut butter and banana sandwiches in an effort to stave off the hunger of the world devourer.

Not as good as the "Kids In The Hall" sketch about Elvis being Bruce's landlord.
Not as good as the “Kids In The Hall” sketch about Elvis being Bruce’s landlord.

It’s also quickly discovered that Galelvis has a singing voice at least on par with the King, and he finds himself ready to return to the stage and his music. His first performance is a hit and soon whispers cross the Marvel Universe that Elvis has somehow returned to life. Luckily, this IS the Marvel Universe so nobody thinks to hard about it. Literally half the universe has died and come back at some point.

Eventually, the night before a sold out concert, Galelvis is approached by Adam Warlock.

“It’s over, World Devourer! I have defeated Thanos and wrested from his grip the Infinity Gauntlet! You can return once more to the cosmos!”

“Alternately,” Galactus replies. “I could stay on Earth, be Elvis and not commit genocide anymore.”

It’s really win-win for everyone.

Silver Surfer is gonna make one hell of a roadie.
Silver Surfer is gonna make one hell of a roadie.

After that, we get some one page jokes and then head into a story about Spider-Man and his hideous monster baby, Spidey-Baby having to fight crime while Mary Jane is out of town. It’s not very good. Spidey-Baby is really horrible to look at. It looks like Gonzo had sex with a football, which is not entirely impossible. Also it involves Hydroman getting absorbed by a diaper so I think we’ll just call it a night.

I hate everything about what I am seeing here.
I hate everything about what I am seeing here.

What If Peter Parker Destroyed His Marriage To Mary Jane Instead Of The Devil?

This week, we travel back to an issue of What If that Joe Quesada had wanted to exist for like, fifteen years. It’s also the first two-parter we’ve ever had in an issue of What If so that’s pretty weird too. How will this differ from our usual columns? Let’s all find out together.

Back in the day, Peter Parker was desperately trying to make an honest woman out of his main squeeze, Mary Jane. Hopefully before an asshole in a Halloween costume dropped her off a bridge. MJ refused for a variety of reasons until an attack by Spencer Smythe and his Spider-Slayers convinced her that Spidey could take care of both her and himself. Now, an infant baby? Not so much but that is a story for another day. Like, a LONG time from now. The two get married and stay that way for… a pretty long time anyway.

I do love that wedding dress to death.
I do love that wedding dress to death.

But there are other realities, Uatu tells us for the eighteen million billion time. Like, okay, what if Mary Jane got kind of hurt during that fight with the Spider-Slayer and even though it still convinced MJ that Peter was marriage material, it convinced Spidey that he couldn’t take care of a lady in his life. And what if he brooded on it and then didn’t say anything until the fucking wedding which was probably really expensive and had relatives coming to New York from all over the place and Mary Jane’s dress ALONE was not cheap at all and you’ve broken poor Aunt May’s heart and WAY TO GO, Parker.

Typical Parker class.
Typical Parker class.

Peter takes MJ up to the roof of the church so he can tell her that it’s over and they shouldn’t be together anymore and MJ leaves because she isn’t going to beg him even though he PROPOSED THREE FUCKING TIMES AND THEN CHANGED HIS STUPID MIND, DAMNIT, PETER. MJ leaves and Peter gets REALLY into Spider-Maning.

Criminals live in constant fear, as the lamp posts outside police headquarters hang heavy with bundles of captured crooks. Spidey even hooks up with Silver Sable and her Howling Silverandos in an effort to beat more people up. It’s good work but it also has absolutely nothing to do with our ongoing story so I have no idea why it is featured here.

Don't be fooled. None of this is actually important.
Don’t be fooled. None of this is actually important.

After a week or so, Peter heads back to Queens for a visit with Aunt May. He’s expecting a guilt trip but she’s mostly pretty level headed, telling him that she respects his decision for whatever reasons he had but she hopes that just because this marriage didn’t work, it won’t sour him on love.

“Hmm,” Peter thinks. “Aunt May is right. I HAVEN’T gotten my dick wet in a week or so. I should really get back into the dating world.”

He still doesn’t want to endanger Mary Jane though so he writes the only other woman he knows a letter. It’s the Black Cat and she arrives exactly fourteen days later to rock his spidery world and also take a bite out of crime. Also she totally gets in on MJ’s racket. Like, this is probably not the way to endear oneself to a new lover. On the other hand, it totally works so good job, Felicia, I guess.

Appropriate or not, this is hot as hell.
Appropriate or not, this is hot as hell.

The new Spider/Cat team does a pretty kick-ass job of continuing to really hurt the criminals of New York, even if Felicia is a little too… enthusiastic about the ass kickings she lays down.

“Stop punching that mugger, Cat!” Spidey will be heard to remark. “We’ve already defeated him!”

“Alright, Spider.” She replies. “You tell me exactly how many times is proper to hit this guy and I’ll try to work within that quota.”

Luckily for the new couple, Peter’s Spider-Sense cannot detect sarcasm.

The Cat proves herself incredibly useful over the next few months, helping to save Spidey from the insane and disgusting Kraven the Hunter, last seen a couple weeks back in this very column eating spiders by the handful. Dude is gross. I’m glad he keeps getting beat up.

Did You Know: The Black Cat is NOT to be fucked with.
Did You Know: The Black Cat is NOT to be fucked with.

Meanwhile, Mary Jane has been reading about the Spider-Cat Connection in the newspaper and realizes that she’s been left in the dust for the new hotness. She gives Peter a call but the Cat answers and hangs up on her. Not cool, Felicia. Not cool.

Peter Parker clearly has a type and it is Women With Intense Cleavage.
Peter Parker clearly has a type and it is Women With Intense Cleavage.

In fact things get even not cooler when Peter fucking proposes for what I count to be the fifth time this year and Felicia says yes. And then she celebrates in the traditional manner: arriving at her fiancee’s ex’s apartment in full costume and waving the ring right in her face. Jesus, Felicia. They oughta call you the PETTY Cat. Actually, no. That is worse than terrible. Never mind.


Anyway, all of this is witnessed by some bearded asshole who quickly puts two and two together and thinks he’s maybe found a way to net a cool million dollars and we get our first TO BE CONTINUED. Which we probably could have done without if we’d skipped three pages of flashbacks and all that Silver Sable garbage, thanks a lot, Uatu.

What If Spider-Man Died And Still Ruined Everything?

This week we revisit a favourite of mine, Kraven’s Last Hunt. In the original story, Great White Hunter and Owner Of A Lion Vest Kraven the Hunter goes insane, kidnaps Spider-Man, buries him alive, beats the shit out of people and then blows his own head off with a shotgun. It’s AMAZING.

Look at that giant fat fucking head! This is my new favourite Watcher for anyone wondering.
Look at that giant fat fucking head! This is my new favourite Watcher for anyone wondering.

This story is… less of that. We open on Spidey swinging home one night when Kraven shoots him with a blow dart, immobilizing him. But instead of just tying Spidey up and burying him, Kraven does what super villains should have been doing for years and shoots Spidey in the fucking head. It’s the smartest thing a Spider-Man villain has ever done but it’s not what you’d call dramatically satisfying.

"Man, that was really easy. I should have shot this asshole back in the sixties."
“Man, that was really easy. I should have shot this asshole back in the sixties.”

Kraven and his lackeys bring the spectacular Spider-Corpse to a graveyard where they bury it with a custom gravestone, after which Kraven literally dances on the grave. After a quick trip to his back to his mansion to devour massive handfuls of spiders, I vomit, I mean he swipes Spidey’s costume and heads out on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge™ against… random street crime. Hey, thanks, Kraven. You’re doing… well, the Punisher’s work anyway.


Back at Peter Parker’s Peter aparkment (sorry), Mary Jane Watson-Parker-Bouvier-Terwilliger-Hutz-McClure-Nahasapeemapetilon waits by the window and mostly frets. She eventually goes out into the rain to find her husband and is immediately cat called by street douches. This issue is a real winner for MJ. Luckily, Spider-Kraven shows up literally foaming at the mouth and rescues her. MJ sees how brutal Spider-Man acts, how he didn’t even notice her and most importantly how he kept his mouth shut for the entire battle.

“That is definitely not my Peter.” She thinks.

This is pretty much all Mary Jane does for the entire comic so drink it in, I guess.
This is pretty much all Mary Jane does for the entire comic so drink it in, I guess.

MJ starts visiting the usual Spidey cast for help. Eventually, Flash Thompson takes her to the Baxter Building where they meet with the Human Torch who… I guess is still friends with Spidey but doesn’t know who he is yet? Anyway, the Torch has been watching the news and seeing all these brutal attacks by Spider-Man and figures something isn’t exactly kosher. He calls two friends and they call two friends and eventually the Torch pulls together Spidey’s other closest friends in the Marvel Universe, Daredevil and… Captain America? Fine.

Specifically, let's find his half-eaten rotted corpse!
Specifically, let’s find his half-eaten rotted corpse!

The three heroes split up to look for this new Spidey and they eventually all find him. Seperately. Which is weird. Anyway, they figure out that this isn’t Spidey pretty quickly as he endangers a baby and throws bricks at the Human Torch. No spider in history has ever thrown a brick at anyone. (If you have knowledge of spiders hurling bricks at you or a friend, please post your story in the comments.)

Does whatever a spider can.
Does whatever a spider can.

Spidey’s Amazing Friends meet up at the Baxter Building where MJ continues to wait and cry. They tell her that they believe her about the new brutal Spider-Man being an imposter and she tells them that she’s actually Mrs. Spider-Man. (You know, I would kill for some Golden Age Spider-Man stories where MJ tries to trick Spider-Man into marrying her.)

Meanwhile, New York is having bigger problems as a gross rat monster known as the Vermin has been dragging folks into the sewer and eating them. Trust me, this is a bigger deal in the original story. The Vermin attacks J Jonah Jameson while he’s waiting for a cab and is about to drag him into the sewer to make J Jonah Jibblets when Spider-Kraven arrives.

"Somebody grabbed me! It must be that fucker Spider-Man!"
“Somebody grabbed me! It must be that fucker Spider-Man!”

This, of course, results in a rant of “Help! Spider-Man and his best friend this giant rat were going to eat me!” which is definitely newsworthy.

The Torch, Cap and Daredevil arrive and then everyone beats the shit out of each other for a while. Beaten, Kraven flees and the heroes follow him back to the cemetery where the find he has dug up Peter’s grave and is now eating him. Which is all sorts of disgusting. The Torch finally beats Kraven while Cap puts a tarp over the devoured remains of Peter Parker. Who was eaten. By a silver age villain in a lion vest.

"That's weird. There's a giant pile of mouldy ground beef wrapped in a Spider-Man costume in here!"
“That’s weird. There’s a giant pile of mouldy ground beef wrapped in a Spider-Man costume in here!”

Everyone heads back to Mary Jane’s place where she cries a lot more but at least can stop standing by windows now. Kraven gets carted to a mental institution where he can eat all the spiders he wants and maybe eventually work for Dracula which I am now realizing is a comic I absolutely want to read.

Uatu, did you turn him into Wolverine? Did you turn him into Wolverine because you sent Wolverine back in time because you are a total ass bucket?
Uatu, did you turn him into Wolverine? Did you turn him into Wolverine because you sent Wolverine back in time because you are a total ass bucket?

Meanwhile, MJ goes to tell Aunt May what’s happened to her nephew but this is mean crotchety Aunt May who doesn’t believe her and is mostly just a jerk. Thanks for nothing, Aunt May! Now who’s going to lift machinery to get you your heart medication?! You dick!

Aunt May here played by Almira Gulch.
Aunt May here played by Almira Gulch.

At the funeral, Mary Jane has the bright idea to hold a press conference at the Baxter Building telling the world what a hero Spider-Man actually was. In life, wealth and fame he may have ignore, but in death he should at least get some praise. Unfortunately, Jameson shows up to present his yelling, hysterical side of the story. Everyone latches on a picture of the Torch trying to get JJJ to leave and ignores the whole “abusing a grieving widow” angle. All of this results in a world much less trusting of super-heroes. The president bans super heroes from meeting and the Avengers and the FF close up shop. So look forward to that next Skrull invasion, folks! Meanwhile, Mary Jane apologizes to Peter’s grave for screwing up his death worse than he screwed up his life!

Old People: Heroes or Menaceses? Menasees? Menses? Whatever.
Old People: Heroes or Menaceses? Menasees? Menses? Whatever.

What If Comics: A Fun Super Powered Romp For Everyone!

What If Every Kid In The 90s’ Fantasy Came True?

When I started doing the second volume of What If, I knew it was only a matter of time until we started getting the 90s guys. Wolverine’s shown up a few times already and in What If vol 2 #1, we got the first Punisher appearance. Complete with giant head. Now, of course, it’s Venom’s turn.

This display is not accurate to the Venom trading card I had as a kid.
This display is not accurate to the Venom trading card I had as a kid.

For those who are unaware or only know Venom from Spider-Man 3 as the ooze monster that possessed Peter Parker and made him dance, Venom first appeared… sort of in the giant Secret War crossover. Peter had shredded his usual costume and started wandering around, stopping at the first thing that “looked like it wanted to create a costume.” Impeccable logic there, Spidey. Anyway, it did indeed make Spidey his kick-ass 80s black costume. Then it turned out it was an evil parasite, tried to possess Peter, had to be murdered with bells (All aliens hate bells, as you well know.) and later possessed some asshole and became one of the most popular villains ever if you are polling people’s younger brothers.

So this week we ask what would happen if Spider-Man never got rid of the symbiote. Peter’s feeling pretty run down lately (Mostly due to the symbiote running around with his body after Pete’s gone to sleep at night but also because of regular sex with his current main squeeze, the Black Cat. Often while suspended in webs which is goddamn weird.) The Cat suggests Spidey picked up some sort of space bug whilst Secret Warring. Then she runs off before she gets Space Clap or something. Classy.

"I find this a little worrying, Cat."
“I find this a little worrying, Cat.”

Peter visits his friend/foe Curt Connors AKA the Lizard AKA who diagnosis Pete as completely space flu free. He’s less of an authority on the effects of evil costumes on people so that bit of research has to wait a couple of days for the Fantastic Four to get back into town. When they finally do, Reed gives the costume the once over.

“Bad news, Spider-Man.” Reed says. You’ve got a full body skintight tapeworm.”

“There is literally nothing good about what you just said.” Spidey replies as his body clenches with seizures and the costume takes over. Luckily, Reed manages to stun Spidey with one of his giant science guns. Then he seals the webslinger in a giant glass case because we all know symbiotes are afraid of glass. A quick phone call to Dr Strange leads to some mystical backup but even that doesn’t help when Spidey kicks his way out. So much for the glass idea. Spidey knocks Strange and Richards out and then heads off into the night.

If you’re saying “I must quickly–“, you’re not being quick enough, Doc.


Meanwhile, for some reason, the Avengers are fighting it out with a (surprise surprise) extremely pissed off Hulk. They’re very excited when it appears that Spider-Man has arrived to help out. They’re less excited when it turns out he’s just there so that the symbiote can ditch Peter’s now burnt out body and take over the Hulk instead. Well… this probably could have gone better.

Well, that's deeply disturbing.
Well, that’s deeply disturbing.

Venom Hulk fucks off, leaving Earth’s Mightiest Hero and Starfox to help Peter. It seems the Symbiote feeds off adrenaline (something that has never come up in any Spider-Man comic I’ve ever read but whatever, other worlds than these, blah blah.) and it’s pretty much drained Peter leaving him with the appearance of an eighty year old man.

"Help me... I don't have pants."
“Help me… I don’t have pants.”

When he regains consciousness, Old Man Peter goes to visit his Aunt May for one last time and give some last touching words about… power or responsibility or something. Then he leaves before she dies of a heart attack. Ironically, said heart attack kills Pete  that night while he’s going over his symbiote notes. This tragic death will lead to Aunt May making a deal with Mephisto to save Peter and destroy her marriage to Mary Jane but that’s not important right  now.

Better get the mop.
Better get the mop.

The next day, Black Cat and the Kingpin meet up at Spider-Man’s secret funeral. I guess Fisk gets really sentimental when people he hates dies. I don’t remember any of this crap when he thought Daredevil was dead but whatever. Anyway, he and Cat seem to hit it off finally and he gives her a lift home.

Meanwhile, Reed’s working on another giant science gun that will actually kill the symbiote which is probably a great idea since it’s strapped to the fucking Hulk right now and that dude is terrifying when he’s not freaking out on tanks in the desert. He also figures out a way to track the symbiote and brings the Avengers to Mt. Rushmore to finally put a stop to Venom Hulk. The rest of the FF stays home for some reason. I guess nobody thought having the Thing who regularly beats up the Hulk or the Human Torch who is basically made of the stuff the Symbiote is afraid of was a good idea. Nice job, smartest man in the world.

So Venom Hulk appears, pleads for mercy with Thor and then attacks him because he’s a total douche from space. Thor does some excellent shitkicking on the symbiote and it eventually drains off, leaving only Bruce Banner. Thor examines the wad of alien smear on his hammer when it jumps off, engulfing him as anyone who has ever seen a horror movie could guess. I’ll let it slide because I don’t imagine Thor is a big movie guy.


Having now possessed an actual god, the Symbiote takes the next obvious step and… goes and hides in a cave. Master strategist, this fellow. It’s a shock we’re not already dead. Anyway, this cave hiding gives Reed a chance to make a really long distance call to Black Bolt of the Inhumans. Luckily for everyone, the Symbiote is also weak against sonics and knuckles and Black Bolt has both. He yells into the cave, blasting the symbiote off its Asgardian host. And also completely destroying Mt. Rushmore. Whoops.

Not even Venom can resist Thor's gorgeous hair.
Not even Venom can resist Thor’s gorgeous hair.

Reed and Dr Strange argue over what to do with the beaten Symbiote when Black Cat appears and zaps it with her own stolen giant science gun. Turns out she found Peter’s notes on how to build the thing and then took them to the Kingpin whose scientists put it together. Now she’s gotten revenge for her boyfriend and all it cost her was a lifetime of servitude to New York’s most powerful gangster. So, I guess that’s a win!

What If Daredevil Shot A Giant Baby?

Back in the day, Frank “Whores Galore” Miller ended his legendary run on Daredevil with ‘Born Again’, the story of Matt Murdock’s fall and rise. The book starts with Matt’s former secretary Karen Page addicted to heroin and a porn star (Star may be overstating it.). In exchange for a fix, she sells Daredevil’s secret identity. This eventually makes its way back to Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime, who uses it to methodically destroy Murdock’s life. In the original reality, having everything stripped from him, Matt eventually pays a visit to the Kingpin where he gets the everloving shit kicked out of him. Then Fisk dumps his body in a van, sets it on fire, covers it in cement, dunks the cement in acid and tosses it in the river. So when Matt turns out to be alive, it’s kind of a surprise.

The 'Malibu Kingpin' action figure was no one's favourite.
The ‘Malibu Kingpin’ action figure was no one’s favourite.

In this reality, Matt arrives at Fisk Tower in a state of utter confusion. His life is in the shitter and he’s genuinely trying to convince himself that killing Fisk is a good idea. I mean, it probably is but Daredevil’s not the murder vigilante, that’s the Punisher. And we’re still like ten pages from a Punisher appearance.

Matt easily walks through Fisk’s security. The Kingpin’s been waiting for this moment and can’t wait to finally crush Daredevil with his bear hands (borrowed from third rate supervillain the Grizzly.) Unfortunately, Matt was able to pickpocket one of Fisk’s guards, stealing a gun. And like eight dollars and a picture of the guard’s kids but that isn’t important. Matt barely hesitates before blowing the Kingpin away.

I promised myself I wasn't going to ask where the Kingpin's dick is. But seriously, where is it?
I promised myself I wasn’t going to ask where the Kingpin’s dick is. But seriously, where is it?

Looking at this picture now, I find it hard to believe one bullet would kill a guy this size but I have no trouble swallowing a guy trapped in a giant rhino costume. The Marvel Universe is a fascinating place.

Still completely off the deep end, but holding onto his grasp of law, Matt heads for the police station to turn himself in. Alas, the place is a little busy from the giant gang war that’s erupted since the Kingpin’s death ten minutes ago. Even more alas, Matt believes himself to be confessing to a police lieutenant but it’s actually just a random wino. Listen, I get that it’s a mental problem that’s making Matt hallucinate a cop instead of this bum but this feels like a really obvious blind joke. So let’s just move on.

See, it's not a blind joke! It's a mental health joke. That's... better?
See, it’s not a blind joke! It’s a mental health joke. That’s… better?

All of New York is a-buzzin’ about Matt murdering the Kingpin. The story reaches Ben Urich and Peter Parker at the Daily Bugle. They both go out looking to help Matt but Ben’s a middle aged reporter and therefore uninteresting and so he no longer features in the story.

Poor Ben Urich. At least you're no longer Joey Pants.
Poor Ben Urich. At least you’re no longer Joey Pants.

Also surprised by the Kingpin’s death is mob boss and “Ski Mask Of The Month” subscriber The Rose aka Richard “I’m secretly the Kingpin’s son” Fisk. Fisk’s been attempting to take down his old man for a couple years now, most recently with the help of the Hobgoblin, but when word of the Kingpin’s death comes down, Richard refuses to make his move. This pisses the Hobgoblin off because he was really looking forward to using this as an excuse to commit some crimes. This is how the Hobgoblin mourns a fallen friend.

Back in Crazytown, Matt’s on the run from an army of demons working for the Kingpin who apparently want to ass-fork him to death. The fact that these guys are actually NYPD officers doesn’t help very much. Matt escapes into an alley only to run into his newest number one fan, the Punisher. Punisher’s just about to start on his third round of “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow” when he realizes that something isn’t quite right about Matt. Possibly the fact that he’s begging the Punisher to kill him. Punisher refuses to do that but he tells Matt that he can get Matt some psychiatric help. Since this is the Punisher, this is an obvious lie. Frank Castle would not know good mental help if it chopped him up with claws and then brought him back to life as a Frankenstein monster.

Frank Castle: Picture of mental health.
Frank Castle: Picture of sanity.

At this point, Spider-Man shows up and there’s the mandatory fight scene as Frank and Peter try to stop Matt. Unfortunately for them, it’s Matt’s story this month so he escapes but not before hallucinating that Peter is a giant Spider-Monster trying to help him.

He just seems so polite. It's adorable.
He just seems so polite. It’s adorable.

Back at the Rose’s apartment, Richard Fisk has learned that his mother Vanessa, who has been living in Europe while she works on her own craziness, has been murdered. Blaming Matt, Richard’s about to head out to find the guy when Matt arrives to meet him. Matt comes clean about everything. The enhanced senses, the feud with Kingpin, the destruction of his life, the mountain of dead girlfriends. At the end of the story, he tells Richard that Richard can kill him or forgive him. Whichever it is, Matt will abide by. Unfortunately, this is exactly when the Hobgoblin bursts in to ruin everything because the Hobgoblin is just a bad person.

This guy's a dick.
This guy’s a dick.

Another fight ensues, wherein we learn at a fine oak coffee table can withstand at least eight shots fired from a laser glove. Hobgoblin tosses one of his pumpkin bombs (trademark Norman Osborn) but Matt returns it, attaching it to Hobby’s glider. Then he holds the Goblin onto the glider until the bomb goes off, killing them both and sacrificing himself to save the life of a mob boss.

A few weeks later, Daredevil’s back on the street beating the hell out of criminals in Hell’s Kitchen. But it’s not some horribly reanimated Matt Murdock corpse! That’s an entirely different What If! It’s Richard Fisk, armed with a helmet to replicate Matt’s senses and wearing Daredevil’s old costume so that the hero’s name lives on. I give him three days before Bullseye murders him with some thumb tacks.

Yes, with three simple payments, you too can be the blind hero of Hell's Kitchen! Order now!
Yes, with three simple payments, you too can be the blind hero of Hell’s Kitchen! Order now!


What If Aunt May Actually Died Like She’s Been Threatening To For Fifty Years?

Here’s an unfamiliar scene: Peter Parker AKA The Amazing Spider-Man weeping over his dead relative’s tombstone in the rain. “If only I’d been more responsible! If only I hadn’t thought of myself! If only I’d stopped that burglar… Aunt May would still be alive!” Wait, what? Then Peter dries his eyes, stands up and returns to his waiting Uncle Ben.

The only scene I've watched replicated more often than this in comics is Martha Wayne's pearls hitting the ground.
The only scene I’ve watched replicated more often than this in comics is Martha Wayne’s pearls hitting the ground.

“It’s true”, says Uatu, watching from Heaven. Where I guess he lives. “It took us forty-six issues but we finally realized we hadn’t had Uncle Ben live.” Actually, they did but no matter. We begin our tale when Ben Parker wakes up in the middle of the night with old man problems. After peeing for five straight minutes and falling down in the shower, Uncle Ben hears a noise and wanders downstairs, encountering the burglar. Ben starts to launch into a homespun tale about what comes with great power* when the burglar shoots him. Thus begins a tale of guilt, tragedy, and evil black costumes from space.

Oh, I see. And I think you’d better drop it. I SAID DROP IT!


But what if ‘twere not Uncle Ben who died but Aunt May, who was well on her way to her fifteenth stroke anyway? Well, to start, not a whole lot. Mostly events continue pretty much as they have before as Peter becomes Spider-Man and takes out his aggression beating up guys dressed like animals. And sand people. Unfortunately for Pete, Uncle Ben’s a little sharper than Aunt May (This is not difficult. Silver Age Aunt May is like the female Mr. Magoo.) and he soon figures out what Peter’s afterschool activities are.

This picture really captures Peter as a giant fucking dork.
This picture really captures Peter as a giant fucking dork.

As they’re preparing for dinner, Ben asks Pete to change the tablecloth, revealing Peter’s Spider-Man costume underneath. Dude springs this shit on Peter like he found his little box of weed. The two of them sit down and get all their various guilts off their various chests. While Ben doesn’t think Peter is responsible for May’s death, he does like the idea of Spider-Man so the two of them start working together to stop crime.

Could have been worse. His porn could have been under there.
Could have been worse. His porn could have been under there.

Meanwhile, shocking nobody, J. Jonah Jameson has hair up his ass about Spider-Man. The attack pieces he publishes in the Daily Bugle are getting really bad and Ben is fed up with them. He storms into the Bugle offices and start chewing Jonah out. At this point, Spider-Man (who is always around Jonah’s offices at 4:15 for some good natured webbing-feet-to-the-floor.) comes by and finds the two old men fighting. He swings in and then Ben forces Peter to reveal his identity to Jameson which is a fucking terrible idea.


As Spider-Man carries his angry, elderly uncle out the window, Jonah fumes, trying to  make a decision about whether or not to reveal Spidey’s identity. On the one hand, Peter Parker is a brave teenager who’s trying to do the right thing and make up for his aunt’s death while keeping his uncle safe. On the other hand, there’s money to be made. After working his way through every expression the Grinch ever had, Jonah reaches a decision. He starts getting tips from Spidey about what crimes Spidey will foil and sending in photographers. He also challenges Spidey to an interview in the Bugle to defend his views. This is not a great idea in my opinion. I feel like the public can really get behind Spidey’s philosophy of “fuck crime and throwing blondes off bridges.”

Spidey quickly gets fed up with the combined old white guy power of Ben and now Jameson always telling him what to do. Especially when Jameson orders Peter to start tailing his secretary and Pete’s sort of girlfriend Betty Brant. If you recall the old sixties comics, you’ll remember that Betty’s brother Bennett was kind of a mob screw up. Always working for mobsters with names like Blackie. She’s been acting weird and Jameson thinks she might be in deep with the mob.And then Ben agrees which really sets Spidey off.. “Oooh, those guys… always telling me what to do!” Peter grumbles. “I’ll show them. I’ll do it just to spite them.”

"Nobody tells Spider-Man what to do!"
“Nobody tells Spider-Man what to do!”

Sure enough, Spidey finds Betty working for the smuggest Doctor Octopus that has ever appeared in a Spider-Man comic.


After angrily shit-kicking everyone around, Spidey yells at Betty and Bennett and then fucks off. He’s so completely done with everything that he goes and lives on the street for a few days, sleeping in web hammocks and stealing pies from Mysterio’s windowsill.

"Spare some change for web fluid, buddy?"
“Spare some change for web fluid, buddy?”

Eventually Jameson’s trained bum, Patch finds Peter and delivers a message. “Surrender, Dorothy.” I mean, “Come Back To The Bugle, Or I Reveal Your Identity.” Worried that having his ID leaked might still somehow hurt Uncle Ben, Peter meets with him only to get yelled at some more. The Jameson of this reality is somehow more of a jerk than other realities.

Next Jameson hurries to the local hospital where his son, astronaut and future werewolf John Jameson is recovering from a mission to outer space. It seems that John’s been hospitalized since he was bombarded by space spore, something I am not entirely convinced is a real thing. The doctors think he’ll recover and are just observing him when the Green Goblin busts the fuck in.

Not real clear what this guy's problem is with astronauts.
Not real clear what this guy’s problem is with astronauts.

Turns out the Goblin regularly follows one-eyed homeless people around New York and caught Spider-Man and Patch’s discussion. He realized that Jameson knows who Spider-Man really is and kidnaps him. Peter sees this as his chance to finally be rid of Jameson, knowing the Goblin will kill him and solving all his problem. Fortunately his friendly neighborhood conscious kicks in , but not before the Space Spores have an effect on John, changing him into a glowing giant muscle man.**

Giant Dude In A Hospital Gown: The Spectacular Character Find of 1984!
Giant Dude In A Hospital Gown: The Spectacular Character Find of 1984!

Space Spore Man follows the Goblin Glider’s contrails to whatever abandoned Oscorp building the Goblin is hiding out in this time. Fed up with the Goblin’s bullshit, John follows a recent What If  tradition and snaps the Goblin’s neck. That asshole taken care of, Space Spore Man turns his attention to beating the everloving crap out of his dad.

Honestly, this solves a lot of problems.
Honestly, this solves a lot of problems.

Luckily, Spidey arrives at the last possible second, saving Jonah from his son’s weird space illness. Mostly by tossing John at some electrical wire which should kill the poor bastard but really just makes all the spore fall off for no reason. As he leaves with John, he turns to Jonah and whispers “you fucking owe me”, finally putting an end to Jonah’s harassment. Uncle Ben still rides his ass from here to Eternity though. FAMILY.

*Great responsibility. Jeez, man, have you ever even read a Marvel comic?

**Absolutely happened in real Spidey comics from the 60s!


What If Everyone At Marvel Decided To Make My Life Difficult For a Week?

I can honestly say I’ve been dreading this one since I started Forbidden to Interfere all those months ago. I used to look at that number. Thirty-four. “Well, it’s so far off. I wouldn’t worry, you’ll likely never even get there.” Which is a fair estimate based on any project I do that doesn’t include a co-host to yell at you. But here we are. What If 34: What If The Watcher Was A Stand-Up Comedian? Well, from what I can tell, it’s a dark, terrifying reality where this hideous monstrosity tells bad jokes and not nearly enough of it is drawn by Fred “I wrote ‘Fantastic Four Roast’ and will always have a soft spot in Matt’s heart for that” Hembeck.


Anyway, we open on the Watcher explaining the difference between an alternate universe story (a reality identical to our own that veered off from a specific point) and an imaginary story (literally all of fiction.). He then gives us some examples from both camps, including two jokes that get repeated later in the issue. Marvel must have thought that comparing Ant Man to Aunt May was HILARIOUS. Well, listen, bud. She’s no Spider-May, I’ll tell you that.

None of this is directed at you, Fred Hembeck. You're alright in my book.
None of this is directed at you, Fred Hembeck. You’re alright in my book.

After that, we get “What If Everyone Who Was An Avenger Stayed An Avenger” which I’m pretty sure is the actual philosophy behind the six hundred Avengers books published at Marvel these days. The only thing missing is casting non-Wolverine X-Men as bad guys.

Everyone pictured here is currently an active Avenger. Including that chair.
Everyone pictured here is currently an active Avenger.

Then there’s… this which… Well, moving on.

Is he even white? What is wrong with the colouring here?
Is he even white? What is wrong with the colouring here?

What If Dazzler Was A Stand-Up Comedian follows, as if this issue didn’t have enough terrible jokes in it.

Alright! More crappy jokes within the crappy jokes! It's an Inception of crappy jokes!
Alright! More crappy jokes within the crappy jokes! It’s an Inception of crappy jokes!

Next we have “Spidey Intellectual Stories”. See, the gag here is that they’re overly wordy but they still feel less talky than the average Bendis comic.

Less wordy than early issues of Powers.
Also less wordy than Claremont’s X-Men at their Claremontiest.

This one’s just about Watchers from different realities watching each other and… hey, how come there are no realities where the Watchers aren’t all just white guys? Listen, What If, I wouldn’t have even thought if it if you hadn’t done that Power Man gag. This one’s on you.

Get it? Do you get it?
Get it? Do you get it?

What If Black Bolt Were A Rock Star? Apparently he’d look almost as terrifying as Wacky Watcher.

I feel like the tongue is accurately portrayed actually.
I feel like the tongue is accurately portrayed actually.

I’m pretty sure “What If Daredevil Were Deaf Instead Of Blind” uses old Frank Miller art from his actual run on the book. I can’t say for sure because, man, I have seen a lot of panels of Frank Miller’s Daredevil beating up random dudes.

Get it? Get it? Because he’s deaf now! Get it?

Then there’s this. Now, let’s be very clear. I hate this because it’s lazy. Not because it’s more shitty Canadian jokes I’ve heard a billion times.

Now if they were battling Max Von Sydow, that would be different.

Speaking of lazy…


And if the other Power Man stuff wasn’t bad enough…

Actually, I would probably read this comic. It looks amazing.

And so on in that fashion… Feel free to come back next week when I can get back to friggin’ work.


What If The Clone Saga Started Thirteen Years Earlier, Lasted One Issue And Took Place At An Amusement Park?

So here’s one I’ve been looking forward to for a while and am actually surprised I never read before today. Back in the 70s, a third-rate Spider-Man villain called the Jackal (AKA Spidey’s college professor Miles Warren) made a clone of perpetually dead girlfriend Gwen Stacy because he was a gross creep. Dating a student is a strict no-no at Empire State University. Dating a dead one is even worse. Bringing one back to life so you can date her is some Re-Animator shit. Anyway, Warren also cloned Peter Parker… I think as a test subject or something.

So Spidey and Clone Spidey fought and then put aside their differences like every issue of Marvel Team-Up ever and then Clone Spider-Man exploded and Real Spidey dumped his corpse down a wishing well. AND WE NEVER HEARD FROM HIM EVER AGAIN. EVER.

A real comic that existed.
A real comic that existed.

But what if, our old friend Uatu asks. What if the Spider-Man Clone survived? What if that did happen, didn’t last three years and almost destroy the character? Well, it seems like it would mostly involve the Spider-Clone wandering around, trying to justify why he can’t remember any of his life. Excitement!

So, in the middle of the Two-Spidey-Fight, Real Pete calls a truce and then Cloney punches him in the face and knocks him out. Meanwhile, Doctor Warren begs the clone of Gwen Stacy to please love him. And why shouldn’t she? He’s a creepy old weirdo with a pedophile mustache! That’s hot stuff. Alas, Gwen isn’t interested so Warren kills himself saving the life of Ned Leeds AKA the Hobgoblin. I think. Nice one, buddy. After that, the Gwen clone leaves, vowing to find her own life away from Peter Parker. I think she finally got killed in a Spider-Man crossover a few years back. Let’s see… “Years later, she was apparently killed by another Gwen Stacy clone called ‘Abby-L.’” Well, that clears that up.

How could she possibly turn him down?

So Cloney takes the unconscious body of Peter Parker down into Doctor Warren’s basement and sticks him in suspended animation until he can figure out what to do with him. You know, like murder him or whatever. Then he heads out into the world, telling himself over and over that he MUST be the real Peter Parker. And he’s just forgotten everything over the past three years. Since giving a tissue sample to Doctor Warren. The clone maker. I can’t see any sort of problem there.

"Yes, despite all the weird stuff about this clone, I am clearly Parker Prime."
“Yes, despite all the weird stuff about this clone, I am clearly Parker Prime.”

Cloney makes the rounds of Peter Parker’s life, exploring his old abandoned house, meeting up with Aunt May and sleeping on his own doorstep because he doesn’t know what apartment he lives in. He also starts going to class in Peter’s place at Empire State University. Which would be great if he didn’t only have a high school education.

Typical clone-of-Parker luck.

Returning home, Cloney roots through Peter’s old stuff and finds a bunch of old letters and pictures from Pete’s time dating Gwen Stacy. Cloney realizes that his whole “I must have amnesia” thing might not be as airtight as he believed and he returns to Doctor Warren’s lab to look for clues. What he mostly finds however is a goddamn TON of evidence about Warren’s cloning experiments three years ago, about his taking DNA from Peter Parker, about him making an elaborate clone of Peter Parker who thought he was the original and… Wait a minute…

This revelation took THREE years to sort out.
This revelation took THREE years to sort out.

That little revelation finished, Cloney heads out to do some web spinning and thinking. He’s gone about ten minutes before he runs into a flying camera with guns on it. It’s the Kingpin… for some reason. Just randomly flying his computerized flying camera around looking for Spider-Man. I suppose it’s more interesting than… I don’t know, running a criminal empire. Cloney torches the little camera and then accidentally trips over the actual Kingpin out yelling on his roof. They fight for a couple of minutes before Cloney realizes that the Kingpin is actually something of a threat. He hauls ass out of the fight, leaving the Kingpin to yell threateningly, jump on his hat and tell Spider-Man to meet him at the Coney Island amusement park for a final showdown.

Standard issue for the secret crime boss of all New York.
Standard issue for the secret crime boss of all New York.

Cloney finally gives up on his chance at successfully impersonating Peter Parker and heads back to Dr Warren’s lab. After a couple of seconds of considering letting Pete stay in his techno casket and just die, Cloney decides he’s not a big fan of murder and lets the Spidercicle out. Real Spidey, apparently not angry that he’s been imprisoned for like a week while somebody lived his life for him, decides to team-up with Cloney to defeat the Kingpin.They dress Cloney as Peter Parker so that Cloney can snap pictures of Spider-Man and not actually be a fraud for the first time in his career.

"My God, I'm pretty."
“My God, I’m pretty.”

The Parker Pair arrive at Cloney Island, excuse me, CONEY Island and the Spider-Clone is quickly captured by Kingpin’s goons. Luckily, Cloney and Spider-Man still make short work of a couple of idiots in fedoras with pistols. Then Real Spider-Man chases the Kingpin to the Ferris Wheel. They fight a little longer before Kingpin reveals his secret weapon: A flying ferris wheel car that he can float around in and shoot lasers from. He’s like a fucking video game boss. And not even the LAST boss. Anyway, Spidey knocks him out of it, the day is saved and they all go out for Frosty Chocolate Milkshakes.

You dodge the lasers and then punch him until he starts blinking red.
You dodge the lasers and then punch him until he starts blinking red.

Later, at Casa de Parker, Cloney is preparing to leave like the Gwen Clone did. Head out into the world, start a new life, maybe help some people. Peter offers him another idea. Stay here, we can split being Peter Parker fifty-fifty and just reenact the Parent Trap/Sister, Sister/any movie with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen for the rest of our lives! There’s no way anything bad can come from this! Exactly three seconds later, Pete’s roommate comes home and the jig is up.


What If Gwen Stacy Lived and the Green Goblin Retired and Everything STILL Sucked?

We join our hero, Peter Parker: The Amazing Spectacular Friendly Neighbourhood Marvel Team-Up Spider-Man doing what he do best. Specifically moping on the George Washington Bridge about his dead girlfriend. It’s been a year since she died and Spidey’ still in mourning. “If only I had realized that grabbing you by the ankle mid-flight would snap your neck like a twig” he thinks before swinging away.

Hope he doesn’t mope about this for thirty years.

That’s about when Ultruatu the Fifty-Foot Watcher shows up, looking like so much Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man “Peter Parker may be in mourning now because of his dead girlfriend but I, Uatu the Mysteriously Huge This Issue Watcher, can peer through the curtains of reality to see a world where Gwen Stacy lived! I find this sort of thing much more interesting than seeing the reality where Hitler won World War II or Napoleon had a fleet of dragons at his command!”

“Don’t swat me, Chubby Cheeks!”

After a quick recap of how Gwen died (Green Goblin AKA Norman “Ridiculous Hat” Osborne kicked her off a bridge.), we head for our new alternate reality. Here we see Norm give Blondie the boot but this time Spidey decides to swing down and catch her instead of webbing her foot. This is a wise decision. Unfortunately, Spider-Man doesn’t actually have anywhere to swing TO, so he and Gwen nose dive into the Hudson River anyway, crashing directly into Cosmo Kramer out for a swim. The Green Goblin watches them nose dive and fucks off assuming they’re dead. Idiot.

“There’s no reason to assume they’re alive! Myah-ha-ha-ha!”

Pete drags Gwen to shore and gives her mouth-to-mouth, saving her life. Which is good. “What If Gwen Stacy Died A Slightly Different Way” probably wouldn’t give me two and a half to three pages of content.

Just drop the corpse anywhere.

Gwen regains conciousness and sees Peter in his Spider-Man costume. Gwen, a frequent Daily Bugle reader who believes Spider-Man killed her father, is understandably terrified. Luckily, Pete takes an hour or two to explain the past one hundred and twenty one issues of his comic (plus annuals!) and Gwen realizes he isn’t a menace. Then, on a greasy dock, covered in raw sewage, Peter Parker proposes to Gwen Stacy before webbing off to kick the ever-loving blue-eyed shit out of his best friend’s dad.

The thing I always loved about the Green Goblin is that he’s a very simple villain. He’s not out for revenge or to save his dying wife. He mostly just wants to be crime boss of New York. The dude is basically the Kingpin in a Halloween costume strapped to a mechanical flying bat. Right now, he’s trying to leverage his murder of Spider-Man into a play for Mr Crime King 1973 by gathering all the faceless criminals in the city and telling them how great he is. The various Italian-American stereotypes aren’t buying it though especially when Spidey busts in and starts picking fights with people.

“We ain’t stupid! We don’t just listen to any two-bit freak in rubber leggings!”

The ferocity with which Spidey beats up the mob guys pretty much terrifies Gobby and he flees. Like… out the door. On foot. And then he walks home, still in his Goblin gear, stopping only to mail a package. There’s something I find positively delightful about this whole. I just wish he’d stopped to get a cab.

“Where the hell did I park?”

When he finally gets home, he finds his poor, long-suffering son, Harry Osborne and comes clean about the whole “I’m the Green Goblin, your best friend is Spider-Man and we’re locked in a personal battle of wills.” In his defense, Harry takes it pretty well but this might be when he’s experimenting with LSD, I honestly can’t remember.

At this point, Spidey busts in, having beaten up all of New York’s crime. He tries to finish Norman off but Harry gets in his way, trying to protect his deeply insane father. There’s a brief scuffle but the only person who really gets hurt is poor Harry who gets knocked back and forth across the room like a tennis ball. Norman’s about to blow the whole building to hell when he sees Harry still trying to defend his father from Spider-Man. This act of kindness reminds Norman how much he loves his pathetic son and he breaks down, allowing Harry to get him much needed help at whatever the Marvel version of Arkham Asylum is. (It’s the Ravencroft Institute. Motto: In vita, nos , per fraudem stragis. Or, according to the Google Translator I just used: In Life, We Are Murdered by Carnage.)

Family’s always embarrassing.

That unpleasantness out of the way, Peter meets back up with Gwen. We skip ahead about a week to their wedding. All of the seventies cast is there, from Aunt May to Best Man Flash Thompson. I assume Flash threatened to beat Parker up if he wasn’t in the wedding party. Everything’s going according to plan when J. Jonah Jameson busts in with a bunch of cops! Remember when the Goblin mailed that package on his way home? That was pretty weird, right? Well, it seems it was full of proof about Spider-Man’s true identity and Norman mailed it to the Daily Bugle. That is some PETULENT fucking revenge, Gobby!


The cops try to arrest Peter, Aunt May has a heart attack because *Matt, don’t forget to think up a new joke about how often Aunt May has a heart attack before you post this thing* and Pete bails out the window. Meanwhile, wedding guest of the year Jameson yuks it up, delighting in destroy Pete’s life at his own wedding. This bullshit causes Robbie Robertson to quit the Bugle and he and Gwen head off to try and clear Peter’s name.

Lonely dick.

We finally end with Peter outside his own appartment as it swarms with cops. He’s unable to get his costume or webshooters or change out of his rented tux. He wonders how his life could possibly get any worse as the Watcher looks on and gloats. Fuck you, Baldy! That was some Monkey’s Paw shit you pulled on poor Peter.