04 January 2016

Amazing Spider-Man #445 - "Finality, Part Four: The Gun"

Amazing Spider-Man #445 - "Finality, Part Four: The Gun"


"There," Kaine stated proudly as the Jackal fell to the floor with a sickening thud. "I managed to finally snap his neck!"

"You murderer!" Spider-Man screamed from his cage. "You didn't have to kill him!"

"Oh please Peter," came the Jackal's voice from the unmoving body. "You think you can kill me that easily reject?" With that the body rose from the floor and two massive hands straightened out the neck. "See?" Jackal said smiling. "All better."

"Not if I can help it!" came the voice of the second Green Goblin that had appeared after Jackal's initial transformation.* The Goblin then threw a variety of pumpkin and gas bombs the Jackal's way. The result: nothing. In response, the Jackal yanked the Goblin off of his glider and hurled him towards Spider-Man's cage where he narrowly missed Gwen, who had taken up a vigil in the immediate vicinity. Meanwhile, across the room, the Norman Osborn Goblin had managed to pull himself up once again.

"You just don't get it do ya Norman?" Jackal asked sarcastically as he dismantled Kaine with a fierce body slam. "You can't win," Norman looked at Warren with a determined look. Half of his Goblin mask had been torn of his face, revealing the steady stream of blood coming from his lip. Elsewhere, his suit had ripped showing even more open wounds.

"Oh, I'll win Miles. It's only a matter of time," With that he jumped back into hand-to-hand combat with the monster.

*See last issue-Your Man @ MA Kelen

The other Green Goblin had had enough however. It was time for a new plan. "Hey Webhead," the Goblin asked. "How would you like it if I got you out of that cage now?" Spider-Man looked at him surprised.

"What do you want to help me for? As far as I see it, you're no better than Norman,"

That's where you're wrong," the Goblin commented. With that he pulled off his mask, revealing the face of Harry Osborn.

"Harry!" Spidey yelled in anger. "I told you not to come. And how'd you find that Goblin Gear anyway?"

"I had to Peter. I didn't want you to go against the Jackal and my father alone. And I got the gear from Phil Urich. He was the good Green Goblin that was running around before he showed up again," he said this and nudged his head in Norman's direction. "Now let's see what we can do about this cage."

"Be careful Harry," Gwen said as she inched away from the bars. "Don't hurt him,"

Harry smiled. "Calm down Gwen. Just get on the ground and cover your ears. You too Pete."

"Look at you, you pathetic reject," Jackal said as he pummeled Kaine relentlessly. "You can't even fight back. I wish I'd never made you," Another blow sent Kaine to the ground, unable to bring himself to his feet. "In fact, I think I'll get rid of you right now!" Warren raised two fists high in the air in an attempt to crush Kaine.


"My ears!" Jackal screamed as he staggered back against a wall. "It must be that damn Harry," I'll have to take care of him next," He then felt a sharp pain jolt through his lower back.

"Geez! Why is it that nobody has any respect for spiders? If people like you keep this up, the spiders are gonna throw fits!" Spider-Man said this as he landed from his kick that had sent Warren tumbling.

"Meddlesome Spider," Jackal growled. "You just don't get it do you? You can't beat me," He was then shocked by a punch to the jaw that nearly sent him down again.

"In case you didn't have time to look it up, I've beaten losers way stronger than you big ears. And your gonna be just another stat in my hall of fame!" Peter moved with blinding speed now, battering the Jackal from every direction. The Jackal couldn't get a bead on him to even fight back. The sound of crunching bones and moans of pain was all that was heard from the quadrant where the two foes battled.

That's the way to do it Pete. Harry thought to himself as he and Gwen watched from across the lab. But I wonder what happened to Kaine and my... He wouldn't get to finish the thought before Norman had sent a gauntlet blast his way.

"Harry!" Gwen screamed in fear.

"Oh why don't you scream so more you little tramp?" Norman asked menacingly. "Like that's gonna help you."

"You stay away from her father," Harry warned.

"Or what?" Norman inquired as he slapped Harry viciously across the jaw. "You going to cry like the weakling you are?" Harry again started to his feet and staggered which caused Norman to laugh. Harry then followed through with his false stagger and slammed his fist into Norman's gut.

"I'll fight back," he said as Norman brought himself to his feet. He swung but Harry caught his punch. Norman smiled.

"I never thought I'd see the day when you wouldn't cry like a little wuss at the first sign of trouble," he said as he pushed Harry towards the nearest wall. "Whenever something didn't go your way, or you'd get a scratch, you'd be wailing your fool head off and crying for your mother like you had your manhood severed. Of course, you never had any manhood," It was then that Norman kneed Harry between his legs, sending him slumping to the ground.

"Don't you mention my mother," Harry managed as he gasped for air. Norman pulled Harry towards his face, his hot breath taking what little air Harry did have away.

"Look here boy," Norman said as he raised a pumpkin bomb towards Harry's face. "You will always be second best to me. You were the second best in school, in sports, as the Goblin, as a murderer, to your drugs, to your psychiatrist, and to your precious mother. Now let's see how well a healing factor works when your head gets plain 'blowed off'!" Harry tried to pull away but the toxic fumes of the bomb had already lowered his defenses. He started to hope unconsciousness came before Norman shoved the bomb into his face. But his hopes would not be fulfilled on this day as he was surprised to find his lungs responding to the fresh air they were suddenly receiving. "Dammit Warren!" Osborn screamed. "Just couldn't wait your turn to die could you?! Well, I'll show you both, I'm gonna kill you all, do you hear me? All of you!" He then started throwing gas ghosts and bombs all over.

"Up you go Har!" Spider-Man said as he swung Harry out of immediate danger. "If I had known Norman would've went spastic when I threw the Jackal on 'im, I would've called the loony bin first!"

"Where's Gwen?" Harry asked as he started to breathe normally again.

"I'm here Harry," she responded as Kaine placed her next to where Peter had just sat Harry. Below, Osborn was still throwing bombs galore and laughing maniacally. And he was doing this while having Miles do a tap number on his head.

"He sure is a persistent little thing isn't he?" Spidey noted. He hadn't felt this alive in weeks. He didn't know what it was, the action, the taste of blood on his lip, or the thrill of not having time to think of Mary Jane, but he felt like he was 16 all over again. "I think we need to end this Kaine," he stated as Kaine nodded. "This place is already starting to burn."

"It's time for these pests to be brought down," Kaine added.

"I couldn't agree with you more gentlemen!" Warren said as he sprung up behind them and clutched them into his arms, sending them to the floor below. How many times am I going to ignore my Spider-Sense? Peter wondered. He managed to twist away to see Norman laid out like a bowling pin, still clutching ghosts and bombs. He tried to move but his head exploded again from a combination of his Sense and intense headache. He was sent flying towards the far wall. "How's it feel to be on the receiving end you nobody?" the Jackal asked as he pounded Kaine repeatedly in the face. "I should've killed you when I had all those chances. Time to make amends!" He smashed into Kaine's head again but the clone refused to black out. "Don't you get it Kaine?!" Miles yelled in frustration. "You can die now!" It was then Kaine grasped the Jackal's arm and burnt his Mark of Kaine into both sides, sending Warren howling.

"I get it 'father'," Kaine said bluntly as a kick sent Jackal sprawling. "You can die now!" He leaped at Miles but Jackal caught his wrists and forced him to a standstill. Peter had now risen to his feet again and joined the fray.

"As far as I'm concerned," he said as he tried to separate the two fighters. "No one is dying here today! I'm taking Osborn and Warren in alive, and I don't care who I have to beat down and how many times I have to do it!" He finally pushed the foes apart sending Kaine on top of Osborn, who had just awoken, and Jackal against some burning machinery. It was then he turned to look at his monitor. Where a once solid strand of altered DNA once stood, there was strands of DNA rapidly separating and 'dying' in a sense.

"No," Jackal said silently. He checked his data again; trying to find where he had went wrong in his process. He hadn't seen it before because of his hurry and it's insignificance. But there was an electrode mixed in with the DNA he had extracted from Gwen. "A damn spider-tracer. A damn spider-tracer was going to end it all. Not Norman, not Kaine, not Harry, and not Parker. A damn spider-tracer!" Spidey turned his head to see what the big fuss was about.

"What are you complaining about now Miles?" he asked. "Did you forget to tape 'Boot Camp'?"

Not quite pest," Warren said without his previous vigor. He swung at Peter but his spider-sense got him out of the way in time. "Something has simply come up. But that's not going to stop me from finishing with all of you! Do you hear me, nothing will stop me!" He leapt at Spider-Man again, connecting with a vicious uppercut this time and sending the Spider crumpling into a heap next to a stirring Norman.

Just what I don't need. Now he's losing it. He thought as he picked himself up. "I got to end this and fast. This place is almost engulfed in flames," Just as he began to shoot a webline to hurl himself back to the action, he was shot in the back by a Goblin gauntlet, sending him back down.

"Like I've said Peter," Norman said as he stood up and wiped the blood from the part of his mouth that was exposed due to his mask's frail condition. "Miles is mine. For May will have her revenge!" He then rushed off to find the Jackal thru the clouds of smoke.

"Did you just say...May?" Peter asked weakly.

Meanwhile, one Miles Warren had went into desperation mode. "C'mon Kaine! Get up! Ain't got no fight left in ya?" Kaine struggled to his feet and attacked but just as it had a few seconds earlier, his attempts were fruitless. He missed badly and Jackal hammered him with his mammoth arms. This time when he hit the floor, he really didn't see the point in getting up anymore. Mile took this opportunity to kick Kaine sharply in the ribs, as the cracking noise was extremely audible. The pain was too much to bear, even for Kaine, who slipped into his own black void. Lucky for him, Warren became distracted when a pumpkin bomb exploded across his back. "Hey Norman. Why don't you just lie down and and cower like the reject over there did, I'm on a tight schedule."

"No. It's time I end it with you. You killed my daughter and now you will pay."

"You, you knew about that, huh Norman?" Jackal said with a hint of worry in his eyes. Norman walked closer until he was right under the villain chin.

"Why in the hell would I waste time trying to kill your ass if I didn't?" He slammed his fist into Miles, causing him to stagger. When he was bent over in pain, Norman unloaded a blast right in his face sending him into a dark corner of the lab. Warren groped about, crawling even, trying to escape, but all he found was wall. I can't let it end this way. I just can't. he said to himself as his fingers came across something. "Now you'll never kill anyone's children again you bastard," Norman said as he moved in for the kill.

"You aren't gonna be the one to stop me though Normie ol' boy!" Jackal screamed as he leaped out of the corner and smashed a full mirror across the Goblin's head. Norman face was severely cut where it was exposed and it was all he could do not to fall into the fire as he went down. "Ya see? Ya see! Nobody can kill me, no one! I'm unbeatable, I'm the best, I'm..." the last of his words were lost when Peter hurled himself into him.

"What daughter was he talking about Miles?" he yelled in anger. "Norman's never had a daughter, I wanna know where he suddenly got one!" Spider-Man was hitting Miles hard enough that the Thing would've been out cold by now. "I want an answer!" He screamed again as he sent Jackal flying into some more machinery. Warren then grinned and sat up.

"You were gonna die anyway so it's best that you know."

In the rafters, Harry held onto Gwen for dear life as he watched the action below. He wanted to join in, but the pumpkin bomb fumes still had him a bit dizzy to do much good. He'd end up like Kaine and his father, beaten. He looked down at Gwen and saw her eyes fluttering. Her breathing was also shallow and with what breath she did have, she was coughing. "Gwen?" Harry whispered. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine Harry," she managed in a low voice. "I just have a headache from when I passed out and the smokes not helping. I just want to sle..." And with that she passed out.

"Peter!" Harry yelled but his voice wouldn't carry over the roar of flames to the Spider on the other side. It was up to him. He pulled his mask back on and was amazed when the beckoning device for the glider had not been damaged and it soon pulled up alongside him. He took Gwen into his arms and hopped on. He had to make a move...now.

"You killed her?" Peter said quietly. "You killed my daughter? To get back at Osborn? That was my child and you killed her because she had been 'adopted' by Norman after he kidnapped her from me?!"

"That's right," Jackal beamed. "I did it, I killed little May Parker Osborn. Choked the life right out of her. Now my question is, what are you going to do about it?" Spider-Man jumped at Miles and began pounding on him but he might as well been punching adamantium. No effect. Warren on the other hand simply back handed Spidey away and continued to do so every time he attacked. "You'll never win this way Parker," he stated. "How long can you keep jumping back from getting smacked by a tree trunk?" The Spider said nothing as he tried different approaches, with the same result. Finally, he fired a web at Miles hoping to yank him towards him. But it was Miles that did the yanking. He yanked Peter right into his hand where he began to squeeze, which aggravated Spider-Man's pounding head even more. Eventually, he went limp and Warren dropped him.

"I won't let you beat me Jackal," Spidey managed to eek out in between gasps of air. Jackal had other plans, as he picked up a huge support beam and raised it above his head.

"Time's up hero," he said happily. "I win," He brought the beam high and started to let it descend, but something made him stop. "I feel funny," He tried to keep the downward motion going but to no avail. Then his body started to quiver all over as the beam was rattled out of his hand. "No!" he screamed. "It's not fair! I was going to win!" He then started to shrink in size. Spider-Man gathered himself up to watch the scene unfold.

"What in the..." he asked. Then it hit him, "He's degenerating!" Anything else he might have heard was lost when another explosion sent the building rocking.

"Pete!" came Harry's voice from behind him. He turned and saw him decked out in his Goblin attire carrying Kaine, Norman, and Gwen. "Gwen's taken in too much smoke, Kaine needs to just get out and so does 'daddy'. As for our boy Miles, it seems he took Gwen's DNA sample right through your spider-tracer, and that electronic drift sent everything out of wack! I saw it on a monitor when I picked up Kaine," Peter took the Goblin from Harry.

"Get Gwen to the hospital, just put Kaine somewhere where he'll be safe when he wakes up. He's done the right thing by me today," He looked down at Miles who had finished his degeneration. Instead of the younger version he had seen in days before, the late 50's version laid before him.

"I can't move my legs," Miles said. "I'm paralyzed from the waist down. All because your stupid tracer," Spider-Man picked him up into his arms and shot a webline towards the exit Harry had just made through the roof.

"You should've thought about that before you went killing people's daughters and kidnapping young women. What comes around goes around," He then pulled himself and his two foes up and out.

Spidey was shocked to see police had surrounded the building. Phil Urich must have called them. It's nice to finally get a break tonight. he thought as he dropped down in front of the police chief. Fire crews have already started to put out the fire, and any other secrets that lie inside would hopefully be destroyed.

"Spider-Man! Good to see you," this voice belonged to Arthur Stacy.

"How ya doing Arthur?" the Spider said as he approached dragging Norman and Miles with him. "On my left, we have one Miles Warren, kidnapper of one Gwen Stacy, child murderer, impersonator of one of Peter Parker's dead wife's friends, and an overall sourpuss. Let's give him a big Dating Game hello!" Arthur smirked a bit. "And on my right we have the Green Goblin, murderer, wack job, a fellow kidnapper, and an overall thorn in my side! Arthur moved up close to Norman, who had finally awoken. The half torn mask was all the evidence he needed.

"I've been trying to get you for years. I just could never prove it cause you hid behind your business. But no more. You're going down this time Osborn. And if I can prove you killed my niece all those years ago, you'll go even farther than that," Osborn only grimaced as the cuffs were applied.

"Miles says he can't move his legs and that's he's paralyzed," Spidey added. If you're nice maybe he'll tell you about how he got that way, but first make sure he gets to the hospital."

"Will do Spider-Man," the police chief said. "And thanks," Norman and Warren were then pushed into police cars and ambulances respectively and driven off into the night as the raging fire seemed to find it's end thanks to the firefighters. But Peter was long gone. He went to the cemetery and sat in the tree above MJ's grave. And he cried, this time for his wife and daughter. Does it ever end? he wondered as rain began to fall shortly after his arrival.

About an hour later, Peter arrived home. He silently dropped through the skylight of his recently re-purchased Soho apartment. The place hadn't changed much since he and MJ had left it a few years back for the ill-fated Brownstone. It had shocked him even more to discover it was available. He pulled off his mask and entered the living room. He found Harry asleep on the couch and his Goblin Gear lying at his feet on the floor. The TV was blaring loudly and Peter reached for the remote.

"This just in from New York City. The apparent cause of the fire at an abandoned factory at the outskirts of the city is super-powered related. Spider-Man, the Green Goblin, another Green Goblin, Kaine, and Miles Warren were the ones involved. About an hour and a half ago, Spider-Man and one of the Goblins emerged. This Goblin appeared to be the heroic version that had been last seen during the Sentinels attack on the city awhile back and he took the clone of Gwen Stacy, who had just completed a speaking engagement at Stark Solutions the day before, to the hospital where she was later released. Spider-Man dropped off Miles Warren, telling authorities he was paralyzed from the waist down, the reason for this remaining unclear. The other Goblin the hero dropped into the FBI's lap was none other than wealthy business man Norman Osborn. Warren was taken to the hospital and he will face arraignment in the morning. Osborn on the other hand is on his way to court as we speak and will be arraigned in less than 10 minutes. In other news..."

"Hey Pete," Harry said weakly as he awoke.

"Hey," Peter answered as he flicked off the set. "How you feeling?"

"Besides the bumps and bruises, I'll live. Gwen's in your room. I didn't want to take her home after everything she's gone through."

"Yeah, she'll probably have a hard time being alone for awhile."

"Damn Warren. I'm gonna go ahead and hit the sack Pete. It's been a looonnnggg day," Peter smiled.

"Goodnight Harry," He began to walk towards his room when Harry stopped him.



"Did they say dad was going in front of a judge in less than 10 minutes?"

"Yep. More like 5 now."

"Good," he said as he breathed a sigh of relief. "I just hope that they don't give him bail. Cause that would...would..." Peter watched as Harry fell back asleep.

"'Night old friend," he then opened his bedroom door. Inside, he found Gwen wide-awake as she sat and watched Letterman. Her eyes did have a sleepy droop to them however. "Hey. Glad to see your okay," He pulled off his boots and his top soon followed.

"I just wanted to make sure you was alright. And Letterman was on," She watched as Peter took off his pants and tossed them into his costume pile.

"I'm just glad your safe," He said smiling. "I'm going to grab a shower, you don't have to stay up."

"I know, but I'm gonna watch the rest of this. Go, take your shower. It's not like some Goblin's gonna come in a throw me off a bridge," Peter looked at her sternly. "I know, bad joke. Come here and sit down," She said and motioned to a spot on the bed. He reluctantly listened. "You have got to stop beating yourself up for Gwen and MJ's deaths Peter. There's nothing you could have done. The Goblin would've still come and the bomb would've still went off,"


"No buts. All your life, you've believed that every death was on your head. The only one that you should feel accountable for is your uncle's. Sure being Spider-Man hasn't helped, but it hasn't hurt either. Now you promise me, that from now on, you won't beat your self up as much. Promise?" Peter nodded his head. "Good. Now go do something with that suit. It smells like it's been in a fire," She quipped. Peter chuckled and kicked the offending clothes to the other side of the room. When he turned back to Gwen, she was asleep. He stood and watched her breathing become more shallow, watched as she drifted deeper.

She's right. I need to start enjoying my friends more while they're still here. I can't keep taking them for granted because the more I do, the more it's gonna be too...Felicia! Speaking of people who need apologies, I treated her like crap earlier. I better head over there. With that he opened his closet and pulled out a spare union suit. Dressing quickly, he exited back through the skylight.

A few blocks away from Felicia Hardy's home, lies the smallest hospital in Manhattan. But it also served as the perfect place to house one paralyzed super-villain. Inside his room, Miles Warren wheeled about in frustration. Where did I go wrong? All the planning, the work, the effort, and I get this? If I had only dropped that beam through Parker's chest sooner, I might have been able to stabilize the electronic drift in the DNA, at least temporarily. But I guess the DNA had other plans. I had almost won. I had beaten Kaine, Osborn, and almost Peter. I wouldn't have had any trouble with Harry. Then I could've left and let the bomb I planted inside the building kill 'em all. Instead, I'm nothing but a middle-aged man in a wheelchair. It took me 6 years in the pod to regain my youth. I don't have another 6 years. Sure, I could probably speed the process up now, but what good would that do? I'd have to start all over again. He wheeled his way to the window and gazed at his view of the moon. On the other hand, I could see what sentence they give me. If it's kidnapping I'll be out in a year or less. If they found Rolf's body I could be looking at more.* But if the kidnapping charge is what I get , I can get out, rebuild my lab, make myself walk again, and then try to perfect the process again. Hell, I could do it the legal way and make millions. I'd love to see Parker and Osborn's faces if that happened. Then Gwen would want to marry me. Or, I could just kill them and clone a billion Gwens to do my slightest wish. He smiled and continued to gaze at the moon. Maybe this would be the best way for now. He'd have his revenge. One way or the other. Just then, a red, webbed, and blue figure swung inches away from Miles' window. He sighed and reached down under his shoe, where a secret compartment slid out. Enclosed was a small handgun. He had brought this with him in case Norman, Peter, or Harry had given him trouble earlier. Or maybe it's time to get off this rollercoaster for good. He looked at the moon once more and brought the gun to his head. With one last look, he pulled the trigger. Miles Warren was pronounced dead 4 minutes later. He was 58.

*Warren killed Mary Jane's manager Rolf at his home in order to impersonate him last issue.-Up-to-the-minute Spidey ticker Kelen

In a judicial court across town, Norman Osborn could only wish he were dead. The trip from the factory had been a blur, he barely listened to Stacy read him his rights, and he just wished he could get out of here. All he wanted to know was how much the bail was. Arthur noticed Norman's anxious look.

"Don't think you're walking out of here tonight Osborn," he whispered into his ear. "I made sure of that already," Norman gave the middle-aged man a hard look.

"What did you do?" Arthur just smiled.

"You'll see."

"All things considering," the judge began. "I would normally set bond and let you go free Mr. Osborn. But you are certainly not an average case or a mere speeder. You have caused much pain in the recent months. Pain I'm going to make sure ends. I'm not giving you a bond, waiving your right to a trial and appeals, and sentencing you to 6 months in Ravencroft. Guards, take him away. Norman was stunned.

"You can't do that! I have my rights! Where's my lawyer? I'll have your head!"

"Your lawyer has already been spoken to and he understands why such drastic measures are to be taken. This order came down from the head of super-villain activity moments before I announced it. It's time you learn a lesson Mr. Osborn," The guards continued to have trouble escorting Norman out of the court so much that electronic shackles had to be brought out to restrain him. Before he was carted off, Arthur Stacy approached him once more.

"You should've stayed out of the country Osborn. I will prove you killed my niece, and then you'll never see daylight again," Norman spit in his face causing Arthur to merely wipe it off and laugh. "Looks like the justice system worked for once," he noted before turning to leave.

Out of all the times he's had swung to Felicia's apartment, this time seemed take the longest. But he had finally arrived. Spider-Man quickly let go of his webbing and landed a few feet above Felicia's window. He quietly crawled to it and found it unlocked, like she always left it. Slipping inside, he removed his mask and closed the window. "Felicia?" he whispered, not wanting to startle her. He slowly made his way back towards he bedroom.

"Spider?" a voice behind him asked. He whirled to see Felicia lying on her couch. A bottle of champagne sat half full upon the coffee table.

"Hi," Peter said gently. "What are you celebrating?" he asked motioning to the bottle.

"The fact that no matter what I do or try, you shit on me."

"That's not true," He said quickly as his guilt hit him hard in his gut. She pierced right through him with her eyes. "I, I, I know Cat. And I'm sorry. I shouldn't have snapped earlier. I could've been a bit more compassionate."

"A bit?" Felicia asked incredulously. She grabbed his hand and pulled him down beside her, where she embraced him in a hug. "I love you Spider, I just feel that you forget that sometimes."

"I do," Peter admitted. "But after all I've been through, I'm trying to learn to appreciate the friends I have left," She hugged him again.

"Care for some champagne?" she asked. He shook his head.

"I just wanted to clear the air with you, so I could rest better." He stood and pulled his mask back on and started back for the window. "Are we good?" Felicia nodded. "Good," He pulled the window up and started out when something stopped him.

"What's on your mind?" she asked before the question came.

"After MJ's funeral, before I ran off to save Gwen, I had a feeling. A feeling that something was missing. I need your help to put some closure on something,"

"Sure," she replied. "Name it."

"I have a few bucks left from my first paycheck from Solutions but I need you to chip in on investing into something important..."

Around mid- morning the next day, Peter Parker had woke up before Harry and Gwen and set out to the cemetery. He found he even enjoyed the walk. I guess you enjoy things more after nearly having your head decapitated several times in one night, he thought. It wasn't long before he arrived at the cemetery, where he noticed some workers cleaning up around Mary Jane's grave. It didn't alarm him however, and he strode over to the worker who was carrying the last of the tools away. "Excuse me, is your work done here?"

"Yes sir," the chiseled young man answered. "Been working since dawn, but Ms. Hardy said it was of the utmost importance," He wiped the sweat away from his brow and began to walk away. "Enjoy."

"Thanks," Peter called after him. He then started up the row of headstones. It's a shame that mom and dad were buried at another cemetery. But you can't win them all. He then began reading the epitaphs silently. 'Ben Parker'. 'May Parker'. 'Mary Jane Watson-Parker'. He approached the two recently finished stones. 'Ben Reilly'. 'May Parker'. He smiled and stepped back to view the whole scene. This definitely made him feel better. He had closure for everyone that had made a mark in his life now. It was the first time he felt pure joy since before he had went to the Bugle days earlier. And as long as he had the knowledge that he had family and friends who loved and cared for him, he felt that he was as strong as the Hulk and Thing's strengths combined.

NEXT ISSUE: Now that major antagonist Norman Osborn is getting six months in Ravencroft, how does Harry and Peter celebrate? In style. Plus the return of Cardiac!



USAgent writer Clayton Tooley writes:

I've been reading your Spider-Man issues, and I have to say I like them. Miles Warren was never my favorite character, and I hope he doesn't make it out of this showdown, but I loved Ben Reilly and Kaine, and I'm a little iffy with the 'healing factor' thing for Osborn, but now that you've taken it to it's logical end and brought Harry back on the good side (I think) I like it better. I think you're assembling a good cast here, and I'm thrilled with the scientific job of Peter's, it's about time. I miss MJ terribly though. It's good to see Felicia back.

Thanks for the letter Clayton (my first, what's wrong with you people?). Trust me, I don't want to see Warren come out of this either but how exactly can he not? I was hoping someone out there would like Kaine's appearance but you have the second identity wrong. Ben is still dead. But I'm happy you enjoyed Harry's return. I've been missing him from the books with Norman's return. And I wanted to give Peter a steady scientific job to move him away from the Bugle status quo. You can look for Peter to actually have no money problems, just problems across the rest of the board! And I was going to bring MJ back, but I found I like writing this angle of Peter better than the marriage angle. And Felicia will play a major part in #445, but after that she will be off to star in the Defenders series by Drew Smith down the line. Thanks for writing Clayton.

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