CAPTAIN STACY HAD LIVED?
starring the Amazing Spider-Man
by CHRIS SMILLIE
All characters are © Marvel Comics
This is FANFICTION and purely for FUN and not for profit.
Copyright holders may request removal at any time.
What if Captain Stacy had lived?
Doc Ock Lives!
Doctor Octopus Wins!
The Deadly Arms of Otto Octavius
The Death of Captain Stacy
The Struggle for Breath
A Spider's Choice
The Web of Justice
We each have our own Gwen
- and this one's for mine...
Doc Ock Lives!
"Spider-Man!" wept the beautiful teenage blonde girl.
"I'll hate him - forever!". Tears of grief stung the mourning girl's eyes, as her teenage lover attempted to comfort her.
"Gwen darling, no!" exclaimed the young boyfriend. "You can't blame yourself. You mustn't!"
A wail from the very depths of despair rang out in response, "Spider-Man! Whether he meant to or not – he killed my father! He killed my father!"
And in the back of that taxi, the young lover's secret came to torment him even more. But what if the events leading up to this moment had changed?
Since time out of mind, I, the one known as the Watcher, have observed the rise and fall of civilizations – of worlds – of galaxies. I know all that is – most that has been – and much of what will be. I have also many windows into the strange parallel worlds of what might have been. There are worlds within worlds – and worlds which exist side by side with your own, separated from it only by the thinnest web of cosmic gossamer. There exist even alternative versions of Earth's future...
This story does actually take place – not in our dimension or time continuum, but in worlds coexisting alongside ours, of which there are theoretically untold billions.
Let us return back a few days from this event where we see Spider-Man battling against one of his foremost enemies, the deadly Doctor Octopus!
After defeating Otto Octavius – aka the nefarious Doctor Octopus – on board a jumbo jet, Spider-Man reasoned this would be the last time he would encounter this eight-limbed crook. For, in blind panic, the criminal crashed said aeroplane into a fireball of shattered glass and twisted metal.
"And as strong as he is," thought Spidey, "not even he could survive a catastrophe like that."
Unfortunately for Spider-Man, Otto Octavius not only has eight limbs but also, it would appear, a similar number of lives. With a speed that denies his bulky figure, the evil-doer used his mechanical arms to shield himself from the impact, then scuttled away silently and invisibly, using the spectacle of the air-crash as a distraction.
But the game had changed for Doc Ock. Following an accident that gave this gifted physicist mental control over his wondrous metallic appendages, Octavius had intended to use his powers to gain wealth and prestige. However, following yet another defeat from the accursed Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus' motive had altered from grandeur to vengeance.
Hiding in an alleyway as he prepared for his next attack, Doc Ock exclaimed "He's interfered with my plans for the last time!" Moving across the city of New York on his almost magical arms, Octavius vowed "Sooner or later, I'll find him! And crush him - forever!"
Doctor Octopus Wins!
W ith dread, Spider-Man heard the news that no trace of Doctor Octopus had been found. Peter Parker, the man behind the web, knew this was ominous. No explosion could have destroyed Ock's steel tentacles. Peter Parker made his way to a rooftop, donned his famous red-and-blue costume and vowed to bring the crook to justice. But where to find the tentacled terror? In a city the size of New York, Octavius could hide out anywhere. However, as it turns out, the last thing Doctor Octopus was going to do was to hide from Spider-Man.
The city's main power plant by the banks of the Hudson was at this very moment being dismantled by the super-villain in broad daylight. Chuckling to himself, Doc Ock reasoned that the endeavour would work twofold.
"One – it will put the city at my mercy." he planned. "And two, it is certain to attract the attention of Spider-Man."
Certainly, the latter goal was coming true, as Web-Head looked on in astonishment as he swung by. Doc Ock continued with his thoughts:
" And when he appears on the scene", he greedily slavered, "I will destroy him!"
With a shout of "Okay, snake arms! You've had it!" Spider-Man swung down to confront the deadly villain. An epic battle ensued. Doc Ock, driven to blind anger, threw all his rage into defeating Spider-Man. There was no holding back. Ock's aim was to kill his adversary.
Using his tentacles, Octavius slammed into Spidey again and again. Web-Head struggled to match, or even avoid, this deadly assault. Every trick he had, whether that be attacking Ock direct, trapping his arms by webbing, hiding from his tentacles, amazing acrobatics, or indeed, anything else in his armoury, failed to gain the advantage over Octavius.
"I was always your superior – mentally – physically – in every way,", Octopus proudly proclaimed, "but luck was with you in the past." With triumph, Ock hunted down Spidey and all Web-Head could do was hide. Hide and regroup for a future battle. Flicking a Spider-Tracer onto Ock's tentacle, Spider-Man prepared himself for the next battle, knowing that his Spider-Powers on their own were not enough to defeat this vicious miscreant.
The Deadly Arms of Otto Octavius
"I need a plan"
Peter Parker obsessed over the ending of Doc Ock's reign of terror. The student knew he needed something foolproof to even come close to defeating the most deadly adversary he had ever faced.
Parker's hand shook excitedly...
"And I'm beginning to get an idea!"
Minutes later, E.S.U.'s top scholarship science student began to do his thing. Pouring over text books and test tubes, beakers and flasks, Parker experimented and analysed through the evening. With a cautious nod, the teenager concluded his studies.
"I've got to admit, it's a long shot" surmised Parker as he began filling his web-shooters with the newly-composed fluid, "but it may just take him by surprise."
Changing into his famous red-and-blue webbed suit, Spidey pulled his mask over his head. The transformation from self-conscious teenager to quick-quipped superhero was complete. However, the steely resolve was the same. Flicking out a web-line, Spider-Man dropped from his bedsit window and began scouring the night.
Spidey could have spent all day criss-crossing the city but for the Spider-Tracer he had swept onto Dr Octavius' tentacle. As soon as he came within range of that little electronic device, Parker's Spider-Sense would start tingling, leading him directly to his foe.
"He's somewhere in the area!" exclaimed the Webbed Wonder after eighty-two and a half minutes (for the statisticians amongst you) of web-swinging. Using the strength of the tingling reaction to guide him to the very spot, Spidey zeroed in.
Parker concluded that the feedback was strongest as he edged towards a particular room on a building. Scaling down the side of the wall, Spidey edged closer to an open window, glancing stealthily inside before making his entrance.
"I don't get it?" exclaimed the Wall-Crawler, "The room's empty!"
As the unfortunate student spoke, two steel tentacles struck at him. "Doc Ock! He was waiting for me!"
The smiling genius stood atop the building, as he struck at Spider-Man with his formidable appendages. The smashing of those metallic arms split Spidey from his wall-mount. However, to fall was to escape. Instead, Ock writhed those deadly tentacles around Parker's form, smacking his struggling figure intermittently.
As he tore into the blue-and-red hero, Otto boasted of his genius. How he had discovered the simple tracer. How he had laid a trap for the super-hero. "For not only am I your master in strength," vaunted Octavius, "but in cunning and guile" - Doc Ock began to raise the straining body to the rooftops - "and intelligence as well!"
Spat! Spider-Man was pinned to a chimney by two of Octavius' tentacles as he used the remaining mechanical arms to pound the helpless hero. No thoughts of Gwen flashed through Parker's mind. Nor of Aunt May, best friend Harry Osborn, nor indeed any of his friends or foes. No. The only thought in Spider-Man's head as he writhed desperately was a single desire. The desire to be -
With superhuman effort, Spidey twisted away from those diabolical arms, dropping down between them, but still very much in reach. Nevertheless, this is the moment Parker had been waiting for. With a thwip, Spidey released a web-line that spun around one arm. Then another thread looped around a second of those ferocious tentacles. As Spidey continued to cover the tentacles with his webbing, Ock laughed, "Fool! Haven't I proven that your puny webbing can't stop me?"
But stopping Ock's arms was not the purpose of his newly-crafted fluid. Instead the solution acted as a jamming device between Ock's brain and his nefarious tentacles. Slowly, the villain began to realise he was losing control of his mechanical arms. Even worse, the impulse to attack was still prevalent in the functioning of these limbs. Blindly, the two tentacles whipped savagely, attacking his other appendages. Eventually, attacking even Doctor Octopus himself!
Straining against the edge of the building, Octavius attempted to save himself by using his non-affected arms to block those gone astray. Too late! Otto deduced that the appendages were too powerful.
"Help me! Help me!" cried the terrified physicist, "I - I can't handle them!"
In an effort to save Ock from being slain by his own arms, Spidey dived in to save the Doctor. Blindly the tentacles whipped out, striking the brave superhero. Sprok! Knocking back Spidey, the arms continued to strike out without thought. They crashed into the chimney Octavius had pinned Parker to, splintering bricks and dust to the ground. A ground with a crowd of onlookers!
The Death of Captain Stacy
A mongst those onlookers was a certain Captain Stacy - father of Gwen and possibly the man Peter Parker respected more than anyone else alive. The former police officer had been alerted to the dangerous situation by the noise of conflict in the skies above. Although no longer a serving member of the police force, George Stacy was still held in high respect for his keen analytical brain and his high moral worthiness.
Stacy counted the heads of government, police and press as his colleagues. Although, unlike many of them, he admired the efforts of a certain wall-crawler. The Captain had made an in-depth study of Spider-Man, concluding that he was much more hero than villain. A man driven to help his fellow man in order to atone for some dark deed, he had concluded. A man of the highest moral fibre, who continued to help his fellow citizens despite the hatred and bile that would often come his way. A man who, Stacy had theorised, he might know all too well.
As he witnessed Doc Ock strike the chimney, resulting in the hail of bricks, Stacy moved to the front of the crowd, to help maintain a safe perimeter. To his horror, Captain Stacy's eyes fell upon a young toddler drawn to the sounds of the battle, and the spectacle of the brightly coloured protagonists.
The child stood directly in line of the falling building debris!
"Look out son!" cried Captain Stacy, "Look out!"
With scant regard for his own safety, Stacy dived towards the stricken child, pushing him to safety. The child broke into tears as he was shoved into the nearby wall - a sound his mother breathed in as she would the scent of lavender. The child lived!
But was Captain Stacy so lucky?
The act of saving the child had meant that Stacy had taken the brunt of the falling bricks and mortar.
"He's got to be alive!" Spider-Man swung down to the pile of ruins. "He's got to!" With his incredible Spider-Strength, Parker smashed into the heap, tossing bricks over his shoulder in despair. "He's got to!" screamed Spidey, as a green suit emerged from under the cloud of dust.
"I'm done for son" spoke the weak voice of George Stacy, as Spider-Man uncovered the battered face of the Captain.
Refusing to believe Stacy's prophecy, Parker gathered his friend into his arms and scaled the walls to the rooftops as fast as he could.
"There's a doctor in the next building." Parker exclaimed in an attempt to lift the spirits of the father of his love but Stacy begged him stop. Spider-Man put down the captain on the rooftop as requested. Slowly, painfully, George Stacy began to speak: "It - it's Gwen. After I'm - gone. There'll be no-one to look after her." The Captain stared directly into the white unshowing eyes of Spider-Man, "No-one Peter - except you!"
And in that instant, Peter Parker realised Captain Stacy had known all along his terrible secret. He knew yet never gave him away, despite the pressure of being a retired policeman, a friend to some who labelled him a criminal and a father to the girl he loves. He knew.
"Be good to her - son" Stacy gasped. "Be good - to her"
And with that, Captain George Stacy passed from this mortal coil.
The Struggle for Breath
"Spider-Man!" shouted the voice.
The Wall-Crawler held the still figure of Stacy. Underneath his mask, tears flowed. Despair had a new friend. Spidey's thought drifted back to Uncle Ben. A man who was like a father to him when his parents had perished. And now, the only other man in his life, dear George Stacy, had died.
Dead - because of Spider-Man.
"Spider-Man!" shouted the voice a second time.
Parker didn't know whether to hope the voice came from Doctor Octopus or not. His fighting motivation had dropped completely, yet to get his hands on the lousy neck of that criminal...
Spider-Man looked to the sound of the shouting. It was the doctor he had been carrying Stacy too! With his superhuman speed, Spidey had carried the cadaver to within a couple of floors of his surgery.
"Don't just sit there man!" shouted the doctor. "Get that person up to my theatre."
Spidey complied with the request and, in a couple of leaps, was with the doctor.
"It's too late. I was too late." mourned a dejected Spider-Man. "He's dead already."
The doctor assembled his instruments around the dormant figure of George Stacy as he said scornfully, "Yeah, well we ain't all blessed with super-powers!" ("blessed" thought Parker, almost laughing at the tragedy of that belief) "Us mere mortals have to fight for life. He's not been gone long." The doctor pushed Spidey aside to gain him more room in the surgery. "There may still be a chance."
Despite all his power, Spidey stood like a statue. Had he given up too soon? Could he really be alive? Spidey stuttered "A - anything I can do, doc?
The doctor told him he needed room to operate. The best thing Spider-Man could do was to contact the victim's family. Prepare them for the worst but let them know the medical staff are doing all they can to save a life.
Well, thought Spider-Man, I can easily say I came here to take pics for the Bugle. That would explain my being here to Gwen. Gwen - the poor girl. How can I tell her that Spider-Man - that I - was responsible for her father's death?
Approximately eight and a half hours later (sorry, stats fans but I lost count of the exact time in all the excitement), the once deceased Captain George Stacy slowly lifted his eyelids.
The first site to meet his weary eyes was that of Gwen - his beautiful blonde daughter. Mascara ran down her red eyes, her hair tousled and lank, showing the strain of the last few hours. But her mouth? In there, beamed a smile of joy that would gladden the heart of Electro, Sandman or, even, the Vulture. And certainly of her dear father.
"Dad!, Dad!" smiled the girl. Gwen would have flung herself over the old man had the doctor not reminded her that Stacy had only recently had a major heart operation. "Peter told me that he saw you die. The doctor - he - oh, dad!" and with that Gwen broke down.
George Stacy's gaze moved to the left, where sat a nervous Peter Parker. Peter was unsure how much Stacy remembered of the fight. Did he realise Parker was actually Spider-Man? And, more importantly, did he blame Spider-Man for his near death?
"Gwen," the Captain throatily spoke, "I'm rather thirsty. Would you mind bringing me a glass of water? Not from the faucet. Could you fetch a bottle from the local store." Gwen nodded as Parker looked toward the stricken policeman. "It's okay Peter, you can stay with me."
The blonde girl departed to run her father's errand, completely unaware of the prestigious conversation about to take place.
"Sir," spoke Parker, "I'm not sure how much you remember but if you'd like me to go forever -"
"It looks as though our secret's out." smiled Stacy.
"I never meant to put you in danger," Parker spoke, gazing in despondency at the floor. "or your daughter."
Stacy grasped Parker's hand and, with laughing eyes, bid Parker look at him. "Danger's part of the job in my line of work." he smiled. "And I can see why you have a secret identity. It's to protect people like my daughter, isn't it?"
"Yes sir." spoke Peter, still unable to meet Captain Stacy's eyes. "Gwen and my Aunt May. If my enemies ever knew -"
Stacy's brow turned quizzical as he enquired why Peter took those risks then still? Painfully, Parker related the story of the spider, allowing that criminal to run past and the murder of his Uncle Ben. George could see how damaged the boy was. How driven he was to attain for a sin that Stacy did not believe he was guilty of. His innate desire to do good without compromise.
With that, Gwen returned from the store with Stacy's bottle of water - not that George ever drank the stuff. He could not see the point of buying something that he already had provided by the city for a lot less dollars. Gwen had realised that of course but figured it must be something to do with the operation.
"Peter, we'll talk later." Stacy's smile had returned. "I've got a proposal for you." he smirked.
A Spider's Choice
Two weeks later and Captain Stacy, the old warhorse that he is, was up and around. Although still weak, his recovery at home was highly enhanced by the devotion of his daughter, who catered to his every need.
Peter Parker, however, kept his distance from the Captain. Although it appeared that Stacy held no malice over his accident, Parker could not help but feel responsible. He resolved to do whatever the Captain desired of him. If a mind like George thought that Spider-Man was doing more harm than good, I'll accept that and resign my tights forever, felt Parker.
Or if he felt the alter-ego of Spider-Man was too dangerous for his own sweet daughter then I'll protect her in every way possible, resolved Peter. Even if that means leaving her and New York.
With a shudder, Parker glanced at the time. "Better phone Gwen now, I guess." Parker picked up the receiver and dialled. Two rings then, much to his surprise, a male voice answered his call.
"Ah, hello, I was, erm, trying to reach Gwen Stacy?" inquired Parker.
"Peter!" exclaimed Captain Stacy. Ah, right, his voice was still weak, so Parker had not recognised him. "It's George. I'm afraid Gwen is rather indisposed at the moment."
Parker wondered if that was a mere excuse. "I understand sir. Would you mind if I called later? I'll completely respect your wishes if -"
"Hush now, son." commanded Stacy. "There's no need to speak to her on the telephone. Come round, boy. I'm sure that daughter o'mine would be glad to see you. And I wouldn't mind a quick chat too -"
"Yes sir." Peter made an appointment with dread. This is it, he thought. My whole future on a pin. Parker took the Spider-Man costume out of his wardrobe. "I very much doubt I'll be seeing you again, buddy" Spidey threw the threads into the bottom of his wardrobe, "but maybe that's for the best."
Parker arrived at the home of the Stacy's. Pleasantries were exchanged, cake eaten and coffee drunk. Peter was dreading when the Captain was going to 'have a little chat'. He didn't have long to wait, however, as Gwen had already arranged to visit an aunt after less than an hour of Peter arriving. As her father was aware of that, she could not understand why he had invited Peter all the over for such a short time. But both Stacy and Parker knew -
"Okay, now that Gwen's gone, I want to make you an offer -" spoke George Stacy.
Parker had expected this. The Captain wouldn't turn Peter in if he dropped Spider-Man and kept away from his daughter. It was more than fair. "Sir, what ever you wish me to do, I'll accept. Do you want me to tell Gwen, or will you -"
"Gwen?" said Stacy with confusion. "What has she -", then Stacy laughed. "You think I want you to leave my daughter alone? No, son. I want you closer."
Now it was Parker's turn to be confused.
"You see," continued Stacy, "we're in the same business. I have no official role in police matters since I retired. You're also on the side of justice, with no official role."
Parker had to agree but pointed out that Stacy was not being hunted like Spider-Man for a crime he never committed.
"True, son." he nodded. "But that's because I have unoffical power. I have a network of contacts. I have a background of being instinctively right and am a source of trust for people in the highest positions of power. My opinions carry some weight."
Again, Parker agreed but stated that he had no such background, either as the renegade Spider-Man or as the poor student and part-time photographer, Peter Parker.
"But you could!" began Stacy. "Join with me! I would be able to sanction some modicum of belief in you from the powers-that-be. We already have some loose agreements with some people like you. The government readily corresponds with the Fantastic Four. Why do you think Captain America is allowed to run through the streets, with police officers saluting, not shooting?"
"Yeah but Captain America's a hero -" interrupted Parker.
"So are you m'boy!" exclaimed Stacy. "The city doesn't know what to think. We see you battling the Lizard or the Green Goblin on TV and we want to believe you're on our side. But with the newspapers and police looking for you to be arrested, it makes us unsure. With me stating your case to the police chiefs and the Mayor, we can change that opinion."
"But my aunt -" argued Peter.
"Wouldn't need to know." countered Captain Stacy. "At least, not until she's come round to the idea of Spider-Man being a hero. You would keep your costume, your secret identity. I don't know who that Iron Man fella is under that tin helmet," continued the Captain, "but with the people that are on his side, I know he's a good man, whoever he is. That could be you."
"And Gwen?" said Parker as he bit his lip.
"Ah, now there's a problem." Stacy relaxed into his armchair. "She would need to know. Imagine how she would feel if anything happened to you. Her not knowing where you had gone. Or worse, seeing you unmasked. You never having told her. What would you want Gwen to do with any of her burdens, hmm?"
"Why, share it with me of course." explained Peter. "But I'm doing this for her."
"Yes, I understand Peter. But she has a right to know."
"You're right sir." agreed Parker. "I've wanted to tell her - both of you - for some time now. I just never found the right time."
Then the door slammed. "Dad? It's me. Auntie took ill. Is Peter still here?"
The Web of Justice
"This seems a good a time as any, son"
Parker gasped, "But sir, I'm not ready. I don't know what -"
Stacy waved the boy to sit and insisted on doing the opening lines.
"We're in here, Gwen!" shouted George. As Gwen opened the door, her father bid her sit. "Gwen, there's something I need to say to you. You remember what I told you about that accident?"
Gwen grimaced, a tear falling from her eye. "Yes, it was that horrible Spider-Man. Fighting against that stupid Doctor Octopus in one of their pointless little juvenile battles."
"Now, now, there was nothing 'juvenile' about it." said Stacy as he wagged a finger. "Spider-Man was fighting to save the city. I've told you before, there's a very brave young man in that suit."
"Yes, fighting to be famous -" spat Gwen.
"No! Fighting so that his family and friends are safe. He does all that for no money. He hides his face, so that his loved ones are safe."
"Yeah, well" raged Gwen, "it didn't stop him from nearly killing you!"
Captain Stacy rose from his armchair and took his daughter in his arms. "That's not what happened. Spider-Man saved me. He gathered me in his arms and rushed me to that doctor. It was Doctor Octavius that was to blame. Spider-Man saved my life."
"I want to believe you, dad." sobbed Gwen. "I really do. But we don't know who's behind that mask. It could be a front for a criminal. For a mobster. Or a - a -"
"Gwen, honey." Peter stood up opposite Gwen as she stood back from her father. "It's me. I'm Spider-Man. It's really me. I am Spider-Man."
Gwen laughed. "This isn't the first time you've said that Petey. You are definitely not Spider-Man."
Captain Stacy grasped his daughter's arms. "He is Gwen." Her eyes searched deep inside her father as he spoke. "Peter Parker is Spider-Man."
Tears cascaded down the pretty teenager's face as she wept "But how, Petey? How could you do such a thing?"
"It was my Uncle Ben" started Parker, as he explained his origin and the need for a secret identity. "So you see, I made a promise to help people. I've got this power. I can't abuse it. It's a responsibility, not a toy."
Gwen sat on the armchair with her face buried in her hands. "So, you hide your face - for me? So dad, why now? Why has Peter told me now?"
Her father explained that he had suspected for some time that Peter was not all he seemed. Now that his secret was out, his contacts and detective knowledge could help him. Not only could he get any arrest warrants dropped but by using technology and police skills, he could make both the streets and Spider-Man safer.
Peter expected Gwen to be revulsed by the idea of him becoming the daredevil Spider-Man again but Parker had not reckoned with Gwen being the daughter of a captain of the New York City Police Department. A sense of justice and right had long been ingrained into her personality.
Gwen stood up, smiled and took Peter's face in her hands. "So then, Mr. Spider-Man? Is there room for a Spider-Girl? I want in!"
Parker coughed. "But Gwen, I've got special powers! You can't just put on a costume and - and -"
Gwen put a finger to Peter's lips, "Hush silly. I'm not going to go out and dangle on one of those little threads. Beside which, red and blue doesn't suit me."
Gwen grasped her father's hand. "So dad, while you're out there sweet-talking all your government and police pals and Mr. Web-Head is out there catching bad guys, whose going to be manning the Spider-Computer?"
"Spider-Computer - ?" spluttered Parker.
"And who's going to be in the Spider-Lab, mixing up your Spider-Web chemicals? And who's going to be - um - Spider-Listening on the, erm, Spider-Radiothingy?"
"Uh, you mean you, Gwen?" said an astounded Peter Parker.
"Well done, man o'mine." smiled the blonde teenager. "You just hit the jackpot."
And so, the Spider-Lab was created (actually renamed the Spider's Lair), the Spider-Computer was installed (or the Spiderputer as they called it) and the Spider-Radiothingy (they kept the name) manned.
Captain Stacy convinced the heads-on-high that Spider-Man be named a Special Police Officer, with his identity to remain hidden. This afforded Spider-Man a much greater array of intelligence at his disposal, all operated by Spider-Lady (as Gwen renamed herself). And, although the look of the costume stayed true to the original, the threads were upgraded by Stark Enterprises for a more efficient, longer-lasting web-shooter, which could mix a variety of chemicals for different types of foes. Bionic linings enhanced both Parker's strength and speed, whilst the eye mask housed infra-red lenses, as well as cameras that relayed the action back to Spider-Lady. This, in turn, could be used as further evidence for convictions in Spidey's new police role.
Five years on (four years, nine months and twenty-three days to be exact - you statisticians keeping notes?) and Captain Stacy beamed with pride. On his arm, was his beautiful daughter, covered in a white veil. Aunt May wiped a tear from her eye in her wheelchair as Mrs. Watson, her daughter Mary Jane and MJ's fiancée Flash Thompson looked on.
At the altar, Peter Parker was more nervous than in any battle with the Scorpion. At his side was his best friend Harry Osborn, who nervously fidgeted with the ring. He glanced back to get a reassuring smile from his father, Norman -no longer haunted by the Green Goblin. Parker's tip-off to police meant that Norman's mental imbalance could be safely controlled by psychiatry and medicinal drugs. Sitting alongside from Norman was J. Jonah Jameson. Despite Parker having resigned from his work as a photographer some years ago to become a trusted biochemist for the Osborn Foundation, JJJ was still barking orders at Peter, telling him to stand straighter, not slouch, do his tie up, etc, etc...(in truth, Jonah was only invited as a friend of the bride's father - much to the chagrin of Parker).
And so, Peter Parker had super-powers, a beautiful loving wife, a job he was appreciated for, a wonderful extended family, a great best friend and supportive circle of friends.
He always was one of the lucky ones...
OTHER TALES BY CHRIS SMILLIE
Thor in the DC Universe (fancomics): join Marvel's Thundergods as he heads to the DC worlds of New Genesis, Earth-S, Earth-X and Earths 1 and 2.
Marvel Team-Up: Spider-Man & Thor v Hulk: Spidey is in for a surprise as he bends the truth to gain a study vacation in Florida. For there's a Green Goliath ready to meet him. And his only hope? Thor, the Asgardian god of thunder. But first, Web-Head needs to save him!
Silver Surfer v Superman & Batman: In an attempt to escape the barrier erected by Galactus around Earth, the Silver Surfer breaks through a dimensional rift to the DC Universe. Such an outpouring of energy, however, does not go unnoticed by this World's Finest heroes...
Space: 1999 The Vanishing Web: Following an accident with exploding nuclear waste, the crew of Moonbase Alpha find themselves marooned and adrift in space. Coming across a massive technological array, the Alphans must wonder what new deadly threat awaits them now.
The Deterrent: On the planet ship inhabited by the Cymorrians, the ultimate defender, the Deterrent, watches over his space-faring race. In the tradition of his people, there comes a time when the Chosen must take on the mantle, whilst being trained by the incumbent. But what happens when the incumbent is no longer around to guide the new Deterrent? The Deterrent is a story of growing from a boy into a man but at the heart of the tale is intrigue, manipulation, secrets and sacrifice. Whether Char will heed the advice to follow his duty or delve into mysteries best left alone remains to be seen. "comparable to (Alan) Moore's Marvelman" (Comics Bulletin)