Astonishing Spider-Man #7
Astonishing Spider-Man
Home Sweet Home She Ain't
by Ryan Jent

His name is Peter Parker. At least to some. Some of his closest friends, and family members. Mary Jane Parker, Jill Stacy, Robbie Robertson, Aunt Anna.

His name is Spider-Man. At least to some. Some of his closest friends. Such as the Human Torch, the Black Cat, maybe an Avenger or two.

There are very few people who know it, but.. They're the same person. Some might actually laugh if you were to tell them that. But what do they know?

His name is Ben Parker. And that's to all. Some of his closest friends, and family members make up that all. Mary Jane Parker, Rob Stacy, Tricia Robertson, Johnny Jameson.

He's Peter Parker's son, you see. Spider-Man's son. If you told him that, he would laugh at you. His father was just a regular man, he'd say. But what does he know?

Today, his life changed. For the worst? Some might say that. For the better? Possibly.

Hours ago, the original Green Goblin's grandson, all grown up and from the future, transported Spider-Man's consciousness into his son's body. That would be Ben Parker, understand? Not really? Well, neither does Spider-Man.

Back on Earth, the Black Cat reacted the best she could. She took everything she could that would trace Parker to being Spider-Man away from the crime scene, believing him dead, and got rid of it. She went to Ben Reilly, Parker's clone--although more like a brother--and informed him of her friend's death.

Although he didn't want or plan to, Ben Reilly did what he had to do. He did what had to be done. Once you've become a superhero, there's no turning back. He put on the webs once more. The world had a Spider-Man . . . but the one true friendly neighborhood Spidey was gone.

Would he return?

"I'm not going to give up," Parker said to himself; unsure of what was going on. He didn't understand all of this. It had happened so fast. He didn't have time to comprehend, either, because according to Time Warp, he would lose his memory of even being Peter Parker soon!

*(Normie Osborn)

"Hunh?" A man grunted beside Parker; obviously picking up on the fact that Peter--or Ben--had said something.

"Oh,. nothing. I was just talking to myself," Peter replied, looking at the rather bulky man.

"Loon," the man said under his breath as he walked away.

Oddly enough, Time Warp had helped him. As it seemed, by the rather large banner hanging before him, there was a Fantastic Four reunion today.. Right where he was standing. But, reunion? Ah well . . . why question it? If the Fantastic Four were going to be there, then that meant Reed Richards.

And Reed Richards meant a ticket home.

Time Warp smiled into the mirror before him. He was quite pleased with how things were going. Not only had he succeeded in bringing Peter Parker, the astonishing Spider-Man, to his own time in order to slowly bring the hero down, but he had done it with style.

He'd avoided the Black Cat, one who's proved to be disastrous to an Osborn's plans in the past, and even devised this entire scheme himself. His father and grandfather would be proud. Not to mention his mother. Speaking of which…

"It's great to have you here, Mom," Time Warp turned, looking down at Liz Osborn, who was bound and gagged to the chair before him.

He removed the gag, and smiled. "I know you wanted to see me."

"I used to think I could change you, Norman," Liz wept, "But now I see you're as crazy as your grandfather! He did this to your father--and even though he's dead . . . He's done it to you, as well!"

"Don't be so quick to judge, mother!" Time Warp snarled, "You were once the Green Goblin as well!"

"I did it to SAVE you, Norman!" Liz shrieked. "You know that! I would have succeeded, and never went to prison, if it wasn't for Hawkeye. I just wanted my baby back!"

"Well, Mom, now you have him back," Time Warp smiled. "No need to fret."

"No, Norman," Liz sighed, "my baby died a long time ago."

"Thank you, one and all," the mayor of New York spoke into the microphone, "for attending this glorious event. For attending the reunion of the Fantastic Four!"

The crowd cheered for a moment, and then began to break; allowing a large man to pass through. Peter recognized him as one of the Fantastic Four--The Thing!

"Ah, it aint' nothin' t'be here, Mayor Thompson," the Thing spoke as he made his way up the stage, "I'm glad I kin help ya raise some money.. or whatever ya need."

From behind the Mayor came the Invisible Woman with a bright smile, "Why don't you just admit it, Ben?"


"You're doing this because you wanted to see us again," Richards smiled, giving her former teammate a hug.

"There's that too. Where's the matchstick?"

"I'm right here, big guy," Johnny Storm smiled, walking upon the stage, "It's almost like old times again, huh?"

"Almost," Susan sighed, glancing down.

"Ya know Reed wouldn't want ya ta be sad now, Suzie," the Thing tried to comfort her, "This is a happy time.. us reunitin' like this. Franklin's even here.. takin' away from his busy Avenger schedule, an' all."

"Did I forget to tell you, Mom?" came a mature Franklin Richards' voice.

From the crowd, Peter Parker stood in disbelief. But then again, didn't it figure? Since when could something in his life be this easy? Reed Richards wasn't here; for whatever reason. Whatever happened to him. Heck, if Parker knew futures like he did, then he couldn't say for sure this was even his. Looks like the Fantastic Four are out. So that leaves…

"The Avengers," a robotic voice spoke, "are not accepting visitors at this time."

Peter pressed the button once more, "No. You don't understand. It's extremely important that I talk to them! Hank Pym.. or maybe even a way to contact Tony Stark? Anything?"

"I'm afraid the Avengers are not accepting visitors at this time," it said as if it were a broken record.

"I heard you. I did. But you don't understand. This is..." He paused. "This is..."

"This is whom, may I ask?"

Oh God.. It's really happening. My memory.. Wait! "Spider-Man! This is Spider-Man!" Peter exclaimed.

"I'm beginning to think I'm going to have to call security, or possibly the police, if you don't leave. At first, you were merely annoying and stubborn. But now, you disgrace the dead?"

"Since when have the Avengers known people to actually stay dead?" Peter challenged, "I'm telling you, I'm Spider-Man! Look, I know it doesn't make any sense, but -- "

"But nothing, young man," Mary Jane spoke with a stern look upon her face, "Bailing you out of jail? There's no excuse for that."

"MJ, You don't under--"

"MJ? MJ?!" Mary Jane growled, "Last time I checked, Ben, My name was Mom, as far as you're concerned."

"But you're not giving me a chance to explain myself!" Peter argued.

"Why should I, Ben? Give me one good reason why I should? You were sneaking around Avengers Mansion and harassing the attendant there! You know I don't approve of superheroes as it is, but that's against the law, Ben. I taught you better than that. Your uncle taught you better than that. This is as bad as the time I caught you drunk."

"Mom," Peter spoke, but paused, Did I just call MJ. . Mom? "I.. I'm not who you.. think I am!"

"Then who are you, Ben? WHO?"

"I'm your husband!" Peter said, "I'm Peter Parker.."

Mary Jane stood dumbfounded, looking at her son. "I can't believe you just said that! What is that supposed to mean?! How DARE you.."

"I'm Spider-Man, MJ!"

"I mean, how could you--What?"

"It's me, MJ.. I can't explain what happened.."

"P-Peter?" Mary Jane's lip quivered, "Oh god.. H-How.."

Some passed tears and an explanation later, Mary Jane spoke. "I've missed you.. so much.."

"I'm going to fix this, MJ," Peter began, "I promise.. You won't have to go through this. Raising our. . son . . alone. Going through--"

"Not alone, Peter," Mary Jane interrupted, "I've had Ben, there. Ever since.. Ever since you.. died."


"It's not what you think," she added. "Ben Reilly.. he was alive, when you died, Peter.. When you. . came here?"

"But how? I.. don't understand.. It's not possible. I saw him die.. Saw him.."

"I don't know," MJ spoke, "But it's not important now. We have to.. send you back. Get my son.. live our life.. in the past?"

"I don't like this time traveling stuff," Parker admitted, "Remind me not to try it again.. Or at least take a flight with peanuts, next time."

"I think I know who can help you, Peter."

Next: Mary Jane does what she can...which just might lead to the final showdown between Spider-Man and Time Warp! (And maybe even Peter's ticket home?)