Astonishing Spider-Man #14
Astonishing Spider-Man
Electric Company
Writer: Ben Kaine
Editor: Paul Hahn

"Someone's nervous," Max Dillon said, a small cloud of smoke escaping his nostrils. He repositioned the cigarette in his mouth and smiled.

The New York Temporary Containment Facility was designed with all possible caution, despite its rush in construction to make up for the demolition of the Vault. The visiting room that Prisoner 3724 Max Dillon now sat in had been reinforced with titanium and designed so as to be completely contained. A nonconductive buffer had been placed within the walls as well, refusing to allow any electricity to escape the room.

The restraining gauntlets upon Max Dillon's arms only added to the security. Activated, they drained and dispersed any electrical power that he could generate to his aid. They had cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, simply for one set.

Only the best for ELECTRO.

For that was the alias of the man that Kari Kline now sat across from. Max Dillon had been a supervillain for a number of years, barely foiled in his plans by the superheroes that had risen to combat his kind. Men and women such as Spider-Man, Daredevil, the Avengers. They had beaten him and given him over to Justice, and for it he was now paying for his crimes in prison.

Unless all went to plan now. Then, Max Dillon would be free. And the teenage mutant Kari Kline would have a mentor to teach her how to wield her own electricity generation powers.

"I- I'll be fine," Kari said, but she knew that she wouldn't. She was about to free one of the most dangerous men alive. How was that 'fine'?

This wasn't how she had thought of herself. She had always believed in the things that people like Captain America (and her personal favorite, Spider-Man) stood for. It was the circumstances that had brought about this horrible situation. Her mutant power to generate electricity had emerged only weeks ago, resulting in the death of her high school teacher. She had run away, a stupid thing to do, but then she had returned with the help of her new friend Angela Stoic, the superheroine Quiver. She had been ready to face the Law.

Until they had threatened her family. She didn't know who "they" were: Bigots, she simply knew, who had begun their siege on her folks when they'd learned she was a mutant. And as soon as she had freed Max Dillon, he would teach her how to fight back.

And she would make sure that she made it hurt when she did.

"You'd better be, Girl. Because it's showtime," Max Dillon said, puffing upon his cigarette. How could he be so calm? "I've already outlined the whole plan with you. You took care of everything I told you to. Car. Money. All that's left is for you to walk out that door."

And he looked to the exit when he said it. At exactly that moment, a guard opened that door and stepped inside, saying: "Alright, Miss Kline. Time's up. Hope you've got enough for your report now, 'cause you're gonna need another slip to talk to Electro here again."

Kari stood. Max smiled. She wished he wouldn't.

She could swear she heard her heart beating, and felt sure that the guard could hear it too. Kari obediently picked up her small purse and walked to the guard, who held the door open with a gentleman's grace-

Kari Kline stopped. Reached out with her hand to the guard. He looked down at it quizzically and she said "Thank you". He shrugged, shook it, and screamed as the electricity surged through him. There was the smell of cooking flesh as she held on for dear life, not daring to let go as she continued to let the power course through him. Max Dillon leaped to his feet, crashing his restraints against the head of the guard. The man fell unconscious.

As she looked down at the guard, she had the urge to say "I'm sorry". Max ripped the gun out of the guard's holster and ran out of the room. She had little choice but to follow.

In the hall, guards already rushed from wherever they had been when the first scream had rang out, and Max Dillon's newly-acquired gun met them head-on. They retreated as the bullets flew.

"This way! To the Possessions Office!" Max yelled. She ran with him through a set of doors and down a flight of stairs as the prison alarms whooped all around them. Max fired another shot at the regrouped guards that were attempting to follow and kicked in the next door.

They entered the sign-out area, where prisoners that were being set free went to claim their things. Max leaped over the desk, disappearing into the storage room behind the desk without even waiting for her.

"Mister Dillon! Wait! What am I supposed to-?!"

"The door, Kid! Lock it!"

She did, praying silently. She could hear the guards barking orders on the other side of it. They were going to come in, and she didn't know how to use her powers well enough to defend herself- 'Oh God,' she thought, 'I hope that guard is alright.'

How were they going to escape? Electro still had his restraints on, which prevented him from using his powers. and although she had the same powers, she was far too inexperienced and weak to use them. They were probably already surrounded.

The door began to shake as the guards beat on it. "Mr. Dillon-!" she began to yell again-

"Uh uh uh!" she heard him say. "The name, my dear- is ELECTRO!"

He had returned from the storage room still clutching the simple .38 Police Special pistol, but now wearing the costume that he had made infamous. Green tights with the yellow "lightning bolt" insignia flashing over them- Upon any other person, it would have looked comic.

But Max Dillon had murdered people in it. The sudden realization that he might murder in it once more now was a powerful thought, but Kari was far more frightened by the immediate threat now- The guards had almost broken in.

"Whoops. Looks like they've about made it," Electro said, jerking her away from the door by the wrist. He frowned. She could almost see the gears working in the criminal's head. No electrical powers except for a young, frightened girl's. How to get out?

"Sorry about this in advance, Kid," she heard him say. The guards burst in suddenly, hurling the door to its hinges with small explosives. By the time they could place a single foot in the room, though, Electro had thrown his arm around Kari's neck- and pressed the gun's barrel to her head.

"I've got a hostage!" he announced.

"Shi-!" "Hold your fire!" "No-" "Electro! Listen. Let her go."

"Sorry, Guys. I've got a date with destiny just outside that courtyard," Electro said, stepping forward. "And I'm quite willing to blow some brains out to get there. Now throw the guns down and keep your hands where I can see them. I want you all outta here!"

They had argued for only a few more moments, after which Electro had pulled back the hammer of the weapon defiantly and they had caved. Clutching her tightly, he made his way out into the yard of the containment facility, spotlights shining down upon him.

"I want a chopper!" he called several times. Someone finally said one was on its way and shouts for him to release Kari Kline continued to fill the air. Electro was far too busy conspirating with her to do it.

"See the restraints?" he asked her. She nodded. "Grab 'em. You've got a pretty good amount of juice in you, and they were only designed to contain my power."

Her hands found the restraints that adorned his wrists and she began to utilize one of the few powers she could: the charging of an object or person by contact. Several small lights on the sides of the restraints turned red as Electro suddenly joined in the assault, charging the machinery with all of the power at his command.

Something suddenly smelled like smoke. The lights on the restraints went off.

"Yesssss!" Electro smiled. "No sense in waiting for that chopper now, Sweetheart. Not that they would have given it to us. ELECTRO-IS-FREE!"

He seized her by the wrist and suddenly lifted into the air, his entire body glowing white with inconcievable electrical power. A chorus of screams arose, then, as the spotlights suddenly burst in explosions and power charged through every guard upon the walls. Electro smiled. Like a white bullet in the night air, he burst over the wall and careened through the sky with her in his arms, victorious.

"Free!" he kept crying joyously into the night.

So why did it feel to Kari like she had created a dark, dark prison for herself.?

He waited as the phone rang once, twice, thrice. No answer. Peter Parker hung up.

Where the heck was Ben? Peter's 'brother' hadn't even shown up to work at the Daily Grind the day before. Had he been attacked? Leaped into action as Spider-Man (or perhaps the Scarlet Spider) once more, finding some new danger? Peter supposed that was possible. Ben had made references several times, though he hadn't gone into it any further, that he had done some super- work during his five years out West.

It was rather funny, actually. Peter remembered reading once or twice about Spider-Man foiling a robbery of some sort out in Seattle or Chicago. It had confused the heck out of him then. Now, he realized just how active Ben had been during those five years. He wondered just how much of Ben Reilly's life before his return that he didn't know about.

Mary Jane wasn't home that afternoon. She'd gone to the studio of that new designer she was working for (well, "new" wasn't exactly the word. She had known Raoul since at least their wedding), getting the tour of her new workplace. She was incredibly excited to have a regular modeling job again and he was happy for her. [-For more on the situation, read Spider-Man 2000!- Kaine-]

Still, it left your friendly-neighborhood husband a bit bored around the house. He smiled. 'Not that I don't have a way to relieve the pressure that isn't available to most.'

It seemed a little early for webslinging, but Peter supposed it was for the best. Just because Mary Jane would have a steady job again in a week didn't mean he could slack about, especially not with a new car to pay for [-The annual again!-Kaine-]! Webslinging meant the possibility of new pictures of Spider-Man, and although he was almost getting tired of himself from taking so many, it helped paid the bills.

He was dressed for the part in only a moment, and Spider-Man took his first leap into the New York morning.!

The phone had almost rang thrice, but Angela Stoic had managed to grab it just in time. She cradled the reciever in her shoulder as she wrapped a towel around her body, sighed. It had been a long day at work and she had only stepped into the shower moments ago. 'No rest for the Wicked'? In her opinion, they were the only people who seemed to get vacations.

"Hello?" she asked.

"Angela?" The voice of Kari Kline's mother. Angela's ears immediately perked.

"Mrs. Kline! Have you heard anything-?"

"Oh God, Angela, it's horrible. I just met the police and she- she's been kidnapped!"

Angela Stoic had been prepared to take the night off as QUIVER.

'No rest for the Just.'

There was a burst of applause as they entered a large apartment in New York City, and Kari Kline wasn't sure whether to be embarassed by it or scared. Electro only laughed and stretched out his arms to greet the room full of men. Most of them were obviously upon the low chain of the criminal underworld: Bruisers, Bank Robbers, men in the "protection" business. A room full of cutthroats, but she stood behind the greatest of them.

"Boys!" Electro said, raising his hands to calm the applause and whooping. ".Alright! Alright! Heh. Hey, I'd just like to-. just say 'Thank you'. Thank you for stickin' around and jumpin' on the first train here when Bobby the Bruise gave you the call and told you I was out. And let me tell you that your faith ain't misplaced. We're gonna rule this town, Boys."

"Hey. Who's the girl?" one of the men asked, and the many eyes in the room finally turned upon the teenager in their midst, an incredible oddity in such a meeting.

"Kari. 'Introduce' yourself," Electro answered. His head gave a single nod at a nearby vase, and the meaning was clear. Kari took a deep breath, stepped forward, and summoned the power that was hers to command. In a moment, her fist blazed with the crackling power of electricity, and she hurled a small bolt at a nearby radio!

The result was a charred, blackened radio that had seen its last usage. She put her arms at her sides again as several of the men whistled softly. and then came the next surprise: They began to clap. She had no choice but to smile (and even blush a little) as her display set off a new round of whooping and clapping about the room.

"Someone get 'er a beer-!" "Nice to meet ya, Kari-!" "She's underage, ya fathead-" "Nice work, Girl!" "Welcome!" "Underage? What are we, cops-?" "Touche-"

"A soda would be fine," Kari said, and a cola was almost immediately in her hands. Electro hoisted a can of his own. Soon, the toast was followed by the others.

And Kari had to admit, it was kind of nice, being so accepted.

Dmitri Bargonov smiled as he passed the rather lovely waitress, one of many that his club employed. He made his way up the stairs. Nodded to Joseph, who stood vigilantly at the door of his office. Entered.

He sat down at his deck in the large, well-furnished office and opened his drawer. Within it lay a revolver amidst paper clips, papers, and pens. His teeth set. The revolver was glued to the bottom of the drawer by a sticky, grey adhesive that he easily recognized.

"Spider-Man!" Dmitri cried as he pulled a switchblade from his pocket, but the knife was easily knocked away, and the costumed vigilante was far too quick for a second action to be made. The large, powerful form of Bargonov was easily pinned to the desk, a feat that may have been impossible for any non-superpowered man. The Russian was big. And the word on the street was that he was very dangerous as well.

Whoop de doo.

"Hey, Dmitri! Longtime no see! Practice your English any?"

There was a response that could not be recorded here, at least without a Mature rating upon this series. Spider-Man raised an eyebrow within the large, white eye lenses of his mask.

"Boy, you HAVE been practicing your English," he sighed. "Or at least your 'American'. Alright, Dmitri, I can see that we're not in the mood for a chat or, Heaven forbid, male bonding. So I'll just ask it straight out: Where's your boss?"

"I have no boss-!" Dmitri spat. With his head pinned down, however, he only succeeded in spitting upon important paperwork upon his desk. Score one for the Russian, Spider-Man thought.

"A little honesty goes a long way, Dmitri. Every two-bit on the street knows you're a part of the Russian Mob around here, so what makes you think I don't? Now let's try again. Where's Staccato? And what do you know about a guy who looks like he jumped out of Tolkien, name of 'Legerdemain'?"

"A what-? Ngh.! I will not talk, Spider-Man! And this- this is illegal-!"

"So are you. I mean, literally. You're not registered with the Immigration people. No passport. Zip. You shouldn't be here. So, I'm not too worried about legal problems. To tell you the truth, that's a breath of fresh air. The Kingpin of Crime- well, former Kingpin of Crime- almost gave me a class-action. I had to get Daredevil to bail me out. But that's another story."

"I will tell- Nothing-!"

"Hey, I've got all day- Eh?"

There was a knocking upon the door, and a voice that Dmitri recognized as Joseph's. "Mr. Bargonov," the voice said, a similar heavy accent to Dmitri's own, ".The delivery is here." And the face of the Russian gangster and club owner went white. The eyes looked up at Spider-Man, wide. Spider-Man really wished that he didn't wear a full mask at that moment. He really needed to show his smile to the world.

"Delivery, you say? Would that be Fed Ex or U.S.?" Spider-Man asked playfully.

"RUN-!" the gangster answered with a cry, and then he was unconscious with the simple flick of Spider-Man's wrist. Spider-Man hurled himself forward, barreling through the office door and littering the staircase below it with wooden shards. His 'Spider-Sense' quickly sent off a loud buzzing in his head, warning him of Joseph's gun-

Simple enough. Spider-Man kicked out with his left foot, catching the man in the stomach. Easily enough to put the big gunman down for the count. Now for whoever was making an apparently-illegal delivery-.

Spider-Man looked out over the club floor below him and immediately wished he hadn't. It was not nearly as reputable a club as he had believed it to be when he had entered Dmitri's office thruogh the window. The club was full of women, most of them exceedingly beautiful and all of them quite topless, if wearing anything. It was a strip club. Spider-Man gulped and decided at that moment: Any pictures he got in this particular bust were going to be destroyed before Mary Jane could get to them. Er, by 'bust' he didn't mean-. that is.-

'Find the courier,' Spider-Man thought, forcing his mind to focus. He looked about, quickly spotting a man carrying a briefcase. He was obviously running, not caring who he knocked down as he moved for the door. It was undoubtedly the guy Spider-Man wanted.

He fired a webline and launched himself across the club floor, landing on a man's table and barely avoiding one of the gyrating girls. Spider-Man followed the courier with all of the speed he could muster, weaving in and out of the girls and customers, hindered by the fact that he was determined on his parents' grave not to brush against anything he shouldn't.

Despite that, Spider-Man was one of the most agile men alive. As the man reached the doubledoors of the club, Spider-Man's fingers closed around his collar. The man was lifted into the air and with the parting gift of a superstrong fist to the bouncer at the door, Spider-Man escaped.

Spider-Man realized he hadn't been breathing and gasped for air as he leaped onto the roof of the building. The courier was tossed onto the brick roof. The suitcase was taken and opened.

"I don't suppose this is pure cane sugar," Spider-Man said, picking up one of the bags. "Nope."

"Listen. P-Perhaps we can cut a deal-?" the courier asked, adjusting his tie in his best 'businessman' manner. "What if. What if I were to give you half the contents of that case?"

"Wow. You must be on your third offense, Pal," Spider-Man said. "Offering up the property of the Russian Mob isn't considered healthy by Ol' Fisk himself. But no dice. You have no idea how red your friendly neighborhood blushing Spider-Man is right now under this mask from your forcing me to go through that, Blinkie, so you'll have to do better. Tell me where Staccato is."

"Staccato? I don't know! I swear it! I only talk to him by cellular phone-!"

"Give me the number."

"Da. Da. Here." He scribbled quickly upon whatever he could find in his wallet and placed the paper into the waiting hand of the crimefighter. "You- let me go now?"

"Nope. Believe it or not, Blinkie, I had help on this one. This has all been a collaborative effort with New York's Finest. Whatsay we join them?" Spider-Man said. The courier was seized again, along with the closed suitcase, and with a single leap they were upon the sidewalk. Sirens suddenly blasted along the expanse of the street. The police arrived.

"Good work, Spidey," the captain said as several officers rushed forward, grabbing the man from Spider-Man's arms. "You can be pretty helpful when you put your head to it."

"Ditto," Spider-Man said. "Look at this as Exhibit A in the People's Case Against Wasting Bullets on Your Friendly Neighborhood Wallcrawler, Captain."

"We correct mistakes when we can, Wallcrawler, and I'm gonna admit off the record that I think treating you as an enemy was one of them. You've done work with the Avengers. That's enough for me."

"Saving the city by my lonesome wasn't enough for you? Gee, thanks."

"Stick around much longer and I'm gonna have to make an attempt to arrest you, by the way. You know, just to save face. Jameson would lambast me in the next 'Daily Bugle' if he knew you were getting too chummy with the police."

"Actually, I hear that Jolly Jonah's taken a two-week vacation," Spider-Man said. "Don't worry, though. I won't push our luck. I've got to go anyhow."

He fired a webline.

"I've got to go to Confession," he mumbled, leaping away.

Desiree Winthrop knocked upon the door of Ben Reilly's apartment for what seemed like the thousandth time, but there was no answer. She sighed. Where did he go? He had seemed slightly troubled on their last date, but now it seemed as if he was actively trying to avoid her. What happened? Had she scared him away?

'As if you can't believe it,' Desiree thought sulkingly as she walked back down the hall to the building's lobby. 'You keep up the act of the care-free model, then you're surprised when a decent guy comes along and he's not interested. Good going, Desiree. Real good. Well, I don't want it to happen. Ben's great, even if he's a bit older than the guys I consider in my dating range. I-I really think I like him. And I'm going to find him, even if he's ducking me!'

"Sir?" she asked the manager. He looked up, gave her the once-over. His eyebrows said 'Not bad' for him and he waited for the college girl to continue.

"Has Ben Reilly been here recently? Apartment 14?"

"Ben Reilly's gone, Miss," he answered, puffing upon his smoke as he returned to the sports section of his newspaper. "Gave 'im back his deposit yesterday. He was in a rush to leave. Too bad. I kinda liked the guy."

Desiree's mouth went slack.

The blast of electricity left nothing but ashes where the remains of shipping crates once lay. It had all almost disappeared, consumed in the burning fire of electrical energies that Kari Kline could generate. She lowered her hand and opened her eyes, surprised by the destruction and more surprised that nobody outside the warehouse had heard the sounds of her training. Fortunately, the area was mostly used as storage by various companies. The perfect place to train in secret.

The perfect place to be mentored by Electro. The villain put his cigarette in his mouth, so as to free both hands, and gave a few loud claps. "Not bad, Kid. Not bad!"

"It's incredible," Kari breathed, staring at her own hands as if they were new objects. "I could only fire small bolts of energy before, but now- Did I do that? You weren't helping me?"

"Nope. It doesn't take much to get you on your feet, Kid. I wasn't exactly Mister Experience myself, the first time I took my shot at the Bigtime and I gave Daredevil and Spider-Man runs for their money anyway," Electro said. "Of course, now that I do have some sweat under my belt, I can do all sorts of things. I take the power now. Absorb it, dispense it, ride it like a surfboard in the skies if I want to. Deactivate, reactivate. Drain. Fill. I'm Electricity's God, Kid. and you're on your way."

" 'On my way'?"

"To the Bigtime, Kid."

"I don't want to get to the 'Bigtime', Mr. Dillon. I'm just doing this-"

"To help protect your family. Right," Electro said, standing from where he had been reclining on another set of crates. He plucked the cigarette from his lips and sighed. "Fine by me. 'Course it's no business of mine what you do. We had a deal and my part's to train you, even if you plan to go become a damned Avenger after this. But after you take down whoever's been making threats on your fam', what kind of position are you gonna be in? You've already killed a man. Helped a felon escape from prison. Run away from the Law several times. You ask me, Kid, I think the 'Bigtime' is the only place you'll be able to go now. And why not? They don't mind that you're a mutant. All of us 'scum of society'- We're like family, Kid. And you don't have one anymore, so- Think about it."

She had been breathing more quickly as he talked. He smiled, knowing he had touched cords. It would be interesting to see how this played out, he thought. Interesting indeed.

"Back to business," he said, and he noticed almost immediate relief come over her. Saved. Ha. "If you're gonna be training, you'll need to get a little field experience. So we'll need a name for you and a costume."

"A name and costume? Er, I don't know.."

"I do. The costume's being taken care of, even as we speak. I got a friend in the clothing business. The name, however, is something left to us. Too bad some ninja chick took 'Elektra', huh?" Electro smiled, sitting down again. They remained in silence for a moment as Electro seemed to go into deep thought, occasionally taking another puff of his cigarette. Then:

"I got it," he said. A loud sound suddenly hit their ears and the garage doors of the warehouse creaked open. They tensed, electricity crackling through their fingers-

One of Electro's men. 'Bobbie the Bruise'. Kari had heard that he'd been given that name after a vigilante in Hell's Kitchen named Daredevil had rearranged his face in a drug bust.

"Security comes by in another five," Bobbie said. "You two get in enough practice?"

"Oh yeah," Electro said, standing. "Be the first to welcome the newest Bigtimer, Bobbie."

He put out the cigarette.

"Welcome CHARGE!"

Peter Parker had changed out of the costume of Spider-Man two blocks away and walked the rest of the way to the Daily Bugle. It was a precaution he had been forced to implement lately, as too many villains had attempted to seek their revenge on Spider-Man by attacking the Daily Bugle. It was something he had to be careful not to do anymore, associating his other persona with any particular building.

He entered through the Bugle's doubledoors and took the elevator to the correct floor. The single guard that the Bugle had employed since the latest disaster with Osborn smiled at him as he passed. The offices of, as J. Jonah Jameson liked to call it, New York City's 'hard-fact newspaper' were as busy as ever, but there was an air of relaxation about. Peter smiled.

You could almost see the stress relief that J. Jonah Jameson's absence had caused, but he knew that most of the reporters and editors truly did miss the man. Well, it would only be one more week before Jameson returned, and maybe the old bogey would have relieved a little stress of his own. Peter said hello to Ben Urich as he passed, but the old reporter only smiled and waved. He was on the phone with someone.

Peter entered the office that was, at least for the time being, the office of Robert 'Robbie' Robertson. The old, black man looked up at Peter as he entered, obviously excited to see Peter. He only hoped that it was because the man actually had GOOD news.

"Peter. Good," Robbie said, tossing a press release into the air. Peter caught it. "Have you heard the latest on the front of Inept Supervillain Containment?"


"Electro escaped last night," Robbie said, and those four words managed to make Peter's hands clench the paper tightly. Electro? Free? But-

"I thought he'd- There were reports-" Peter began.

"That he'd reformed? Renounced his past life after he almost died in his 'Light the Night Experiment'? I know. He was even on excellent behaviour for a while. We kept getting invitations by Warden McDaniel to come down to the facility and interview him. But he escaped, all the same," Robbie said sullenly, ".and he- took a teenage girl hostage doing it. We don't have any information on the girl yet, but we're looking into it. She was apparently visiting him for a school thesis and he. just took her."

"Oh," Peter uttered. He wasn't sure what to say. He had actually held out hope for Electro, that Max Dillon might reform as the Sandman had a long time ago. He had seen the tears in the man's eyes as he had asked Spider-Man to help him, to save him from what he had begun. And now? It sounded as if he were more vicious than ever. What could have happened during that time he was in prison to-?

"I want you to go down to the facility and get a few pictures with Urich. He'll be grabbing a quote or two from Warden McDaniel," Robbie said.

"Um- Oh, alright. Yeah. Sure," Peter said. He actually caught himself reaching for the doorknob before he realized that he hadn't done what he came there to do. "By the way, I have a new roll of film for you. Most are Spider-Man-"

"That's the other thing I wished to discuss with you, Peter," Robbie said. Peter blinked, uncomprehending, but Robbie continued. "Just because Jonah isn't here doesn't mean he doesn't control this paper, and before he left the editors held a meeting with him. Allied with Martha-"

Peter had to smirk. Getting the editor-in-chief to do something nowadays required going through his wife. Peter didn't have the courage to do it out of Spider-costume, but he loved this new aspect of 'whipped' that Jonah seemed to have and made sure to target it in their little conversations.

"-we discussed this paper's longstanding- Well, I'll be honest and call it a 'vendetta' against Spider-Man. Our official editorial position is that we don't endorse him, but we've been catching a lot of flack for running so many stories on him. Some of us agree with these critics and think that running so many pictures and stories on Spider-Man may be encouraging his vigilante activities. I mean, he is getting his name in the paper, right? And a lot of vigilantes, as well as criminals, thrive on that kind of attention."

"Robbie, don't tell me-"

"I'm sorry, Peter, but at least you see where I'm going. It was decided before Jonah left on vacation: The Bugle will buy NO MORE SPIDER-MAN PHOTOS."

NEXT: A crisis in the life of the Parkers! And where has Ben Reilly gone?