Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #403

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This story is part of an Arc: "Trial of Peter Parker"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Peter was imprisoned awaiting trial for full multiple murders in Utah on the basis of fingerprint evidence. He didn't do it and his clone Ben Reilly has swapped places with him so Peter can be with his pregnant wife, Mary-Jane. MJ has been told that there could be a problem with the baby she's carrying due to Peter's infected blood. Judas Traveller has been revealed as some sort of mysterious, well traveller, who is hundreds of years old and is searching for the true meaning of evil and good. Peter saved his life after he had played with the time continuum. A new Green Goblin has appeared - and seems to be a good guy - and the mysterious character of Kaine is still over-looking the events in Peter's life. Also, the Jackal has yet another Peter clone.

In Detail...

"Judgement At Bedlam"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #403
Jul 1995 : SMURF 403.500 : SM Title
Arc: Part 2 of "Trial of Peter Parker"
Editor:  Danny Fingeroth
Writer:  J.M. DeMatteis
Pencils:  Mark Bagley
Inker:  Larry Mahlstedt, Sam DeLaRosa
Cover Art:  Mark Bagley
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Articles: Watson, Anna, Ben Reilly, Carnage, Carrion II, Kafka, Dr. Ashley, Kaine, John Jameson (Man-Wolf), Mary Jane Watson-Parker, Shriek, Stunner, Vermin

Spidey re-materialises underneath Ravencroft in a courtroom. Judas Traveller is standing as judge with Carnage as the prosecutor, Ashley Kafka and John Jameson on defence and Shriek, Chameleon and others on the jury. Traveller says Spidey is on trial because he wants to know that if Spidey didn't exist, maybe the super-villains wouldn't either. Kaine is supposed to be the main defence counsel, but attacks Traveller saying how dare he stand in judgement of Spider-Man. He tries to give him the mark but Traveller is immune. Traveller slaps him down and says the trial must begin. The first prosecution witness is Carnage.

At the real court, MJ is on the stand and trying to cover for the fact that Peter had been buried by Kraven at the time of the murders. She can't give a proper answer and the prosecution jump on it.

In the Ravencroft court, Carnage says if it wasn't for Spidey, there'd be no symbiote, hence no Carnage (true). When it comes to Kaine's turn, he says Cletus Kasady was a murderer beforehand so it made little difference. They then fight before Traveller stops things. The next witness is Malcolm McBride (the recovering Carrion). Carnage says Carrion was created because of Prof Warren and his obsession ultimately with Peter. He unmasks Spidey. Peter loses it and breaks free saying Traveller has done enough to him. Traveller turns to the jury and they find Spidey guilty, the sentence - death.

All the villains pile in to carry out sentence and Spidey with Kaine fight for each other. Suddenly it all stops. Traveller reveals none of it was real. All the inmates are back in their cells - it was all one of his experiments to find out what was in Peter's heart. He says the reasons for experimenting will remain his own and he teleports Kaines and Spidey back.

Stunner is there, waiting and starts beating on a depleted Kaine.

Back at Ravencroft, Carnage still has knowledge of who Spidey is. Traveller drops in and batters him, though so he forgets.

In General...

This part is pretty irrelevant and, to be honest, you really can read parts 1, 3 and 4 and have it make as much sense. Cletus Kasady's name is spelled three different ways in this issue!

Overall Rating...

A poor spot in the overall arc.