Spider-Oracle Petitions (28-Apr-2019)

From Cody

I have two questions. The first concerns that golden notebook that seems to appear everywhere in mid-80s Spider-Man titles. In the Secret Wars II tie-in, the Beyonder turns a building into gold and Peter takes a notebook. He is tempted to use it for himself but ultimately sells it to a shady buyer, using the money to pay Nathan’s hospital bills. I thought the notebook’s journey was done then, but I’ve been filling in Peter David’s excellent Spectacular run and I noticed that the Black Cat steals that notebook from the Beyonder in SSM #116. How did the Beyonder come to get the notebook and where does it finally end up?

Felicia didn't get the gold notebook from the Beyonder. It came into the possession of the Foreigner via a fence in SSM #115. From our review of the issue:

"Elsewhere at a penthouse office, a redheaded man is trying to fence a solid gold notebook to the Foreigner. Forry says he'll take it -- but challenges the fence to two identical boxes: one containing half a million quid, and one containing "a very touchy snake" -- and to pick one, saying the fence will die if he picks the wrong one. The fence passes, Forry says a much smaller fee is waiting outside for the gold notebook. As he leaves Forry says little did the fence know that both boxes contained money, saying the fence must've lacked courage, and that next time maybe he'll put snakes in both boxes to make things interesting."

In SSM #116, Felicia is seen stealing it from Foreigner's penthouse, when she runs into some of his thugs who beat her for a bit (before she kicks their asses).

She ends up melting the gold notebook down and adding gold trim to her mid to-late-80's new costume and that was the end of it (I think we first see this in SSM #117 where she mentions it as she's trying to break in to Dr Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum).

For the record, Spider-Man acquired the notebook from Iron Fist & Power Man's building after Beyonder turned it to gold in Web Of Spider-Man #6). Peter sold the notebook in Web of Spider-Man #15. The comics do not show how Foreigner obtained it. But clearly Peter David just figured he would use it since Michelinie got rid of it. Sort of a cross-title game of "hot potato".

From Cody

Second, I was wondering what Peter Parker and Curt Connors’s relationship is in the comics. In Nick Spencer’s Spider-Man run in 2018, he mentions that Peter was Connors’s teaching assistant, presumably at ESU. However, I can’t remember when this actually happened in the comics.

As far as I can remember, Connors only really knows Spider-Man, helping him out from time to time in the 70s. How did he ever come to know Peter? Was Peter ever his TA, or is this Spencer rewriting continuity to match their relationship in Raimi’s movies? If there’s one time frame I could imagine them interacting, it’s Bill Mantlo’s Spectacular run, which I haven’t read yet. I recall the Lizard being on a few covers and Peter was attending ESU at the time.

Peter was a graduate student and teacher's assistant (for the science department at ESU) during Bill Mantlo's run in Spectacular back in the late 1970's. Spectacular Spider-Man #32 was the start of the Iguana arc which introduced Doc Connors as a professor at ESU and Peter as a post-graduate teacher's assistant.

As an aside, in the Spectacular Spider-Man TV (2008) cartoons, Eddie Brock was definitely a graduate assistant for Connors.

From Cody

Also, I just read Steven Grant’s short, extremely mediocre Spectacular run from SSM #204 to SSM #210 and have some questions about how his subplots eventually panned out:

  1. Do any other writers ever acknowledge Marla Jameson’s idea to divorce Jonah or does that just go under the rug?
  2. Is Spectacular Spider-Man #210 the official end of the Flash/Felicia romance?
  3. Does anyone ever get around to explaining who took over the Foreigner’s assassin business? If so, when? (Side note: It’s really sad to see how the Foreigner turns from a cool villain in Peter David’s Spectacular run to a F-list idiot in the 90s. Man, the 90s destroyed nearly every Spidey villain’s reputation.)
  4. Liz officially detaches herself from Oscorp in this run too. But, I know she eventually takes over the business. When does her change in attitude happen? I seem to remember her running Oscorp in the post-Clone Saga period.

You again?! Alright, let's see what we can do with these questions.

  1. This was never mentioned again.
  2. That was indeed the end of their romance. There is a back-up story featuring Felicia fighting some villains near where Flash is having a date in Web of Spider-Man Annual 1995 (aka "Web of Spider-Man Super Special", as a sort of coda.
  3. Justin Hammer was responsible for shutting down the Foreigner's infrastructure and sending him "back to basics". See Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual #14 (Story 2).
  4. Finally, regarding Liz. During Spider-Man: Legacy of Evil and her appearances in the Urich/Green Goblin books, Liz is depicted more/less as a stay-at-home (albeit wealthy) widower. During the the Blood Brothers arc from Clone Saga II, Reilly mentions that Raxton runs the day-to-day for Osborn Industries, and that Liz "watches over the company."

Liz and Raxton help uncover the infamous Multivex Industries ASM #412. By the time we see her in the Revelations arc in Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #240, she is running the whole company as President & CEO. She talks to Flash about this transition during Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives.

Note that the name of the company was Osborn Industries, not Oscorp! However the 90's cartoon called it Oscorp, and Brian Michael Bendis used the name Oscorp in his Green Goblin story starting in The Pulse #1. Just another corporate re-branding.

From Cody

Otherwise, I have a few questions from 70s Spider-Man that have randomly popped into my head.

  1. Was it Harry who took the Goblin costume off of Norman after he died? I’m 99% I remember it was.
  2. Who took that picture of Spider-Man unmasking his clone that Jonah obtained in ASM #169? I read Wein’s run and now I’ve totally forgotten that detail.

You are testing my Oracular patience, young Cody!

  1. You mean after Norman "died" in ASM #122. Yes it was Harry, as told in PPSM #75 and confirmed in Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal. In fact this was confirmed years earlier in ASM #126 when Harry has the costume and says words to the effect of "Now this costume is mine!"
  2. Barton Hamilton, Harry Osborn's psychiatrist as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #180.

Note that the theme of Harry dragging his dad out of trouble goes back right to the very start of things. The events of Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual #14 (Story 1) show Harry pulling his father out of the very first explosion (the one during which Norman acquired his powers from the Green Goblin formula). Despite a lifetime of dad berating him for his "spinelessness", Harry has in fact been rescuing his father repeatedly since day one.