Peter Parker enters J. Jonah Jamesonís office. Jonah is busy screaming at someone on the telephone. There is a piece of something hanging off of his Hitler moustache. After a heated discussion on somthing unimportant to us, he slams the phone down and glares over at Peter.|
"Parker! Iíve been looking for you all day! I need you to get down to this afternoonís outdoor press conference being held by scientist Hank McCoy! Try to get some good pictures of him!" He is screaming so hard it appears one of his cappilaries has burst.
"Sure, JJ!" Peter cheerfully replies. Heís either blissfully unaware of Jonahís anger, or terminally happy.
"Heís a real member of the community! Not like that menace Spider Man!" A cigar and random spit fly out of his mouth as he pounds his desk. Papers and other cigars scatter throughout the room.
A thought bubble forms over Peterís head, "JJ doesnít know that Iím really Spider Man. Or that I get my pictures of him by photographing myself!"
Peter snaps back into the conversation. "Iíll websling... er.. take a cab over there right now, JJ."
|Peter exits the office in a nervous rush speaking to himself. "Whew! Almost blew it back there. I canít let anyone know that this reporter is really Spider Man! Ever since I was bitten by that radioactive spider, I have dedicated my life to fighting evil. Just like my Uncle Ben would have said, Ďwith great power comes great responsibility,í and I canít forget that. Wait! Spider Sense tingling!"
Peter realizes his shoes are untied and stops his vocalized internal monologue to remedy it. He has a moment of self doubt as he thinks to himself, "Some superhero I am. Canít even keep my shoes tied."
After a minute of crouching and filling his thought bubbles with his low self esteem, Peter rushes downstairs to an alley outside. He changes into his Spider Man costume and makes a web backpack for his old clothes.
He speaks aloud, "Iíll just make a web pack for my civvies. Canít just leave them in this alley! How would Aunt May feel if I brought home a shirt that smelled like a dumpster? I canít hurt her like that. Sheís been like a mother to me all these years, but even she doesnít know Iím Spider Man. If she knew, it would worry her to death."
He then thwips a web up to a building and begins his travelling routine which is a combination of swinging and mid-air contortionism.
After getting into 7 fights with super villains and saving 14 people from muggings on the way, he arrives at the scene of the press conference where famous Avenger and scientist Hank McCoy will be appearing. He casually ducks into an alley to change into his... civvies.
|As he leaves the alley, he clumsilly crashes into a young dork with red hair and freckles. They both fall onto the sidewalk. As he is shaking the sense back into his head, Peter realizes that the dork is Supermanís pal, Jimmy Olsen! They begin to exchange quips.|
"Jimmy! Good to see ya again, pal!"
"Jeepers, Pete! Didja get the licence plate of that truck?"
"Ha ha! Youíre a real character, Jimmy! Are you here for Hank McCoyís press conference too?"
"Sure am! I heard that Beast is a real card! This should be a gas!"
"Címon, pal! Letís go find some seats!"
The two nerds get up and cheerfully sit near the front of the podium. Luckilly, there are two Lawn chairs vacant in the front. A shadowy lurky figure watches them from the shadows. As soon as they get situated, a huge blue man with a pointy haircut comes out. He begins his speech.
"Greetings and salutations, fellow bipeds. My given name is Hank McCoy, but you may know me from my more colorful label, Beast. I have given this gathering of journalistic assemblage to announce the latest biotransmorphic...."
His speech continues as he speaks over most of his audienceís heads and they pretend to understand. He and Professor Charles Xavier have developed a new cure for the flu, but Beast manages to stretch this announcement out for nearly 90 minutes. Jimmy and Peter quietly whisper to each other.
"He and Professor X found a vaccine that can prevent the contraction of influenza."
"Golly! Whatís all that mean? He slept with a floozy named Maxine?"
"Ha ha! Youíre a crack up, Jimmy!"
Jimmy nervously pulls his tie and chuckles to try to pretend he meant it as a joke. Suddenly, his giggles are interrupted by the Beastís cry of fright!
"Oh my stars and garters!"
|The Beast points upward to a group of giant four story robots that had snuck up on the crowd. Peter thinks to himself, "Did the writers forget I had a Spider Sense again, or were those giant robots somehow not triggering it?"|
His thoughts are interrupted as a blast from one of their giant hands disentegrates Jimmy Olsen. Peter gasps in horror at the skeletal remains of Supermanís pal, but realizes that the Beast will need Spider Manís help to stop these robotic monstrosities. He says aloud, "This is the pits, Jimmy. But I know someone who can set things right! Your friendly neighborhood Spider Man! You stay here. Oh. Sorry, Jimmy."
While Spidey escapes to a portable outhouse to change, the crowd is in a state of utter panic. Spidey begins to make a number of sophomoric toilet jokes. Meanwhile, the people in the crowd dash around and smash into each other. Four strangers, however, have a much more calm demeanor. A short Canadian with a haircut similar to the Beastís, a black chick with white hair, a man in strange red sunglasses, and a teenage pretty boy juggling snow balls.
|The short hairy Canadian man with a haircut similar to the Beastís leaps out of the crowd and onto the leg of a giant robot. A small box appears near him that reads:
"His name is Wolverine. He is a mutant. A person born with special DNA* that gives them powers that set them aside from the rest of humanity. He is a member of the X-men, a group of indiduals like him who have sworn to protect a world that fears and hates them. Struggling to contain his animalistic rage, he leaps with muscles that cover his adamantium laced skeleton. The strongest metal known. Heís the best there is at what he does." A smaller box appears beside the former box. It reads, "*Deioxyribonucleic Acid. The building blocks of life. - Dumbing Down Darryl"
He snarls and raises his fist while six metal claws burst out of them. He opens his fanged mouth to slobber, "Itís time for you to go to the scrap heap, bub!"
He begins chopping chunks of the robotís ankle off. Sparks and hot metal shrapnel are hurled into the crowd as the diminutive Canuck howls wildly.
Spider Man emerges from the alley and begins tying a robotís knees together with webbing. He begins his banter. "So, are you overgrown toasters enjoying your stay in my town? You should come back in a few months. Manhattan is beautiful in the FALL!"
With his masterful comedic timing, he hits the word "fall" as the mechanization topples towards the crowd. A woman looks up at the plummeting tower of machinery and instinctively covers her face. Just before the impact, an ice covered man shoulder blocks her out of harmís way. A small box appears next to him that reads, "Bobby Drake. The Ice Man. Using reflexes forged from countless battles, he uses his mutant power to freeze water molecules in the air to create an ice slide to save the helpless female." The giant robot crashes harmlessly into the ground.|
With a smooth voice that can only come from years of dating prom queens, the ice covered man says, "Gotta watch out. Youíll never know when company will drop in."
The woman tries to politely laugh, but standing in the presence of Ice Man has caused her body temperature to drop to dangerous levels, and she simply shivers as her blue lips release a quiet murmur. Spider Man appears behind the couple and says, "Thanks for the save, Frosty. I owe you one."
"Spider! Long time no see, web spinner! Howíre tricks?" Unnoticed to Ice Manís turned head, the woman he just saved collapses.
Spider Man responds with something equally casual and chit chatty as the remaining giant robots slaughter innocents behind them. They continue their conversation.
|Meanwhile, the man with the red sunglasses is barking commands as he fires red beams with his eyes. A box appears next to him that reads, "Scott Summers. Born with the uncontrollable mutant power of projecting kinetic energy from his eyes, he can only contain the powerful blasts behind his ruby quartz glasses. He fights under the name of Cyclops, and he is the leader of the rebel group, The X-men." He is performing acrobatics and bouncing beams off of chairs and trees in a brilliant display of gymnastics and spatial analysis. During this ballet of mutant eye beams he shouts, "Ororo! Use your mutant power to control the weather to take down these sentinels! Itís our only chance!" He blows the head completely off of a robot with a blast from his eyes.|
|The black lady with the white hair is busy getting pushed around the crowd. She cries out, "By the goddess! The closed space! I must breathe! I must be free! No!" A box appears over her face that reads, "Ororo Munroe. Also known as Storm. Born a thief in Cairo, and worshipped as a goddess in her native Kenya, this vision of mutant beauty fights her own claustrophobia.*"|
A second box appears that reads, "* Storm has had a fear of enclosed spaces ever since she was trapped in an abandoned elevator shaft as a thief in Cairo. - Fact finding Phil"
Seeing his teammate in trouble, Wolverine stops his gluttonous devouring of a fallen civilian to help her. "Storm! Fight, girl! Youíre an X-Man!"
"Did he say X-men? But... theyíre mutants."
"Theyíre not like us."
"Muties.... stinking muties."
"Because of their strange and fantastic powers we fear them and misunderstand them. They are mutants."
Cyclops hangs his head as the crowd begins to viciously beat Storm. He says aloud, "We have so much growing to do. The professorís dream of uniting the humans and homo-superior may never be met. It makes me wonder why we even defend them."
From the bloody pulp that used to be her mouth, Storm cries out, "No, Scott! We must never doubt the dream! The people will learn! They shall grow! I was once a thief, and now I fight for goodness! If a young Kenyan in Cairo like I could learn, so shall these people!" Her speech is cut short by a boot removing the rest of her teeth.
The five minutes of conversation was all the giant robots needed to gain the upper hand. One of them projects his internal processings out of a loudspeaker, "Query: Mutant Wolverine. Adamantium Claws and Skeleton. Mutant Healing Factor. Recommended Tactics: Hit With Vaporizer Beam." The robot fires a huge white blast out of its palm that disentigrates most of the flesh on Wolverineís body.
Another robot uses this same technique of screaming his intentions, "Query: Mutant Cyclops. Projected Optical Kinetic Blasts.* Recommended Tactics: Hit With Vaporizer Beam." Next to his enormous black word bubble, a small box appears. It reads, "*Eye beams. - laymanís terms Larry."
A similar white beam erupts from its palm that leaves a small puddle where Cyclops was standing. A few drops splatter on Ice Manís back as he retells nostalgic tales to Spidey from the days of Spider Man and his Amazing Friends.
The next robot approaches the chatty couple. "Query: Spider Man. Not Classified As Mutant. Tactical Action: Ignore. Non-ThreSKWAAAAWWK!"
A dork in a flying bathtub bursts from out of the sky firing rockets at the Sentinelís head. Spider Man realizes itís Supermanís pal, Jimmy Olsen!
"Yeeee-hawwwww!" Jimmy screams as he destroys the remaining robots. He does two loops and then flutters down to the ground next to Spider Man.
Spider Man approaches him. "Jimm-... er... sir!"
He thinks to himself, "Whoa! Canít let Jimmy know that I know his name! He might deduce that itís really his pal, Peter Parker, in these crazy duds!*"
A small box appears under Spider Man that reads, "* Spider Man is really Daily Bugle reporter Peter Parker. But you should know this from Amazing Spider Man #208. Still on shelves! - Helpful Harry."
Spider Man finishes his disjointed sentence, "Sir, werenít you vaporized during the scuffle?"
Jimmy grins, "Well, golly! Yeah! But when I died, I made a deal with Death to come back in time using Metronís Time Chair. We replaced my body with the body of an android. I, the real me, watched the fight start from a portable toilet! I saw my pal Pete run away from the fight. I guess heís scared of spiders." He gives a knowing wink to Spider Man.
Spider Man panics at Jimmyís subtle Spider Man reference he slipped casually into his story. He speaks outloud, "But if he was in that outhouse! He knows who I really am!"
Jimmy finishes his story. "So I met up with that cat, Reed Richards, and he gave me this flying Fantasticar! I thought you fellas could use some help, so I cruised over to give a hand!"
The grotesque remains of Wolverine walk up behind Jimmy and snarl, "Bub, half my friends are stains on the ground. You best start, yappiní why you didnít come by sooner, or Iíll slice you up real good, bub."
Jimmy giggles, "Wolvie! I saw this kitten across the street. Real looker! So I said, ĎWhatís a dame like you doing walkin?í And then she hopped in to my bathtub rid- Grrrk! SQUAAWWWK!!!" Wolverineís claws enter through Jimmyís neck and exit out the top of his head. Sparks shower onto the flimsy remains of the Canadian mutant.
Wolverine growls, "Itís another blasted android. Didnít smell right."
Behind Wolverine, a third Jimmy emerges from the cover of a tree. The real(?) Jimmy smiles and whistles as Cyclopsí and Stormís bodies miraculously regenerate. Jimmy opens his mouth, revealing stars, nebulae, and planets within his body. "I am Ultimus. I have taken the form of an earthling and lived among you as Jimmy Olsen for many of your Earth years. It has only been a speck on the calender for one such as me who has lived for eons. I did it to learn your ways. Your... Earthen ways. My powers are beyond limitations, and I return your comrades to you."
Storm and Cyclops spit and cough up blood.
The former dork reporter turns into a being of pure energy that still has the same silly freckles and finishes his speech, "Your Earthen ways intrigued me. And today you have taught me of your heroics. I thank you all, and I will be watching over this planet. This.... Earth."
As the stranger from another place rockets off their planet, the heroes take a moment to stand arm in arm and watch him. Itís been quite a day.