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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"Listen buddy. I've fought every kind of nutball on the planet. I've fought freaks, mutants, aliens and high-tech gangs. Heck, I've even fought my own costume. And you know what? You're the first one who's really ticked me off. You want me? Bring it on, chowderhead!"

-- Spider-Man, to Morlun, ASM #33


Spider-Man takes on Morlun.

(Click panels for larger images.)


Featured Characters:

Amazing Spider-Man #30-35

  • Spider-Man/Peter Parker
  • Ezekiel
  • Morlun
  • Aunt May

About This Book:

Throughout his life, Peter Parker has often felt alone. When he first discovered his spider-like abilities after being bitten by a radioactive spider, he kept them secret. His attempts to exploit them for profit resulted in his Uncle Ben's murder. Later, his attempts at maintaining the secret from his first love, Gwen Stacy, resulted in her death. It seemed as though no one understood the difficult balance between mortal and hero.

Until now, that is. A mysterious figure appears suddenly, exhibiting similar powers to Peter. He can stick to walls and jump from building to building, just like the wall-crawler. Who is this mystery man? Who are the people he represents? And what is this ancient evil that has arrived in America in search of Peter?

This ground-breaking tale was written by famed comics and television scribe J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Rising Stars) and illustrated by the knock-out team of John Romita Jr. and Scott Hanna.

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #30-35.


  Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1:
Coming Home

Reprints: Amazing Spider-Man #30-35

List price: $15.95 (US) • $23.95 (Canada)
ISBN: 0-7851-0806-8 • Original Release Date: 11/28/01
144 pages


  • Sketchbook section by cover artist J. Scott Campbell

Buy From:
TALES OF WONDER: $11.19 • AMAZON USA: $11.32
AMAZON UK: £7.13 • AMAZON CANADA: $16.07

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Script: J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils: John Romita, Jr.
Inks: Scott Hanna
Colors: Dan Kemp & Avalon Studios
Cover Art: J. Scott Campbell and Tim Townsend

Amazing Spider-Man #30: "Transformations, Literal & Otherwise"
22 pages + cover • June 2001

Peter Parker, in a moment of angst, takes his frustrations out on a delapidated building scheduled for demolition. Later, he visits his old high school and comes to the aid of a young boy named Joey who is getting bullied; the school phys ed teacher tells him that the school is a very different and more rough place than when he went there. While out on another evening's Spidey-patrol, he meets a man who calls himself Ezekiel, who seems to have similar feats of strength and agility and who knows the secret of his identity as Peter Parker. They engage in a long, philosophical discourse that ends with as many questions as answers for Spider-Man.

In the hull of a boat moored at a New York pier, a powerful villainous entity seems to suck the lifeforce out of a superpowered young man, killing him.

* * *

Amazing Spider-Man #31: (no title)
22 pages + cover • July 2001

Peter spends his morning haunted by his encounter with Ezekiel, and his Aunt May penetrates right through his daze and suggests to him that perhaps he might consider substitute teaching at his old high school.

Ezekiel faces a full boardroom, going over money issues related to his supremely wealthy business empire. Meanwhile, on the street at a crowded cafe, the entity from the last issue, named Morlun, converses with his aid Dexter. He sees Spider-Man overhead and launches a paralyzing mental assault that stops Spidey cold in his tracks for a few moments. It didn't trigger his Spidey sense, and Morlun allows him to confusedly ambles away over the rooftops.

Later in the day, Peter Parker arrives at his old high school. While signing up for the substitute position, a masked gunman arrives. Peter pushes all the children out of the hallway and into a crowded classroom. While gunfire blasts in the hall, Peter enlists the aid of young Joey to use classroom chemicals to create a smokescreen out in the hallway. This enables Peter to change into his Spidey garb and knock out the gunman without anyone getting hurt. The gunman turns out to be another bullied young man who snapped. The school science teacher leaves in a huff, saying he's never coming back to this horrible school. Peter decides at that moment that he is going to take over as science teacher.

* * *

Amazing Spider-Man #32: "The Long, Dark Pizza of the Soul"
23 pages + cover • August 2001

On Spidey patrol, our hero takes care of a crazed gunman who kidnaps a young woman. On his first day as science teacher, he is met in the prinicpal's office by Ezekiel, who has tracked him down to this school and gone out of his way to donate alot of very expensive equipment to the school's science departments. Peter demands to know more about his mysterious benefactor that seems to know everything about him. Over pizza, Ezekiel shares more secrets. Ezekiel explains to Peter that he is part of a totemic culture of super-beings, that explains in large part the forces that have always seemed to oppose him throughout his career as a super-hero. He explains that while he received his powers through a sort of impure means (he is not clear how,) Peter is the "real deal" because he received the blessing of his super-powers through an honest interaction with the totemic forces of "spiderism." Ezekiel then explains that there are counter-forces to the totemic powers, in the form of hunters who sustain themselves by sucking the life-forces of the totem powers like Spider-Man. One such creature, Morlun, is stalking him right now.

Ezekiel takes Peter to his skyscraper office. He shows him into a siege room, protected by adamantium with a food and water supply for many months, designed for the sole purpose of hiding Spider-Man from the harm of Morlun. Spider-Man politely declines, saying he would rather face Morlun than hide; Ezekiel begs him to reconsider, saying Morlun will defeat him unless Spider-Man can somehow throw him off his trail.

Later that night, Spidey responds to an apartment row fire, and meets for the first time, face-to-face, the totem hunter Morlun, who hits him with a force never before applied by even the likes of Thor or the Hulk.

* * *

Amazing Spider-Man #33: "All Fall Down"
22 pages + cover • September 2001

Spidey redoubles his energies to face off against Morlun. The fight lasts several hours, without Spider-Man landing a significant blow. The fight takes part all over the city, a true clash of titans, but Spideys energies are waning, while Morlun's are not even visibly diminished in any way. He finally decides to run away, and changes into Peter Parker's clothes in a bid to escape. But Morlun is able to track him down, now that he has his smell. The fight and destruction continues until they are both caught in a gas explosion that disintegrates Morlun's clothing, which seems to cause him to stop fighting (he's very careful about his appearance!) Spidey runs away to Ezekiel, asking for help. Ezekiel says there is nothing he can do.

* * *

Amazing Spider-Man #34: "Meltdown"
23 pages + cover • October 2001

Ezekiel explains to Spider-Man that his chance to hide is over, and now that Morlun touched him he would be able to track him wherever he ran. While going over his options, Spidey realizes that Morlun has begun to flush him out of hiding by waging destructive force against New York. The fight continues into the following day; it's been many, many hours now, and Spidey is reaching the end of his rope. Realizing his fate might be nigh, Spidey calls Aunt May to speak to her one last time. After hanging up, Morlun is again in his face. Unexpectedly, however, Ezekiel shows up to join in the fight. He lands a fierce punch on Morlun that draws blood, the first time Morlun has shown any weakness, but he is quickly dispatched when Morlun starts to suck the life-force from him and then tosses him over a pier and into the water. His appetite sated for the moment, Morlun leaves Spidey behind, promising a battle in the future. Spidey leaps into the water to save Ezekiel but can find no trace of his body. He puts a plan into action, using Morlun's blood that dripped onto the pier, focusing in on the DNA under his microscope. Spidey's next destination is the Southern New York Nuclear Power Plant.

* * *

Amazing Spider-Man #35: "Coming Out"
23 pages + cover • November 2001

Spidey has taken over the nuclear plant, working on a project where he injects himself with a radioactive serum that will affect the "spiderblood" running through his veins. He seems to go into a radioactive shock, and Morlun, having finally tracked his prey down to the plant, places his hand on Spidey to take his totemic power from him. There is a snapback effect, though, as the radioactive part of Spidey's blood works against Morlun. Spidey wakes up from his daze, and starts beating on Morlun, every landed punch applying more and more of his spider-charged radioactive force on a quickly weakening Morlun. He finally corners a spent Morlun, who, while begging for his life, is shot dead by his assistant Dexter. Morlun disintegrates into dust. Both Spider-Man and Dex run away from the nuclear plant when the authorities arrive. Dex explains what Morlun made him do in fear of his life, and Spider-Man agrees to let him leave.

Spider-Man returns to Ezekiel's offices to find everything cleared out. Though Ezekiel and his business seem to have disappeared overnight, Spidey finds enough indications that he is still alive and well. In fact, Ezekiel is indeed alive, and unbeknownst to Spider-Man, newly committed to helping the world for good. Exhausted, Peter Parker returns home and passes out in his bed. Aunt May comes to his apartment to check on him and finds her nephew, bloodied and bandaged, with a Spider-Man costume ripped to shreds at the foot of his bed.

-- cover image scan and trade data provided by Mister Stat

-- synopsis and panel scan by Gormuu


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