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More as Spidey battles the threat of Freak and his personal life falls apart around him.

At Raymond's meth lab (he's the dude that Freak buys his "stuff" from), they can hear sirens. The police are heading over to Randall Crowne's rally where Freak is causing a scene because he could smell Spider-Man nearby. Since his ventilator is broken, he leaves the window open. Spider-Man manages to save Crowne. He hopes Crowne will remember this but he just blames Spider-Man since Freak was looking for him. Freak continues going after Spider-Man until he catches a whiff of the drugs cooking at Raymond's. He leaves and tells Spider-Man not to try to stop him. Spider-Man replies by throwing a tracer on his tail.

Spider-Man checks his jammed webshooter and figures the thicker webbing must have gotten jammed. Grabbing his camera, he heads after Freak. He arrives to find Freak smoking some meth and the two dealers dead on the floor. Freak soon notices him and drops his lighter. Charging after Spider-Man, a fire soon starts. Freak goes after Spider-Man's face, wanting to make him as ugly as he is. This causes Spider-Man's mask to become shredded. The fire is building and Freak becomes engulfed in flames. The floors start collapsing and Spider-Man figures it's time to leave. Unfortunately the building is now surrounded by the police. They are authorized to use lethal force. Peter Parker emerges wearing nothing but an oversized jacket. He tells Officer Gonzalez that Spider-Man left after he took some pictures of him. The monster and the drug dealers (and his clothes) got burnt inside.

Peter heads over to the DB to sell his pictures to Dexter. Dexter loves the picture Peter shows him of Spider-Man saving Crowne at the rally. He gives him two thousand dollars for it. He plans on using it on the news that night as he promotes a big spread they'll be doing tomorrow.

Back at Aunt May's, Peter gets a call from Harry about a party they're having for Lily's dad declaring his run for mayor. Lily also invites Carlie. As Peter watches the news, he catches Dexter's promo. He shows the picture of Spider-Man and Crowne, saying Spider-Man was trying to assassinate him. He also claims that Spider-Man killed the "armadillo-man" that "heroically lured" him away. Peter is outraged. He now misses JJ. Jameson never made up news. He decides he should visit him in the hospital. Since it's technically Peter's fault he had the heart attack, he decides to go as Spider-Man.

Spider-Man brings him flowers and cigars. Jameson is pleased and says that he knew he wasn't all bad. Spider-Man asks him if the deal Marla arranged with Dexter was permanent. As he continues to tell him how Bennett now owns the Bugle and has changed the name to the DB, Jameson's heart starts racing and he has another heart attack. Spider-Man now finds himself locking lips with JJ once again, trying to revive him.

At the Hollister party, Lily mentions the horrible pictures the DB ran of her father. She thought Peter took them until she read the typ-oed credit. Harry says Peter would never make him look bad because of his ethics. Lily asks Peter if he'd be a spy for them and give them warning if Bennett was going to run a smear campaign against her father. She gets really close to Peter as she asks, making him wonder what her intentions are. Peter later talks to Carlie about her CSI work. She tells him about a scientist with one arm that came to her. Peter, at once, knows it was Connors. He decides to look him up.

Curt tells Spider-Man about the break in and that the junkie must have injected himself with stem cells from various mammals, amphibians and insects. He is continuing to evolve with each defeat. He tells Spider-Man that while he is in a chrysalis, they can stop him with high-ph quicklime. Spider-Man takes some and heads over to the scene of the fire.

The wreckage has been cleaned and Spider-Man doesn't know where Freak is. Connors tells him that he'll try to track down where the clean-up went to. He also says that with the change in weather, Freak's stasis will last longer.



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Third Time's the Charm 0

Bob Gale delivers a fine finale to his first Spider-Man run. Spidey's battle with Freak was great and wonderfully illustrated by Phil Jimenez. The scene where Spider-Man pays a visit to jolly Jonah in the hospital was priceless. Gale also introduces an intriguing new plot development in Peter's social life concerning Harry's new girlfriend Lily. Having Freak evolve after every battle was a great twist and has me eagerly awaiting his next appearance. Phil Jimenez's art shines in this issue a...

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