He just lost his wife (she “died” in a plane explosion), and now Peter Parker loses his job. When he returns to lab as Spider-Man to see what’s going on, Ghost is there and so is the time-traveler from Byrne’s Lost Generation series.
Then, Spidey gets fired from the Bugle and on top of all that, MJ’s manager has disappeared and closed all of her supermodel bank accounts.
This is very similar to what happens to Daredevil on a fairly regular basis, so it’s pretty obvious that Norman Osborn is behind it all. I’m going to buzz through these three issues, which represent Byrne’s last Spider-Man stories for Marvel.
In #17, Spider-Man fights Sandman, Electro, and Mysterio…but also Peter gets arrested.
Finally, in #18 we get the big reveal that it’s Osborn. (Only it’s not. It’s the genetic Green Goblin clone…But we don’t know that yet.) They fight.
In the end of the issue, Peter Parker, now homeless because he can’t pay rent, sleeps in an alley and wakes up to find his Spider-Man equipment is gone.
Honestly, I’m not sure WHAT’S going on here. Someone is clearly targeting Peter. There’s no way Mary Jane is dead. And most of all…John Byrne complete disappears after this issue. No explanation. Spider-Woman is cancelled in December as well. I’m guessing he started being a pain in editorial’s ass again–perhaps with good reason. Anyone know why?
Erik Larsen takes over. He’s a fine artist, but I have a fondness for Byrne. Here’s the splash page to #16, in black and white…