A story arc that ran through four of Spider-Man’s ongoing series. And that wasn’t even all of them–the quarterly Spider-Man Unlimited was not included.

It started in adjectiveless Spider-Man #45, where we find Peter Parker lamenting that his “parents” were just constructs created by Chameleon.

He swears revenge on Chameleon, while Chameleon is arming up and planning to kill Spidey–holding hiom accountable for he death of his best friend, Kraven the Hunter (who actully killed himself at the end of Kraven’s last hunt).

Basically, we get a “slow boil” across these issues, as Peter gets increasingly angry and appears to be homicidal until finally the big showdown comes and, of course, Peter does not kill Chameleon. In the big finale, Chameleon is dressed as Kraven.

There’s a lot of “explaining” about Chameleon which, frankly, we don’t need. But this is what passed for “depth” in the 1990s.

OK. Maybe I’m being unfair. This could easily have happened the same way in other Marvel decades. I think it’s just that I’m so tired of reading stories like this–and there were too many of them in the ’90s. Dark and brooding, with little variety.

Anyway, none of that is the really important part of this story arc. What’s really important is the “zinger” at the end.

Spider-Man checks out Chameleon’s computer and learns that Chameleon was not the big brain behind his robot parents.

Harry Osborn is back being evil again.

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