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Market Forces - Recap

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Thieves working for Hammerhead hijack a Tri-Corp armored car and cut open the back. They then remove a reinforced suitcase and give it to Montana, formerly of the Enforcers. Montana show it to Hammerhead, who insists he use the suit inside to complete his deal for the Big Man and dispose of Spider-Man once and for all.

When Peter dozes off in bed with his costume on, Aunt May almost discovers his secret but he covers himself over just in time. Later he goes down to breakfast and Aunt May mentions that the neighbor lady has a girl, Mary Jane Watson. Her description of the girl doesn't sound promising to Peter. Peter heads across town as Spider-Man while Montana's men keep him under surveillance. He arrives at Harry's apartment where Norman meets him and praises him at the expense of Harry. Peter promises to help Harry with his homework that night and gets an e-vite to the Fall Formal. Neither one of them have dates so it doesn't look good. Peter also gets an e-mail from J. Jonah Jameson offering to pay him for his photos. Peter heads to the Daily Bugle where Jameson kicks him out before realizing who he is. Once he pays Peter, he tells him to get more photographs.

As Spider-Man, Peter hears an alarm and goes to investigate where he finds Flint Marko and Alex O'Hirn robbing a store. It's a trap set up by Montana, who is wearing the stolen battle-costume and introduces himself as... the Shocker. Using vibrational blasts, he tries to kill Spider-Man but is interrupted when an angry O'Hirn tries to run the hero over. Spider-Man takes advantage of the distraction to renew the attack but the Shocker blasts him into a trash compactor and activates it. The crusher closes the trash into a cube and, believing Spider-Man is dead, the Shocker leaves. Once he's gone, Spider-Man emerges from the cube, having taken shelter in a refrigerator, but discovers his paycheck was destroyed in the fight.

The next day Peter goes to school and in gym class finds that Harry is mad at him for blowing off the homework meeting the previous night. Flash picks on Harry and Peter challenges him to a rope-climbing contest. However, Peter still stinks from the trash compactor and Flash refuses to take him up on his offer. Peter heads to the newspaper and tries to get Jameson's sympathetic assistant Betty Brant to get him a new check. She agrees and Peter ends up talking to "Robbie" Robertson, the assistant editor. Robertson suggests that Peter get a decent camera while Jameson goes through his photos and gives Peter grooming tips to deal with his newfound odor. Peter is upset that Jameson only wants to use photos of Spider-Man being defeated, but Jameson prefers the ones undermining Spider-Man's heroic image.

That night, Peter tries to buy a camera but the owner closes the store and refuses to let him in. Peter hears a nearby alarm and goes to find O'Hirn and Marko, confident that Spider-Man is dead and can't interfere. He webs them up as Spider-Man and tells them to let everyone know he's back from the dead, including the Shocker. He gets home before curfew but Aunt May is distracted dealing with the bills. Peter has to choose between using the photo money for a camera, or giving it to his aunt. He reluctantly keeps the money in the hopes that he can make more money. he also remembers that he's blown off Harry's homework get-together yet again.

Once the news of Spider-Man's survival gets out, Hammerhead tells Montana that he has one last chance to succeed at his mission for the Big Man. Peter runs into Betty Brant as she's getting a hot dog from a vendor and asks her to the formal. She refuses because she's too old, but Peter doesn't have time to react: a tremor shakes the city. Using the news reports and a computer, Peter determines that the Shocker is laying a trail of bread crumbs leading him to a condemned theater for a final showdown. Spider-Man arrives and after a fierce struggle manages to defeat Shocker by pulling down the roof and overwhelming the protective vibrational shield in his suit.

At Harry's apartment, Norman tells his son to cowboy up and take some responsibility, and rely only on himself: Harry agrees. Norman then goes into his office where Hammerhead is waiting for him. The mobster notes that Norman helped them earlier by giving them the location of the Tri-Corp armored car, and Norman admits that Tri-Corp is a competitor so he was willing to sell them out. Hammerhead puts the Big Man on the line who offers a new deal: funding for OsCorp and human test subjects in return for using his money and experimental technology to create new super villains to distract Spider-Man. Norman agrees.

Peter returns home and tries to give his money to Aunt May, but she refuses to take it. He finally convinces her but she insists that he keep at least 10% for his new camera.

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Warning: The Spectacular Spider-Man season 1 episode 4 guide may contain spoilers
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