Spider-Man / Marrow #1

Issue Date: 
February 2001
Story Title: 
Bad To The Bone

Scott Lobdell (writer), Ale Garza (pencils), Pierry Andre Dery (inks), Steve Buccellato (colors & separations), Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Albert Deschense (letters), Frank Dunkerley (assistant editor), Matt Hicks (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Peter tries to get his life back together after his loss of Mary Jane. He and his roommate, Robby, go to a party. There, Peter meets the beautiful waitress, Sarah Rushman. They make a date after her shift is over. Later, Peter waits for her, but can’t find her anywhere. He suddenly hears screaming. He looks up and recognizes Marrow, standing on a roof. They fight, but she escapes. Afterwards, Peter meets up with Sarah and has a fun date. She even invites him to her apartment, but Peter isn’t ready for that yet. He leaves, but then hears Sarah scream. She is attacked by Sharon Carter and agents of S.H.I.E.LD. Spider-Man defeats them, and escapes with Sarah. However, when he meets up with Sharon, she explains to the webslinger that Sarah Rushman is in fact a twisted identity of Marrow, which S.H.I.E.L.D. gave her after attempting to reform her. However, Marrow escaped, and S.H.I.E.L.D. sees her as a danger. Marrow shows her true colors and appears in a deranged condition. Spider-Man fights Marrow, but she defeats him and jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge. Spidey tries to catch her, but with no luck. Afterwards, Peter cleans up Marrow’s old apartment and hopes that she’ll be able to find love again some day. Meanwhile, Marrow finds herself back into the sewers. There, she is welcomed home by Hemingway, who tells her that they haven’t been the same without her.

Full Summary: 


It rains. Spider-Man and Marrow hang over the Brooklyn Bridge. Marrow has jumped off and Spidey grabbed her just in time before she killed herself. Marrow commands Spidey to let her go, but he of course refuses to do that. Marrow wants to kill herself. Spidey tries to talk her out of it, but Marrow slams with a bone hard on Spideys hand, this making him accidentally drop her. Spidey tries to catch her with his webs, but Marrow dodges them all and falls into the wild river below them. Spidey thinks about what happened.

(Twenty four hours earlier)

Peter and his Robby are at a hot dance club. Robby can’t keep his eyes of the many pretty girls around, but Peter obviously isn’t thrilled to be here. Randy tries to make Peter understand that Mary Jane would want him to move on. Peter realizes that, but doesn’t see this as a place where he would hang out. A beautiful girl shows up and picks Randy to dance with her, not giving him much of a chance to say no. Randy tries to apologize but Peter says it’s fine. The waitress shows up with their drinks and Peter has to pay 13 dollars! And that’s U.S. dollars.

The waitress laughs and tells Mr. Parker that the drinks are on her. She wants to pay Peter back for everything he did for her. Peter doesn’t remember her, so the girl introduces herself as Sarah Rushman. She explains that Peter was a Grad student at E.S.U. last semester and guest lectured on transbio-sensitive micro toxicology. Sarah recalls that Peter was more than smart on the subject. He was passionate and very inspirational. The waitress walks away. Peter tries to follow her, but loses her in the crowd. Another waitress thinks that Peter is talking to her, and makes a coffee date with him. Peter blushes, and Robbie and his girlfriend joke about it.

Later outside, Peter recognizes a famous model, Veronica Crandle, and snaps some quick pictures of her. While walking in her car, she suddenly screams! Peter has noticed her staring into an alley. He runs to it, and snaps some pictures of a dead body, pinned to a wall with bones! On the body, something’s written in blood. “Two left.” Peter recognizes the bones from somewhere, but can’t place them.

Some bystanders look up, and notices a person shrouded in shadows staring at them from a rooftop, triumphantly. They wonder who she is, but Spider-Man recognizes Marrow. Peter dons his Spider-Man costume on, unfortunately realizing that his date with Sarah is officially over. Marrow fights the webslinger, and mentions something about a deal and that the night belongs to her.

A defending Spider-Man jokes about it, and recalls how vicious Marrow was the last time they met. Spidey shoots some webs at her, but Marrow slashes them through, saying that no one can trap her. Peter notices something weird, as Marrow seems to act like they don’t know each other. Marrow is glad that she’s free, and graciously jumps over a roof! She mentions that she’s bad to the bone, and throws a water tank below to the streets! She tells Spider-Man that he can play the hero part now. Spider-Man just in time catches the tank, and manages to throw a few thick webs over it, so that it won’t fall down and that the police can further handle it. When he turns around, Marrow is already gone. He tries to catch up with Sarah, but thirty minutes later realizes that she has already left.

Next day, at Empire State, Peter teaches his class. A smart student tries to outsmart Peter by asking him to justify a science theory, but Peter of course can do that with ease. The other students laugh at the freshman, and Peter recognizes himself in the boy. After class, Peter is met up by Sarah! But his spider sense tingles wild. She apologizes for not being their last night, but she left after the craziness began. Peter offers her to go for the coffee now, and she gladly accepts. As they leave, Peter’s Spidey sense still goes off, but he doesn’t see any danger.

Later, at the coffee house, they talk. Peter asks Sarah about her life, but she claims that there’s not much to it. She reveals that she’s from the Midwest, an only child and has simple parents. Peter’s fine with it, and they further on spend the night telling jokes. After the date, Sarah tries to lure Peter into her bedroom, but he hesitates. Sarah understands, and they say goodnight to one another. On his way back home, Peter thinks about Mary Jane. Suddenly, he hears someone screaming. It’s Sarah!

He quickly puts his Spider-Man costume on and jumps into her apartment, where he finds Sarah grabbed by two muscled thugs, carrying guns. Spidey quickly defeats them, and he and Sarah introduce each other. Spider-Man grabs Sarah and tries to web-sling away, but an army arrives and they shoot his webs through, and they fall down. S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Sharon Carter steps forward, and orders Spider-Man not to get involved into S.H.I.E.L.D. business, and to just hand Sarah over to them. Spidey doesn’t trust them and warns Sarah to stay behind him, but she doesn’t answer. And his spider sense goes off again.

Suddenly, Marrow is in Sarah’s place, and she throws a bone at Sharon! Spidey catches the bone with his webs, and realizes that Sarah and Marrow are the same person. Marrow escapes. Spidey jumps in Sharon’s plane, and they begin the search for Marrow. Along the way, Sharon explains that there never was a Sarah Rushman, and that not even the X-Men know Marrow’s real name. Sharon has learned that Marrow used to hang out with them, but for some reason left and thinks that something must have happened. One of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents found Marrow, scared to hell, in a sewer in Manhattan. She thinks that the X-Men must have beaten her for leaving the group. Spidey defends the X-Men, as he knows them and that they don’t work that way. He knows that Marrow must have made a decision on her own, but Sharon doesn’t really believe that.

Spidey asks about the Sharon Rushman identity. Sharon explains that it’s an implanted memory. Sharon asks Spider-Man to believe her because, if he saw Marrow as Sharon did, he would know that they were only being humane. Sharon just wanted Marrow to know some peace. Spidey thinks about the murders, and rather believes that Carter just wanted someone to do her dirty work for them. Sharon angrily shouts that’s not true, as they would never let anyone carry out such missions. She explains that Marrow was send out to just kill some rough Life Model Decoys, and that she was a robot killer.

Spidey asks what the “two left” remark meant, which was written on the dead person’s body. Sharon shouts that the injection would have kept Marrow confused. On message, as it were. Though without it, Sharon fears that Marrow is a menace to everyone and, according to the S.H.I.E.L.D. files she has read about Marrow, her being raised in a hostile alternate reality doesn’t help her case much. She wants to find Marrow before she finds them.

But they’re too late. Marrow jumps on the Brooklyn Bridge, and is ready for a fight. Sharon wants to pull back, but Spider-Man realizes that Marrow really is a danger in her current state, and wants to stop her before she harms an innocent person. He and Marrow fight, but Marrow gets the upper hand and knocks Spidey down. She goes to sit on him, and holds one of her bones high up, ready for the kill. She shouts that there can only be one person: Marrow or Sarah. She pulls the bone down, hitting it on the ground behind Spidey. She jumps away from Spider-Man, leaving him confused.

Marrow tries to jump off the Bridge. Spidey tries to catch her, but Marrow cuts the webs loose and falls down.


Spider-Man sights, but confidents himself that at least he tried to help Marrow. But from what? Herself?

(One week later)

Peter cleans up Sarah’s apartment, but wonders why he does it. He does it for a friend who never existed. She finds Sarah’s passport, and looks at the picture on it. When looking at Sarah’s smile, Peter can’t believe that there isn’t more love buried inside of Marrow than she even knows. But Peter is certain that she’ll find it someday. He leaves the apartment, closing his first date post Mary Jane. He wishes Sarah Rushman a goodnight, wherever she is.

Elsewhere, Marrow lies alone in the sewers. Someone behind her welcomes her back. The mutant called Hemingway hugs Marrow, and tells her that they haven’t been the same without her.

Characters Involved: 


Marrow/”Sarah Rushman” (former X-Man)

Sharon Carter (SHIELD agent)

S.H.I.E.L.D. agents (all unnamed)

Hemingway (all former Gene Nation)

Randy Robertson (Peter’s roommate)

Various New Yorkers

Story Notes: 

This story takes place between the so-called “6 month-gap” between X-Men (2nd series) #99 and #100. It finally explains why Marrow was no longer part of the renewed X-Men team. It’s unclear if Spider-Man ever told these events to the X-Men.

Gene Nation was the Morlock team Marrow used to lead back when she was pure evil.

Marrow and Spider-Man met twice before: once in Uncanny X-Men #346 and another time in Peter Parker: Spider-Man (2nd series) #4.

Life Model Decoys are robots used in the most dangerous S.H.I.E.L.D. missions only, in the hope to spare the actual person’s life. The LMD’s are created by Tony Stark (Iron Man) and look and act just like the person they are build after. They are most common known for their Nick Fury identities.

After this story, Marrow somehow, in so far unclear conditions, meets the new Weapon X Program and joins the group, in return for her lost beauty. [Weapon X: The Draft: Marrow]

At this time, Peter believes that Mary Jane is dead, after her plane exploded in mid-flight. [Amazing Spider-Man (2nd series) #13]. She turns up very much alive, shortly after this story, in Amazing Spider-Man (2nd series) #28.

Issue Information: 
Written By: