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JEFF WAINWRIGHT

Real Name: Jeff Wainwright

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Public relations agent

Group Membership: None; formerly Nekra's cult (Brother Noone, unidentified others)

Affiliations: Shriver Cove townspeople (Carolyn, Dan, Evie, Katie, Jeanette Latour and unnamed others);
former thrall of Nekra

Enemies: None;
formerly Hank Pym, Spider-Man (Peter Parker)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Shriver Cove, Massachusetts

First Appearance: Web of Spider-Man I#46 (January, 1989)

Powers/Abilities: Jeff Wainwright possesses no known superhuman abilities. A skilled PR agent with a great love for old movies, he is quick witted and often compares situations to scenes from classic pictures. Enthralled by Nekra, he was blinded by unbridled hatred making him reckless and slightly stronger due to excess adrenalin production.

Height: 6'1" (by approximation)
Weight: 180 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Red

History:
(Web of Spider-Man I#46 (fb ) - Jeff Wainwright was living and working in Shriver Cove as as a freelance public relations agent.

(Web of Spider-Man I#46 (fb) - BTS) - A branch of the well known Hatros clinic for mental heath opened in Shriver Cove. Before too long, most of the townspeople had visited the facility to help deal with their various ailments. Unbeknownst to anyone, Doctor Hatros was actually Nekra Sinclair. The hate-empowered albino mutant planned to turn the locals into her thralls by poisoning the water supply with resistance weakening drugs. Once suitably plied, they were exposed to a series of hypnotic rituals that turned them into Nekra's hate fueled disciples.

(Web of Spider-Man I#46 (fb) ) - He started to notice the townspeople began acting unusually irritated and volatile, which resulted in a large number of unexplained, violent incidents. The laid-back Jeff thought little of it, figuring it was either random vandalism or the result of increased sunspot activity. He also began frequenting the Hatros Clinic to deal with his stressful job.

(Web of Spider-Man I#46) - Wainwright was contacted by a national book publisher to chaperone author and photographer Peter Parker who was making a stop in Shriver Cove as part of his promotion tour for Webs, his coffee table book filled with pictures of Spider-Man. As soon as he delivered Peter to the inn he'd be staying at, they were attacked by one of the locals who flew into a furious rage when he spotted the outsider Peter. Thanks to his spider strength, Parker easily held off his assailant. After he'd been subdued, Jeff told Peter that Dan was actually merely a "Deliverance" style deranged local, a therapy patient out of the local "Cuckoo's nest", after which he apologized for making Shriver Cove seem like "Stepford". Amused, Peter told Jeff he really needed to go out and see more recent movies. Jeff set up Peter at the inn and told him he'd be back the following morning at 7:00 to take him to his interview with the local TV morning show.

(Web of Spider-Man I#46 - BTS) - That night, a mob of outraged locals with torches and rakes blew up Peter's rented car parked outside the inn. Quickly shifting into his Spider-Man costume, he went outside to stop the crowd. They proved unable to reason with, spouting "kill the outsider" and "hate outsider" over and over again, which sounded a little too familiar to Spider-Man. By the time he'd taken care of them, he found out others had smashed his hotel room. Just then, Jeff called up to check if Peter was okay. He apologized for the destroyed car and promised to arrange a replacement though it wouldn't get there until the next day.

(Web of Spider-Man I#46) - Jeff accompanied Peter to Cod Today, the morning show where he was interviewed by host Jeanette Latour. Afterwards, he sang Peter's praises, calling him "as smooth as Hurt in "Broadcast News" and "as arresting as Finch in Network". When Peter wanted to know what they might be doing together now that he was stuck in Shriver Cove for another day, Jeff apologized and told him he had an appointment for a therapy session at the Hatros Clinic that afternoon to help him deal with his stress. He assured Peter the clinic was full of concerned, sympathetic professionals "just like Judd Hirsch in Ordinary People".

(Web of Spider-Man I#46 - BTS) - Suspecting the Hatros Clinic might somehow be connected to the growing xenophobia in Shriver Cove, Peter decided to follow Jeff to his appointment. When he was refused admittance by the stern secretary Katie, he decided to shift into Spider-Man and check things out more discreetly. Crawling through the air ducts, he spotted Jeff during his "therapy session", which was actually the hypnotic chant and dance ritual used by Nekra's followers to instill and awaken hatred in others. Moments later, he tripped an invisible alarm that sent a number of cultists led by Brother Noone against him. Spider-Man dodged their gunfire and crawled away safely to reach a phone. He called the West Coast Avengers, informing the Scarlet Witch he needed Hank Pym's help in Shriver Cove immediately. Not too long afterwards, Pym arrived on Cape Cod aboard Rover.

(Web of Spider-Man I#46 - BTS) - Pym landed near the town reservoir and took some water samples, quickly going to work analyzing the chemical's composition using his miniaturized, portable lab facility. By nightfall, he'd traced the drug back to a poison developed by African chieftains, one that could easily be remedied. He synthesized the counteragent, but before he could administer it he was surprised and captured by some of the cultists.

(Web of Spider-Man I#46) - The cultists brought Hank Pym to see Nekra who had gathered Jeff, Brother Noone and her other followers in the caves underneath Hatros Clinic. Pym mocked Nekra while she explained her evil scheme. He was then joined by Spider-Man who webbed up Nekra, allowing Pym to get into action himself. Nekra tore up the webbing and lunged at them. Feeling the fight was pointless because they needed to cure the cultists, Pym used one of his containment devices to keep Nekra at bay while he instructed Spider-Man on how to insert the vials of antidote in his webshooters. Spider-Man sprayed the mob, including Jeff, who were all instantly freed from the effects of the drugs and hypnosis. Unsure where he was, Wainwright remarked that the idea he'd been roped into joining a hate cult sounded just like Tim Matheson in "Impulse". Feeling her plans in Shriver Cove had failed, Nekra used the confusion to escape aboard one of the Grim Reaper's airships she'd parked outside the clinic.

Comments: Created by Richard Howell (writer, pencils), Keith Williams (inks)

In the grand tradition of profiling a truly obscure character for the anniversary entries, here's the one marking my 400th Appendix contribution: Jeff Wainwright. Nothing really noteworthy about the guy, I mainly remember him because his only appearance to date happened to be one of the first Dutch Web of Spider-Man issues I got as a child. Wainwright is part of the reason I got hooked.

In retrospect, this is very clearly intended as filler before the Inferno crossover started up. In fact,
Richard Howell only wrote and drew this one issue of Web of Spider-Man and that's kind of a shame because he displayed an obvious, clear grasp of the character. Would have been fun to see more of him.

Come to think of it...Shriver Cove probably is a not too subtle reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger's ex-wife Maria Shriver who grew up at the Kennedy compound on the cape.

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Jeff Wainwright should not be confused with


images: (without ads)
Web of Spider-Man I#46, p4, pan1 (main image)
Web of Spider-Man I#46, p9, pan4 (closeup)
Web of Spider-Man I#46, p10, pans4-6 (Jeff Wainwright possessed by Nekra)
Web of Spider-Man I#46, p22, pan2 (Jeff Wainwright cured by Hank Pym and Spider-Man)


Appearances:
Web of Spider-Man I#46 (January, 1989) - Richard Howell (writer, pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)


Last updated: 05/03/16

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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