Characters : Nathan Lubensky

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Attributes
Eyes

Blue

Features

Wheelchair-bound

Hair

White

Height

5' 8"

Weight

140 lbs

Powers
Equipment

Wheelchair

Limitations

Can't walk

Strength Level

Nathan has the strength of a frail elderly wheelchair-bound man

Summary
Citizenship

U.S. Citizen

Created By
Current Occupation

Retired

Education

Unknown

Former Bases

Restwell Nursing Home

Former Occupation

Unknown

Known Allies
Known Confidants
Legal Status

No criminal record

Major Enemies

His "bookie"

Marital Status

Unknown

Place of Birth

Unknown

Real Name

Nathan R. Lubensky

Usual Bases

May Parker's boarding home, Forest Hills

Background

After May Parker underwent a coronary bypass operation (Amazing Spider-Man #179) Peter went to visit her at Restwell Nursing Home. She was chatting with Nathan and other residents, telling them how Spider-Man rescued her from Mysterio and the burglar. (Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #47)

May and Nathan were soon engaged. They attended a marathon, which was also being viewed by J. Jonah Jameson, who was taking pictures of the race. "Why am I here, Mrs. Parker? To shoot some pix...and show your nephew how it's done!" (Amazing Spider-Man #216)

While Nathan was at Bellevue Hospital for physical therapy, the hospital was taken under siege by the Jack O'Lantern and his thugs. Peter took a call from the frightened Aunt May, who told him about the hostage situation. He arrived as Spider-Man just in time to hear Jack tell his goons to kill the hostages in the solarium. Nathan dares them to shoot him first, telling the gunman that he will see him in Hades. Spidey then saves the old man, who tells him to go after Jack O'Lantern. (Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #56)

While Nathan was undergoing another round of physical therapy, he met a new resident, Adrian Toomes. Toomes had just been captured by Spider-Man yet again and was feeling in very low spirits. Nathan befriended the elderly criminal, telling him that at least he had him as a friend. After Nathan left, Adrian managed to build a new set of wings from an electronic therapy device and escape. He soon remade himself with a new Vulture costume and returned to his hideout at Restwell Nursing Home. (Why he would think that the place he conspicuously flew out of would be a good hiding place, I'll never know.) Peter recognized Toomes and changed to Spider-Man (after Adrian tried to knock hm out for realizing who he was). The fight moved to the recreation room, where Vulture grabbed at a hostage, and ironically grabbed Nathan. Nathan promised to give Adrian a fight if he wanted one and Vulture let him go out of gratitude for boosting his mood. Vulture escaped out a window. (Amazing Spider-Man #224)

Nathan gave Peter a pep talk one night after dinner at May's boarding house. Peter was silently worried about May paying the mortgage and taxes on her boarding house and it showed on his face. Nathan asked what was wrong and Peter said he had a lot on his mind. Nathan told him that the best way to solve a problem is to not think about it, but to do something about it. Peter left, feeling better. (Amazing Spider-Man #237)

Soon Peter was joining Nathan and May at a law firm, where May was signing documents to legally become a special status land lady for her boarding home. Afterward, the trio were going to get egg creams to celebrate when they were nearly run over by a speeding car. Peter yanked then out of the way in time and a squad car pulled up to ask if they were ok. The cops told the group that the men in the car had just under taken a bank robbery. Peter went after them as Spider-Man, setting off a series of events that would lead to the creation of the Hobgoblin. (Amazing Spider-Man #238)

Peter later prepared for what he feared would be his final battle with Doctor Octopus, a battle that he feared he might not win. Peter spent time with his family and friends and gave May a check to help pay for her boarding house expenses. He left telling Nathan that he was a good man. (Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #78)

During another visit to May's house, Nathan wanted to show Peter the new cable TV they bought. While watching a news broadcast, the film crew caught site of the Vulture. Nathan was stunned to see Adrian again and he asked Peter what he thought the old man was up to, but Peter was already gone. He was determined that Vulture wouldn't escape, as Hobgoblin and Doctor Octopus had recently done. (Amazing Spider-Man #240)

At a later time, Peter met May and Anna Watson at a fancy restaurant. Anna and Mary Jane Watson had returned to New York and Peter commented to Anna and May that they were the only two to not try and hook him up with MJ. Nathan then showed up...pushed in his wheelchair by Mary Jane. (Amazing Spider-Man #247)

After Peter returned from the Secret War on Battleworld, he realized that he had been gone for nearly a week and hadn't called his aunt. He called to apologize for not contacting her and Nathan teased her when she said she sometimes worries when she doesn't hear from him. (Amazing Spider-Man #252)

Nathan lost his temper with Peter for the first time after he told May that he dropped out of grad school. May became borderline hysterical, asking why he would sacrifice so much just to drop out. She refused to allow him to leave college and Nathan demanded to know what Peter had said to her. (Amazing Spider-Man #253)

Sometime later, Peter called May to see if she was okay. She refused to talk to him, despite Nathan telling her that she had to talk to him eventually. Later, Nathan tried to get May and Peter to meet at a restaurant. Peter never showed up, as he was too busy dealing with the Jack O'Lantern. He later showed up at the restaurant, but May had long since left. Nathan stayed behind and gave Peter a piece of his mind. He thought he knew Peter but after that day, he wasn't so sure. (Amazing Spider-Man #254)

Peter called the next day to apologize and Nathan said he was surprised that he had the guts to call. He told Peter that he had a chance to talk to his aunt the other day and he blew it. Nathan than hung up. (Amazing Spider-Man #255)

Nathan soon called Peter, worried about May. Peter came to see what the problem was and Nathan told him that May had been acting oddly lately. She had been getting letters and had been acting moody and started calling taxis at night to take her somewhere. They went through the letters, which were all signed by a man named "Johnny." Nate asked Peter to look after her, especially since she was going out into the city alone at night. The next day, May left without telling anyone. Peter followed her to Coney Island, where she seemed to be in a daze. Later, he went through her scrap book and found a picture of a young May with a man named Johnny Jerome. He did a background check on Jerome and found he had been a career criminal and a murderer. Peter brought May back from Coney Island safely after Johnny asked her to come there one last time. At home, she reunited with Nathan and gave him an explanation about her behavior. (Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #4)

Later, Nate and May were making a birthday cake for her and worrying about losing the house. None of them had money, not May, Nate the boarders or Peter. They listen to a radio announcement saying that the Vulture had escaped from Ryker's Island prison. Nate sarcastically said that he should join the Vulture and get money that way. He then accidentally sprayed cake frosting on his face with a clogged decorating device. The next day, Peter didn't show up for May's birthday, as he had been knocked out cold by the Vulture. Nathan was surprised that Peter was acting like such an ingrate to forget his aunt's birthday. Spider-Man then left her present at the front door, as he wasn't ready to tell his aunt why he had dropped out of grad school. (Web of Spider-Man #3)

Nathan finally confronted May and told her that it was time for her to talk to Peter. She started saying that it had always been Peter's dream to have a career in science and that it was his responsibility to finish graduate school. She was ashamed that he gave up on himself. Nathan responded that she had given up on Peter. She shut him out of her life just when he probably needed her the most. He told her to call her nephew. Peter later arrived and told May that he missed her. (Amazing Spider-Man #265)

Nathan hadn't quite forgiven Peter and thought that he treated May badly. He met Peter outside of the house after breakfast one day and told him that he breezed in and out of May's life as it suited him. Peter defended himself but Nathan told him that actions spoke louder than words. He encouraged Peter to go back to graduate school for May's sake. (Amazing Spider-Man #269)

Nathan received a mysterious phone call one night, from a person that made him very worried. The caller told him to meet him "at the usual time and place." Nate refused to tell May who called. She called Peter, asking him to look after Nathan. Peter followed Nathan as Spider-Man but was distracted when he heard gun shots. He went to investigate the gun fire and stopped an attempted murder. Meanwhile, Nathan met his mysterious caller in a dark alley. The caller was unhappy that Nathan hadn't paid back his debt and the old man said he couldn't raise the funds. The man and his goons beat Nathan up to send a message to others that couldn't pay up. The next day, Peter went to see his aunt, who told him that Nathan was in the hospital after being beaten up. She told him that obviously he didn't care about her, as he hadn't followed Nathan as she asked. (Amazing Spider-Man #271)

Spidey responded by roughing up the patrons of a bar, demanding to know what they knew about the attack. They claimed that they had been holding up a liquor store at the time and knew nothing about Lubensky. Later, Peter visited Nathan at the hospital and the doctor told him that it seemed that the attackers went out of their way to not injure him too badly. None of his bones had been broken. When Peter asked what happened, Nathan refused to talk about it. (Amazing Spider-Man #272)

Peter went to see Nathan again, who was grousing that no one brought him cards to play. Also, May had been given a pin by a member of a cult called "Cosmic Oneness." (Amazing Spider-Man #273)

The doctors said that Nathan was ready to go home. Peter decided to take more assignments from the Bugle to pay for Christmas and Nathan's medical bills. (Amazing Spider-Man #274)

Nathan came home to a surprise party. (Amazing Spider-Man #275)

The peace didn't last long, as one of the borders, Ernie Popchik gained notoriety for shooting a group of thugs that tried to rob him on the subway. He was soon released from prison and the press practically camped on May's front lawn. Meanwhile, the thugs had been released from the prison hospital and saw the media circus on TV. They found out there he lived, and broke into the house after the media left. The break-in was witnessed by Anna Watson and Mary Jane, who called Peter. Spider-Man crept in through a window in the back of the house and took out the thugs holding the borders hostage on the second story. The head thug was downstairs with May and Nathan. Nate told the crook that he wasn't afraid of him and the goon kicked his wheelchair over in spite. The thug was frozen in shock when he saw Spider-Man crawling down the wall toward him, giving Spidey a chance to web his gun closed. Nathan got revenge by opening the window blinds and giving a police sniper a clear shot to shoot the criminal. The criminal died and May saw Nathan's actions as needless. (Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #113)

Peter anonymously paid for Nathan's medical bills by selling a golden notebook (created by the Beyonder as thanks) to the Foreigner. (Web of Spider-Man #15)

In Atlantic City, Aunt May and Peter are doing some gambling and she says she is worried about Nathan. He hasnt been seen since the young thug was killed in her home and she knows he has been gambling. While in Atlantic City, the Vulture tries to rob the place. (Web of Spider-Man #24)

Nathan came back to May but still hadn't improved his opinion of Peter. Peter and Mary Jane stopped by his aunt's for dinner after they had gotten married and Nathan accused Peter of ignoring May even more than usual. May told him to leave them alone and later Mary Jane asked her if she had been avoiding Peter. May said she didn't want to bother them and cause problems in their marriage and MJ promised that it was more of a disruption to not have her around. May and Peter then agreed to see more of each other. (Amazing Spider-Man #300)

Nathan briefly lost his engagement ring, after a chance encounter with the Looter. Norton Fester had become homeless and a drunk after his numerous defeats by Spider-Man. He asked Nathan for the time and the old man replied by saying he left his watch at home. Looter then went to rob Nathan's home and took his watch and his engagement ring. Peter went around to pawn shops looking for the ring and found Fester in the act of selling it. He escaped, but the narrow escape made him become the Looter again and he went on a rampage. He attacked a bus that May and the other borders were riding on and Spider-Man beat him into submission. Nathan got the ring back and gave it to May, who realized she still loved him. (Web of Spider-Man #39)

May and Nathan showed up for Peter's book signing of "Webs." (He published his photos of Spider-Man.) Nathan commented that Peter can apparently write but never writes to May. She told him to hush. (Amazing Spider-Man #308)

Peter and MJ again stopped by May's for dinner and they brought Mary Jane's cousin, Kristy, along with them. They convinced May to take the girl off their hands, as they were afraid that she would discover Peter's secret. Nathan commented that Kristy needed to eat more and was too skinny. Little did any of them know but Kristy was bulimic. (Web of Spider-Man #47)

At breakfast one morning, Nathan claimed to have misplaced his monthly social security check and he asked MJ to help him find it. (Web of Spider-Man #50)

At a later date, Peter was at May's home when he noticed Nathan putting her wallet away in her bedroom. Later, Spider-Man noticed a commotion at an ATM and saw Nathan angrily demanding that it give him more money, despite another patron telling him that it wont dispense more than $500 within 24 hours. Nathan snapped that he needed more money and Peter asked him why. Nate told him to mind his own business and when Peter refused, Nathan asked if he enjoyed bullying old men. Peter told him that he saw Nathan using his aunt's bank card. Nathan was humiliated and asked him not to tell May. It was hard for him to live on a pension and he considered himself a good gambler. He reminded Peter of the beating he took that put him in the hospital. Those same brokers now demanded that he pay them $5000 as "good faith." Again, he begged Peter not to tell May and he agreed.

Later that night, Nathan claimed he was going out to get some air but was really going to meet with his bookie. He tried to give him $500 but the crook said it wasn't nearly enough. When the bookie said that Nathan would need a hearse this time instead of a hospital bed, the old man attacked him with a steak knife. He sprayed another goon with pesticide and when another tried to threaten him with a gun, the old man threw a bag of flour at him. That is when Spider-Man showed up and took out the goons. After Spider-Man left, the bookie told Nathan that he would find him. That is when Peter arrived, saying that he had been following Spider-Man to get some photographs but instead got pictures of them trying to kill a handicapped old man. Peter later told Nathan that he needed to give up gambling, because it nearly got him killed. Nathan agreed to do it for May. The next day he went out for a newspaper and to his shame, bought a dozen lottery tickets. (Amazing Spider-Man #315)

Nathan was present when Kristy was taken away by the paramedics after having a heart attack, a symptom of her bulimia. (Spectacular Spider-Man #153)

Nathan was the one to tell Peter that Kristy was in the hospital. (Web of Spider-Man #54)

Spider-Man was soon in the European nation of Symkaria, aiding Silver Sable against the Red Skull. When Spidey appeared on TV, Nathan snorted that now Spider-Man was interfering in international politics. May told him to hush. (Amazing Spider-Man #323)

While visiting May, she told him that Nathan's heart condition was terminal. In response, May asked her borders to leave so that he could die in private with her. (Amazing Spider-Man #326)

Nathan had a fainting spell and was taken to a hospital. (Amazing Spider-Man #330)

Aunt May again asked Peter to go look after Nathan after the old man left the house. He went to a bank and after he left, he was followed by a group of young hoodlums. They caught up to him in a park and tried to grab the bag that he was holding. Spidey showed up and beat up most of them, except for the one that managed to put a knife to Nathan's throat. Spider-Man planned to double back, but Nathan was saved by an old lady, who hit the thug over the head with her cane. The lady helped Nathan get his heart pills and Spidey handed over the bag and noticed it was full of money. Nathan grabbed it from him and left. (Amazing Spider-Man #334)

As Nathan continued to get weaker, he and May both confessed how scared they were. May hated to see him in pain and was scared to live without him. Nathan promised that she would be fine. He would see to it. (Amazing Spider-Man #335)

Peter told Nathan that he found out about the money in the bag and claimed that it was his job as a crime photographer and had connections. Nathan said that he cashed in his life insurance, to Peter's shock. Nathan told him to mind his own business. Later, Nate made a phone call to find out what the odds were on an assassination attempt that was approaching. He wasn't happy to hear that the odds were even and he didn't like betting on the death of a human being. Still, he thought it was the best way to get more money for May.

Nate soon talked May into taking him to the river front, where a crowd was greeting the wealthy Raymond Trask. At that moment, the Vulture arrived, revealing to be the assassin. Spider-Man breifly grounded the Vulture but was soon distracted by another hired killer, Chance. In the meantime, Toomes decided to take a hostage and settled on May. He grabbed her and was about to take off when Nathan grabbed Vulture's costume, forcing him to let her go. The two were soon airborne and Nathan's strength gave out. He fell and Spider-Man caught him with a web. Nathan's last words were of regret, as he lost all of their money on the bet. He claimed that he left May with nothing and she told him that he gave her everything. (Amazing Spider-Man #336)

May mourned Nathan's death deeply and so did, surprisingly, Adrian Toomes. When the criminal realized he was dying of cancer, he set about putting his life in order before he died. He confronted May at her home, asking for her forgiveness. He hadn't forgotten the kindness that Nathan had shown him years prior at Restwell Nursing Home. May slapped him, refusing to forgive. Peter showed up later and May told him that a part of her heart died when Ben Parker was murdered, another part when Peter's parents died and that the last part may have died with Nathan. (Spectacular Spider-Man #187)

Appears In...

Oct 1980 App: Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #47
  Meets Peter for the first time (not named)
Dec 1980 App: Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #49
  Engagement announced (doesn't actually appear)
Jan 1981 App: Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #50
Feb 1981 App: Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #51
May 1981 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #216

Here is the Full Appearance List (65 Apps) for Nathan Lubensky.

The assistance of the Marvel Chronology Project is gratefully acknowledged.