Cover Date: December 1963
Cover Artist: Steve Ditko
“The Return of the Vulture”
Plotters: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
Scripter: Stan Lee
Penciller: Steve Ditko
Inker: Steve Ditko
What’s Going On?
The Vulture has returned, and he’s figured out how to counter the device Spider-Man used to defeat him last time. Will Spidey be able to overcome this for again?
Is It Good?
Yes, it is. I wasn’t excited to read another Vulture story so soon (he last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #2), but this was a fun issue. The scenes focusing on Peter’s problems at home and at school were surprisingly plausible, and I liked that the Vulture couldn’t be beaten with pseudoscience twice in a row.
- After being defeated by Spider-Man, the Vulture went to jail. He feigned good behavior in prison while plotting his escape.
- Peter continues to get hassled by Flash Thompson for appearing weak, and it is grating on his nerves.
- The Vulture figured out a way to counter the anti-magnet device Spider-Man used to disable his wings last time. When they meet again, the Vulture drops Spidey from a great height, and leaves him for dead. Spider-Man did not die, but sprained his arm.
- Peter tells Betty Brant the truth about how he sprained his arm, but she assumes he is joking.
- The Vulture decided to rob the Daily Bugle’s payroll while Peter was in the building. Even with his sprained arm, Peter suits up as Spider-Man and chases the Vulture through the Daily Bugle, causing a bit of a mess.
- Spidey ultimately beats the Vulture by webbing his wings together so he can’t fly. Spider-Man uses his webbing to create a parachute, and floated the Vulture back down to the authorities.
- Tired of being threatened by J. Jonah Jameson, Spider-Man does the worst thing he can think of to JJJ:
- Peter seems to be successfully flirting with Betty Brant.
- Here is a great example of the “classic” Spidey-Sense being used. Instead of treating it like a “bad guy radar” (which it is still used for in this issue), it warns Spider-Man of an unknown danger.
- This is the first time we see Spider-Man hide on the ceiling. It’s such a classic bit, I can’t believe it’s taken this long to show up.
- In the letters page, Marcel’s staff asks for permission to not run a letter’s page in Amazing Spider-Man. That’s pretty weird.
Comics Are Goofy:
- Why are they wearing sweaters and dress shirts when they practice volleyball?
- So…you entered with the most valuable gems?
- Apparently, Liz didn’t find Flash funny until she noticed that it was bothering Peter. Liz is a sociopath.
- Pathetic horn-dog fanboys have always existed. Also, Sidney here more or less predicts Mary Jane Watson a few years early.
Well, That Aged Poorly:
- I just don’t think people said “whistling in the dark” as much as Stan Lee thinks they did in the 60’s.