Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #187

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This story is part of an Arc: "Funeral Arrangements"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

This story is part of a Lookback Series: Spectacular Beginnings

This review was first published on: Feb 2011.

Background...

The Vulture is dying, and settling all his old scores before he kicks the bucket. What does any of that have to do with Aunt May? Read on…

In Detail...

"Desperate Measures"
Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #187
Apr 1992 : SM Title
Arc: Part 2 of "Funeral Arrangements"
Editor:  Danny Fingeroth
Writer:  J.M. DeMatteis
Pencils:  Sal Buscema
Inker:  Sal Buscema
Cover Art:  Sal Buscema
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Articles: Aunt May Parker, Jameson, J. Jonah, Mary Jane Watson-Parker, Vulture I (Adrian Toomes)

The Vulture talks to Aunt May about his oncoming demise. Then he apologizes to her for killing her live-in boyfriend Nathan Lubensky (way back Amazing Spider-Man #336). Aunt May is stunned. She gives him a good hard smack on the face and sends him away. Then she sits down on her bed and starts to cry.

Cut to Peter and MJ’s apartment. MJ is going over the bills in bed when the phone rings and Peter answers it. It’s Aunt May, telling him about the Vulture’s visit. After the whole Green Goblin affair (see Spectacular Spider-Man #179-184), Peter’s understandably upset that another supervillain has apparently threatened his family. He gets in his costume and rushes over to Forest Hills.

Meanwhile, the Vulture is making a call to the Daily Bugle. He crashes through a window and roughs up J.J. Jameson a bit. It seems the Vulture wants the Bugle to print a headline about him to get Spider-Man’s attention.

Peter finally makes it to Aunt May’s house, and gets the whole story about the Vulture wanting forgiveness for Nathan’s death. She tells Peter, “I think I’m too old to forgive anymore.” It’s all very poignant, and you really get to see the effect of all the heartbreak she’s dealt with throughout the years.

Peter decides to stay the night. Aunt May is sleeping in her bed, while Peter is downstairs reading a book. The Vulture (who obviously didn’t get the idea the first time) returns to the house, but is scared off when he hears Peter running up the stairs.

But he didn’t really leave, he just went down to the front door and busted in with a gun. The Vulture tells Peter he’s not here to hurt Aunt May, but Peter doesn’t believe it. He knocks the Vulture down the stairs (making him conveniently lose his gun). Peter goes down to check on the Vulture, who looks knocked out by his fall. But, surprise surprise, the Vulture was just playing dead and grabs Peter by the throat.

Aunt May got the Vulture’s gun, though, and tells him to get out of the house. Then the police conveniently show up and Vulture decides to leave with Peter as a hostage. Aunt May is left to just stare off in horror, while MJ runs up and sees the Vulture fly away with Peter.

The Vulture returns with Peter to his Staten Island hideout. He tells Peter he doesn’t want to do anything to hurt Aunt May, that he just wants her forgiveness before he dies. Peter almost believes him, but then sees the corpse of Gregory (from last issue) lying on the floor. He rushes the Vulture, but falls out the conveniently still open window.

Peter makes a quick change into Spider-Man (off panel), then swings in and kicks the Vulture. Instead of being dismayed at our hero’s appearance, the Vulture is happy to see his archenemy.

In General...

Did you notice how many times I used the word “conveniently”? That’s either a sign of bad writing on my part, or this issue’s plotting. I’m going with the latter.

Overall Rating...

The Vulture kinda rambles around a lot in this issue. The Daily Bugle interlude doesn’t really go anywhere; it’s only there to show how menacing the Vulture’s supposed to be. Plus, all this action taking place in one night (with two visits to Aunt May’s house) kinda stretches the reader’s credibility.