Web of Spider-Man #45

Story 'Death From Above'

  Web of Spider-Man #45
Summary: The Vulture
Editor: Jim Salicrup
Writer: Adam Blaustein
Pencils: Alex Saviuk
Inker: Keith Williams
Cover Art: Alex Saviuk

Still in Vegas but making his way to the airport to fly home, Spidey realises that he's short of webbing and that his web-making equipment is back in New York. At the airport, he realises a larger-than-life character, 'Snake' is to be on the same plane as him.

Out in the desert and The Vulture has glided into a cave. We get a flashback to Web 24 in Atlantic City where The Vulture tried to sell his dodgy dice to Snake. Continuing on, the dice were a product of his and Randall Reece's research and were contained in journals that were later stolen from Vulture's hotel room. Vulture blames Snake and has vowed revenge.

On the plane that Pete's on, Vulture interrupts its flight with a stick of dynamite to try and kill Snake. The plane plummets but Pete breaks open a cupboard with parachutes in and the passengers float to safety.

Well, relatively speaking. The Vulture intercepts them and flies off with Snake. Snake's gang follow him while Pete tends to a stewardess who's been ko'd. The Vulture takes Snake back to his cave but Snake reveals the journals were blown up on the plane. Spidey then shows up. He struggles in battle with no webs and in the heat. Snake's gang shows up and gets him away.

Vulture manages to inject Spidey with a 'mummification serum'. He is out cold but is woken up by a member of the police dept. She tells Spidey that they managed to 'coax' an antitode out of the Vulture for the serum. The stewardess Spidey helped was a plant as the CID have been after Snake and capturing Vulture was just a bonus.

General Comments

The story starts pretty well and it's good to see the Vulture coming back into the books. The linking with issue 24 gives that story more credibility too and links nicely here as we all know the gambling links between Atlantic City and Vegas. It makes sense that Vultch could be around Vegas and it isn't one of those huge coincidences that seem to sustain comics at times.

Having said that, the end is a really big mess. Spidey can't defeat Vulture, yet faceless CID people can, even though we don't see it? Not an example of good pacing and the finale seems so rushed, you're at pains to grasp what's actually gone on.

It really spoils what had been quite a nice return and it's difficult to accept any of the good work in the book because the end is so poorly handled.

Overall Rating

Bad, bad pacing and an awful end