Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #387

 Posted: 2001


Peter has had recent showdowns with the Jury and Hulk, and he's pretty much in one piece - which is a good thing, especially for the Hulk part. He's now very attached to his returned parents, and has only reasons to smile. MJ gave up smoking after seeing Nick Katzenberg in the hospital, suffering from lung cancer. Of course, as we know, whenever all goes well in Spidey's life, a storyarc comes to shake the whole foundations. Enter "Lifetheft".

Story 'The Thief of Years'

The Vulture becomes young and heals his cancer. He tells to an astounded Dr. Sanchez that her rejuvenator worked, and then decides to leave Spider-Man to die of old age (Peter would have been very happy if every villain had tried that before the life transfer) and flies away. The Doc approaches Spider-Man, who is very weak, and he flees, telling the Dr. not to worry, that it wasn't her fault. A janitor enters to clean the office, and the Dr. orders him to go away and bring the police. The janitor seems indignant, but, with an evil glance and a sadistic smile he agrees. Hmm...

Spider-Man climbs to the top of the building, and asserts that his body is now very old. He swings home, spraining a muscle and realising it's going to be a long trip.

Across town, the Vulture is trying out his rejuvenated body, and is very pleased with the results. He goes to his hideout, and grabs a new uniform, with a new power source, that won't cause cancer as the old one did. In the shadows, a misterious smiling figure observes unnoticed. Double hmm...

Peter arrives home, and MJ arrives shortly after. Inside the studio, Peter's thinking how much he wants - he needs - to speak with MJ, and he stops staring at the mirror. He tells her not to enter because he's developing a film. She reluctantly tells her last issue incident from the outside, but she loses her patience and barges in, to find no one inside. She says he's never there when she needs him. Outside, he thinks how much he also needs her, but she couldn't see him like this. Pete doesn't know where to turn now.

In the hideout, the Vulture is thrilled with his new costume and weapons, but he suddenly starts having painful convulsions. Triple hmm...

At that moment, in Queens, old Peter leaves the bus, with the driver telling him not to forget his senior pass the next time. Three bullies shove him out of the way, and Peter feels unsure he could beat them. He approaches his aunt's house thinking there were many things he didn't do, and that he could have diminished May's suspicions about his parents just because she's old. He thinks in talking to her, but, watching her through the window, he realizes he can't talk to her like this. Then, he starts having convulsions too. May hears his scream, but when he reaches the window, he's already left the yard. He punches a light post out of pain, and breaks it in two. He realizes that the effects of the rejuvenator must be temporary, because he's young again. And what about the Vulture?... And what if there was anybody else in the street?

Back at the hideout, Toomes is literally back to his old self, and he doesn't seem much happy about it. The shadow figure reveals itself as the Janitor (no, not an old Spidey villain, just the guy in Dr. Sanchez office early in this issue). Toomes remembers him from the University, and asks him how did he know where to find him. The Janitor brags about being few things he doesn't know about, and offers his help to the Vulture. Toomes scoffs at the offer, from a simple janitor, but the misterious man answers he is much more than that. Quadruple hmm...

One hour later, Peter heads for the E.S.U.and arrives to see some guys loading the rejuvenator onto a truck. The Vulture shows up, blazing with a powerful gun, and yells at Spidey he should've let him die when he wanted to. They fight, the truck leaves, Spider-Man throws a Tracer to the truck, and gets kicked by the Vulture. He recovers and hears a scream from Dr. Sanchez's office. He enters and sees two (Aha!) Doctors: one holding the other as hostage with a gun. The fake says that the Doctor's expertise can only be helpful if she escapes, so she pushes her out the window. Spider-Man saves the Doc, and tells her the fake escaped, and that they took the rejuvenator. She says that without her, it'll take hours to set up the device, and asks him to find it, to which he promptly agrees.

Late at night, at May's, Mary is trying to persuade her husband to dress a sports jacket, when Spider-Man comes through the open window. He asks them not to be afraid, that he has something to tell them. He says life is too short not to share with the people we love, and that means sharing everything... and pulls off the mask! His parents are stunned, as he tells them he is Spider-Man, and they thank him for trusting them. Downstairs, May Parker announces she has arrived, and Peter asks his parents to tell nothing to Aunt May, because she has been acting weird lately. They agree, and state how happy they are. Peter jumps away, thinking he feels free, and that everything is going to get better now. He couldn't be more wrong...

Meanwhile, Richard and Mary Parker come to a surprising conlusion. You'd think they'd be happy to see that their son has given the ultimate proof of unconditional love and trust, but nooo! Instead, they say something like this: Richard: "Do you know what this means, Mary honey?" Mary: "Of course I know... Peter must die!"

General Comments

This issue featured some solid Peter's character development, and it also featured the second appearance of the old Peter Parker (the first was in "What if" #4, volume 2). It also let us see a bit more of the stage where the final act of the Parents Saga will take place. It is obvious that the second Dr. Sanchez is the Chameleon: it could either be him or Mysterio (or Mystique, but what would she do in a Spidey book), but the hostage situation was clearly Chameleon's style.

Overall Rating

Another awesome cliffhanger. An ending like that truly makes you spend a month thinking why the hell would Pete's parents want to kill him. Four webs!

 Posted: 2001