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When one winged lame-o just isn’t enough – Web of Spider-Man #3

July 12, 2011

Is there a rule that every Vulture cover has to be a from-above shot of him grappling with the hero over the New York City-scape? I don’t think there is, but this John Byrne entry would argue otherwise.

I’m not the biggest Vulture fan. He’s okay, and he had a really fun level on the first GameCube Spider-Man game. That’s where my thoughts on him essentially end, though. He’s always looked a little too Mr. Magoo for me to take too seriously.

This issue (scripted by Louise Simonson, pencilled by Greg LaRocque, inked by Jim Mooney) opens with him locked up and enraged about the Vulturion gang and their stealing of his gimmick. He busts out with a new suit he constructed on the inside — I’m unsure if minions were bringing him parts baked into cakes or what:

I’m sorry, folks, but if that isn’t Mr. Magoo with feathers, then nothing is.

Spider-Man is out doing his usual thing, i.e. fighting crime and worrying about that wizened old boat anchor, Aunt May:

The Web-Slinger has to be the only hero to ever agonize about getting a hat to an old lady.

The Vulture wastes nary a second in tracking down and attacking his aerial rivals:

He looks especially toothless there, no? Ready to bellow, if not “GET OFF MY LAWN,” then “GET OFF MY PERCH!”

The fight spills out to the skies and is spotted by a lunching Peter and Mary Jane, who are having one of their interminable “it’s so hard being/dating Spider-Man” drone-fests:

There’s a brief interlude as we check in on bunned-hair Aunt May and her wheelchair-bound guy-pal Nathan Lubensky:

We mercifully cut away before we’re bombarded with some Ensure-fueled, Patrick Swayze/Demi Moore/”Unchained Melody”/Pottery/Ghost-style geriatric coitus. May has that look in her eyes.

Back to the action.

The Vulture dismantles his whippersnapper rivals in short order, but Spidey steps in before he kills them (after performing that classic hero “greater evil” calculus):

The two old foes have their typical battle, with Spidey landing some blows and getting dragged along by a flying Vulture whilst clinging to a web-fluid tether. Then the Vulturions prove that no good deed goes unpunished when they let their hatred for Spider-Man overwhelm their good sense and stick him with a poisoned dart:

Vulture gets away as Spidey passes out. Not only that, he FORGOT ABOUT AUNT MAY’S HAT! HORROR OF HORRORS!

Enter Mary Jane, with a nice dash of guilt:

You know, sometimes I wouldn’t blame Peter if he webbed himself up a nice noose.

Finally:

Thank. God. The hat. Got there.

The Sturm und Drang of Peter Parker’s social life is a core component of the character, but it nevertheless gets a bit tiring. This issue is a fine example of that saturation point. Aunt May’s hat? Really? I’m supposed to care about this? He can’t call her? That won’t do? “The Peril and the Present! Another Mighty Marvel Masterpiece!”

Anyway. I’ll leave you with this:

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the prosecution rests.

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