Big finish. A very Kirby-esque cityscape down there. Vulture is lunging at Spider-Man recapping the deal on page one.
I think it’s cool that Sal has this weird page layout, and how he guides you through it. The hand breaking the border of panel 2 puts you in it, Spidey’s trajectory leads you to panel 3 instead of the same sized panel below. Page design is a weird art form.
The Spider-Man in panel 2 found its way into several advertisements. Vulture decides the best way to kill Spider-Man is a way that’s never worked in the past: fly way up high and drop him. On the way up, Spider-Man tells him if he’s really dying, he should go with dignity instead of inflicting all this pain, but all Vultch wants before he goes is our man dead. As they punch their way through the night sky, we return to Aunt May’s house.
Why, it’s a mean guy with his face obscured. Who could that be? Back at the fight, Spider-Man finally gets the better of Vulture, getting behind him and getting him in a headlock, forcing him to start descending. But as he rants about not wanting to go out like “those drooling, bedwetting mannequins in the nursing home,” Vulture overloads his powerpack, turning himself into a living electromagnet and zapping Spidey into submission before deciding to fly even higher and “touch the stars.” But then, of course, the powerpack breaks down from being overloaded, catches on fire, and sends them both plummeting to earth. It’s worth noting that, unlike most DeMatteis stories, Spider-Man is still wisecracking the whole time. Just because he wants the story to be intense doesn’t mean he has to betray the character… and yet he does, so often.
I’m interested to note how, for long-established goofy things like a web-parachute and a web-cushion, things Sal’s been drawing for almost 20 years, at this point, he seems to be pulling from how Erik Larsen drew big web stuff in ASM. Trying to stay current. Just interesting to me. Spider-Man stands over the spiritually broken Vulture in silence for awhile, then picks him up and says it’s not going to be that easy. And then we cut to Aunt May’s, where there’s a knock on the door, and she opens it to find Spider-Man holding The Vulture.
If we are to assume DeMatteis has already decided Aunt May knows Peter is Spider-Man, that’s a good moment for it. All’s well that ends well. Oh, but things haven’t ended. The next day, we find Aunt May going to see Toomes in prison. He says she’s humiliated him enough, but she says she’s not here to humiliate him.
That’s our Aunt May. I can certainly forgive her her moment of anger given the circumstances, but she came through in the end. But we’re still not done, as that shadowed figure runs into May on the street, saying he’s got a package for Peter, but he has to go out of town on business, and could she deliver it? And it is, of course, Harry Osborn.
The fact that it looks like Harry’s being goblin’d up in a big shot glass is funny to me. Maybe the last funny thing we get in this title for awhile, as DeMatteis begins his mad rush toward issue 200. And how else could someone like him celebrate such a milestone than with endless pain and suffering? But first, a different milestone altogether.