Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciller: Greg LaRocque

I guess if you have a good idea, then someone somewhere is bound to copy it, or at least riff.

It therefore follows that if you have a bad idea, the same thing might happen.

Spidey's classic villain – the Vulture – has been in jail for a while. You remember the Vulture – he's the guy with a pair of big wings.

Well, old Vulchie has been busy. Building a new pair of wings with which to escape from his prison cell. Really - just how on earth does he build a pair of giant feathery wings while locked-away in the slammer? "Morning Mr Warder, gee, my hammock really looks like it's falling apart today, huh?"

Well, actually he does it by making friends.

Unfortunately those self-same friends have been watching him closely, and copied him.

The Vulturions are basically a team of four Vultures. In each of these three issues Spider-Man scraps with them in the skies over New York, and exploits their inexperience to defeat them one at a time. With the Vulture himself escaping from stir to join in the fray in the last issue, what we basically have is the man of webs fighting the Vulture a total of 17 times in succession.

Yes, it does get just a tad formulaic.

Each of the three encounters also feature a major distraction for the webslinger. There's also a sub-plot running throughout the whole about Aunt May not being able to afford a hat, and Peter coincidentally buying her the same hat for her birthday. Hence issue #2 has him battling the villains whilst trying to avoid dropping it, while #3 has him trying very hard to finish them all off before the last post goes.

He fails. Peter Parker is, after all, the Charlie Brown of the Marvel universe.

It's issue #1 that holds the greatest distraction for him though. Whilst simultaneously battling the four Vulturions for the first time, Spidey is also physically engaged in fighting-off his own costume.

Yes, the black alien costume is back, disguising itself for the first time as his old red-and-blue duds, in order to con him into putting it on again, so that it can graft itself into his skin forever. Brrrrrr, evil, these alien costumes.

As a result, Spider-Man can't shoot any webbing, or swing across town to safety. In fact physical movement of any sort is just a clumsy battle. So just how is he supposed to fight off not just one but four Vulturions when something else is struggling for control of his very limbs?

#1 is consequently the best of these three issues for me, concluding as it does the whole alien costume saga, in a slightly ingenious and truly touching way.

The scripter may have written the same battle three times here, and got Joe Robertson's name wrong in issue #2 (twice calling him "Robinson"), but this tale is good, fun, action-packed, and a promising launch to the Web Of Spider-Man series.


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