Amazing Spider-Man #240-241
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #240, Amazing Spider-Man #241
The Vulture is currently living in a retirement home in "Sun City", far away from New York. He's successfully supporting himself with criminal activities in an area where most people don't really believe that super powered individuals exist.
But when the Vulture reads about an inventor named Bestman appearing at an electronics expo in New York...
...he decides to return back to the city. Bestman was the Vulture's former partner whose double-crossing is what caused the Vulture to turn to a life (or old age) of crime. This is technically the "origin of the Vulture", which we haven't seen before.
Spider-Man is able to stop the Vulture from killing Bestman...
... but Bestman does wind up going to jail for his past crimes. However, Bestman will eventually go on to form a chain of popular big box electronic stores called Best Buy, so he wins in the end.
There's also some trouble brewing as reporter Amy Powell starts hitting on Peter Parker. Amy is the girlfriend of Peter's photography rival Lance Bannon.
And MJ's back in town.
Antiquated expression award: Aunt May's fiancee Nate Lubenski says "Oh, I don't get to pitch as much woo with your Aunt when the other boarders are around, but things are pretty good!".
As always, the Stern/JRJR team deliver a quality Spidey story.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Pushed back a bit in publication time to allow Marvel Team-Up #129-130 to take place before the Vision is disabled in Avengers #233.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAmy Powell, Aunt May, Aunt Watson, Chris Keating, Gregory Bestman, Lance Bannon, Mary Jane Watson, Nate Lubenski, Spider-Man, Vulture
I like the Vulture too, had some tough times with losing his nephew and turns out he has a grandson but that won't be until 2004.
Posted by: David Banes | December 6, 2013 4:52 PM
I remember reading an interview with Roger Stern where he called the Vulture the perfect Spider-Man villain, due to the conflict of old age and sneakiness vs. youth and determination.
Posted by: TCP | September 8, 2014 9:16 AM
FNORD - When was Chris Keating replaced by the foreigner?
Posted by: clyde | March 8, 2015 3:18 PM
Clyde, sorry i didn't respond earlier. It's not shown exactly when the replacement happens but it seems to be sometime between Keating's appearances in ASM #265 and #275.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 14, 2015 1:32 PM
Gregory Bestman will have at least one additional appearance during J.M. DeMatteis' "Funeral Arrangements" arc.
Posted by: TCP | June 22, 2015 3:04 PM
Added him. Thanks TCP.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 22, 2015 5:11 PM
If I recall correctly, Amazing Spider-Man #241 is where Marvel decided to restore Spider-Man's costume to red and black, with blue highlights. I dimly recall DeFalco announcing it to the fan press or mentioning it in the letter columns at some point. The other respective Spider-Man comics published that month made the change at the same time.
Posted by: Aaron Malchow | June 28, 2015 5:57 AM
Unless I am mistaken, Amazing Spider-Man #240 is the first issue where we actually learn the proper name of the science hall -- General Techtronics Labs Science Hall -- where Peter was bitten by the radioactive spider back in Amazing Fantasy #15.
Posted by: Aaron Malchow | August 10, 2015 12:16 AM
In the letter's page of Amazing Spider-Man #246, Danny Fingeroth confirms that #241 is where Spider-Man's costume is indeed returned to the red and black, with blue highlights, original version.
Posted by: Aaron Malchow | August 25, 2015 2:41 PM
It was frustrating to find out that Chris Keating was, in reality, the Foreigner. The Foreigner is boring and generic; he adds nothing to the Spider-Man mythos and his stories are almost all big snoozes. Keating could've been the Hobgoblin, that would've been great. We don't get enough crooked cops becoming super-villains. Instead, the Hobgoblin turned out to be a guy who had already died--in a pathetic manner--entirely off-panel, during a meaningless adventure in Berlin that contributed squat to the Marvelverse. Except for causing Spider-Man to commit manslaughter.
J.M. DeMatteis's "Funeral Arrangements" handsomely advanced some plot points featured in this issue. It was one of the Vulture's best-written moments, and quite touching, too.
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | August 25, 2015 7:58 PM
Wait Amy Powell is a reporter? I thought she was a model or something.
Posted by: davidbanes | June 9, 2017 3:09 AM
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