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Amazing Spider-Man #2: Review

May 1963
Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Story Name:

Duel to the Death With the Vulture!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Amazing Spider-Man #2 Review by (December 9, 2018)
Review: The first of the two stories in this issue introduces the Vulture in all his flying wonder.  This story is pretty solid with a couple questionable bits that really just boil down to early development oddities.  First off, Peter’s motivation for tackling the Vulture seems to be more about the photos than the whole hero thing, at least how it’s presented at first, making Peter come off a tad selfish.  Second, during their first encounter, Vulture manages to sucker punch Spidey with nary a spider-sense tingle in sight.  That’s just one of those things that happens every now and then in Spidey stories for plot convenience.  Then, there is the issue I’ve always had with the Vulture and that is I feel it takes more suspension of disbelief than usual to believe he would be a threat to Spider-Man.  Mild physical enhancements or no, which aren’t even mentioned in this story, he is still an old man with wings, and should hardly be presented as one of Spidey’s most dangerous foes as he often is.  The last is more of an amusing art decision, in that Vulture apparently gets to keep his costume on in prison.  Seems rather careless on the cops’ part.  This story does start the trend of Spidey using his scientific know-how and creative side to defeat the villain rather than just punching his way through the problem, which becomes something of a staple of Spider-Man bouts.  The second story is a very strange one, introducing the Tinkerer as he seemingly works with aliens to invade earth.  The strangest thing about this story is that it is presented as if the aliens were legit, hinting that the Tinkerer himself may have been an alien, despite the fact that we learn in a later issue that it was all staged with people in costumes (one of whom is revealed to have been Quentin Beck, future Mysterio).  We get no hint of this in the story, making the story stand out in an odd way as Spider-Man rarely deals with alien threats (symbiotes notwithstanding).

Comments: The first story contains the first appearance and first battle with the Vulture, in the first story, Jameson is head of Now Magazine rather than the Daily Bugle, Peter begins his stint as a freelance photographer, second story contains first appearance and encounter with the Terrible Tinkerer


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man #2 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro
This story opens with the revelation that a new danger has been troubling New York, just as said danger, The Vulture, swoops down and steals a briefcase full of bonds from a pedestrian.  Over at “Jameson Publishing” the head of Now Magazine J. Jonah Jameson demands pictures of the Vulture that none of his photographers have been able to get.  Meanwhile, Peter Parker hears some of his classmates talking about Vulture and how pictures of him would be worth tons of money.  This inspires Peter to take photos of the Vulture himself as Spider-Man, and Aunt May gives Peter an old camera his Uncle Ben used to own.
Meanwhile, at his lair we find the Vulture planning his next heist before flying out to set it into motion.  Spider-Man senses the Vulture as he flies past and sees it as the perfect opportunity to take photos of him.  The Vulture throws notes of challenge to Jameson’s building, the radio station, and police headquarters, telling them that he plans to steal a shipment of diamonds right from under them.  Spidey had been following Vulture, taking photos all the while, when Vulture hears him, swooping around and kicking Spidey from behind, knocking him out momentarily.  Vulture drops the dazed Spider-Man in a water tower, thinking that then there will be no one left to stop him.  The cold water awakens Spider-Man, who finds that he forgot to refill his web-shooters and that the side of the tower is too slippery to climb up.  He elects to dive to the bottom of the tower and leap out, finding his camera and heading home.  Peter develops his photos and decides to sell them to Jameson, taking joy in the irony has Jameson hates Spider-Man.  Peter then constructs a belt to hold extra web cartridges, so as to be prepared next time he runs out, as well as a device that he thinks will impede the Vulture’s ability to fly.
The next day, Peter sells his photos to Jameson, who is very impressed with them, but Peter asks to remain uncredited for the photos.  He joins some of his classmates as they watch the diamond transfer, to see if the Vulture with make good on his threat.  The Vulture literally steals the diamond right from under them, as he pops up from the sewers, grabbing the diamonds before diving back down, through the sewers and out of the subway on the other side of town.  Spidey tracks down the Vulture but Vulture spots and tries to swoop around behind him, just as before.  Spidey senses it this time, snagging the Vulture’s leg and activating the device he built causing the Vulture to lose altitude, spiraling down towards the ground where he is found by the police.  Spidey reveals that he realized the Vulture flies through use of magnetism and so built his device to counteract it.  Peter delivers more photos to Jameson, as we see the Vulture in prison, vowing to defeat Spider-Man when next they meet.

“The Uncanny Threat of the Terrible Tinkerer!”

Writer: Stan Lee   Penciller: Steve Ditko   Inker: Steve Ditko   Colorist: Stan Goldberg

Synopsis: While in class one day, Peter Parker is offered to help a respected local scientist and jumps at the chance.  The scientist, Dr. Cobbwell, asks Peter to pick up his radio from a repair shop, run by an eccentric old man called the Tinkerer.  Peter picks up something suspicious with his spider-sense but thinks nothing of it; however the Tinkerer is revealed to be working with aliens to bug radios belonging to influential people to gain information for a coming invasion.  Back at the lab, Peter picks up the same suspicious frequency and, when Dr. Cobbwell leaves for a lecture, discovers the bugged radio and returns to the Tinkerer’s shop as Spider-Man to check it out.  After a battle with the aliens the shop is set ablaze.  The aliens flee and the Tinkerer gets lost in the smoke as Spider-Man gets out in the nick of time.  When Peter returns, Dr. Cobbwell claims to have seen a spaceship but concludes he must have been seeing things.  Peter however ponders over the mask the Tinkerer had been wearing that he recovered in the scuffle and decides he can’t tell anyone about it.

Steve Ditko
Steve Ditko
Stan Goldberg
Steve Ditko (Cover Penciler)
Steve Ditko (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson

(JJ Jameson)
May Parker
May Parker

(Aunt May)

(Peter Parker)

(Adrian Toomes)

Plus: Tinkerer.

> Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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