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Amazing Spider-Man #48: Review

May 1967
Stan Lee, John Romita

Story Name:

The Wings of the Vulture!

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Amazing Spider-Man #48 Review by (April 3, 2024)

Review: Out with the old, in with the new! This issue contains a debut of sorts with the introduction of Blackie Drago, the second Vulture and something like third character named Blackie! He took on the wings after the apparent death of the original Vulture (spoiler: he gets better). While he’s a pretty generic criminal and the story is pretty basic, the presentation and art really elevates this issue, containing some of my favorite Romita art to date! The art is beautiful and the action scenes breathtaking, as Spidey contends with this new Vulture and his cold! Spidey developing a fever that hinders him isn’t an original concept, but it works in context and provides an extra challenge, as well as making the new Vulture feel like more of a threat! The helmet Blackie adds helps with that as well and is something you’d think the original would have implemented at some point to protect his exposed bald dome.

Gwen Stacy also sports a new hairdo that is much more similar to how she’ll look from now on, as well as being more in line with how Mary Jane wears her hair, which is even commented on by Harry! Out of universe, I believe that MJ was proving to be more popular than Gwen amongst fans and so they decided to change up her look to be more similar to MJ. The hairstyle will be tweaked slightly before it gets to the “classic Gwen Stacy” look but once it does, that’s how she looks for life! Overall, a beautifully drawn issue introducing a new twist on an old villain and another defeat of sorts for Spidey, after his defeat last issue by Kraven. Tune in next issue to see the follow up to this cliffhanger ending, as well as redemption for these last couple issues in which Spidey takes on the new Vulture and Kraven, at the same time!

Comments: First appearance of Blackie Drago, the second Vulture. Apparent death of the original Vulture (quickly retconned). Gwen Stacy sports a new haircut more similar to Mary Jane’s that will serve as her usual look moving forward (with some slight tweaks).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man #48 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro

Our story begins with Spider-Man swinging through a heavy snowfall, on the lookout for Kraven the Hunter, who escaped last issue. While staying on the move to keep warm, Spidey swings past the municipal prison, before deciding to call it a night. Meanwhile, inside that very prison, the Vulture lies in the infirmary, near death, due to a mishap in the workshop. The Vulture demands to speak to his cellmate, Blackie Drago, and divulges to Blackie the location of his last pair of Vulture wings, merely 500 yards north of the prison. Blackie laughs in triumph, revealing that he had arranged the workroom mishap to get Vulture to tell him the location of the wings, after he had been after the information for months. Blackie leaves satisfied while the Vulture furiously thinks of all of the times he could’ve beaten Spider-Man in his apparent final moments, leaving it to Blackie to finish what he started. Later that night, Blackie knocks out a guard and escapes in the car he arrived in. He drives to the location of the hidden wings and puts them on, escaping the guards after a shaky start.

The next morning, Peter and Harry Osborn drive to class through the snow, and Harry notes that Peter seems rather sick. At class they run in to Gwen Stacy, sporting a new hairstyle, and Harry comments that Peter must like it due to looking more like Mary Jane’s hairdo, annoying Peter. After Peter’s teacher, Dr. Miles Warren, notes how feverish Peter seems, he sends Peter home to get some rest. At home, Peter catches an editorial by J. Jonah Jameson on TV, detailing how Spider-Man failed to catch Kraven last issue, followed by a news report about Blackie Drago’s prison escape from the previous night, causing Peter to stress about the new Vulture on top of feeling sick. Back with Blackie, he fashions a helmet to go along with his wings and practices his flying, getting the hang of it, and heading out to loot the city, only not caring about his predecessor’s vendetta against Spider-Man.

The new Vulture proceeds to go on a crime spree, robbing people and establishments before they know what hit them, noting that even Spider-Man hasn’t dared to come after him. We see however, that this is because Peter has still been feverishly ill the whole day, barely able to stand as he tries to don his Spidey costume. He considers contacting Daredevil to tackle the new Vulture in his stead but decides that he owes it to himself and the city to try anyway, hoping that the swinging will help him to feel better. Meanwhile, the new Vulture swoops down upon a man carrying a briefcase with negotiable bonds, but finds the man chained to the case. He then flies off with the man, perching him atop the George Washington Bridge, to give him time to get the case from the man where no one can interfere. Spidey follows the police cars heading toward the scene and spots the new Vulture and his prey atop the bridge, knowing he’s the only one who can get there in time.

Spidey surprises the new Vulture, knocking him into a tailspin, while lowering the man safely to the cops on the bridge. Spidey then narrowly avoids an attack from the new Vulture, webbing onto his legs and being carried off in the process. The new Vulture cleverly whips Spidey into the bridge, stunning him, with Spidey’s continued fever only making things worse. The new Vulture then carries Spidey off, to the hero’s secret relief, as he was beginning to lose consciousness. We then cut briefly, as Mary Jane Watson, Aunt May, and Anna Watson pay a visit to Peter’s apartment after hearing of his illness. Harry tells them that Peter isn’t there and that he must be feeling better at the Silver Spoon and Mary Jane suggests she and Harry meet him there. Back with Spidey, he frees himself from the Vulture’s grasp and fights back, landing a good kick before perching on a wall. However, Spidey’s fever finally gets the better of him and he begins to pass out just before the Vulture lands a final attack, kicking Spidey out of the air and leaving him defeated on a rooftop in the snowy cold! To be continued!

John Romita
John Romita
John Romita (Cover Penciler)
John Romita (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Sam Rosen.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson

(JJ Jameson)
Mary Jane Watson
Mary Jane Watson

(Mary Jane)
May Parker
May Parker

(Aunt May)

(Peter Parker)

(Adrian Toomes)

Plus: Anna Watson, Miles Warren, Vulture (Blackie Drago).

> Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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