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Amazing Spider-Man #7: Review

Dec 1963
Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Story Name:

The Return of the Vulture!

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Amazing Spider-Man #7 Review by (November 21, 2023)

Review: Although this is a pretty standard little Vulture story, this one is also tons of fun! There’s great pacing, and Spider-Man chasing Vulture through the Daily Bugle is very fun and exciting! It really feels like Stan and Steve are starting to get into the groove of things. Spidey’s noticeably quippier in this one, with a lot more of the wiseguy humor he’ll become known for, making this feel even closer to classic Spider-Man. Some particular scenes of note. There’s a scene when Spidey gets home after his first tussle with Vulture in this issue, and Aunt May hears something in Peter’s room. This causes Peter to jump up on the ceiling to avoid her in a display very similar to one in the first Spider-Man movie. Who knows, this scene could’ve been the direct inspiration! 

There’s also a couple of cute scenes between Peter and Betty, one in which, when Betty asks Peter what happened to his arm, he slyly tells her that he was battling the Vulture. She responds with “ask a stupid question…” but it’s just another display of the more wiseguy classic Spidey we know starting to shine through. Peter and Betty also share a very sweet moment right at the end, acting as a turning point for their relationship, as they revel in the silence after Spidey had webbed Jameson’s mouth closed. Some great, classic stuff!

Comments: First time Spider-Man fights a returning villain. The Vulture’s last appearance was in Amazing Spider-Man #2. First time Spider-Man webs Jameson’s mouth closed.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man #7 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro

Our story opens with a quick recap of Amazing Spider-Man #2, showcasing how Spidey used the anti-magnetic inverter he built to stop the Vulture in their first encounter. While Spider-Man thought that that was the end of the Vulture, we see that he has been spending his months since in prison, secretly building a new flying device. While not as strong as his usual device, it’s enough for him to get over the wall of the prison during an exercise period and fly to freedom. We then cut to Midtown High, where Peter Parker hears a radio report of the Vulture’s escape, and fakes a headache to get out of volleyball, much to the derision of Flash Thompson. Back at home, he switches to Spider-Man, making sure to check all of his equipment, thinking that catching the Vulture will be a cinch, as he still has the anti-magnetic inverter he used last time.

Meanwhile, the Vulture takes to the skies once again, evading police helicopters and robbing a jewelry store, escaping with ease due to his wings. Spider-Man finally catches up to him and lets the Vulture get close so as to use the inverter he built. The Vulture pretends to fall, but little does Spider-Man know that the Vulture’s new modified wings are immune to the inverter that defeated him before. The Vulture swoops around and although Spidey’s spider-sense warns him, he thinks there can’t possibly be any danger, leaving the Vulture to be able to sucker punch him. The Vulture then capitalizes on the opportunity, while Spider-Man is temporarily stunned, to lay into him, unleashing a savage barrage of attacks, knocking Spider-Man toward the ground. Still stunned, Spider-Man attempts to snag his web on a building but misses, landing hard on a rooftop, defeated.

The Vulture revels in his apparent vanquishing of his foe as the public mourns in shock. Spider-Man, however, is still alive, though his arm is seriously injured. He makes his way home but almost gets caught by Aunt May and is forced to hide on the ceiling to avoid her. That night, Aunt May takes him to a Doctor, who tells Peter that his arm is only badly sprained and that he shouldn’t use it for a while. The next day, Peter’s current state earns him some teasing from Flash and Liz Allan. We then cut to the Vulture, planning his next heist, deciding to hit J. Jonah Jameson’s office at the Daily Bugle, in order to steal the pay envelopes that will be there.

Peter stops by the Bugle to try and sell J. Jonah Jameson a photo of the Vulture he took, when suddenly the real thing flies in through the window! The Vulture pulls a gun and demands that Jameson pony up the money in his safe. Jameson argues back against the Vulture, saying it would ruin him, which gives Peter the chance to slip out of the room and change into Spider-Man. Spidey jumps back into the room and webs up the Vulture’s gun, who then hightails it out of the room, leaving Spider-Man to give chase. Betty Brant takes refuge behind her desk as Spider-Man chases the Vulture down the stairs, until they end up in the press room. There, Spider-Man is able to take the Vulture by surprise and jump on his back, leading the Vulture to fly up and hit Spider-Man against the ceiling to knock him loose.

The Vulture takes the opportunity to fly out of the window and Spider-Man jumps out after him. Spidey’s spider-sense warns him that the Vulture is waiting to trap him but lets himself get grabbed by the Vulture, who then flies the both of them high into the air. While the Vulture stops to gloat over his apparent victory, Spidey webs his wings to his sides, causing them to fall and for Vulture to panic. Spidey spins a web parachute and attaches it to the Vulture, to send him down to the ground in style. Jameson then yells out the window that he’s holding Spider-Man responsible for all the damage done to the Bugle, prompting Spidey to web his mouth closed. The issue ends with Peter finding Betty still behind her desk and the two share a nice moment as Jameson runs around with his mouth all webbed up.

Steve Ditko
Steve Ditko
Stan Goldberg
Steve Ditko (Cover Penciler)
Steve Ditko (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Art Simek.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson

(JJ Jameson)
May Parker
May Parker

(Aunt May)

(Peter Parker)

(Adrian Toomes)

Plus: Betty Brant, Liz Allan (Liz Osborn).

> Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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