Comics : Marvel Age: Spider-Man #6

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

The Vulture is back and he's not going to fall for the "Parkerizer" again.

This preamble section isn't generally used, you can just delete text the text here and leave it empty. That's because normally all the detail is related to a specific issue, and should be put lower down under that issue.

The only type of review that normally uses this preamble text is a short review (e.g. a 17 second review) that wants to summaries a multi-issue story arc with a broad brush, not going into details for any issue.

In Detail...

"The Return of the Vulture"
Marvel Age: Spider-Man #6
Aug 2004 : SM Title
Summary: Vulture (Re-telling of ASM #7)
Editor:  C.B. Cebulski
Plot:  Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
Writer:  Daniel Quantz
Pencils:  Mark Brooks
Inker:  Mark Brooks
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man Magazine (Vol. 3) #14
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man: Marvel Age Digest #2
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man Annual (UK) 2006

The Vulture breaks jail ("Sayonara, suckers" he says as he flies away.) and Peter Parker must pretend to be sick in the middle of a volleyball game so he can go on patrol as Spider-Man. When they meet, Spidey uses his magnetic inverter (dubbed the "Parkerizer" in issue #1) again but the Vulture has modified his wings and suckers the web-slinger in. Spidey ends up falling hard and spraining his arm.

Thinking he is free of his enemy, the Vulture decides to rob the Daily Bugle of its payroll. First he flies right into a closed window at Jameson's office and then he is called a "senile old coot" by Jonah who informs the Vulture that the payroll is in the form of paychecks. Spidey arrives, defeats the Vulture, webs Jonah's mouth closed and then cuddles up to Betty Brant behind her desk.

In General...

This issue is the best of the bunch so far because Daniel mostly sticks with the original story, only goosing it sparingly as needed. I love the bit with the Vulture flying right into the window. The days of office buildings with open windows, as in ASM #7, December 1963 are lost past. Equally enjoyable is the moment that the Vulture learns that the payroll consists of paychecks. Another nice updating of the original tale.

The art by Mark Brooks is fine but all it ultimately does is remind me of how much better Ditko's work is on the same story. Brooks may seem more modern and flashy but in a page-by-page comparison, Ditko's work wins out easily. Look at his composition on page 8 of ASM #7, for example, as Spidey begins his fall at the top left of the page leading down to a desperate strand of webbing missing the building at the bottom right. Check out the first panel on the following page when Spidey finally hits. You can practically feel the impact. Look at the body language in the third panel of the page as the Vulture perches on a flagpole. This is masterful stuff and I've only pointed out one and a half pages. The whole issue is like that. It's no disrespect to Mark Brooks to say that he doesn't come close.

This is Daniel Quantz's last issue of the series and I have nothing but respect for his work. Yes, I have had some harsh words but it's not really his fault. Regurgitating classic Lee-Ditko plots is a thankless job. Let's see some of Daniel's original ideas in some Spidey book real soon.

Overall Rating...

Can it be? A whole three and a half webs! (But I'd still recommend reading ASM #7 instead.)

And remember: the web ratings for these stories are not to be confused with the web ratings for the originals. It's a whole different scale altogether.