Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #386
Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3
This story is part of a Lookback Series: Henrique Investigates
Peter has had recent showdowns with the Jury and Hulk, and he's pretty much in one piece - which is a good thing, especially for the Hulk part. He's now very attached to his returned parents, and has only reasons to smile. MJ gave up smoking after seeing Nick Katzenberg in the hospital, suffering from lung cancer. Of course, as we know, whenever all goes well in Spidey's life, a storyarc comes to shake the whole foundations. Enter "Lifetheft".
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #386
Feb 1994 : SMURF 386.500 : SM Title
Arc: Part 1 of "Lifetheft"
|Articles: Aunt May Parker, Vulture I (Adrian Toomes)|
At Ryker Island's Penitentiary, someone let Adrian Toomes get a walkman in his cell. He develops it into a powerful electromagnet (this guy has been watching way too much MacGyver), with which he KO's a guard and rips off the window's bars. He uses some improvised wings to escape through the hole, which barely give him time to reach an escape boat that was waiting. He then says that when he wanted to die, Spidey didn't let him, so he decided to live forever...
At Aunt May's house, the detective she hired to track Peter's parents called Peter up to tell him that he found nothing, and she still insists in investigating. He says that he's quitting and warns Peter to the possibility of May suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Peter is disappointed with his downcast aunt. His parents arrive, and he tells them nothing about what just happened, and leaves swinging home, worrying about the possibility of May's illness.
Next morning, MJ goes to a mall to promote her TV show, and Pete goes to E.S.U., to talk to Dr. Benita Sanchez, who's the leading authority in human aging, to talk about his Aunt. She tells him that Alzheimer is a possibility, and to bring May over for some tests (she agreed to see him because Prof. Swann put in a word for him - isn't it good to be the teacher's favourite). She then shows him the "rejuvenator" prototype, which transfers life force from one source to another, and which theoretically could even eliminate cellular illnesses. She tells him she's trying to develop an artificial life source, because they can't use it on people. Peter leaves her office, thinking he needs to trust his parents, despite his Aunt's intuition, as he wants to tell them he is Spider-Man. Then his Spider-Sense interrupts him.
At the mall, a crazed fan tries to shoot MJ because of her character in the TV show being a total b*tch, and she breaks in tears, realizing what Peter deals with every day.
At E.S.U., the Vulture, who has read about Dr. Sanchez's research, is about to test the rejuvenator on her, by the means of some transfer gloves, in spite of the Doc's obvious claimings that the donor can die (gee, if you transfer your life to somebody else, doesn't that usually mean you lose it?). Spidey shows up, and a battle ensues. The Vulture throws Spidey against the ruined buildings where he fought Hulk, and leaves to try to absorb the Doc's life force. He takes out the two recently called security guards, and is punched away by Spider-Man when he was about to touch her. Pete turns to her to see if she is alright, and the Vulture grabs him with the gloves and sucks his youth away.
This is the classic cliffhanger, where we all know that Spidey is going to get his youth back, but still we can't wait for the next issue to see it. It also lays some ground for the Parents Saga conclusion.
Great use of backup characters, and a Spidey main story told in grand style. Four webs.