Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #241

Background

The Vulture has been making the skies unfriendly and giving the web-head a hard time ever since Amazing Spider-Man #2, vol. 1. Where did the Vulture's power-pack that enables him to fly come from and why did Adrian Toomes become the Vulture in the first place? The answerers to both of those questions are divulged in this issue.

Story 'In The Beginning...'

Keating and his men bust the locks on the door to find Spider-Man bruised but still alive. Since the lieutenant already has helicopters looking for the Vulture, Spidey takes Keating's radio (much to the police officer's chagrin) and takes off after Vultuch. Just before Spidey slammed into the ground it is revealed that he placed a spider-trace on the Vulture when he grabbed onto him last issue.

A quick scene at the air port shows us that the Anna Watson and Mary Jane are back in town, ready to enter the Parker's lives once again.

At the New York Harbor, a ferry boat spots the Vulture heading for Staten Island. With Keating's radio Spidey gets the word and high tails it to the location. Helicopters are already closing in on the Vulture but he easily eludes them with some quick wing work, which also causes Bestman to faint. The Vulture retreats to his old silo hide out and the web-slinger isn't far behind.

When Bestman comes to, he's tided to a chair. The Vulture tells him that this silo is where he first came to work after he cheated him out of their business. The two were once partners with their own business, Bestman + Toomes Electronics. Bestman told Toomes profits were up 5% and he was going to put that money towards Toomes' research. Toomes was working on a project that was sure to be a hit. He was developing what would be the electromagnetic harness that allows him to fly as the Vulture. Thrilled at the progress he was making, he rushed to tell Bestman, going to his office but he wasn't there and the door was unlocked. There were some papers on Bestman's desk that showed he'd been deceiving Toomes. Profits weren't up 5%, they were up 50%. Bestman came in and saw what Toomes had uncovered. Toomes was so angry that he grabbed Bestman and held him against the wall, showing unusual strength for such an old man. Bestman told Toomes that they were finished being partners and Toomes took his leave. The business was in Bestman's name so Toomes never saw a dime.

Toomes didn't have a lot of money. What little he had he used to retire to the old silo. Nonetheless, he never stopped working on his harness. He turned it into a portable power pack and upgraded it with wings. Not only did the harness allow him to fly, it also gave him strength the likes that few men his age had ever known.

Bestman had trouble keeping the business going and he planned to sell it for profit. To make sure he'd have nothing to sell, Toomes put his harness to use and became the Vulture, destroying every piece of equipment that Bestman had. Before he left, Toomes took hi share of the money.

Spidey grabs Bestman before Vulture can do any harm to him, though he does feel sorry for him since he was cheated out of what was rightfully his. Vulture doesn't care about Spidey's sympathy and moves in for the kill, but Spidey leaps over him. The Vulture can hear the sound of choppers. Spidey tells him that every word he said has been transmitted to the cops via radio. Vulture grabs Bestman, flies out a window and drops him. Making a quick exit, Spidey catches Bestman with a web net before he hits the ground. Ripping off Vulture's power-pack, Spidey brings the Vulture down and webs him up. Bestman is about to sock the Vulture a good one, but Spidey stops him. Keating says that the D.A. will probably want to hear the Vulture's story. He says his business practices probably aren't much different now than what they were then. Bestman is sweating bullets.

Peter admires the pictures that his automatic camera took when Amy Powell comes up to him and drags him along for some coffee. Peter thinks that if he humors her, she'll lose interest. The two are seen walking off by Lance Bannon. Lance isn't too pleased with this turn of events.

General Comments

Finally some background on the Vulture and good background at that. Adrian was already an old man when Bestman cheated him so he kinda feels like he's at the end of his rope. His motivation for becoming the Vulture doesn't feel forced and I couldn't help but feel a bit sorry for him. The Vulture's origin story was definitely worth the wait.

Overall Rating

Another solid issue in Roger Stern's run on Amazing Spider-Man. What more could you ask for?