Set immediately following the events of the recent Sinister Six blowout in the core titles, the Vulture's had it with trying to make do as a Big Apple supervillain and wants to skip town with the ten best privately held pieces of jewelry in the city. To cover his tracks he's blacked out ten areas across New York City and is using the darkness as cover for his thefts. The perfect crime? Only until Spider-Man gets his webbed mitts on ol' Vulchy, of course!
The Vulture's first stop on his little shopping spree is the penthouse apartment of a wealthy British couple. Spooked by the blackout and trying to protect his terrified wife, her husband manages to fire one bullet through his living room window before coming face to face with Adrian Toomes and collapsing with severe chest pain. His wife agrees to give the Vulture what he came for - "the 'Heavens of Aphrodite', eighty diamonds set in ropes of gold" - to appease him, and he flies off into the night in search of his next bauble.
While this is happening, Spider-Man is on the other side of town taking care of your typical carjacking, thumping two of the bad guys and trapping the other two in the stolen car with a considerable amount of web fluid. He just finishes by the time the police arrive. Instead of pulling the standard "Spider-Man is just as bad as the crooks, we must arrest him!" line, the cops actually treat him like a human being and even offer him some donuts. Before he can break bread with New York's finest, however, a report of the blackout comes over the police scanner and Spidey swings off to investigate.
By this time, the Vulture has arrived at the penthouse of Jill DeMarley and his plans have hit a snag. It seems Jill has divorced her loser husband and he has the "Sapphire Garden" necklace that Mr. Toomes wants for himself. Realizing his dilemma, the Vulture takes Ms. DeMarley's daughter Tamara hostage. He threatens to leave her on a building treated with a chemical compound that reacts to electric current, detonating it unless Jill gets the necklace from her husband. He then leaves, naturally flying right into ol' Spidey. After a brief scuffle, the Vulture soakes Spider-Man's costume and webline with his chemical, then ignites the webline. Spider-Man manages to let go before the fire reaches him, but that gives the Vulture time to fly away.
Meanwhile, two people who are either police, Con Ed workers or both (it's a little unclear exactly who these people are!) have discovered the source of the blackouts and that the chemical accelerant (the Vulture's compound) has "an outrageous - I mean outrageous - infrared signature." While they contemplate getting some helicopters poking around with infrared scopes, Spider-Man catches up to the Vulture again, but has to break off to save a shopowner endangered by the looting the blackouts have caused. He saves the man, but refuses to go back and protect his store. Just as the man leaves in disgust, a helicopter arrives, guns blazing. After all, the Vulture's chemical has an "outrageous" infrared signature, and Spider-Man's whole costume is drenched in it...
I am liking this storyline very much so far. High on the list of reasons why would be the Vulture. For once, the guy actually looks and acts dangerous, which is nice to see after the writers tried to de-age him and then turned him into some sort of whacko energy vampire. Vulture may be old again but he's a mean ol' codger with a new trick up his sleeve. The bit with the chemical seemed a bit contrived, but that's forgivable.
Rurik Tyler gets high points for the art and story, but this issue suffers a bit from the preponderance of word balloons. In places it works, and the second-person narration is a nice touch, but some panels are more than a bit too cluttered.
A good read overall. Looking forward to next issue's conclusion.
Vulture's back and you're gonna be in trouble. Four webs.