Appearing in "The Dark Wings Of Death!"
- Vulture (Clifton Shallot) (First appearance)
Synopsis for "The Dark Wings Of Death!"
While web-slinging through the city, Spider-Man happens upon a murder scene that has happened right in front of Mary Jane's apartment. Concerned about her after all the concern she's shown him following Gwen's death, he changes into Peter Parker to check in on her. The frightened Mary Jane tells Peter that she saw the whole thing, but refuses to go to the police for fear that the killer will harm her as well. Angry at Mary Jane for being so cowardly, Peter storms out of her apartment, pretending to be angry at her for her cowardliness, hoping to spark her to call the police out of spite.
Changing back to Spider-Man, Peter swings through the city to see if he can find the killer still around when he is attacked by the what appears to be the Vulture. Spider-Man correctly deduces that he's responsible for the murdered girl. However, in trying to defeat the villain, Spider-Man is knocked for a loop and he gets away. Spider-Man flees the scene as well when the police arrive and meet back up with the Human Torch to check on the status of the Spider-Mobile.
The two work through the night putting together the Spider-Mobile from scratch. As the next morning begins, Spider-Man departs to resume his civilian life. In the apartment he shares with Harry, Peter studies until Harry returns home. When Peter tries to get Harry to talk to him, Harry flips out when Peter tries to make up with him. Later at ESU, Peter tries to talk to Mary Jane about the night before. She tries to get Peter to believe what she told him was a lie, but he's not going to buy it. When they are picked up by Flash Thompson, Peter notices that they are being followed by the Vulture, who grabs Mary Jane and flies off.
This sudden attack causes Flash to swerve off the road and crash, injuring himself. Peter, unhurt by the crash rushes off to find someplace to change into Spider-Man. Along the way, he's confronted by Professor Warren again about his grades but slips away. Changing into Spider-Man, Peter manages to catch up to the Vulture and prevents him from dropping Mary Jane to her death. Angered that another woman close to him almost was killed thanks to a Spider-Man villain, Spidey vows to get the Vulture.
Tracing him to the ESU Biology wing, he finds the Vulture terrorizing Christine Murrow in one of the labs. Their fight takes them outside, where Spider-Man notices a crowd and the police have gathered outside the building. There, Spider-Man blinds the Vulture by shooting webbing in his eyes. The Vulture is then attempted to be apprehended by the police who toss a net on him. The blinded villain throws the net off and grabs Spider-Man (thinking it's Christine Murrow) and flying high into the sky. Among the crowd, watching is Harry Osborn, who hopes that the Vulture will kill Spider-Man, and if not, he will -- as the Green Goblin.
The Vulture manages to pull off the webbing from his eyes and then realizes that he'd grabbed Spider-Man, not Murrow, and drops him high in the sky, hoping the fall will kill the wall-crawler.
- Numerous mentions are made regarding the death of Gwen Stacy, who died in Amazing Spider-Man #121.
- Despite what Spider-Man things, this Vulture is not his old foe, but an impostor as revealed next issue.
- The Human Torch can be seen here wearing a red and yellow costume. He adopted this uniform to pay respect to the original Human Torch of the 1940s in Fantastic Four #132. He will continue to wear this uniform until Fantastic Four #159.
- Mention is also made of the supposed death of Norman Osborn. Norman, secretly the Green Goblin, was seemingly killed in Amazing Spider-Man #122. In reality, Norman survived as revealed in Osborne Journals #1, he will resurface in Amazing Spider-Man #412. Meanwhile, Harry removed his father's costume in Amazing Spider-Man #123, the general public will not know about Norman's double identity until Spider-Man: Legacy of Evil #1.
- Flash Thompson makes comment about the Draft Board. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- Reprinted in Marvel Tales # 104