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Appearing in "Desperate Measures"

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Synopsis for "Desperate Measures"

The Vulture is dying of cancer and is settling old scores. This has brought him to the home of May Parker. In her bedroom, May learns about the Vulture's terminal illness. He has come to apologize to May for his involvement in the death of her late fiancee, Nathan Lubenski.[Continuity 1] He explains that Nathan was one of the few people who treated him with kindness since he became a criminal. Giving Adrian Toomes a new will to live when he was about ready to give up on life.[Continuity 2] He explains that although he takes personal responsibility for Nathan's demise, he admits that he didn't know it was Nathan until he read about it later in the newspaper. This revelation about broke his heart. May demands to know what the Vulture wants, and Toomes explain that he had come to ask for her forgiveness. This angers May so much that she slaps the villain across the face. She then tells Adrian to get out of her house and never darken her doors again. Shocked by this reaction, the Vulture angrily leaves, leaving May to alone. Watching him go, May's anger gives way to grief and she sits on her bed and begins to cry.

Meanwhile, at the Soho apartment shared by Peter Parker and his wife Mary Jane are going over their bills before going to bed for the night.[Continuity 3] Mary Jane tries to keep Peter's mind occupied, knowing that her husband is worried about the Green Goblin being on the loose.[Continuity 4] That's when the phone rings, prompting Peter to answer it. It's Aunt May, and after she tells Peter about her encounter with the Vulture, he angrily slams down the phone with enough force to break it. He is furious to learn that the Vulture was at his Aunt's house. When Mary Jane offers to go with him, Peter refuses to allow her to come. He then changes into Spider-Man and swings out into the night. As he web-slings across the city, Spider-Man fears that the barrier he has put up between his identities is beginning to erode more and more with each passing day. For a moment, he wonders if Harry Osborn has been divulging his true identity to his other foes.[Continuity 5] At that moment, the Vulture pays a visit to J. Jonah Jameson at the offices of the Daily Bugle. When he threatens the Bugle reporter, Jonah blows cigar smoke in his face and tells him to drop dead. The Vulture then hangs the publisher out the window and demands that he publish his intent to kill Spider-Man in tomorrow's Daily Bugle. When security arrives in the office, Toomes tosses Jameson at them, he then warns Jameson that this is no idle threat, that he intends to kill Spider-Man and leaves.

By this time, Spider-Man arrives in Forest Hills and changes back into Peter Parker. Checking on his wife, he is surprised to discover that the Vulture came asking for forgiveness. After explaining everything that happen, May figures she couldn't bring herself to forgive the Vulture because of all the losses she has suffered over the years. She thinks that part of her died when Nathan Lubenski did and she is just realizing it now. Peter hugs his Aunt May and they stand in silence like this for a while. A short while later, May goes to bed for the night, and Peter stays at the house to make sure everything is okay. As the night carries on, the Vulture makes his way back to May's house. When he arrives, Peter's spider-sense goes off warning him of danger. As he calls out to his Aunt May, she begins to scream. When he arrives she tells him that she saw the Vulture in the window but he disappeared when Peter started coming upstairs. Suddenly, the Vulture comes into the bedroom from behind Peter with a gun in his hand. The Vulture assures Peter that he means no harm, that he has the gun to make sure that Parker does what he tells him, as he doesn't want to cause his Aunt any more grief if he can help it. Sick of his foes coming into his personal life, Peter snaps and strikes the Vulture with enough force to send him tumbling down the stairs to the main floor of the house.

Peter goes downstairs wondering how far he is willing to go to protect his family. He is too distracted to move when the Vulture suddenly grabs him by the throat. Thinking that this was a lucky punch, and warns Peter against doing it again. Before he can explain why he has come, May comes downstairs holding the gun that the Vulture brought into her home. She orders him to let her nephew go and leave her home. Realizing that coming back was a big mistake, the Vulture is about to agree to leave until police cars begin surrounding the Parker home. Needing a hostage in order to escape, and takes Peter with him as he flees. At that moment, Mary Jane arrives in a cab just in time to witness her husband being carried away by the Vulture. Soon, Peter finds himself tied up in the Vulture's lair, he explains that he cannot die in peace so long as Peter's aunt won't forgive him for Nathan's death. When Peter asks why take him hostage, Toomes explains that as May's nephew, Parker could convince May to finally forgive him. That's when he Peter spots Gregory Bestman's dead body laying on the ground. Furious, Peter bellows that nobody else will die at Toomes hand and charges at the villain. However, he does not run into the Vulture, he heads toward the nearby window and leaps out.

The Vulture runs to the window, fearing that Peter had killed himself but sees no sign of him on the ground. That's because Peter managed to break free, secretly change into Spider-Man and swing back inside from the otherside of the grain silo that serves that Vulture's hideout. Spider-Man tells the Vulture that he was sloppy re-using his old hideout as it allowed him to stake it out.[Continuity 6] Happy to see the wall-crawler, the Vulture is ready to kill the hero now. He hopes that Spider-Man has family, because killing him knowing they will never see him again will bring him great joy. With that, the Vulture leaps at his long time foe. At that same moment in Queens, Mary Jane comforts Aunt May, hoping that her husband will come back home alive.


Continuity Notes

  1. Nathan was suffering from heart disease and died during an attack by the Vulture in Amazing Spider-Man #336.
  2. Nathan Lubenski befriended the Vulture when he was hiding out from the law in Amazing Spider-Man #224.
  3. Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from existence by the demon Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple.
  4. The Green Goblin evaded capture in The Spectacular Spider-Man #184.
  5. Harry has known that Peter was Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #135. This knowledge was buried after Harry got psychiatric help, but his memory of Peter's double-identity had recently resurfaced in Web of Spider-Man #67.
  6. The Vulture has been using this hideout intermittantly since he started his criminal career back in Amazing Spider-Man #2.

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