With the release of the new Amazing Spider-Man movie, I’ve been thinking about one of my favorite storylines that ran through Amazing Spider-Man when I was in middle school. You might even call this my first monthly book since, in one of those door-to-door subscription offers, I had it shipped monthly to my house for over a year (my corner store also carried Classic X-Men which I bought on a regular basis and I read and bought any current issue of Uncanny X-Men I could get my hands on, but these were never super consistent as Amazing Spider-Man).
The first storyline I think I ever received ran just before the Clone Saga, so I think people might not remember it as fondly as I do. The issue featured the classic Spider-Man villain The Vulture. Adrian Toomes sounds much more like a villain from The X-Files than a credible threat for the wallcrawler. The fun of this story is: it kind of addresses that. Sure, Toomes is smart and built himself a flying harness to do major acts of crime, but he’s old and his original harness gave him cancer. He starts the story in jail, using a makeshift harness of mostly spare radio parts to escape (kind of an awesome jailbreak scene, actually). His master plan? Pilfer the research of a scientist working out of ESU (Empire State University, where Peter Parker attends natch) who is working on a way to reverse the aging process. Toomes gets to be young again, but more importantly cure his fatal cancer as well.