Credits: Louise Simonson (writer), Greg LaRocque (penciler), Jim Mooney (inker), Phil Felix (letterer), George Roussos (colorist)
The Plot: The Vulture, enraged that the Vulturions have stolen his designs, breaks out of prison and hunts them down. One of the Vulturions crashes into the restaurant where Peter and Mary Jane are eating lunch. Peter changes into Spider-Man and tries to save the Vulturions from the Vulture. The toll of the fight leaves Spider-Man briefly unconscious, allowing the Vulture to escape. The next day, he travels to Aunt May’s home and secretly drops off her birthday present.
The Subplots: Aunt May is afraid of losing her home, but refuses to ask for help. Peter doesn’t attend her birthday party because she’s angry with him for dropping out of graduate school. Mary Jane fears growing closer to Peter because of his life as Spider-Man.
I Love the 80s: MJ carries a walkman, which also provides convenient radio updates on the Vulture’s activities.
Review: Hey, does anyone remember when Aunt May acted radically out-of-character and shunned Peter because he dropped out of graduate school? I can understand the writers portraying her as upset, and then using it as a guilt hammer against Peter, but treating this as a legitimate feud is ridiculous. He can’t even go to the old lady’s birthday party? Would Aunt May really behave this way? Aside from repeating the “Spidey is knocked unconscious and can’t continue the fight” gimmick two issues in a row, this is also the second issue that has him obsessing over Aunt May’s hat for most of the story. He keeps getting sidetracked from mailing it (because, remember, he can’t deliver it in person because Aunt May is such a nasty old goat), and then forgetfully leaves it with Mary Jane when he goes off into action. He has to pick it up from MJ’s apartment the next morning, which begs the question of why she didn’t just mail the thing. All Peter could talk about was getting it to the post office in time; you’d think she could do something to help him out. The final image of Spidey hiding in the trees, wishing Aunt May happy birthday as she picks up the package, is sweet, but the story has to contort in odd ways to get there.