In this comic, our sturdy her Peter (Spider-Man), Parker is not only still a teen, but he lives in the hi-tech, modern world of right now. Yes, this series has re-imagined Spidey for today’s modern sensibility without all of the grim and grittiness that today’s comics sport. Still, it retains all of the exciting nuances and straight-up fun from the Silver Age of Marvel Comics. True, these stories are targeted for a much younger audience than your typical Marvel Comic reader; it should be noted that there are plenty of “old timers” (like this reviewer) who find this title a refreshing breeze.
Pete and chat are walking down a crowded street in Manhattan when all of a sudden everything around them goes silent, and all the pedestrians begin to collapse. The next thing they know, a masked blonde girl in spandex shows up calling herself The Silencer. A flock of seagulls (no, not the band, but actual birds), attack Silencer, as Chat tells Pete to go get Spidey, just before she falls unconscious, a sentiment that Silencer echoes. Reluctantly, Pete picks up his backpack and heads into an ally to change into Spidey. The two then spar for a few moments before Silencer takes a powder.
Five minutes later, Spidey and a revived Chat are on a nearby rooftop, where Spidey confronts her about her knowing his identity. Chat also reveals that she is a mutant who can talk to animals. A couple of hours later Pete is having lunch with Captain Stacy talking about the Silencer. Stacey gets a call about a robbery and hostage crises and leaves, telling Peter not to get involved (as Spidey).
At Chat’s apartment, Silencer shows up, revealing herself to be Emma. Chat is mad that Emma picked a fight with Peter, but Emma explains that she just wanted to see what it was like to go a couple of rounds with Spidey. Not happy with her friend, Chat tells Emma to stay away from Peter.
At home Peter is greeted by Aunt May, when a TV news report flashes about Captain Stacy’s hostage situation, and Peter runs out. As Spidey he heads down to the scene to meet with Stacy as Peter. A blonde girl shows up claiming to be the girlfriend of one of the hostages, frantically saying that the police have to rescue the hostages before nightfall. She shows Peter a cell phone video of her boyfriend, Jack Russell, who has a bit of a lycanthropy issue.
Pete sends her up on the roof of a nearby building, as he heads there as Spidey. As Spidey, he calls Captain Stacy to tell that there is a greater danger that needs to be addressed, and to move his men away from the back of the bank so he can gain access. Once inside the bank, Spidey begins to deal with the thieves. He then rescues Jack just as he begins to change. Spidey swings to the roof where he sent Jack’s girlfriend.
Spidey webs jack to a water tower and then sits with her throughout the night (refreshing his webbing every hour) until dawn, to keep jack (and everyone else) safe.
It is interesting to read this series as it begins to evolve into something that clearly is Spider-Man, but neither the one I grew up with nor the edgy revamp accorded to us from the pages of Ultimate Spidey. True, this story borrows heavily from Spidey’s past (Gwen & Captain Stacy), but it also has so much that is new (Chat), as well as (just slightly askew) from the Marvel universe that we already know (Emma, who is so clearly a young Emma Frost, but not quite as much either).
All of which gives us enough to warm up to the characters, and yet not be bored with the fact that these are merely retellings of previously-told Spidey stories. No, this is definitely a good twist that makes this series quite entertaining.
As always, the story flows smoothly and is easy to follow without being simplistic in nature. All characters are nicely introduced and all of the actions stay in character while moving everything along at a brisk pace. It is obvious that writer Paul Tobin has long-term plans for these characters, and enjoying himself as he gets there.
While I’m not sure, it looks as if management is looking for reader input in the forms of a letters page, so I urge you all to rush out, buy this series, and then write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org