The Faces are behind bars. Alison Mongrain is no longer a threat. Peter Parker has given up being a super hero and so, for that matter, has May. So what happens next? A change of pace, apparently.
"You are a cloud in my sky. Just like a cloud, you're light and soft and beautiful and so far away. You float above me so significant in my world and yet too remote for you to ever notice me. But still I gaze up in awe at your... tch... WAY too sappy!"
A young freshman at Midtown High is writing those words. He is writing a letter that serves as the narration for the story. He won't sign his name to the paper, and we never learn it, but he is writing those words to May Parker because, as he puts it, "I am totally, utterly, in love with you." Unfortunately for the young man, it's too late for him to do anything about it (a fact that he laments in the letter.) Today is his last day at Midtown High. His family is moving away.
He meets up with another freshman, a girl named Kari who wants to know about the letter. He fills her in, then slips the letter into May's locker. The two hug and say their goodbyes, and the young man settles in to wait. May arrives at her locker, but is interrupted by Davida before she can open it. The two leave.
Later that day, May is playing in a basketball game. The young man is watching her play. After the game, May heads out to the mall with Davida and another girl. The young man follows her, toying with the idea of striking up a conversation. Just then, an explosion rocks the building. In a panic, the young man runs up to May's two friends and asks where she is. Suddenly, Spider-Girl and a female Electro-wannabe emerge from the smoke. The young man is caught in the fight and is blown over a railing. Spider-Girl saves him, then decks "Electra." When she turns around, the young man has left.
That evening, May and Davida are back at Midtown High for whatever reason. The young man is in a passing car. He waves at May, and she waves back despite not knowing who he is. The young man's family drives away, but despite everything, he is grateful for his feelings toward May. Back at Midtown, May opens her locker. The letter falls out, and on the envelope is written "don't believe in destiny." May begins to read it.
What a nice story. So what if it doesn't fit into current continuity? It's a stand-alone issue, one that could have taken place at almost any time. And after the long, slow buildup of the last few months, it's nice to take a breather.
I feel for the young man. I've been there. I think we all have at some point. And it really came through in this story. The young man couldn't bear to leave May behind--when you think about it, he practically stalked her--and still nearly got up the nerve to introduce himself before it was too late. That didn't work out, unfortunately, but life often works that way (spandex-clad superheroes notwithstanding.) His letter was believable because it was both earnest and just hoaky enough. And you get the feeling that May and the young man would have become friends, or at least acquaintances, if he'd just had the guts to speak up. So even though he's content at the end of the story, you still get a feeling that it could have ended so much better. No, he and May wouldn't have ridden off into the sunset together, but he might have gotten a warm hug from her before he left, like he did from Kari.
Some nice art from Casey Jones brings back fond memories of Mike Wieringo. May really did look cute in this issue. The young man didn't have enough acne to pass for a freshman in high school, but you can't have everything.
Hey, it was a good, touching, self-contained issue that offered up a nice break from the usual fare. It's my review and I'll give it five webs if I want to.