Previously, after a battle Pete crashes bloody and bandaged at home with his Spidey gear on the floor. Aunt May drops by and finds Pete, shocked to see that Pete is Spider-Man!
|Writer:||J. Michael Straczynski|
|Pencils:||John Romita, Jr.|
|Cover Art:||Kaare Andrews|
The book opens with the scene of Aunt May staring in shock at Pete's battered body and his Spidey duds. She silently grapples with her shock, and then making some internal decision leaves the apartment...
Later, Pete is at school and wonders about a student who falls asleep in class. He does some investigating and decides to check up on her after school. Before leaving though, he tries and contacts Aunt May, but she isn't home. Unknown to Pete she sits on a bench by a road somewhere, clutching Pete's Spidey suite and staring. Back to Pete and he tracks down the student, Jennifer. She no longer lives with her parents, they have abandoned her and left and her brother to live on the street. Pete discovers her and others like her living in the basement of a abandoned building. She begs Pete not to turn them into authorities. But, as Pete walks off, he and Jennifer are told that her brother is experiencing an overdose not far away. Pete organises to jump into his spidey suite and take Jennifer's brother to the hospital. Later Pete contacts Jennifer and gets her to promise to contact him if she needs any more help. In the background, some devious street teens wonder at Jennifer and her brother's connection to spidey and decide on calling in someone called the shadow.
As Pete hangs up on Jennifer, Aunt May calls from a roadside pay phone. She tells Pete she isn't okay and wants to talk to him right now...
Well after the September 11th tribute book break I was really looking forward to this issue and hopefully Aunt May confronting Pete about his secret identity, but unfortunately that confrontation settled to the background while this street kid story took centre stage. Over all though the issue was pretty darn good.
I think JMS is settling in now and he seems to have a great handle on Peter Parker and under his pen there's been a lot more time for Peter Parker than before. This issue continues this trend and makes Spidey into a much more three dimensional character in contrast to cut-out he has been over recent years. I think one of the best things JMS has done in this regard is put Spidey in the classroom. This has opened whole worlds of potential and this issue shows us how. It's great, though just a little stiff at times. It's convincing enough though that the addition of a 'villain' aspect in the 'shadow' seems a little out of place. I hope this turns out just to a try hard tough guy and not a 'super' villain. Though at this point I'm trusting JMS not to go with the usual.
The handling of Aunt May's discovery is awesome this issue. It's not quite what I expected, but seems all the more realistic because of that fact. All I can say is that I can't wait for the next issue! Which is supposed to be a silent issue! I can't see how it will work without text, which makes me even more worried that they'll leave off this meeting for another issue... which would be very annoying.
This issue is great and continues JMS and JR Jr's great run. Plus, a fantastic cover by Kaare Andrews. Yup, Amazing Spider-Man has got all going on so, if your new jump on board now. And for those of us that have been around the celebration can continue as what I like to call the 'Spidey renaissance' only gathers more steam!
Compared to anything Mackie era, this is 5 webs easy, but while still darn good maybe just a little off the perfect mark.