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.
Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy are sitting in the Principal’s office, being grilled by the Principal as they both left Midtown High’s grounds during a school day for no apparent reason. Only they did leave school for a very good reason, only neither of them can really tell the Principal why. As it turns out, it was something of a personal thing.
We flash back to the beginning of the school day as Peter is arriving at school and sees Gwen. She appears distracted and staring at her cell phone. Peter calls to her, but she is non-responsive, giving him the brush-off. Dejected, Peter heads into class. Chat catches up with him questioning him about Gwen, only Peter doesn’t really have any answers. Chat gets an update on Gwen from a bird.
During the day, she invites Peter to meet her out front for lunch, only she doesn’t show, and when Peter gets there he sees Gwen walking off campus, and she seems so distraught, that he follows her, as she heads into the City. There she is met on a subway platform by Tombstone who is intent on kidnapping her and using her as leverage to get her father, police captain George Stacy off his back.
What stops him, is our young hero, Peter, hero has now donned his Spidey costume. In the background of the subway station, eagle-eyed viewers will spot a well-build, blond man in the background of several scenes, this becomes important shortly. First, Spidey stops Tombstone from taking Gwen, then walks her up to the street, where he carries her to the roof of a nearby building, leaving her in relative safety there to go and talk to her father, who is at a nearby coffee shop.
Once there, Spidey is hailed by Captain America, (yep, the studly blond guy from the subway platform), who was tailing Tombstone. The two heroes team up to follow Cap. Stacy who heads off after receiving a phone call. They tail him to a warehouse where he is confronted by Tombstone and his gang. Tombstone tells Stacy to back off or he will hurt Gwen. It is at this point that Spidey and Cap jump into the fray and deliver a world-class smack-down to the thugs.
After the fight, Captain Stacy slyly reveals that he knows who Spidey really is, but then allows him to duck out as the police converge on the building. Later, back at school, Captain Stacy supports Gwen’s story about why she left school, but then indicates to Peter that he (wink wink), doesn’t know about Peter’s double life.
This is a very nice story that involves Cap in Spidey’s life, tying him closer to the Marvel Universe. Also, it is really nice to have some sort of on-going continuity to the story. Plus, as a long-time fan of Gwen, it really is nice to see her back in the comic, even if it is “only” a Marvel Adventure story.
While the stories are still stand-alone, the use of Chat and the reintroduction of Gwen really ramp up the level of interest for me in this series. As stated, I’m a big fan of Gwen, and (speaking from a personal place) I never quite got over her death. Plus, having a few on-going characters in the series that are specific to this series (Chat), makes for a nice touch.
Always enjoyable, always entertaining, this title is an easy read, and paul Tobin’s style of straight-forward storytelling is simply fun.
An interesting note is that while this is obviously the first appearance of another superhero in this series. From his meeting with Cap, it appears that Spidey has never met Cap prior to this moment, which is odd, because this reviewer has always assumed that all of the Marvel Adventure stories happened in the same “universe”. Only, as Spidey and Cap have been Avengers for some 40 issues of Marvel Adventures Avengers, either all of the MA Spidey stories to this point have occurred prior to the formation of the MA Avengers, or they are simply not in the same universe.