The most popular teen hero of the 1960s teams up with the most popular teen heroes of the 1990s in this Marvel/Image crossover written by Peter David, pencilled by Stuart Immonen, and inked by Cam Smith & Andrew Pepoy. It's 48 pages long, and can be yours for a mere $4.95 in the U.S. or $6.95 in Canada.
Back in the initial Gen13 miniseries, the kids of Gen13 escaped the clutches of I/O. One member of the security forces who were supposed to hold them was canned and has decided to take revenge. He has hired a mercenary named Glider to track the kids down and set them up for a fall.
Peter Parker has been sent, apparently by the Daily Bugle, to cover a concert by a band called Black Lung Disease in San Diego. Most of Gen13 is also in attendance. Peter arrives as Spider-Man at the club (he's running late, as usual), and is attacked by Glider for no reason that he can see. She has a white noise device intended just to disorient him, but which also blinds his spider-sense.
The Gen13 kids rescue Spidey after he's knocked into the crowd from a great height, but he falls unconscious, so they bring him back to their house in La Jolla. Unfortunately, Glider left a tracker on Spidey, which leads her, the disgruntled ex-I/O guy, and a bunch of mercenary troops to the house. A big donnybrook follows, as usual.
The added twist here is that Glider has two personalities -- the other is a woman named Heather Hite who is in a nasty custody battle with her ex-husband over their daughter, Alissa. Heather doesn't seem to be aware that Glider exists, but the reverse does not hold true. Glider, however, feels as strongly attached to Alissa as Heather, so when Alissa winds up being threatened in the course of the fight with Spidey and Gen13, Glider turns on the mercenaries.
The contrivance to get Peter Parker to California strains credulity -- I can't imagine any circumstance under which J. Jonah Jameson would approve to send a photographer all the way across the country to cover a band that's just playing a small San Diego club -- as does the coinky-dink that Alissa's school just happens to be right near the house in La Jolla. And Spider-Man shouldn't be having such a hard time against Glider -- the first fight, I can see it, especially once she wipes his spider-sense, but this is a guy who's taken down former Heralds of Galactus in his time. He should have been able to wipe the floor with her and the mercenaries (at least until the little kids were threatened, at which point his hands would be tied).
Once you get past that, though, this is a lot of fun. Peter David is one of the best Spider-writers ever -- his run on Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man in the mid-1980s is still one of the high points of Spidey's history, and his "Five Minutes" story in The Ultimate Spider-Man Anthology is one of the best pieces of Spider-prose ever written -- and he nails the Gen13 kids perfectly as well. And Glider is a fascinating character -- David doesn't have a lot of time to develop her character, and uses what little time he has wisely and well.
The best part, though, is when Grunge and Roxy are talking about how Spidey is one of the great grandaddies of all super heroes and how they've been following his career since they were kids. It's the first time in Spidey's career, he says, that he's felt old. It's a wonderful moment.
Pretty much everything you'd expect from this kind of crossover is here. Immonen's art is quite pretty (very Adam Hughes-ish), and he particularly does a nice job of making Spider-Man's costume look real (especially in the scene where Spidey pulls up his mask halfway to drink a cup of coffee). And, like any good Gen13 comic, Fairchild's clothes get shredded at some point. What more could you ask?
Three webs. Not a great comic, but a fun one, and it's always nice to see David writing Spider-Man again.