What do you do on a snow day? I think that the last time I had a snow day, I sat around my house and played this really boring board game with some friends. This game was so bad that we had to make up extra rules to liven it up. But here's a more interesting question: what does Spider-Man do on a snow day?
In the middle of a vicious blizzard, we find our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man, shivering and half-frozen, clinging to the top of the Empire State Building. What's he doing there, you ask? Well, therein lies a story...
It seems that Peter awoke this morning to hear that school had been canceled today due to the weather. But Pete's rest was short-lived, as his beloved Aunt May calls, demanding that her nephew come over to shovel the snow off her driveway, despite the fact that Peter lives miles away and the subways are closed. Reluctantly, Peter dons his Spidey-suit and begins the journey to Queens. He's besieged by the weather, though, and before long he slips up and tumbles into a snow bank. Meanwhile, a winged miscreant is attacking the police outside of a jewelry store.
Spidey, it seems, has given up web-slinging for the time being, and has begun to walk in the snowstorm. He happens upon a pair of children out building snowman, and when he dispenses some friendly advice, he receives a snowball in the face for his trouble. Spidey flees from further snowballs and scurries up the side of the building, only to be attacked by the Vulture.
The Vulture was responsible for the earlier jewelry story robbery, and he seems to think that Spidey has been on his tail all day. He and the web-slinger fight, exchanging witty banter the whole time, and Spidey eventually manages to get the jewels away from the Vulture. The Vulture swears revenge, and he challenges Spidey to meet him in a half hour at the site of their first battle, so that they can settle things once and for all, man against man.
Which about brings us up to speed. But it's been forty-five minutes since the Vulture issued his challenge, and Spidey's starting to doubt that he'll show. But the Vulture does arrive, and the only reason that he's late is because Spidey screwed up: their first battle was at the Chrysler building. The Vulture pulls out an Uzi and points it at the wall-crawlers head, and when Spidey reminds him that this was supposed to be settled man-to-man, the Vulture says that he lied. But Spidey says that he lied as well, just as the Human Torch appears and sets the Vulture's wings on fire. Spidey pops the Vulture one right in the nose, and the old man loses control, spinning helplessly to the ground as the web-slinger and the Torch look on and chuckle.
Eventually, Peter does manage to make it to Aunt May's and shovel her driveway, but all he gets for his trouble is a snowball in the face from his loving Aunt.
Now, I know I've been complaining a lot the last few issues about how nothing has really been happening in this book. And once again in this issue, nothing important really happens. There aren't really any subplots, or story developments, and you know what? I don't care. This issue was a total blast.
Paul Jenkins has crafted yet another self-contained, one issue tale, but this one is all about web-slinging and one-liners. This isn't epic storytelling, but it is one of the funniest comics I've read in a long time. I laughed out loud a number of times, and there are so many hilarious jokes in this issue, that I'm not even going to try to list them. I was also pleased to see Peter Parker and Aunt May in this issue, since they've been absent for the last two issues. I was a little disappointed that Peter's neighbour, Caryn, failed to make an appearance, but it was good to see her pet, Barker the wacky dog.
The art by Mark Buckingham and Wayne Faucher is, as usual, fantastic. The panel where Spidey is running away from the children's snowballs is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.
One thing I was unhappy about with this issue was the ending. What, exactly, happened to the Vulture? It sure looks to me that Spidey and the Torch let him fall to his death, but that is so far out of character for those two characters that it just doesn't make sense. I wish the creative team could've been a little more distinct here.
If you're looking for earth-shattering storylines, this isn't the book for you. But if you're after a good solid read with a ton of laughs, pick this one up. This total riot earns four webs.