After a disaster involving the New Warriors and lots of innocent deaths, the US government has brought in registration for superheroes. Iron Man backs the legislation, while Captain America is strictly against it and goes underground. All across the Marvel Universe, heroes and picking a side: will they give up their secret IDs to the government, or will they go rogue?
With the backing of MJ and Aunt May, while under pressure from Tony Stark, Peter goes one step further than just revealing his ID to the government – he goes on national TV and reveals he is Spider-Man.
Jordan Harrison is a kid with a crush on a girl called Madeline. He's really good at science but not so good at sports. His favourite teacher is Peter Parker and Peter is the only person who knows that Jordan has a secret. But live on TV, Jordan is just finding out Peter's secret: He's Spider-Man and has been since he was 15-years-old.
Jordan's phone rings – it is Madeline. She is shocked by the news too. Jordan is fascinated by Octopi and other creatures and s thinking of the time that Peter encouraged him in his goal to become a marine biologist.
Meanwhile, Doctor Octopus is on his way across the city pretty PO'd that the first time he was beaten by Spidey, he was actually beaten by a 15-year-old boy.
As Jordan gets to school, all hell has broken loose. Spidey, in his new suit, is trying to stave off Doc Ock. Jordan runs to Madeline, while Ock demands Peter pull off his Spider-Man mask. Spidey does, and Ock remembers the time he unmasked Spider-Man before but didn't believe Peter was the real Spidey (Amazing Spider-Man #12).
As Ock is taunting Spidey about how he could have snapped his neck, Jordan pipes up and tells Ock that, if he kills Peter now, he will be killing someone with a face, not just a costume. Ock is distracted as Spidey wallops him, knocking him unconscious. Madeline acknowledges their teacher is hardcore.
All-in-all, a pretty decent first issue since Peter's unmasking in Civil War #2. The comparisons between Jordan and Peter are fairly obvious but not that forced. I'm just not so sure if the anger Ock must have been feeling came across quite so well. First of all, this is the guy who battled the Green Goblin to a draw in Marvel Knights Spider-Man #12. Secondly, this is the villain who Spidey was so afraid of, he went around saying goodbye to his nearest and dearest in Spectacular Spider-Man #78 (which is brilliant by the way).
Yet here, it's one punch and then goodnight for Ock. Would Octavius have really been too distracted by some kid talking to him?
That aside, the nods to Spider history were pretty good. The reference to Aunt May laughing at him goes back to their near-wedding (Amazing Spider-Man #131), while the annoyance he would feel as a super-villain at being beaten time-and- again by a teenager is perfectly understandable (if you're a crook in any case).
It would have perhaps been nice to actually have more of Peter himself in the issue and the scenes where Jordan is imagining what happened when Spidey unmasked are a bit of a waste of time.
Clayton Crain's art is just lovely, though. Just like his previous work on Spidey his style suits the book very well and he paints an awesome hero.
One of those webs are solely for Crain's work, the other two-and-a-half are for the story.