Spider-Man Family (Vol. 2) #9 (Story 2)

 Posted: 2008

Story 'Identity'

Peter is picking up some food for Aunt May as Spider-Man walks in! He learns from the owner that since he foiled a robbery of the place, he's been coming by nightly for a month. And, as payment for making her feel safe, she treats him to a little snack. Peter decides to get to the bottom of this, and later, as Spidey, he tails the other one to an alley where he discovers he's nothing more than a homeless teenager sleeping in a box.

He tries to decide what to do about the impostor, consulting Aunt May for advice. As usual, she provides him with the answer and proceeds to head out back to the alley. There, he finds the kid being beat up on by some punks. Spidey intervenes and takes them down, with a little help from the kid. The kid comes clean with his story; that social services was forced to take him from his sick father and put him in a home where he was bullied. He ran away, finds the costume, robbed the store and returned the goods later as Spidey to get hero treatment. He wishes he could start over, and Spidey comes up with a plan to give him that chance.

The next day, Peter comes by the store and is informed Spidey returned that night and said he'd be in a different area for a while, but worrying about their safety he offered the services of a boy who saved his life once. Peter sees the kid, Mike, stocking the shelves, having been taken in while his father is in the hospital. Since they needed the help, the happily took him in. Spidey swings off, satisfied that Mike will make good use of his second chance.

General Comments

A growing trend with this book is a substandard opening story leads into a much better secondary tale. This tale by Tony Lee shows that sometimes there's a gray area between the concepts of right and wrong, and that Spidey manages to somehow do the responsible thing and do what's morally right in those situations. Accompanied by Ramon Bachs' superb artwork, this was a very enjoyable Spidey tale. Plus, it was nice to see the word "clone" pop up without some kind of joke attached.

Overall Rating

4 Webs. Moral dilemmas are Spidey's specialty, and this story captures that very well.

 Posted: 2008