This is not the Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man you remember, it is different, and probably will never go back to being that (which may or may not be a good thing). However, in either way, it’s the Marvel (Adventure) Universe with which you are currently stuck. It is (if you can pardon the expression), a Brand New Adventure.
And, as we’ve been saying, for reasons that (mostly) pass our understanding, Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man has been canceled and re-launched under this new title, Spider-Man Marvel Adventures. Yeah, yeah Spidey’s name does top off the header of the book, so we know that it is still contains stories about him as a teen that are set in the modern-day world, only (as stated) things are not quite as we remember them.
Peter stops on his way home from the grocery store to pet a pug dog and Sophia with the dog’s owner, a very attractive young woman. After compliment her on her cute dog, Peter continues on his way, only to have a pair of guys on motor scooters buzz by and snatch up the dog. Switching to Spidey, he takes off after the dog-snatchers grabbing both them and the dog in the chase. During the process of the chase and rescue the scooters crash in traffic and Spidey also rescues a young girl from getting run over.
Twenty minutes later Peter meets up with Sophia in the park where he brings her the dog, explaining that, as Spidey, he tried to return the dog to the attractive woman, but when he got back to where she had been, she was gone. Now he was hoping that Sophia could talk to the pooch and find out where he lives, only — according to Sophia — animals really don’t think in the form of addresses, and the don only knows he lives by “the good trees.” Peter leaved the dog in Sophia’s care and they agree to go to a movie later. As they walk, Flapper (Sophia’s owl), rescues an errant balloon and returns it to the youngsters that accidentally set it free.
Seventy-five blocks away, Bullseye introduces himself to Carter Torino by folding a paper airplane and tossing it into the mobster son’s eye and he exits a store. Carter tells Bulleye that he is hoping that Spidey beats the killer, as the old mob ways are wrong, and he isn’t interested in following in the footsteps of his father.
Monday Pete and Sophia meet up at school, where they talk about Peter’s proposal to possibly change his superhero identity. Pete feels that because he’s only been Spidey for eight months now and everyone seems to hate him, so he wants to become a new superhero and possibly pick up a more positive buzz. Sophia, as it turns out, Sophia is against the idea and explains why, then asks if Pete has found the owner for the dog yet. Pete (who has brought the dog to school) says, no. As they talk, a group of ninjas lead by a man in a dark cloak, appear on the roof of the school, and make their way into the building.
Inside, Peter meets Shang Chi, who is there for a martial arts demonstration, and asks Peter for directions to the Gym. Once he gets the directions, Shang Chi informs Peter that his friend Rada has a dog similar to Pete’s new pal (whom they’ve taken to calling Attila). Pete gets called to the Principal’s office as the Ninjas slip through the ceiling tiles into a custodian’s closet, and change into janitor uniforms, before exiting into the school hall with mops and buckets. Passing Attila off to Sophia, Pete heads to Principal Schuster’s office where he is introduced to Carter Torino, who is a transfer student into the school.
Peter birngs Carter around and introduces him to Sophia, when Gwen walks by, she talks to Peter and Carter but completely ignores Sophia, much to her chagrin. The kids all head to the gym to watch Shang Chi’s demonstration. When they sit, Sophia and Gwen (who are supposed to be friends, can’t seem to be polite to each other, but before anything can develop between them, the Ninjas attack Shang Chi. Realizing that Peter needs a distraction to change into Spider-Man, she screams, causing the students to scatter.
As the ninjas move in to attach, Spidey drops into the middle of them and keeps the ninjas at bay while Shang Chi and the head Ninja (Midnight) face off. As the heroes fight the ninjas, Gwen and Carter snap off pictures of the fight. Attila leaps into the fray and attacks Midnight, biting his ankle distracting him and allowing Spidey to gain the upper hand, knocking out Midnight. The battle won, Spidey takes off and Shang Chi realizes that Attila is his friend’s dog, so agrees to takes him back to his friend.
Here we are presented with another simplistic story that offers us no real sparkle or pizzazz but adequately gets us through the tale. The mystery of what is going on with Gwen deepens and is something of a distraction to the overall telling of the story, but serves as a filler subplot.
Again the story itself works, but I can’t quite get passed that so much of it is very different than I feel that it should be, and yeah, I realize that I’m just a grouchy old fan and this book is so obviously not for me, I’m just afraid that it isn’t for the audience that it is apparently targeting either.
This book takes the place of Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, picking up with the same continuity as that series had at the end of its run.