Comics : Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #6

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This review was first published on: 2005.

Background...

This title is one part Spidey as a teen (think Marvel Age: Spider-Man), one part Ultimate Spider-Man, and two parts Classic Spidey making it something just shy of continuity implants. However, in this title, all bets are off, as the series is really very entertaining. It is truly a unique experiment; casting a classic version of Spidey set in a more modern age especially that has the feeling of old-time continuity retro-fitted into Spidey's history, yet, holds no real impact on the current incarnation of the character.

Spidey is enlisted by Justin Hammer to retrieve a painting of a beach that was pilfered by Sandman. Peter has to struggle with the fact that Aunt May is way behind on the mortgage and so he takes the gig with Hammer (who is apparently an exocentric businessman and not necessarily a high-priced crook, as he is in the regular Marvel Universe) simply for the reward money.

In Detail...

"Picture-Perfect Peril!"
Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #6
Oct 2005 : SM Title
Summary: New Adventures of Spider-Man as a teen
Editor:  MacKenzie Cadenhead
Writer:  Sean McKeever
Pencils:  Patric Scherberger
Inker:  Norman Lee
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 Reprinted In: Marvel Adventures Flip Magazine #6
 Reprinted In: Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #6 (Food Lion Mini Promo Reprint)
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man Magazine (Vol. 3) #5
 Partially Reprinted In: Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #6 (Wal*Mart SM3 DVD Mini-Comic)

The story starts out with Spider-Man and Sandman standing back-to-back in a blazing room. From there, we flash back to where the story starts, the previous day with Peter Parker and his High School class on a field trip to MoMA (Museum of Modern Art). As can be expected, most of the kids are bored with the trip (this includes Flash Thompson as well as an unnamed student who bears more than a passing resemblance to Ox from Ultimate Spider- Man.

While the class is wandering through the exhibits, security is alerted to a man who has staring at the same painting (a beach scene) for over an hour. He isn't threatening, but he is beginning to creep out one of the museum's workers. However, when approached by the guard, the guy wigs out, and turns out to be Sandman. Peter bails from the group and changes into Spidey to take him out. The pair go blow-for-blow 'til Sandy knocks a marble pillar towards the kids in the class, requiring Spidey to abandon his fight and save them.

While Spidey is keeping the kids from getting squished, Sandman makes off with the painting. By the time Peter gets home from school, there is already a news report on the incident, and Justin Hammer (who may not a be a crook, but certainly seems the shady type). Hammer (flanked by two very burly bodyguards) offers a cash reward to Spider-Man for the return of his painting. As Pete has noticed that May is behind on the bills, he determines to take Hammer's offer.

That night, Spidey drops in on Hammer to work out the terms of the deal. Hammer wants the painting back and offers Spidey $50,000 for the return of the painting. Then he hands Spidey a device that will hone in on the tracer attached to the painting. Spidey the heads home and develops a special web fluid that will solidify in sand, and thus be effective against Sandman. In short order, once out on patrol, he locates Sandman.

Only something is most definitely off with the crook. He is sitting on a couch, alone in an abandoned building, with a fire going in a metal barrel, and still staring at the painting, which is hanging on the wall. Spidey confronts Sandman, who still doesn't want to fight, but won't give up the painting. Only when Spidey attempts to take the painting, Sandman comes alive and goes after Spidey.

As can be expected, the battle upends the fire and starts the place ablaze. Both Spidey and Sandman go for the painting, only the fire starts altering Sandman's chemical composition (extreme heat turns sand into glass). So Spidey, being the compulsive mench, drops the painting and goes to help Sandman. Only Sandy yells at Spider-Man to forget him and save the painting. Heedless of the painting, Spidey snags Sandman and yanks him to safety as the painting goes up in smoke.

Outside, the FDNY arrives to hose down the building. Hammer arrives to find Spidey, chatting up the firemen; Sandman slumped on the steps, and his painting so much ash. furious that his painting was charred, Hammer storms off - no reward for Spidey, and Sandman (presumably) is carted off to jail. Back at home, his Aunt who reminds him that Parkers are made of sterner stuff cheers up Peter, and they will find a way to get by, so he shouldn't worry.

In General...

As I've already stated, I really like this title. The stories harkens back to the simple stories of my youth, displaying the flat-out, unencumbered fun of those by-gone days, while the art is stylized and very different from what I prefer, I can live with it, so long as the stories hold up.

Overall Rating...

Your rating in words, and the short reason for giving it.

Footnote...

At any rate, seeing a teenaged Spidey in action is straight up, single-issue action tales, clinging to the heart of the character certainly is a whole load of fun. So, if you are looking for a jumping on point into the Spidey legend, have a friend (or child), you are trying to introduce into Spidey's mythos, then this is the series you want to pitch. For it is with this series, Marvel recalls that both the casual and new (or young) reader needs a place to jump on, and get hooked on the magic of Marvel.