Comics : Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #13

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This review was first published on: 2006.

Background...

This title is an interesting experiment for Marvel; the comicbook casts a classic version of Spider-Man in a modern age. This dichotomy delivers both the feel-good fun of old-time continuity (for us older fans), layered on top of well-worn and comfortably-known Spider-Man history, yet (and this is the really cool part), it holds no impact on actual continuity. Giving us good old-fashion fun with no discernable consequences. Now how cool is that, eh?

It just doesn't get any better than this! We are handed a title that is one part retro Spidey as a teen (Marvel Age: Spider-Man), one part Modern Spidey as a teen (Ultimate Spider-Man), and two parts Classic Spidey as a teen (Silver Age Amazing Spider-Man); making it more than an just an alternate universe Spidey, but just shy of an actual continuity implant. Which of course makes this series not just fun to read, but very entertaining as well.

In Detail...

"The Chameleon Caper!!"
Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #13
May 2006 : SM Title
Summary: New Adventures of Spider-Man as a teen
Editor:  MacKenzie Cadenhead
Writer:  Zeb Wells
Pencils:  Patrick Scherberger
Inker:  Norman Lee
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 Reprinted In: Marvel Adventures Flip Magazine #13

Spider-Man goes up against the Chameleon only to have the master of disguise impersonate Peter's own Aunt May! What's a teen superhero to do?

In General...

Pity the poor Spider-Man, he is down on the ground attempting to crawl away from Peter's beloved Aunt May, who is about to bean him with a flower vase. Why is this, we only need turn the page and find out.

It is the dawn of a new day in Midtown Manhattan, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and the museum is getting ready to display the original Mona Lisa. Security is tighter than a drum. A pair of guards are discussing the height level of security for the painting when suddenly one guard is suddenly startled to discover himself facing the one person he never thought he'd meet face-to-face: himself.

That's right folks, the chameleon is back in town, and he is gunning to bag him self a Michelangelo! The master of disguise knocks out the real guard and takes his place., eagerly anticipating his big haul. The next morning, at Midtown High, Peter is strolling through the halls while Flash Thompson and his posse of thugs are plotting to visit some new torment upon May Parker's favored nephew.

They toss an open pudding at Peter as he is walking away. Only his spider sense kicks in just in time and he dodges, however, Midtown's gym coach is walking just ahead of Peter and catches the messy projectile in the back of the head, and (naturally) blames Peter.

This causes Peter to run late in getting picked up by his aunt who is taking him to the Met to view the painting. As Peter exits school, he is trailed by Flash and his goon squad. May in her usual innocence, mistakenly believes that the boys are Peter's friends because they call after him (they are taunting him, but May can't hear their taunts), and they are off the Museum.

An hour later they are at the unveiling of the great painting, only to watch the guard (the disguised Chameleon) make off with it. The crowd is shocked, May is aghast, and Peter slips away to change into his colorful alter ego. While the real guards set out after the fake one, a new stranger appears on the scene and points the guards in the direction of the thief, only Spidey appears and reveals the new stranger to be the real thief.

Only, unfortunately for our hero (and as is his luck) no one believes him and - ironically enough - May herself leads the charge to take down the bug man. Causing Spidey to narrowly escape with his dignity intact. As the guards find the guard that the Chameleon waylaid, the Chameleon himself is being escorted by May to her car. She has chosen to help him recover from being attacked by that nasty Spider-fellow.

Needless to say, once they arrive at her car, the Chameleon knocks her out, and takes her place, dumping May in the car's trunk. As s/he attempts to leave, Peter comes stumbling out of the Met and just manages to flag down his Aunt (the Chameleon) who suddenly realizes that "this kid" is with her/him. S/he has Peter direct her/him back to Queens.

Once home, Peter goes inside, and the Chameleon raids the fridge, and ponders about what he should do about the old lady in the back of the car. The next morning, Peter informs "his Aunt" about his detention from the day before, and that they both have to go into school and talk to the Principal about it, to which the Chameleon reluctantly agrees (in order to remain under cover to continue avoid being captured).

May/Chameleon drags Peter into the Principal's office and listens to the charges against Peter that he was "acting out" and May/Chameleon is dumfounded, as s/he has spent the past several hours with Peter s/he realizes that he couldn't possibly do what he was accused of doing because he is "A wuss." May/Chameleon then goes on to state that if Peter is acting out against someone, that person or persons probably deserved it, and that the Principal should just leave Peter alone.

Whereupon, May/Chameleon ends the interview and pulls Peter from the room. As they charge down the hallway, they once again pass Flash and his cronies (who choose to taunt Peter once again) May/Chameleon turns on them, and warns them off Peter as well. Then s/he leaves the building. Later on, after School Peter heads for home and, as he approaches his house, he finds it surrounded by cops. Changing into costume, he sneaks into the basement only to find May tied up in the cellar. Only when Spidey unties her, she shouts for help, thinking that he is her kidnapper. This brings - of all people to the aid - the Chameleon who is still dressed up as May, who beans Spidey with the aforementioned flowerpot.

Now both May Parkers set their sights on Spidey, as May advances on Spidey with a rolling pin while May/Chameleon comes after him with a fireplace poker. Not knowing who is who, and unwilling to hit either, Spidey starts to run from both "women" who begin to chase him through the house. It is only when May expresses concern over her missing nephew and May/Chameleon indicates that she couldn't care less about "the insufferable little brat" that May suddenly turns on her "sister" and smacks her with the rolling pin.

Now that his choice is clear, Spidey winds up and delivers a haymaker to May/Chameleon and lays him/her out cold. Removing the Chameleon's "May" mask, Spidey attempts to show May that everything is OK, only May still doesn't want that horrible Spider-Person in her house, and where is her frail nephew. Seeking the better part of valor, Spidey exits stage left just as the cops kick in the front door. Peter follows them in moments later, indicating that the Chameleon had captured him as well and Spidey rescued him as well.

The next day after school, Flash and his posse see Peter exiting school and determine to attack him yet again, only abort their plans when they see May pulling up to pick him up. Not wanting to have yet another run-in with her they choose to back down, leaving May and Peter to drive off in safety.

Overall Rating...

As usual, we are treated to some truly, classic stuff. If you haven't patched into this series you are really missing some really terrific stuff. Personally, I haven't had this much fun in a Spidey comic in years. Both the dialogue and characterization are so crisp and reminiscent of Spidey's early youth, that you can just feel the presence of Stan in the wings. The art radiates a youthful vibrancy and energy that is unfortunately missing in many of today's comics.

Footnote...

If you are looking for a jumping-on point into the Spidey legend, have a friend (or know a child), to whom you are attempting to introduce to comics via Spidey's wonderful mythos, then this is the series you want to pitch to them. For it is with this series, that Marvel recalls that both casual and new (or young) readers need a place to jump on, and get hooked with the magic that is Marvel comics.

This issue contains a bound-in mini two-sided poster for Neopets The Dark Faerie.