Comics : Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #54

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This review was first published on: 2009.

Background...

In the world of this comic Spider-Man is still a teen, only he lives in the hi-tech, modern world of today. As this series has re-imagined Spidey for today's modern sensibility without all the grim and grittiness of the today's comics, but retaining all of the exciting nuances and fun from the Silver Age of Marvel Comics. While these stories are targeted for an audience much younger than your typical Marvel Comic reader; it should be noted that there are plenty of "old timers" (like this reviewer) who find this title a refreshing breeze.

In Detail...

Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #54
Oct 2009 : SM Title
Summary: New Adventures of Spider-Man as a teen
Editor:  Nathan Cosby
Writer:  Paul Tobin
Pencils:  Jacopo Camagni
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Review

Peter is walking along in Midtown and is approached by Gwen Stacy and her dad (Police Captain, George Stacy). Gwen tells her father that she does have a friend, and introduces Pete to her father. Just then a pair of patrolmen rushes past the trio and Captain Stacy inquires into what is happening. They tell him that an armed robbery has just occurred, and the Captain rushes off to help, admonishing his daughter to stay put.

Peter takes advantage of the distraction to duck out, change into Spidey, and heads in the direction of the action. The Captain and the cops arrive at the site of the robbery to discover several crooks holding a pair of kids hostage by a vending cart. Just as one of the thugs makes to grab one of the kids, Spidey webs them both to the cart and sets it in motion, getting them out of harm's way.

Next he makes short work of the thugs, inadvertently repeating a line used by Captain Stacy just a few minutes earlier, and panicking that Stacy will become suspicious of his secret identity. Heading for home, Pete spends the next day or so worrying that he might have blown his secret.

The next day at school, Chat (who is secretly a mutant that can talk to animals and knows that Peter is Spidey, even though he doesn't know that she knows) asks him to help her bring a pet raccoon to a clinic. She needs Peter to drive her and Pete agrees, even though he doesn't have a car.

The Next day Chat talks to her friend Emma (who is also a mutant and knows who Peter is), and tells her that she and Pete have a "date." At school, Gwen tells Peter about another (older) student (Bonzer) who is renting out cars to students, only the arrangement sounds suspicious to Gwen. The two of them approach Bonzer and both arrange to rent cars (Gwen is going to a friend's wedding).

Pete drives Chat and raccoon to the animal clinic. While Pete is inside with the Dr. Chat goes out to the car to get the raccoon's carrying case. It is there that the entire situation begins to unravel. A man with a dog recognizes the car as belonging to his buddy, and thinking that Chat has stolen it, makes a grab for her.

From inside, peter sees the attack, and thinking that the guy is a mugger of some sort, rushes to Chat's rescue as Spidey. The guy shoves Chat in the car and drives away only to be followed by Spidey. Freaked by the appearance of Spidey, he wraps the car around a phone booth, before jumping from the car as it careens into a crowd. Needless to say, Spidey stops the car before anyone is hurt.

The fleeing guy is stopped by a hoard of dogs (secretly directed by Chat). The next day at school Pete and Gwen compare notes and learn that Bonzer were actually stealing cars and renting them out to other students. They were turned over to Captain Stacy who was now investigating the situation.

In General...

First off, it is very nice to see Gwen in a story after so many years of her being absent from any Spidey title. This coupled with the new-found continuity of the story is helping to re-shape it from a fine series into an excellent one.

I'm going to want to see where this is all going, but I strongly suspect that I'm going to enjoy the ride.

Overall Rating...

Everything here works, from the introduction to a young Emma Frost to the re-introduction of Gwen and Captain Stacy, to the addition of Chat. All of this is going to take a little bit of getting use to (after over 50 issues of stand-alone tales), but I strongly suspect that I am going to continue to enjoy this series.

Footnote...

The very nature of this book has changed no longer are these stand-alone stories with little in any internal continuity (other than the appearance of the main characters), beginning with last issue there is now an internal clock running with regular on-going supporting characters and a budding cast.