Comics : Spider-Man Marvel Adventures #14
This review was first published on: Feb 2012.
This is a different Spider-Man than you remember. This version is targeted towards a younger audience, and has a slightly different continuity and background to the hero than the one that us old timers remember. Still, the important things here are that Peter Parker is still Spidey, he lives with his Aunt May, and he is 15 years old. Also, Spidey’s name tops the book’s header, so we know it’s still all about him — as a teen in the modern-day world.
Spider-Man Marvel Adventures #14
Jul 2011 : SM Title
Spidey is summoned to the police station by Captain Stacy to help out on a string of armored car robberies that have been happening in the city. At first the robberies were confusing the cops, but then when Stacy’s daughter, Gwen, was looking the crime scene photos, she spotted the super villain, Mysterio standing in one of the windows of a building overlooking the crime scene. It was then that Captain Stacy reached out to Spidey for his help. Spidey agrees and heads out to look for Mysterio.
The plan is to have Spidey disguise himself as an armored truck driver and make a run, only teaching him how to drive the armored truck is proving to be something of a chore (unavoidable aside, Peter is 15, and Captain Stacey is putting him behind the wheel of a truck, something about this scenario just doesn’t hang true for me.) Anyways, once Cap. Stacy is satisfied with Spidey’s driving skills, he offers to get Spidey and Chat some ice cream. When he returns he and Spidey prepare for the job ahead. Meanwhile Mysterio and his crew are preparing to ambush the truck. As Spidey & Stacey approach where Mysterio is waiting, they get gassed by Mysterio’s hallucinogenic mist before they can put on their gas masks.
They manage to get the windows open (the windows in armored trucks open?) but it is too late as they already caught a whiff, and are now experiencing Mysterio’s illusions. Spidey and Stacy abandon the truck as Stacey sees a giant image of his daughter and her boyfriend, Carter Torino, while Spidey sees nearly his entire rogues’ gallery moving in on him. The villains all turn into Gwen who starts slapping Spidey around before turning into Ninjas. Then back into Gwens, then into Mysterio’s, thugs, and back into Gwens, and then into robots. All the while Spidey is trying to fight them and carry on a conversation wit Cap. Stacy. Meanwhile a pigeon that Chat sent to watch over Spidey also got gassed, and can’t properly relay info back to Chat until it clear’s its head.
After shifting through a dozen transformations Spidey’s attackers become zombies and werewolves, until finally Mysterio himself shows up. Spidey starts to recover then seems to slip back into his delusions; then as Mysterio gloatingly opens up the truck dozens of delusional Spider-man stumble out, fighting dinosaurs, zombies and birds. Suddenly Mysterio becomes worried and attempts to locate the real Spidey when Chat’s pigeon swoops by with a gas mask. Suddenly Spidey appears with the mask and confronts Mysterio and his thugs, making short work of all of them.
Too much of this particular story doesn’t hang well for me. (Spidey driving at 15, why didn’t Stacey just drive and let Spidey ride as a passenger. Plus the whole plan to capture Mysterio seemed kind of silly, and hastily thrown together. Sure Spidey is a superhero, but it is hard to think that Captain Stacy would put a teen in this sort of predicament.
I’m just not feeling the love of this series any more. It really has slipped in quality over the past several issues (and mostly since the reboot). I might be in the minority here, but altering Spidey’s chronology to fit into this new world seems a mistake, I had no problem with a modern-day Peter/Spidey script, but why these major alterations had to be made is beyond me.
As I’m writing these reviews several months after the books were published I can’t but help have the feeling that this series is about to get canceled and re-rebooted.