Reading this title will, most assuredly, transport you back in time to the days when Stan was writing all of the Marvel titles. By reading this comic, everything automatically becomes wonderful and lighthearted. It is, quite simply, the absolute simple purity of the stories in this book that will be what brings you back each and every month. Yes, yes, we love the current adventures of Spider-Man for their adult nature and gritty feel. Still it is those stories that are delivered by Marvel Adventures that have re-infused Spider-Man with that "gosh wow" approach. The writers on this series have carefully taken the time to craft stories that flat-out appeal, across the board to a general audience. Giving the series a very broad appeal. Thus it is with no small understanding the enormity of its meaning that this reviewer declares Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, quite literally the most perfect comicbook that Marvel Comics currently publishes.
Descending upon the Isle of Manhattan with his new, uber-cool black costume, the new-and improved Spidey is trying to get people to recognize him as the one and only. Still He's not the only one with a costume/image costume costume, The Green Goblin finds it necessary to slap around upstart Hobgoblin who is (the Goblin feels) attempting to usurp his name and trade on his rep.
This story starts out with a black-clad Spidey snatching a falling window washer out of the sky as he plummets to the ground. Confused by Spidey's new, cool, black costume, he (and the crowd that gathers when Spidey places him safely on the ground) is hard pressed to properly identify him. Finally one small lad improperly identifies him as The Black Widow. Disgusted, Spidey crawls up the wall and leaves them behind.
Meanwhile, across the City, none other than the Green Goblin assaults the wealthy patrons of a cruise boat that is piloting its way through the harbor. After he robs them of their valuables, he hightails it back to one of his many secret hide outs, only to learn that it has been stripped to the walls by someone, and the Goblin is (as could be expected) none too happy.
At the Bugle, Peter Parker is attempting to sell his esteemed publisher, J. Jonah Jameson the first photographs of Spidey in his new, super-sleek, black costume. Jameson, is not interested. He does, however, what Peter to head down to the Brooklyn Bridge to snap some pics of the Green Goblin who has been spotted in the area. Switching over into his Spider-togs, May Parker.s favorite nephew, heads cross town to mix it up with his old foe.
As he arrives on the scene, he notices an armored truck with the back door blown off and the guards on the ground. Suddenly his spider sence kicks in, and he is blasted by an energy bolt from the Goblin. Only it isn't the Green Goblin, but a new supervillian, calling himself the Hobgoblin. Dressed in a similar fashion to the Green Goblin, the Hobgoblin goes full bore against our hero right from the get-go. As Spidey soon learns, like the other Goblin, he is vicious. Then, just when this new Goblin seems on the verge of victory, the old Goblin arrives on the scene, and challenges this newcomer.
Calling for him to return the merchandise of the Green Goblin's that he stole, the Green Goblin goes after the goblin-come-lately. Laughing, the new Goblin relates how he accidentally stumbled on Greenie's weapon stash while running form the cops, and determined to make it his own. So saying, he tosses a (stolen) pumpkin bomb at Greenie, and then hits the high road and vanishes. Not interested in hanging around if his doppelganger is gone, Greenie follows suit and takes a powder as well. Leaving behind Peter and a handful of photos and both Goblins.
While Peter is selling his photos to JJJ Greenie bursts into the publisher's office and goads the journalist into printing a Goblin challenger to the newcomer Goblin on the front page of the Bugle. Parker tells JJ that he'll be there to take pictures, to which his boss responds that so too will Jameson. The following night finds publisher and photographer camped out in an empty apartment across the street from the warehouse where the Goblin throw-down is to occur.
Just as JJJ and Peter settle in, the two Goblins appear on the scene, and start thrashing each other about. Soon enough, the action expands beyond the original battle site, and the pumpkin bombs start landing right in the lap of the two newspapermen. Thinking quickly, Peter bumps Jameson aside, calls up his stelth costume, and deflects the bomb. Then, using then, using the explosion as cover, takes the opportunity to slip out, and change into his fighting togs.
As Spidey swings into action the building catches on fire, and our hero is relegated to rescuing civilians who are trapped in the blaze. Meanwhile, the Goblin twins, irregardless of innocents continue to have at each other, with the original Goblin finally getting the upper hand over his mini-me and besting him, only to be himself bested by Spidey, who drops a metal tower on Gobbie's head. As the twin Goblins are lead off in shackles by the cops, the police thank Spidey for his help, even while asking who he was.
Finally, we are left with Parker showing Jameson the photos he snapped of a Black-clad Spidey and the Goblins getting arrested. Still his belligerent self, Jameson refuses to run the photos, until the local residents express outrage that Jameson knew of the throw-down and didn't alert the authorities. Leaving JJJ with no choice gut to run the pics showing off Spidey's new threads, and indicating that it was all a trap to capture the two villains.
How can you not love this stuff, both Goblins, a black-clad Spidey, and Peter getting one over on old sourpuss, JJJ. This stuff is over-the-top souped-up fun from cover to cover. If there is any of the Spider-Titles that I eagerly await for each month, it is this one.
There is yet another of Chris Giarrusso's one-page Mini-Marvels running at the back of this comic. This one stars several of The Mini-Marvel Adventure Avengers.