The last couple of issues of Marvel Age Spider-Man have been less than impressive and now let's see if issue 15 is any better?
We start off at the Parker house where Aunt May and Peter are talking about whether Peter should go on a blind date with Mary Jane Watson. Like last issue, Peter refuses but is talked into thinking about it. Meanwhile, at Madison Square Garden where a circus is being set up, The Ringmaster uses his hypnotizing hat to persuade the owner they don't need any permits and shoo's the owner off. He is then shown their new poster that says Spider-Man is starring in the show?
Another scene switch to the law offices of Nelson and Murdock where Foggy brings up the circus that will star Spider-Man and Matt decides to go because he wants to meet another costumed adventurer. ANOTHER scene switch where we see Peter talking to JJJ at the Daily Bugle and for no reason JJJ just starts screaming at Peter and tells him that he doesn't want to give Spidey anymore free publicity and then tells him to get out. (This part really annoyed me because J. Jonah Jameson seemed really 2-D and shouted at Peter for absolutely no reason. Sometimes he has a good reason to shout at Peter but he just seems really fake here)
Now lets get out of that annoying Bugle building and go to the circus! We see Foggy, Karen and Matt talking then Flash talking to one of his jock friends and then we see Spidey up on the ceiling. The show starts and the Spider-Man that is starring in the show is really a circus acrobat in a lame Spider-Man costume (really well drawn though). He's doing the trapeze when he messes it up and Spider-Man has to come and save him to the astonishment of the crowd! But then, The Ringmaster hypnotizes the crowd and Spider-Man and he's about to rob them when Daredevil (who isn't affecting by the hypnotizing because he's blind) swings in to stop the Ringmaster.
But, the Ringmaster orders Spider-Man to stop Daredevil so the two heroes have a very brief fight until Daredevil steals the Ringmaster's hat and returns Spider-Man to his normal state. Then, Daredevil and Spider-Man have to fight off some of the criminal performers, which they breeze through until backup comes! Clowns in a clown car! A funny little moment; this ends with Spidey and DD beating the stuffing out of the clowns (although you don't actually see the fight). Spidey trips the Ringmaster with his webbing to stop him from escaping while DD returns everyone to their normal state using the hat. And it ends with Daredevil disappearing to change and Spider-Man leaving. And Daredevil making a cheesy ending thought.
Now there are some pro's and con's with this issue; lets start with the con's! J. Jonah Jameson sounded a bit 2-D and fake in this issue because he just shouted at Peter for no reason. I know he does this a lot but it just isn't pulled off well here. Also, Marvel Age Spider-Man has a big problem with this: rushed fight scenes! Maybe not as bad this issue as some but the fight scenes are still too short! If they haven't got enough pages then extend the book and increase the price a bit but don't build up a good story (with original and new ideas) then throw away the fighting! One last little problem, it seems that everyone knows about this circus! I didn't think in these days people were that interested in circus'. Then again, they may be more popular over in America than the one's I know in the UK.
Now to the pro's: At first glance I wasn't that impressed with the art. But as I read on I found that Shane Davis could draw a young Spider-Man and a mean looking Daredevil. I also thought he could bring out the agility and speed in both characters even though there was little actual fighting. He also draws a creepy looking Ringmaster. Despite the lack of figthing, I quite enjoyed this issue. It had it's bad parts but it was pretty enjoyable.
Not excellent, but not bad at the same time. A pretty average issue really. But this series really needs to sort out its problem of short fight scenes.