Spider-Man Marvel Adventures 14
Writer- Paul Tobin
Inks- Terry Pallot
Hello folks. This is Anthony “Butters911″ Sinibaldi here, as the regular Marvel Adventures reviewer! Two things. One , you guys don’t have to worry, as I will still be reviewing mini series from time to time. Two, could you believe with a name like that I’m really more Irish and German than anything? Crazy huh?
Before I get on with reviewing the issue in question, I’m going to very quickly fill you guys in on the series continuity. Peter Parker is high school age. He is dating this girl named Chat, who you may remember from Paul Tobin’s Spider-Girl series. The difference here is she has the mutant power to talk to animals. She knows Peter’s identity. Gwen Stacy and her father, the illustrious Captain Stacy are alive. Capt. Stacy is portrayed as much younger than he was during his days in 616 continuity. He does not walk with a cane, and his hair is not grey. He is still employed as a police captain, and he knows Spidey’s identity. In fact, the two often team up to stop crime. Gwen does not know Peter and Spidey are one and the same, and she just got out of a relationship with a mobsters son. Capt. Stacy wants Gwen to date Peter, who he respects a lot. Aunt May is alive *grrr*
I was going to review last months SMMA, but got busy and never got around to it. That’s OK, cause that issue actually kinda sucked. It guest starred Ka-Zar and Zabu, and Spidey spent most of the issue running from Zabu. This issue is great though. It’s a Mysterio issue. If anyone is wondering, Mysterio is my second favorite Spidey villain after the Chameleon. (The top five round out with The Hobgoblin, Sandman, and Doc Ock, if anyone was wondering).
Spidey goes to see Capt. stacy about a string of armored car robberies. Stacy tells him about the robberies, and about strange hallucinations the drivers reported seeing. Than he shows Spidey pics of the crime scenes that Gwen looked over, and found Mysterio hiding in the shadows. They plan to go undercover to catch Mysterio, so spidey has to go through a course in truck driving. Spidey comically messes up big time. Eventually, he gets the hang of it. Spidey and Capt. Stacy bring gas masks, and then discover that a device that fills the truck with Mysterio’s gas was installed by an outside security agency.
Spidey has to fight many hench men disguised as ninjas, robots, various super villains, etc. Capt. Stacy isn’t much help, as all the thugs look like Gwen to him. Mysterio makes his way to the armored truck and finds dozens of guys dressed as Spidey. Mysterio now doesn’t know which one is his real foe. While he is looking, Chat has one of her birds drop down and give Spidey a gas mask. Spidey recovers and defeats Mysterio, who was still looking for the real Spidey.
First, I must mention the first page. Most super hero comics have a little paragraph on the top of the first page doing a quick summary of how the hero got their powers, and what they are all about. In ASM the summary tells of the scientific accident that gave Peter his powers, but for some reason leave out the bit about Uncle Ben and responsibility. Spider-Man Marvel Adventures devotes the first page to that summary, and to me puts it perfectly (and with nice pictures to illustrate the point).
“I was bitten by a radioactive spider. It gave me super human strength, speed, and other awesome abilities. At first it was cool. I used my powers to become a celebrity. Then my uncle was killed by a man I could have stopped. I’m doing my best to make up for that. I’m Peter Parker. You can call me Spider-Man.”
What I like about that is not only does it tell you everything you need to know, it also mentions the tragedy of Uncle Ben, and puts it all in a youthful manner. That way you get the best of both worlds with Peter being the responsible young man we all know he is, and still shows his editorially mandated youthful side as well. Everyone here knows I’m enjoying ASM currently, but one gripe I have with it is how immature they make Peter some times. Marvel Adventures Peter seems more grown up than his 616 counterpart and he’s only in high school, but he still has fun scenes with ice cream and other kid stuff. The story line in this issue wasn’t particularly deep, but it was fun, and the characterization of Peter was pitch perfect. He was like a less annoying version of Ultimate Spidey.
Anyone who has talked to me on this site knows what a big Gwen fan I am. I’m also a huge George Stacy fan. To have them both alive is awesome. I love the angle of Peter working with Stacy. I know, over the years, he has worked with many cops, but this is Capt Stacy. The fact that he knows his secret ID adds a cool element as well.
Paul Tobin is a very underrated comic writer IMO. I’ve been enjoying a lot of his Marvel Adventure stuff, to my surprise. I wish he would do more 616 work. I know Spider-Girl is getting cancelled, but I hope he finds something. The art in this issue is superb. I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing these guys take a swing at an issue or two of ASM. They draw a very modern Ditko esque Spidey. It’s more straight forward that Marcos Martin stuff. I’d say the art is on par ( but more simplistic) Roger Frenz, and you can’t ask for better than that.
A very fun series, and for people who aren’t digging ASM, I’d recommend this book. If you are enjoying ASM, I’d still recommend this book. It’s not deep, but it’s full of fun done in one stories with Spidey fighting Marvel Super villain favorites.