By Leroy Douresseaux
March 20, 2007 - 09:49
MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN 25
Looking for an assignment, Daily Bugle photographer, Peter Parker, pays a visit to the hyper-crabby, J. Jonah Jameson, the Bugle's boss. Jameson's surprisingly warm greeting turns into a boring assignment for the teenager - covering a "big charity event." The event is a private performance for the rich. The performers are Tiboldt's Circus, but they're better known as the villainous organization, the Circus of Crime.
The Circus' leader, the Ringmaster, is using the hypnosis wave generator mounted on his top hat, to put the audience in a trance, allowing the other members of the Circus to rob the audience. One quick change, and Peter is everybody's favorite wall crawler, Spider-Man. The Ringmaster, however, won't back down from Spider-Man so easily. In fact, Spidey just might take the fall for the Circus' crimes and there isn't a safety net below him.
Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #25, like the rest of the series, is a stand-alone Spider-Man tale that takes place outside the mainstream Marvel Universe. Once upon a time, many readers (like myself) waited each month for a cool new Spider-Man story, without a thought of how it would fit into continuity. Back then, the Spider-Man comics did exactly that, and MASpM does the same. I imagine that if young readers who don't live near comic book shops can even find these, they'll enjoy them.
In this series, there are no adult dramas or soap opera melodramatics written as if this were a comic book writer's audition for a gig on "The Soprano's" writing staff. Here, writer Chris Kipiniak engages Spider-Man with a cast of villains that will test his wily intelligence and uncanny abilities, and they provide our hero will plenty of opportunities for his trademark wisecracks. Penciller Patrick Scherberger shows his inexperience in terms of figure drawing, but he has a flair for the kind of light action comedy that best serves this "All Ages" title. Plus, from the skills he displays here, it's obvious he's probably two years away from being a star.
This isn't Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, but it is the kind of fun superhero comic that should appeal to 'tweens and under who would get a kick out of reading an actual comic book featuring Spider-Man, whom they probably only know as the star of film, TV, and breakfast cereals.
Rating: 6 /10