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The Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 07/11/06
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Each week we look through the upcoming releases to offer our two cents as to what's hot and what's not. You can agree with us or not, but spend your money wisely.

The Sensational Spider-Man #28
Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Artist: Clayton Crain

One morning a science whiz high school student wakes up to what he thinks will be an ordinary day in his life. The girl he likes barely knows he's alive, even though she's his lab partner. Most kids think he's weird. At least he can depend on the kind woman who raises him to show him a little love.

After all, she's his mom. But for Jordan Harrison, this day won't be like any other. For this day, all over the news, it turns out that Jordan's favorite teacher has harbored a potentially deadly secret. Mister Parker is really Spider-Man.

Working in the shadow of Peter David and J. Michael Straczynski, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa gets the difficult task of writing the first post-unmasking tale of the webslinger. If anybody out there still has any lingering doubts about Aguirre-Sacasa's way with Marvel characters, cut it out, because this touching little tale makes the events of Civil War relatable in a way the main titles haven't yet.

Told mostly from Jordan's perspective, "My Science Teacher Is Spider-Man" gives us the bystander's view of Peter Parker. Especially nice is the information about Parker's life that the students have sort of filled in, partially true with a little bit of embellishment. However, it sort of underscores Joe Quesada's point about Spider-Man's marriage being a bit unbelievable for the character, as the conversations Jordan imagines ring too true.

For a while, Parker's students have been the most underdeveloped of the supporting cast. Yet with just one issue, Aguirre-Sacasa creates a kid that will hopefully be hanging around for a while, even though we also get to know his future. (It's nice.)

Oh, yes, there's villainy, too, tied in thematically. As most of us would expect, Doctor Octopus reacts poorly to the news that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. He feels mocked by May Parker, and hates himself for having unmasked Spider-Man once and rejecting what he saw.

It all comes to a head with good writing. As mentioned before, Aguirre-Sacasa hasn't seemed to hit that storyline that makes everybody gasp with surprise. Instead, he's been doing the sneaky thing of just being consistently good. The streak remains unbroken.

Clayton Crain also gets better with each issue. His work gets more and more consistent, with characters feeling real. When he started on Toxic, things seemed more exaggerated and claylike, which fit there, but finally his Spider-Man looks believable without losing any of his weirdness.

A lot of fans (at least on the internet) have been outraged by Spider-Man revealing his secret identity. Give it a chance. If the arc can keep up the strength shown here, Marvel will be sorry. Sorry they didn't think of it sooner.

Page 2: Firestorm the Nuclear Man #28, Ghost Rider #1, X-Men #188 and more...

Hey, write to us and let us know what you think, or talk about it on the forums!

Derek McCaw

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