sqreview's The Amazing Spider-Man #661 - The Substitute Part 1; Just Another Day review

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Spider-Man Has Class

When The Avengers Academy needs a substitute teacher, Spider-Man is considered the best man for the job. The group of super-powered youths who had once been corrupted by Norman Osborne desperately need guidance, and Peter Parker is a hero who has seen the good and bad sides of every superhero situation. The only problem is that he didn't count on his class getting ransacked by Psycho-Man, who quickly plots to influence the Avengers Academy into brutally killing their teacher and each other.

Written by Christos Gage and drawn by Reilly Brown, this issue of The Amazing Spider-Man takes a look at how the conventions of the superhero have changed over the years and that the secret identity and being attacked during dates phase of comic books is on its way out. Spider-Man is a classic hero and has progressed with the times, but he still represents all of the old methods of superhuman literature. These young kids are all in the public eye, and many of them don't have secret identities or the worry of enemies finding out who their loved ones are. With The Avengers money and power behind them, they can live as metahumans in any way the see fit.

It's the juxtaposition of these new age heroes with a classic hard-hitter like Spider-Man that makes the superhero genre still worth reading today. I'm glad that Gage was willing to explore the new social rules of being a costumed crime fighter, and how, in the information age, it's harder to live under a blanket of secrecy.

This issue does feel more like a one shot story than part of an ongoing series, but I'm glad they explored these themes in one of MARVEL's biggest titles.    

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