AMAZING FANTASY #4. Marvel Comics, November 2004. Story: Fiona Avery. Pencils: Roger Cruz. Inker: Victor Olazaba. Cover: Mark Brooks. Creative Consultant: J. Michael Straczunski.

   First of all, this is not your grandfather’s Amazing Fantasy. You know, the one of which if you owned a dozen mint copies of #15, you’d be a millionaire right now, and that’s no joke.

   Issue #15, in case you don’t know, which featured the first appearance ever of The Amazing Spider-Man (cover dated December 1961), was also the last issue of that particular run. This brand new superhero took the world by storm, and he was given his own title almost immediately thereafter. The rest is history.

   There was a revival of sorts between December 1995 to March 1996, when Amazing Fantasy #16-18 were published, and in which some gaps in the Spider-Man story line were retroactively filled in. Another run then began in August 2004, starting over with new numbering, the first six issues of which introduce the character Anya Coroazon, a ninth grade Latina girl who in issue #4 is just beginning to come to grips with her newly developing superpowers.

   Taking a new working alias of Araña, the character was successful enough to have a 12 issue run of her own title. Some time after that, she decided to be called Spider-Girl. I’m sorry to be fuzzy on the details. I have a lot of catching up of my own to do.

   Issue #4 is part of a six-issue sequence, but even not having read the first three, I was able to follow the story well enough to enjoy this one. To sum it up, though, she’s still in the process of learning what is happening to her — which side she’s on (The Spider Society) and who the bad guys are (The Sisterhood of the Wasp). Growing a protective metal shield on her arm during a girls’ athletic event, perhaps lacrosse, is just part of the process.