Comics : Amazing Spider-Girl #19

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This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

Spider-Girl has survived the combined wrath of Hobgoblin, Mindworm, and Crimelord, although a man has died as a result, leaving May Parker questioning her abilities as a superhero. Little does she know that she isn't the only person who is interested in testing the mettle of her costumed alter ego....

In Detail...

"There Can be Only One!"
Amazing Spider-Girl #19
Jun 2008 : SM Spin-Off
Summary: Incorrecly marked #17 on cover
Editor:  Molly Lazer
Writer:  Tom DeFalco
Pencils:  Ron Frenz
Inker:  Sal Buscema
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Review

Aside from the occasional burning oven mitt, all is well in the Parker household until Peter pulls out the morning newspaper and questions May about the bust at the underworld summit. May admits she was there instead of at the hospital waiting for Ben to come out of surgery, and tells her father about Charlie Kurkle's death. Peter does his best to comfort her, but May is still wracked with self-doubt and convinced that any other hero could have done better.

Meanwhile, as May heads off to school, the mysterious Araña mulls over the events of last issue with her assistant, Michael. Araña, if you remember, was last seen talking in secret with the Hobgoblin and presenting herself as the heir to Madame Web's psychic chair. She is not happy about what happened, as she had planned to use the summit to lure Black Tarantula into a trap, and BT never obliged her. Still, she is interested in Spider-Girl and believes that she can use the young heroine to her advantage. Michael is skeptical: "If she ever finds out what we're really planning...."

At Midtown High, May has already faced down a surprise test, Davida Kirby's wrath for getting back together with Gene Thompson, and Simone DeSantos, but watching Gene's football practice--like she promised she would do in an effort to make the relationship work this time around--proves to be too much for her. Mulling over a friend's suggestion that she try out for the dance team, Spider-Girl takes to the air for a much-needed break.

Or so she thinks, for Spider-Girl doesn't even make it two blocks before she notices men with binoculars tracking her from the rooftops. Spider-Girl confronts one of them and is interrupted by Araña, who wants to see what she is made of. Spider-Girl wants no part of a fight with her, and tries to escape into the subway, but Araña follows and goads her into fighting back. The two battle until Spider-Girl manages to web Araña to a wall. She turns to walk away, but Araña generates an armored exo-skeleton to break free and tries to attack her from behind. May uses her ability to stick Araña to the roof in mid-step, clobbers her, and uses enough webbing to keep her in place this time. Michael appears. "That went well," he says. "Actually... it did," Araña replies. "I planted my seeds."

Afterwards, May heads back to Midtown High to meet back up with Gene after calling her father to request further training. May tells Gene she went to the library to finish her homework, and the two head off to the coffee shop with May insisting she can make this relationship work.

In General...

This was another filler issue, unfortunately. Hopefully the future plotline with Araña is worth the issue it took to set it up, but we've been down this road too many times: gratuitous fight with a morally ambiguous super hero? Check. May constantly obsessing over her mistakes? Check. (And yes, she is Peter Parker's daughter in full, but it's hard to think of an issue of Spider-Girl that DOESN'T start with May wracked with self-doubt.) Nothing much happens here apart from the cookie-cutter hero fight. May's bummed, Araña has something shady planned, the two fight, the end. Forgive me for expecting a little more.

May's relationship with Gene is a little on the creepy side, too. "I expect you to be here tomorrow." "Oh, I will... this girl knows her priorities." Ewwwww. May, listen to Davida and dump this guy for someone who won't make you jump through all of his hoops! Other than the inevitable breakup, I'm not sure where this is going, but it's a little hard to see May this submissive.

Overall, this issue just doesn't have much going for it. Or much going on inside of it, for that matter. Fans of Araña might like it, but there's not much else that's worth the $2.99.

Overall Rating...

One and a half webs. Let's hope something actually happens next month.