Comics : Amazing Spider-Girl #22

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This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

May Parker thinks she has it rough, what with anti-mutant groups springing up at Midtown High, mutant separatists who would be more than willing to separate her head from her shoulders, and her friend Sara Hingle caught square in the middle. But even worse is the dark secret her father has uncovered: a young woman held in stasis by the original Green Goblin who is supposedly the REAL May Parker. And you thought YOU had a rough time in high school....

In Detail...

"Deadly Crossroad!"
Amazing Spider-Girl #22
Sep 2008 : SM Spin-Off
Editor:  Molly Lazer, Tom Brennan
Writer:  Tom DeFalco
Pencils:  Ron Frenz
Inker:  Sal Buscema
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Issue
Review

Spider-Girl is being chased by the mutant calling herself "Push," a/k/a May Parker's former classmate Nancy Lu. What may look like a fight to the casual observer, however, is nothing more than an exercise... an exercise that takes a potentially dangerous twist when a pair of telekinetically guided air vents knock over a large chimney. Push tries to hold the structure up, but lacks the strength and is saved only by a last-second assist from Spider-Girl. Push promises to meet with Sara Hingle and her mother the next day but says she has to leave for a date, making May realize that she is currently standing up Gene Thompson at Cafe Indigo.

Heading over to the cafe as quickly as she can, May arrives only to find Gene in the clutches of Simone DeSantos. She turns to leave and runs into Wes, who asks her what's wrong. Gene spots May at that moment, flies off the handle, and throws a punch at Wes. May blocks the punch without thinking, and the Cafe Indigo crowd gets a good laugh out of Gene Thompson being overpowered by his girlfriend.

Meanwhile, Peter Parker is recovering from last issue's accident(?) in which a vial of the substance holding the May Parker lookalike exploded in his face. He seems to be suffering no ill effects, but believes that the "creature" in the pod somehow initiated the explosion. Normie tells him that there is no way she poses any kind of threat. While this is taking place, an imprisoned Fury, the Goblin Queen is phoning a man named Rene to tell him about Normie's visit last issue. "Why didn't you tell me that Project: Changeling had begun," she asks. "I didn't want to get your hopes up," he answers. "I can only assume how anxious you are to rejoin us." Fury is later sprung from prison by a goblin-faced tank, and makes good her escape.

The next morning, May leaves for school and bumps into a slightly-worse-for-wear Peter, who dismisses his bandages as a lab accident and brushes her off (and then goes on to lie to MJ by telling her nothing is going on.) May is puzzled by the brusque behavior, but has other things on her mind when she arrives at Midtown High and runs into Gene, who places the blame for their sputtering relationship squarely on her in a self-pitying diatribe.

Making matters worse, May gets a call from Push and meets up with her after school. Her meeting with Sara Hingle went badly, with Sara spouting the usual mutant superiority shtick ("There is a war coming between mutant and man. I already know which side I'm joining.") and the two super-heroines tail her to see who she has been meeting up with. It turns out to be another meeting with Impact, Pirouette, and Headcase, who are anxious to have her meet "our beloved leader." Headcase senses the presence of Spider-Girl (that's two issues running, now) and Push. May's spider sense goes ballistic, but before she can move the rooftop vents come alive and ensnare her. The mutants' beloved leader emerges and reveals herself to be: Magneta, who is presumably Magneto's daughter.

Spider-Girl decides that discretion is the better part of valor, and after blinding Magneta with some webbing in the face, she and Push try to escape. Magneta interferes with Spider-Girl's wall-crawling abilities, "glues" her to a convertible, and sends the car flying several hundred feet into midair. Sara is repulsed (no pun intended) by Magneta's actions and runs away, though the "Mistress of Magnetism" declares that Sara "can never truly escape us."

Spider-Girl, meanwhile, is plummeting back to earth and desperately trying to stop the car before impact. She webs up several nets only to see the car plunge straight through them. Seconds before impact, the car comes to a stop in midair thanks to Push, who managed to catch up to her just in the nick of time.

Meanwhile, in the secret headquarters of the Sacred Order of the Goblin, Fury has regained her title as the Goblin Queen (in addition to her costume) and has made all of her necessary preparations. She pushes a button on a nearby console. Across the city, in Normie Osborn's underground laboratory, the May Parker lookalike awakens....

In General...

Mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, the "Brand New May" subplot is cruising along nicely. The story of the May lookalike is still a mystery and while Peter APPARENTLY suffered no ill effects from his explosion, he is already brusque with May and lying to his wife, so you've got to figure that face full of liquid he took is having some effect on him.

On the other hand, this whole "Sacred Order of the Goblin" bit is still pretty hoaky, and reached its nadir with the tank sporting the goofy-looking Goblin face. Fury is not exactly one of Spider-Girl's most memorable villains either, and while Tom DeFalco needed to have SOME Goblin connection to the May clone (or whatever she is), hopefully we'll see more May II and fewer Goblin knockoffs in the months ahead.

Nancy Lu a/k/a "Push" makes her return in this issue and her calm, rational demeanor plays nicely as a contrast to Sara Hingle, who is about two steps shy of a complete breakdown. The mutant bad guys, however, drag this subplot down, as does Spider-Girl getting caught by the same mutant in the same way she was caught last issue (you think she'd learn from her mistakes.) And Magneta, now? Is there a single supervillain in the MC2 universe who didn't have kids that ended up following in their footsteps?

This wasn't a bad issue but it had a few moments that cried out for some Mystery Science Theater-style heckling. Oh, and dump Gene Thompson already. Please?

Overall Rating...

I'll give this one three webs because it'll be fun to see what happens now that May II is conscious.