Comics : Amazing Spider-Girl #30

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This review was first published on: 2009.

Background...

May Parker, her symbiote-controlled duplicate, and the Goblin-possessed Peter Parker have merged to form the 12-foot tall Goblin God. While Norman's new super-powered form prepares to murder Mary Jane Parker and her son Benjy in the real world, Spider-Girl and her mystical friend May must do battle inside Peter's head to destroy the menace of the Green Goblin once and for all.

In Detail...

"Never say Die!"
Amazing Spider-Girl #30
May 2009 : SM Spin-Off
Editor:  Tom Brennan
Writer:  Tom DeFalco
Pencils:  Ron Frenz
Inker:  Sal Buscema
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In Peter's head, Spider-Girl launches herself in an all-out attack at Norman Osborn, who swats her aside like she was a gnat. May tries to tell Spider-Girl that she can't possibly face the original Green Goblin, but she refuses to back down. Annoyed at the girl's spunk, Norman accesses Peter's memory of their first battle and sics the original Enforcers on her. As Spider-Girl tries to fend off her father's old enemies, the Goblin taunts Peter about what he is doing to MJ in the real world.

In the aforementioned real world, the super-powered Goblin picks up a defenseless Mary Jane by her broken arm and carries her off toward an unknown location (three guesses where.) Araña and the Black Tarantula spot him and begin to give chase after BT uses his power to heal his wounds. Also on the trail are Normie Osborn, Phil Urich, and Raptor.

Back in Peter's mind, Osborn accesses another memory: the death of Gwen Stacy. As her father attempts to shoot his web at a falling Gwen, Spider-Girl jumps after her and manages to catch her before she can hit the water. Suddenly, Gwen morphs into Symbiote-May, who starts to strangle her. Blond May decides to interfere and grabs Norman. The scene suddenly shifts to the basketball game in which May realized she had superpowers. Norman regains control and brings them all to the first fight between May and Normie. Spider-Girl and Symbiote-May continue to fight in the background as Spider-Girl pleads for her to stop fighting. "We can become friends. Even closer than sisters." Symbiote-May refuses to believe her, and the fight continues.

In the real world, the Goblin is attacked by Normie, Phil, and Raptor. Darkdevil catches the Goblin unaware and drives his staff through his shoulder. Regardless, the Goblin bats them aside and flies off to his destination: the bridge. Kaine is laying in ambush, and applies the mark before the Goblin can attack. Convulsively, the Goblin flings MJ and Benjy off the top of the bridge. MJ closes her eyes and prepares to die... but the two stop in midair. Benjy saved the both of them by shooting two web strands at the bridge. "Looks like you also take after Dad!"

Goblin is less than amused, but cannot attack before Araña and Black Tarantula arrive and begin to attack him. Inside Peter's head, blond May has made her way to Peter and brought up the memory of May talking down Normie Osborn (back in Spider-Girl #27). "Put the knife down, Normie!" May's memory says, "we don't have to fight each other. We can find another way to stop the war. I know we can!"

Symbiote-May hesitates, wondering if she truly needs to fight. Enraged, Norman fires a blast of energy at her and she is saved by Spider-Girl, who pushes her away and takes some debris to the head as a result. Realizing that Spider-Girl meant what she was saying, Symbiote-May turns on Norman Osborn in a rage. She attacks. Spider-Girl recovers and attackes. Peter Parker breaks free and attacks. One last haymaker from Spider-Girl puts Osborn down for the count.

Blond May steps in and takes May and Peter's hands. She begins to age, revealing herself as none other than Aunt May. "Norman Osborn has finally been defeated and must now be cleansed from Peter's mind." She fires a bolt of energy at Norman. In the real world, the Goblin takes off and flies over the East River. In Peter's head, Norman explodes. Spider-Girl, Symbiote-May, and Peter split apart in mid-air. One fresh web chute by Spider-Girl is all it takes for the three to make their way back safely to the bridge.

Later, back at the Parker homestead, May convinces her parents to let Symbiote-May stay. ("We're the closest thing she has to a family.") MJ and Peter agree, though Peter has reservations. May decides she needs some air and goes for a walk. The fact that she never found out who was real and who wasn't continues to bother her, but she eventually concludes that it is irrelevant. Pulling on her costume, May swings off into the night. It's still a Spider- Girl world.

In General...

Well, the final issue of Amazing Spider-Girl was about as good as could be expected, given the convoluted storyline that led us to this point. Watching Norman Osborn get his butt kicked is always satisfying. The fact that Symbiote-May survived was a bit of a surprise, though it sets the table for the continuing story in Spider-Man Family. Peter's relationship with Ben Reilly eventually became one of the best parts of the original Clone Saga, so there should be some good material to work with here.

Honestly, was there anyone who didn't figure out the identity of May's mystical blond friend by this point? Seriously, who else could it have been? Regardless, Aunt May's parting words were good for a chuckle; THAT'S the May we all knew and loved.

All in all, a somewhat ignoble end to the series they finally managed to kill. 130 issues between Spider-Girl and Amazing Spider-Girl, one Annual, and a legion of fans. Not bad for a character that began in the pages of a single issue of What If? all those many years ago and wound up becoming the driving force behind the MC2 Universe (short-lived though it was.) I'm going to miss this book. Not necessarily for the stories themselves, though there have been some good ones, but because this was the last Spider-Man book out there that hadn't completely abandoned its own history. There was no retconning of Pete and MJ's marriage here, or the resurrection of Aunt May. Hell, they even dared to mention the Clone Saga and bring back Clone Saga-era villains like the female Doctor Octopus. I guess after all these years I prefer the parallel Spider-Man universe to the "official" one, and I'm sorry to see it end. (Sure, the stories will continue in Spider-Man Family, but what happens when that book gets canceled at some point, or Marvel decides that the story of Spider-Girl has run its course?)

All in all, I'm no fan of the way this book finally ended, but that doesn't mean I won't miss it when it's gone.

Overall Rating...

A weak final story arc doesn't diminish what a treasure this series has been over the past several years, so we'll give it a solid three webs. Take care, May. See you in the funny pages.

Footnote...

After the cancellation of this title, Spider-Girl went on to be a regular fixture in Spider-Man Family anthology title. You can follow her adventures, starting in Amazing Spider-Man Family #5.