Comics : Spider-Girl #76

Staff Only
Edit Review
Edit Title

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Her old costume trashed beyond repair, May Parker decided to try a different look and went with an all-black costume similar to the black costume Peter once wore. Arriving home in her new outfit, Spider-Girl inadvertently sent her mother into hysterics. How much more would she fear if she knew that her firstborn was working with The Black Tarantula in an attempt to take down Lady Octopus and the newly-freed Canis?

In Detail...

"Keeping the Faith!"
Spider-Girl #76
Sep 2004 : SM Spin-Off
Editor:  Andy Schmidt
Writer:  Tom DeFalco
Pencils:  Pat Olliffe, Ron Frenz
Inker:  Al Williamson, Sal Buscema
Staff Only
Issue
Review

Mary Jane Watson has been afraid of the black costume ever since her first encounter with Venom. So, after coming upstairs to find a character garbed in black in her daughter's bedroom, she panics. May, desperate to calm her mother down, rips the mask off her head. Peter arrives and helps calm his wife down, and the two of them depart to calm down baby Benjamin, leaving a stunned (and horrified) May Parker behind. Peter later fills her in on why her mother freaked out so badly, but also tells her that he's noticed her new routine and is concerned about her. "I'm proud of the way you've developed as a web-swinger, May. Very proud! But you have to be careful. You can't let it become your entire life. Is there anything you want to tell me, hon?" May is tempted, but says nothing.

Across town, Canis and Lady Octopus continue to plan for their return to power. Canis is still having difficulty getting his former lackies in line, but refuses to share their names with the Octopus. He does, however, call a former associate to "play diplomat" and set up a meeting.

The Black Tarantula catches wind of the meeting and Spider-Girl is informed. Having no complete costume, she "borrows" a mask from her father and uses it with her black outfit. On the way to Canis' meeting, Darkdevil and Kaine call her and arrange a rooftop rendezvous. Kaine asks if she is in league with the Black Tarantula and Spider-Girl refuses to answer. Kaine accepts that reluctantly, and then tells her that the daughter of a European crime boss is in town. He shows her a picture: it is Elan DeJunae, the woman who claims to be Normie Osborn's wife. Startled, Spider-Girl swings off and tries to call Normie on her cell. No answer.

Having met up with the Black Tarantula's assault team, Spider-Girl crashes the crime summit. The trio make short work of the criminals until one of them takes a hostage. June, one of Spider-Girl's teammates, draws her gun. Spider-Girl tells her not to fire, then webs the man's gun. He throws the hostage at Spider-Girl, takes out his umbrella (a modified gun) and shoots June three times. Spider-Girl decks him and the assault team calls for help. Fortunately, June's vest took the brunt of the impact and she will recover.

Back at the Black Tarantula's headquarters, a sardonic Chesbro notes that Spider-Girl has suffered another "wardrobe malfunction." He and April present her with a gift of several costumes, both in her traditional colors and her new black look. "I don't know what to say, other than thank you, and let's get back to work!"

Canis, meanwhile, is less than thrilled at the latest turn of events. Lady Octopus tells him that she can still salvage the situation... if he gives her the names of his men. "So be it!" Canis says. "I will tell you the names of all my lieutenants and reveal the inner workings of my organization." "And I," Octopus replies, "will eliminate a certain meddlesome wall-crawler." The end... for now!

In General...

Nice improvement over last month's issue, but then leaving out the quasi-philosophical baddies will have that kind of a result. Still, the token fight scene did leave something to be desired. June's near-death experience would have had a greater effect if we hadn't been introduced to this character only a few issues ago. On the other hand, it looks like April, June, Chesbro and the BT will be around for a while; might as well get to know them a little.

Speaking of getting to know characters, it was good to see Moose and Courtney again, if briefly. Hopefully there is a storyline developing there. But I'm tired of Sandra Healy. Either bring that plot thread to a close or forget about it entirely; it's just filler at this point.

Some very good interplay between Peter, MJ, and May in this issue. I especially liked the brief talk between Peter and May. Peter's not stupid, he knows something's going on but trusts her enough not to force the answers out of her. And May trusts him enough to nearly tell him everything. Nearly. Still not sure where DeFalco is going with this Spider-Girl/Black Tarantula alliance, but there's some good potential there.

BTW, how'd ol' BT know about the crime summit anyway? Tapped phone? Informant? Maybe Lady Octopus is playing both ends against the middle? Hmmmmm....

Overall Rating...

Not quite in four web territory but a definite improvement over last issue. Three and one half webs.