Amazing Spider-Girl #5

Background

For the last few weeks, May Parker has reclaimed her identity as Spider-Girl but is desperately trying to keep that fact from her parents and maintain some semblance of a normal life, including her campaign for student council. But as the critical debate nears--and as events surrounding the Kingpin's lost DVD come to a head--balancing both worlds may prove to be impossible.

Story 'Priorities!'

Last issue, May captured several of the Hobgoblin's mercenaries with the help of Mad Dog Rassitano, a super-villain bounty hunter with his own reality show. Unfortunately, she was captured on film in the process, film that could blow her secret and prove to her parents that she is web-swinging again. So, as Mad Dog and his producer leave the Midtown South precinct and return to their van, they find their employee webbed to the ceiling and all footage of Spider-Girl deleted. And as Spider-Girl swings off to school, she has no regrets.

Arriving at school changes her temperament for the worse, however, upon learning that her boyfriend, Gene Thompson, spent time with her rival Simone DeSantos after May stood him up the night before. Gene tells her she needs to decide what's really important to her. Davida Kirby arrives and tries to make May feel better, but starts talking about how the students deserve someone on the council who will give a total commitment and put the students first. Learning that Jimmy Yama's girlfriend Heather will be appearing at Deacon's Den comic shop as Spider-Girl to promote the launch of his new comic book doesn't exactly help matters either.

Meanwhile, outside the confines of Midtown High, both the Black Tarantula and Hobgoblin are preparing to move on Mona Carlo, who has the Kingpin's DVD that both sides seek. Carlo met with Chesbro, BT's right hand runt, last issue in an attempt to sell him the DVD, whereas Hobgoblin learned her location through one of Detective Drasco's snitches. While this is going on, May has donned the webs and is taking a quick trip to see Daniel Kingsley before her debate. When she arrives, she overhears a call from Kingsley to Mad Dog telling him that Mona is at the Hotel Caprice and that the Hobgoblin's hot on her tracks. Knowing that she has to get back for the debate, Spider-Girl nevertheless swings off to the Hotel.

At that hotel, Detective Drasco has arrived first, and removes Mona from her room only to find himself caught between the Black Tarantula's men and Hobgoblin's latest crew of mercenaries. At that exact moment, Spider-Girl crashes through the skylight and is relieved to learn that Hobby only sent his goons (although she is less than pleased to see Chesbro and his amazing friends.) May subdues BT's men, takes Mona, and jumps down into the stairwell... only to learn that she is out of web fluid. She is saved, however, by the appearance of Mad Dog, who catches them while wearing Stilt-Man's retractable legs, and gives them time to escape the building before jumping into the fray.

Fifteen minutes later, two police officers on a donut run find Mona Carlo tied up on the hood of their patrol car. Seems she decided to part with the disc after Spider-Girl treated her to "almost a dozen stomach-churning somersaults." However, May has no time to celebrate or even contemplate why she kept the disc, because she is already late for the debate. Heading back to Midtown High on a dead run, May arrives just in the nick of time. With the entire student body watching, not to mention her family, May announces that she is not the right person for the job, and is throwing her support to Davida Kirby. The students, faculty, and May's parents are all stunned by the news. Gene Thompson is thrilled, and stops in the middle of vandalizing one of May's campaign posters to go find her.

Hobgoblin, meanwhile, is less than thrilled by the day's events. "It's time I crushed Spider-Girl like the bug she really is. Don't worry, Drasco! I know exactly where to find her." For the newspaper he holds in his orange-garbed hands has a prominent advertisement, featuring the appearance of Spider-Girl at... Deacon's Den comic shop.

General Comments

Not bad, and definitely an improvement over the last couple of issues. May breaking into Mad Dog's van to delete her footage was a bit out of character for her--she DID commit a crime, after all, even if Mad Dog didn't take offense--but it's not as if her father hasn't blurred the ethical lines a time or two in his career either. It also shows how much she doesn't want to have to tell her parents what she is doing, and actually highlights the problem she finds herself in much better than Tom DeFalco's excessively on-the-nose dialogue does later in the issue. (I half expected Mad Dog to launch into a soliloquy on how a super hero has to put their fellow heroes first; we get the point, Mr. DeFalco, don't bang us over the head with it.) Dropping out of the race and throwing her support to Davida WAS in character, however, and it makes sense that May would not only figure out where her responsibility truly lies, but figure out that Davida truly was the best person for the job.

The fight in this issue was a tad perfunctory, but that stands to reason considering that none of the A-List baddies showed up to brawl. Mad Dog is growing on me a bit, although not so much that I'd like him as a series regular. Other than that and the outcome of the debate, no real surprises in this issue, although I wouldn't have thought that Gene Thompson was the poster vandal. What a schmuck.

Looking forward to seeing this plotline wrap up next issue. Time for the Hobgoblin to get his own hands dirty, however. The nameless goons of the last two issues are more than a tad dull, after all.

Overall Rating

Room for improvement, but not bad and hopefully leading up to a good conclusion next issue. Three webs.