Spider-Girl #74

Background

Despite the best efforts of Spider-Girl as well as Special Agent Arthur Weadon's super team, Lady Octopus is still on the loose. Spider-Girl was lucky to escape with her life after their last encounters; will she be so fortunate again? Also, what effect has May's quitting the basketball team had on her friends, and who the heck is that woman claiming to be Normie Osborn's wife?

Story 'Buried Alive!'

After another fruitless search for Lady Octopus, Spider-Girl stumbles upon a traffic accident and saves the driver's life. Kaine is watching, and when Spider-Girl asks what he's up to, he tells her to stay away from Lady Ock in no uncertain terms. Darkdevil appears, telling Kaine that he's full of it and that Spider-Girl can handle herself. The aforementioned web slinger decides she's tired of hearing them talk about her as if she isn't even there, and swings off into the night.

At school the next morning, May seeks out Felicity Hardy. May has spoken to Normie and has learned that Norman Osborn arranged a marriage to Elan DeJunae in San Mardeo when they were toddlers, and while it's doubtful that the marriage will stand up in the U.S., May still wants to know what's going on. Felicity agrees to do the research, but asks May to rejoin the basketball team in return. "I'm worried about my dad. He loves coaching... but he could lose his job... because the team's been on a losing streak ever since you quit." May tells her that it wouldn't be fair to play given her abilities, but Felicity storms off. Later that evening, May attends the game with her friends, and the team loses again. None of them come out and blame May for the loss, but it's obvious that they are disappointed in her. She leaves bitterly.

That same day, the former criminal mastermind known as Canis receives a message from an unknown source. "I believe you are scheduled for a court appearance later this afternoon, and I may have an interesting proposal for you." That source turns out to be Lady Octopus, who later springs Canis from a police van.

Spider-Girl, tipped off by the ever-helpful Chesbro, arrives on scene and discovers that the two criminals escaped underground. She hops in the sewer (reluctantly) and gives chase. Spider-Girl catches up to them, but Lady Ock simply pulls the ceiling down over her. Spider-Girl is buried alive in a mountain of rubble. Slowly, painfully, she crawls in what she can only pray is the right direction. After what seems like an eternity, she hears someone calling her name. It turns out to be Darkdevil, who rips her a new eye socket for nearly getting herself killed. "You're no match for Lady Octopus and certainly no match for Octopus plus Canis." "T-that's not what you told Kaine earlier." "Are you serious? I was just busting on him." Darkdevil disappears. Spider-Girl's cell phone rings. Naturally, it's Chesbro. Spider- Girl has reached the breaking point. "I am now ready to accept any help the Black Tarantula can give me."

On the other end of the phone, Chesbro hangs up, very pleased with this latest turn of events. As is Elan DeJunae.

General Comments

May's making a deal with the devil, huh? I honestly did not see that one coming. I like it, if only because you know this will blow up in her face sooner or later. Hard to blame her, though. After catching hell from literally everybody over the past few issues, I'd have a hard time turning BT down myself.

So "Mrs. Normie Osborn" is working with BT. Called that one, but I'm having a hard time buying this latest turn of events. Other than messing with Normie's head (and, by extension, Spider-Girl's) I can't see what purpose the lovely Ms. DeJunae is serving. And the whole "arranged marriage as toddlers" thing did not ring true for me at all; I'm hoping that was just part of the cover story.

Nice to see that Mr. DeFalco has not forgotten May's supporting cast. Other than the monthly display of what a jerk Brad Miller has turned out to be, we haven't seen many of them. And I like that May's decision to quit the team has had consequences. Do the ends justify the means here? Would it be all right to cheat by playing if in doing so May could save Flash Thompson's job? Interesting questions. Besides, supporting cast=good as far as I'm concerned. What's up with Moose and Courtney these days? Jimmy still going out with Heather? I want to know!

Good issue, better than the last one. Can't wait to see what kind of trouble Spider-Girl gets into now that she's formally aligned with the Black Tarantula.

Overall Rating

Not digging the "secret wife" storyline, but the rest is good. Three and one half webs.