Spider-Girl #77

Background

Spider-Girl has joined forces with the Black Tarantula in an attempt to combat Lady Octopus, but is torn with uncertainty as to whether she is doing the right thing. Meanwhile, Octopus has busted Canis out of prison and has agreed to help him restore his former base of power. But whose side is anybody truly on?

Story 'A Taste for Treachery!'

It's been a rough time for May Parker, and the near death of a member of "Team Spider," her Black Tarantula-sponsored strike force, hasn't made things easier. After suffering a nightmare about the shooting, May gets up to find that her father has gotten up early and made her breakfast. "It's obvious from your recent behavior that something major is going down. As much as your mother and I are curious, we have faith in your judgment and agreed not to pry. We just want you to know that you're not alone." May gratefully thanks her father, and then says that there is one thing he can do for her.

Across town, Lady Octopus is meeting with one of Canis' former lieutenants. The tentacled one has promised her new partner that she will help restore him to prominence, and is convincing Mr. DeWells to attend the forthcoming crime summit. "What makes your guy qualified to replace Fisk?" "With all due respect, Mr. DeWells, my guy is the only one with enough power and vision to do the job. He can also provide protection, worldwide distribution and all the muscle you need." (Does that really sound like Canis? Hmmmmm....)

Meanwhile, after a quick training session and a morning at school (where she tries to talk to Sandra Healy and ends up blowing off Courtney Duran and Chris Jankoer, who has been trying to get a date with May for several issues now), Spider-Girl has a rooftop rendezvous with Darkdevil and Kaine. Kaine tells them that he intends to bring in the Black Tarantula dead or alive and warns Spider-Girl not to get in the way. Darkdevil agrees that she should not get caught in the middle, but Spider-Girl tells him that might be a problem. "I... I need a favor."

After a brief stop at Handsome Richie Valentine's, where she enlists his help in fighting Canis, Spider-Girl arrives at the supposed location of the crime summit, as provided by Team Spider member April. However, on the way in she comes face to face with Spider-Girl. "As much as I'd love to stain your new suit with blood, I have a previous engagement. So do you as a matter of fact," Lady Octopus says. "You can fight with me or prevent Canis from being pulped." Spider-Girl leaves Octopus behind and bursts into the warehouse only to find an ambushed Canis on his knees about to be shot to death. Spider-Girl intervenes, and holds off the attackers until backup arrives in the form of Darkdevil and the New Warriors. "I hate to run out on you guys," she says, "but I'm needed elsewhere."

Across town at the Javits Convention Center, where the Black Tarantula has just concluded the REAL crime summit, he and Lady Octopus are revelling in their success. Octopus asks BT why he wouldn't let her kill Spider-Girl, and he tells her that he's confident he can lure her into his organization. "Boy, have you got the wrong girl!" They turn, shocked, to find Spider-Girl on the ceiling behind them, courtesy of the spider tracer on Octopus' tentacle that her father gave her.

Outside, Kaine's group is preparing to attack as well. "Our mission is to take [the Black Tarantula] down no matter WHO gets in the way," Kaine says. Raptor, however, is worried. "What if the rumors are true and Spider-Girl is somehow connected to the Tarantula?" "Then we treat her as a hostile and neutralize her."

Uh-oh....

General Comments

Now THAT was fun! After several months of ho-hum stories, Spider-Girl roars back into action with an issue that promises to set up a dandy conclusion to this story arc.

Lady Octopus was setting Canis up, huh? Not really surprising. After all the effort she went through to get the names of Canis' lieutenants, it didn't seem likely that she wanted that information out of the goodness of her heart. You've got to feel sorry for Canis, though. He makes a pretty good werewolf but a lousy crime boss, and yet he's still in there trying. Maybe he should take up dog grooming or something....

It's good to see Kaine's darker side re-emerging. He's been kind of a wuss for far too long. Let us remember that this is the guy that killed the original Doctor Octopus (even if it didn't take.) I have no doubt that he'd be willing to take down Spider-Girl if he had to to reach his objective. Should make for some interesting conflicts next ish.

Wonder what's up with Courtney Duran and Moose? No clue if this is an actual emergency on Courtney's part or not, but anything that gets the high school supporting cast page time is fine with me (has Davida dropped off the face of the earth?) And man, Chris Jankoer better find somebody else to have a crush on. It's not going to get any better from here, Chris!

Very good issue with a great cliffhanger. About time Spider-Girl started rolling again.

Overall Rating

4.5 webs because this was the best issue in months.