Spider-Girl (Vol. 1) #22

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Wildman (E-Mail)


How is your friendly-neighborhood Spider-Girl supposed to enjoy the school dance when the party is crashed by not one, not two, but three costumed characters? And could one of them be one of her one classmates?

Story 'Dance Fever!'

  Spider-Girl (Vol. 1) #22
Summary: Funnyface, School Dance
Editor: Mike Marts
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Pat Olliffe
Inker: Al Williamson

May Parker is confused. She's going to the school dance with J. J. Jameson, but isn't sure how she feels about Brad. Especially considering that he's going to the dance with Heather Noble, described by Davida as "Barbie doll? Cheap? Morally ambivalent?" Running into Darkdevil later doesn't help matters. Not only does he feed her the standard "go home, this is something you can't handle" shtick, but the man he's after is none other than the Buzz, who helped Spider-Girl bag Raptor four issues ago.

The night of the dance arrives at last, and Peter reacts to May's dress and her choice of date in the typical protective father fashion. With a little help from Mary Jane, however, she and J. J. arrive at the dance. Much to J. J.'s dismay, his father is also there. But that becomes the least of everyone's worries when Darkdevil crashes the party along with a stranger in a gaudy clown outfit. His name: Funny Face. May slips out for a quick costume change and arrives back in the gym in time to see Darkdevil take a snootful of gas from F. F.'s clown-head-wand ("Bunky" to his friends). The battle moves out into the hallway where a new player arrives--none other than the Buzz himself. The flying newcomer attacks Funny Face, driving him back into the gym full of frightened high-schoolers. Jonah Jameson, who apparently can still bellow with the best of them, orders May to "stop that costumed freak! He's guilty of murder!" May blanches when she realizes he's talking about the Buzz. Before she can decide what to do, the Buzz takes one in the back of the head from Darkdevil. The Buzz defends his innocence, and Spider-Girl realizes that he might be the guilty of a frame--much like her father--before she realizes that Funny Face pulled out a bomb.

His plan is thwarted, though, by Moose Mansfield, who tackles him from behind and allows May to steal and then muffle the bomb. Buzz attacks F. F. before he can take revenge on Moose, but is decked before he can press his assault. Spider-Girl tries to attack, only to be stopped by "Bunky." Apparently F. F.'s little toy can shoot constricting metal bands out of its mouth and eyes. May turns his attack to her advantage by yanking on the metal bands and sending Funny Face into a panic. "Let go! Stop! He can't take the strain! You're hurting him!" Spider-Girl decks him and he flees before he can be captured. Darkdevil leaves hot on his heels, berating Spider-Girl for getting in his way. The Buzz leaves right after him, and May pretends to chase him as an excuse to get away for the costume change.

Returning to the gym, May realizes that she didn't see Jimmy Yama during the fight. Or Brad Miller. Or J. J. Could one of them have been the Buzz? "Someone's taking this dual identity thing to the extreme. Or is she?"

General Comments

Now why didn't anything like that happen during the school dances I went to? Beats listening to "Y. M. C. A." for the fiftieth time!

Seriously, this was a fun issue. I got a little tired of all of May's "guy" comments, but a great super-hero battle makes up for it in spades. Darkdevil is always a welcome addition, and I liked the Buzz this time around. But the one that I really enjoyed was Funny Face. I have no idea why I enjoyed him so much. Maybe I just like psychopaths. The whacko-with-a-personal-relationship-with-his-toy thing has been done before (anybody remember Armada?) but he was fun and really seemed to be dangerous. I look forward to seeing him again in issue #25 as part of the Savage Six.

As for the Buzz, I haven't read any of The Buzz limited series, so if his identity has been revealed there I don't know anything about it. If I had to guess, though, I'd say that the "May's classmate" angle is a red herring. But if it is one of May's school chums I'd have to put my money on J. J. He appeared shortly before the Buzz hit the scene, plus I love the irony of Jonah going after his own grandson for alleged crimes. Whoever the guy (or is it a guy?) is, I think we're meant to believe that he has been framed. I'd almost rather believe that he did what he was accused of and is trying to beat the rap. It makes for a better story. Either way, this guy is growing on me.

And while I love Darkdevil, I do wish he'd lighten up a little bit. Of course, since we don't know for sure who he is, we don't know why he's this anal. All right, DeFalco. You've strung this thing out long enough. Who, or what, is this guy? It's at least time for another clue as to his identity. You string this mystery out too long and we're going to lose interest.

Overall Rating

I'm going to give this one four-and-one-half webs. Just because I can. :) Pick this one up; you'll enjoy it.

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Wildman (E-Mail)