Spider-Girl (Vol. 1) #26

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Wildman (E-Mail)


May Parker, recently of Spider-Girl fame, is trying to cope with the loss of her powers. Could this be the end of her career in patterned tights? And can Normie Osborn truly be cured of his desire to be the next Green Goblin? These and other shocking developments in our latest installment of... Spider-Girl!

Story 'Passages!'

  Spider-Girl (Vol. 1) #26
Summary: Spider-Girl, Powerless
Editor: Matt Hicks
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Pat Olliffe
Inker: Al Williamson

Despite a report from her family doctor that May Parker is in good health, her mother and father are not convinced. While she is in exceptional condition for an average high schooler, her spider powers have vanished since she took a huge jolt from Killerwatt last issue and nobody knows how to get them back. Peter, in particular, is concerned, and May tells her mother that he seems more upset about this than she is, although she admits to being confused. MJ's response: "Your father and I just want you to be happy. You know that, don't you?"

Across town, Normie Osborn is in the middle of a court-mandated psychiatric session. He seems resigned to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather (heck of a family biz, huh?) and continue the "Spider-Goblin war." The psychiatrist tells him that it isn't too late to turn back, that he has only committed a few minor crimes and hasn't reached the point of no return. She urges him to give up his obsession and offers to help, and Normie seems interested.

Back at Midtown High, May and Davida are hitting the lunch room, much to Davida's surprise. ("Don't you usually have an aerobics class?") They happen to notice JJ and Courtney, who appear to be hitting it off very well. Brad Miller arrives and asks what they intend to do about it. "Moose already has an itch for JJ, and he's going to freak when he sees..." Naturally Moose arrives at that moment and sees the pair, but swallows his anger and meekly walks away. Of course, where there's Brad, there's usually his jealous girlfriend Heather, who "accidentally" dumps the contents of her tray onto May's blouse. But what really hurts is the reaction from the other students when Nova flies by, and she slips unnoticed out of the lunchroom.

Meanwhile, both Peter and Phil Urich are considering options if May can't regain her powers. Peter muses about putting on the webs again, and Phil is pondering a return to his role as the Golden Goblin. But while meeting his wife for lunch, Phil's eye is drawn to the new intern in her law office. "H-he kinda reminds me of someone... but I'm not sure who. What's his name, anyway?" His wife's response? "I believe it's Reilly."

Later that evening, May is almost single-handedly leading the Midtown High basketball team to victory. Without her spider powers, she can finally play to her full potential. But it's not enough for her, and she soon finds herself on the school roof snapping on the web shooters. "Plenty of costumed heroes make do without super powers. Why can't [I]?" The answer soon presents itself, as she lacks the agility, coordination, and strength to even swing on a webline. Darkdevil makes an appearance and chastises her for fooling around, leaving May to sadly strip off the costume and walk away.

That could prove to be the least of her problems, however, as Normie's doctor is found bound and gagged. "Osborn is determined to erase his past failures," she groans. "The Green Goblin is going after Spider-Girl, and this battle won't end until one of them is finally dead!"

General Comments

This is basically one of those "tweener" issues that you often see after a huge story or storyline has ended. The character (and the writer) get to take a deep breath, tie up any loose threads and build new plotlines for future issues. Since there are four plotlines that seem to be developing, I'll take each one in turn.

First, you have Peter and Phil considering playing hero again. Put me down for a big "no" in both cases. I could see why Phil would seriously consider it, but he was lucky not to get killed in his first turn on the goblin glider. As for Peter, he's had a good long run and should be happy with that. Plus, how would he be able to explain a new bionic leg and keep his secret identity? I'm hoping this is just idle speculation on their parts.

Secondly, Moose and JJ. This one could get very ugly before it gets better. We've all seen that Moose has no problem settling things with his fists (remember his "fight" with Jimmy Yama awhile back?) and he really seems to like Courtney. I loved his facial expression in the lunchroom--rage fading to pain--along with his resignation as he watched the basketball game; he didn't care about much of anything at that point. Two thumbs up, one each, to Olliffe and Williamson for a great art job. And does JJ HAVE to hit on every girl he can find? Or is there something else going on?

Third, we have another appearance by the Green Goblin, and since everything is saying that it will be their "last" battle (like we haven't heard THAT one before!) it's a pretty safe assumption that something will happen to Normie next issue. This is a good thing; this Osborn family curse has gone on long enough. Time to put an end to it, at least in the MC2 Universe.

Finally, May is still without her powers and is missing them more than she expected. It's funny how we can come to depend on something, even something that can be a bit of a pain, without knowing it. (See Christopher Priest's "Johnny Handsome" run on Deadpool for another example.) I like the idea but hope it doesn't get drawn out too much. Three or four issues tops would be a good length.

Overall, these next few issues of Spider-Girl could be something really good. Let's see what they've got.

Overall Rating

Three webs for this one. I liked it all right, but it was essentially just a prologue for the next batch of stories.

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Wildman (E-Mail)