Spider-Girl (Vol. 1) #38

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Wildman (E-Mail)


What is Normie Osborn's plan? What is wrong with Mary Jane? Who is the new Spider-Man? After months of preparation, all... well, MOST... will be revealed here!

Story 'A New Lease on Life'

  Spider-Girl (Vol. 1) #38
Summary: Green Goblin V (Phil Urich), Mary Jane Pregnant
Editor: Matt Hicks, Tom Brevoort
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Pat Olliffe
Inker: Al Williamson

Spider-Girl is in a rough spot. One one side, Crazy Eight and Funny Face have managed to put aside their enmity and join forces against her. On the other, the Green Goblin has made his grand reappearance. And one very confused May Parker is caught in the middle.

The tension is broken when Normie finally attacks... Funny Face and Crazy Eight. "I'm afraid I consider [Spider-Girl] a very close friend... and count her enemies among my own!" All heck breaks loose as the two brothers rush to counterattack. May holds her own against Crazy Eight, but the Goblin is clearly rusty and having trouble fending off Funny Face. She comes to his rescue, giving FF time to gas the place and escape. The Goblin is about to follow when May warns him off. "Either Funny Face of Crazy Eight is planning to unload on us as soon as we stick our necks out." The two are forced to wait until it's safe.

Spider-Girl jumps onto the Goblin glider as the two fly back to the sanitarium. May demands answers, but the Goblin dodges the questions long enough to return to his "secret headquarters" to meet none other than... Normie Osborn? The Goblin then pulls off his mask to reveal the face of Phil Urich. According to Urich, bringing back the Goblin was in the cards for months. Normie says that Phil was the likely candidate, and Phil sheepishly replies that he was rusty. The two retire to a video room to study footage of Urich's battle, leaving a forgotten May behind.

May, back in civvies, is walking home when she's startled by the reappearance of the new Spider-Man. Her costume, unfortunately, is back in the sanitarium, so she has no choice but to continue home. Her parents, looking solemn, are waiting for her. May begins to panic, remember MJ's illness and fearing the worst....

"We're going to have another baby!"

May's response? "Eeeeuuuu!"

Peter and Mary Jane are both ecstatic, but May is floored by the revelation and needs some air. She then stumbles upon Jimmy Yama and Heather Noble. The two meet, then kiss. The only problem is that Heather is going steady with May's quasi-boyfriend, Brad Miller. Frustrated by still ONE MORE problem, May is determined to do SOMETHING to get herself back on track.

Her quest takes her to the Avengers mansion in an effort to get information on the man known as Canis. This proves simple, but since Canis is a legitimate businessman, there is absolutely nothing May can do without breaking the law. At her wit's end, May takes to web-swinging one more time, letting her mind wander:

"Sometimes you wonder why you even bother. What's the point of dressing up in a silly costume and risking your fool neck? There are OTHER occasions, however, when you're riding a web and the wind's caressing your face, that the answer is sooooooo painfully obvious. This is your city, and your parents are having a baby! Maybe the Avengers are too busy to worry about common criminals. You aren't. (A baby!) Maybe a bunch of psychos are trying to whack you, and the new Spider-Man wants your job. (A baby!) Maybe your friends are going all crazy. (A baby!) Maybe life isn't fair, and the good guys don't have it easy. You ARE about to become a big sister... AND IT'S STILL A SPIDER-GIRL WORLD!"

General Comments

Issue #38 was originally scheduled to be the last regular issue of Spider-Girl, until fans saved it from cancellation. The story definitely felt like the end, so much so that I had to jump on the internet to find out if there's another issue coming out next week (there is.) But you can feel DeFalco wrapping up several loose ends, while leaving a few dangling, of course. That's fine; this series has needed some resolution for months now. As for what was revealed?

So MJ's going to have another kid, huh? Sorry, May, you now have incontrovertible evidence that your parents still "do it." "Eeeeuuuu," indeed! I like the idea, but am wondering how it will be handled. Those of us who have been following Spidey for awhile remember the risks involved with Peter having a kid (read PP:SM #15 "The Mutant Factor" and several issues of the clone saga for a better idea.) Are these going to be glossed over, or might Pete and MJ have to deal with a handicapped and/or mutant baby? They got lucky with May. Will it happen again?

Secondly, Normie and Phil have teamed up. In retrospect, this was a fairly obvious development. But I doubt it will be fun and games for the duo. There are hints that there's a death in the works, and I'm willing to lay odds that it'll be Phil Urich. He's pushed his luck again and again and doesn't seem to realize the danger involved.

Heather and Jimmy? Called it.

Finally, what HASN'T been revealed? We still don't know the identity of the new Spider-Man, although there are clues aplenty. Had the series ended here, would DeFalco have left that plot thread dangling? Seems a bit cruel not to fill us in on THAT one, don't you think?

As to my opinion of the story, it's kind of hard to think of it as an actual story. The reader jumps from revelation to revelation with no chance to catch our breath until the final few pages, during May's web-swinging reverie. Maybe that was an attempt to show how everything's coming down on May all at once. More likely, it's the same weak planning that victimized "The Final Chapter," namely dickering around too long with your plot threads and having to tie them up at the last minute. It leaves a rushed, sloppy feel.

Overall Rating

While the execution is a little weak, we finally get to close this chapter of May's life. It's time to move on to the next one. And it's about time. Three webs.

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Wildman (E-Mail)