Amazing Spider-Girl #6

Background

Spider-Girl is in possession of a DVD that the underworld would literally kill for--a disc that holds the secret files of Wilson Fisk, the former Kingpin of Crime. To get it, she has crossed paths with the Hobgoblin's lackeys, dealt with the Black Tarantula's goon squad and a reality show bounty hunter, and has been forced to drop out of the race for student council. But just as May Parker seems resigned to return to her life as a teenage superhero, the Hobgoblin himself is determined to end that life.

Story 'The Hobgoblin and the Hostage!'

Back in Amazing Spider-Girl #1, Jimmy Yama and his friend Wes had concocted a rather goofy comic book take-off on Spider-Girl. Last issue he finally succeeded in getting a local comic store to carry it, as well as convincing his girlfriend Heather to appear in costume to promote the book. The ad caught more than one person's eye: May's father was furious that his daughter would return to the webs until May explained the situation. Worse for May, however, is the fact that the Hobgoblin has also seen the ad. Even worse is the fact that Detective Drasco of the Midtown South Precinct is on the Hobgoblin's payroll, and tips Hobby off that Spider-Girl has the disc after interrogating Mona Carlo.

On her way to school, May promises her mother that the three of them will sit down and talk the whole situation out. Another person who wants to talk things out is Davida Kirby, who insists on an explanation for May's sudden decision to drop out of the student council race. May ponders whether to tell her best friend the truth, but is saved by a group of supporters who are now enthusiastically backing Ms. Kirby.

After school, and after a failed attempt to crack the Kingpin's DVD, May heads down to the comic shop with her friends to support Jimmy and Heather. Just as soon as Heather makes her appearance, the Hobgoblin crashes through the front window, throws a smoke grenade at Heather, and flies off with her. While her stunned classmates stare in disbelief, May runs into the alley and suits up, knowing that she has a responsibility to act.

Spider-Girl catches up to Hobgoblin, who offers to trade the disc for her life and Heather's life. Spider-Girl, of course, refuses, and Hobgoblin hurls a pair of pumpkin bombs at her. Having run out of web fluid in the previous issue, Spider-Girl can only leap from rooftop to rooftop to avoid Hobby's blasts. May quickly realizes that she'll never win if Hobgoblin keeps her on the defensive, and remembers that webbing is not her only weapon. Timing her shot just right, Spider-Girl shoots a stinger at Hobgoblin and forces her to drop Heather. Unable to spin webs, Spider-Girl lands hard and twists her ankle. Hobgoblin demands the disc and Spider-Girl tells him she destroyed it. As Hobby prepares to kill her and May decides to go down swinging, a sudden burst of gunfire nearly kills him and damages his glider. Realizing that the Black Tarantula is watching out for her, Hobgoblin decides discretion is the better part of valor.

Afterwards, after sharing a moment with Jimmy's friend Wes, Spider-Girl decides to turn the disc over to the police. Unfortunately, she gives it to Detective Drasco, who is left pondering what to do with the gift he has been given. Heading home, May realizes that she is tired of the deception and confesses to her parents that she has been going out as Spider-Girl, and that she fully intends to keep doing so, even if she has to wait until she becomes an adult. After finally embracing her destiny, May heads out to get some air... with a smile on her face.

General Comments

Not too shabby at all. May's desperate battle with the Hobgoblin brought back memories of some of Spider-Man's more risky fights (and gives me one more reason to lament the whole organic webshooter concept in the main titles: running out of webbing at the worst possible time was a time-honored Spider-Man tradition back in the good ol' days.) Bringing back the stingers was also a nice touch. I know May might not be too fond of the idea of firing shards of razor-sharp metal at her opponents, but somehow I get the feeling she'll need to resort to such measures again in the future. The only drawback? Black Tarantula bailing her out in the end. It would have made for a more satisfying victory if Spider-Girl had been able to take on the Hobgoblin all by her lonesome.

The obligatory confession scene at the end of the story was also handled as well as can be expected, considering that this kind of ending was pretty much inevitable. Not so inevitable and quite a bit surprising was May's decision to hand the disc over to Detective Drasco, the not-as-corrupt-as-he-thought police officer who now has a serious crisis of conscience to deal with. Nice touch, Mr. DeFalco!

Oh, and May? Wes is a better guy for you than Gene. I'd suggest a serious reappraisal of your current relationship, but it looks like that's pretty much a given at this point.

Overall Rating

Not perfect but easily the best issue of the relaunched series and a solid conclusion to the first story arc. Four webs.