Amazing Spider-Girl #29

Background

Having re-taken her body from Araña, May has come face to face with her father, who has been possessed by Norman Osborn and has already torn through most of her allies. Now, with only Spider-Girl standing between her father's greatest enemy and the death of her whole family, May Parker must also square off against the Brand New May... who is also more than meets the eye.

Story 'The End of Mays'

The two May's begin to battle the wreckage of her family's house as a stunned Mary Jane can only watch in horror. MJ tries to get through to Peter, but the Goblin shrugs off her appeals and tries to kill her. Spider-Girl blocks the Goblin's blast and, following the advice of her mystical friend May, tells MJ to flee with little Benjy.

Nearby, as the Black Tarantula finds a stunned Araña and the two agree to shelve their differences for the time being, MJ makes it as far as the subway before the Goblin catches up to her. She is saved again by Spider-Girl, who starts to attack the Goblin before he draws her off by endangering an innocent person. Spider-Girl manages to save the bystander, but the delay allows the Goblin to escape and gives the Brand New May a chance to catch up with her.

The Goblin catches MJ on the street and is briefly touched by her pleas. Spider-Girl catches up to him again and gets MJ to safety. Spider-Girl is left to face her duplicate and the Goblin... only to see help arrive in the form of Black Tarantula and Araña. As the fight continues, Araña manages to rip off the duplicate's face. "No!" she cries. "I can't let you expose my secret identity." She protects her identity the only way she can: letting the symbiote that shares her body take control. Symbiote-May tries to impale Araña on its costume spikes and BT throws himself in front of her to save her life.

The Goblin, meanwhile, reveals that he cloned May shortly after birth and "tinkered with both," eventually using cell samples from Venom to transform one of the children into an alien-human hybrid. "But which one of us is the REAL daughter of Spider-Man," May asks. "I already told you it no longer matters," the Goblin replies. That said, the Goblin and Symbiote-May start to merge. Spider-Girl jumps into the mix with them. The three unite and form... THE GOBLIN GOD!

Now 12 feet tall with wings to boot, the mutated Goblin flies off in search of Mary Jane Parker while Araña and Black Tarantula can only stare. Inside... somewhere, May wakes up in Peter Parker's mindscape and finds herself standing next to the blond May. May guides Spider-Girl through Peter's subconcious mind to the very core of his being, where they find Norman Osborn ascendant and Peter Parker helpless to stop him.

In the real world, the Goblin catches up to MJ, who is determined to go down fighting. After letting MJ hit him in the face a few times, the Goblin savagely breaks her arm. "I've won and now... EVERYBODY DIES!"

General Comments

"Not another stupid vision quest," May says at one point. MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY!

I'm tired of vision quests, possessions, "mindscapes," and plot twists like the "Goblin God" that are too hoaky even for a comic book about a teenager who crawls walls for a hobby. Frankly, I'm starting to wonder if DeFalco & company are deliberately throwing the game in order to keep the book from being revived again. This just isn't a Spider-Girl or Spider-Man story; all of the half-baked mystical mumbo jumbo would be too ridiculous for Dr. Strange, let alone Spidey.

The duplicate-as-symbiote plot twist fooled me, and I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking she would turn out to be a Skrull, especially in light of recent Marvel history. Kudos to the creative team on that one. And the revelation that not even Norman knows who the real May is--and that we may never really find out--is a good, angst-inducing way to go rather than reveal it one way or the other. Let's just hope that Marvel is smart enough not to reopen this can of worms at some point down the line.

Overall, though, this book has completely gone off the rails. Hopefully its new home in Spider-Man Family will take the world of Spider-Girl back to its roots, because the mess that her solo book has become is truly sad to behold.

Overall Rating

One web. At this point, the end can't come soon enough.