Spider-Girl #33

Background

There's a new Spider-Man in town, and this time it's NOT Peter Parker. But how can May learn the truth about the new web-slinger if her powers still haven't returned?

Story 'Too Many Spiders'

Midtown High is abuzz with discussion about the new Spider-Man. Some, like Jimmy Yama, think he's the real deal. Others, like Moose, aren't convinced. Then there's May Parker, the Sensational Spider-Girl, who can't make up her mind. She doesn't even know how to find him. But being a superheroine is a tireless profession, and she slips out of high school to suit up and begin another lunchtime patrol. Spider-Girl spies a woman being mugged, but is upstaged by the Spider-Man in question, who dispatches the mugger because "with great power there should also come great responsibility." May recognizes the familiar credo and promptly gives chase, but the more agile webbed wonder--complete with "the proportionate strength, speed, and agility of a spider"--easily outmaneuvers May's goblin glider and escapes.

May returns to school and finishes out the day with a quick one-on-one with Nancy Lu before returning to the skies in an effort to find this mystery Spidey. After twenty minutes, she spots him near the Daily Bugle and is able to sneak up behind him. Flustered, Spider-Man shoots a web into the underside of the glider. May hits the gas and drags Spidey behind her like a kite. She demands to know why he's passing himself off as Spider-Man. His response: "at least I have spider-like powers... like the ability to stick to walls!" He does so, sending May hurtling out of control. She manages to keep herself upright, dodging the all-new "web missile" Spider-Man tosses at her. Spider-Girl can't, however, dodge Spider-Man himself as he leaps up behind a water tower and jumps on top of her. The new Spidey's inexperience however, steers May into a set of power generators.

Panicked that he accidentally killed her, Spider-Man sets down on the roof in time to walk into May's backhand. She attacks him, barely able to stand the burning feeling coursing through her body... and then she repels the stick she was holding. And dodges the blows like she knows they are coming. And clings to a steel pipe.

Her powers have finally returned. "Although... something feels a little different about them."

VERY different, as it turns out, as Spider-Girl's sticking power is now travelling through the steel pipe and holding a stunned Spider-Man fast at the other end ten feet off the ground. Startled, Spider-Girl drops the pipe, giving Spider-Man time to web her up and escape.

Later that evening, we see the new Spider-Man drop into a darkened room. The walls are lined with newspaper clippings about Spidey. His mother--in shadow--enters asks him about the day's patrol and he admits that it was embarrassing to be flattened by Spider-Girl. He tells her that Spider-Girl knew the real Spider-Man and his mother says that confirms her suspicions.

"Maybe we shouldn't have copied the costume, but you certainly have a legitimate claim to the name. Trust me, son! You were always destined to be the next Spider-Man."

General Comments

Eat your heart out, Howard Mackie. THIS is how a mystery Spider-Man story should work!

This was a great issue, and not just because of the new guy in tights. May's powers are finally back! Yay! And apparently they've brought friends, too; this new "spider-magnet" ability of hers to stick anything or anybody to an object she touches is an interesting idea. Can't wait for the explanation. I am, however, a little confused that all it takes is a jolt of electricity to turn her powers on and off. Killerwatt's blast in issue #25 killed them, power generators in this issue revived them. I know May's powers are different from her father's, but I'm hoping we find out how. And May better hope that Electro isn't out there somewhere, too. But overall, why critique? Let's just sit back and enjoy the fact that May is now a full-fledged Spider-Girl again...

...just in time to deal with a whole new Spider-Man. Now this one caught me off guard last issue and I'm still eagerly awaiting the truth. To recap, the new guy seems to have superhuman speed, strength, and agility. He also located a pair of web shooters somewhere. However, he is lacking a spider sense. But he does have a mother who has a theory about the identity of Spider-Girl and says that her son is destined to be the next Spider-Man. Hmmmmm....

Could this mystery woman be the Black Cat? And is it possible that May might not be Peter's only child? Maybe, maybe not (the premise has a few flaws) but that would open up some interesting possibilities. In any case, however, here's hoping we get to learn more about this duo quickly.

The art looked particularly good this issue with the guest inking of Livesay. I liked his work on Deadpool awhile back and his style meshes well with Pat Oliffe. If Al Williamson ever gets bored with the title, snatch this guy up pronto!

Overall, this was a great issue. Who is that masked man? Time (far too much of it) will tell.

Overall Rating

Stories like this are what make the various Spider-books so cool. (And thank you Marvel for keeping the headsman away from this title.) Four-and-a-half webs.