Spider-Girl #34

Background

Her powers have returned, but May's still feeling like the fifth wheel of the superhero set. Raptor's trying to go straight but someone's gunning for her lawyer's hide. The new Spider-Man is still on the loose. And a mysterious villain makes a startling reappearance. All this and... a shoe sale?

Story 'Overkill'

The Thing is never one for jokes, at least as long as he's the butt of them. Which is why he doesn't take kindly to Spider-Girl using her "bio-magnetic power" to keep him glued to the top of a long metal pole. Even less so when Big Brain, a/k/a Reed Richards, tells her to suddenly repel him. But this is a test the Fantastic Five have developed to gauge the scope of May's returned powers. All is going (relatively) well until Franklin Richards bursts into the room. An alien ship of unknown origin is approaching earth and it must be investigated. May offers to help and the F5 none-too-subtly blow her off.

Frustrated, May heads back to the sanitarium to meet Normie Osborn and change for school. After agreeing to return after class for a meeting between the reformed Raptor and her lawyer, she heads to school with a giant chip on her shoulder. On the way, her spider-sense tingles ever so slightly. The source: a shadowy figure in a dark alleyway that is revealed to be: Mr. Nobody!

In an abandoned warehouse, while Nobody and a fellow blond-haired Spider-hater discuss their plans--and test out some new hardware--May reaches school and hears her first GOOD news of the day: a 50% off shoe sale at Fingeroth's. (Wasn't there a Spider-Man editor named Danny Fingeroth? Nice to see him keeping busy.) Putting business before pleasure, however, May keeps her promise and swings over to meet Normie, Raptor, and her lawyer, Reilly Tyne. Tyne admits that Raptor's prospects of amnesty are bleak. Before he can elaborate, however, Tyne finds himself staring down the barrel of a gun. A gun wielded by the man contracted to kill him. A man called Mr. Nobody.

Tyne barely escapes Nobody's fire and quickly disappears. And Nobody himself is startled by the presence of Spider-Girl and Raptor. Nobody: "I should have known better than to associate with a psycho job like TONY!" Raptor: "T-Tony? Do you mean MY Tony?! Where is that no-good, double-crossing lying sack of sap?" Spider-Girl and Raptor both swoop in for the capture... and find themselves flowing right THROUGH Mr. Nobody who, for the price of a hit on Tyne, has had Tony upgrade his teleportation harness to render him intangible.

Before anyone can blink, Darkdevil arrives only to see Mr. Nobody slip through his grasp. (Gee, anyone wonder where Tyne got off to?) Seconds later, the new Spider-Man arrives and is no more effective than the others. All the heroes' efforts at fighting Nobody prove to be futile, and he teleports off the scene without a trace.

Everyone is safe, but the bad guy got away. A frustrating end to a frustrating day. But rather than slink away to brood in her sorrows, May seeks out a different form of therapy... at Fingeroth's.

General Comments

I wonder if the title of this story--"Overkill"--could be a reference to the number of guest stars. You have the F5, Darkdevil, Raptor, and Spider-Man. Not counting Mr. Nobody and Tony, that's eight right there. It's a bit much for a normal-sized book and results in a story with too much clutter. You could cut out the cameo by the new Spider-Man and we wouldn't have noticed; he came and went that quickly.

This is a story that gives the current plots time to grow a little before they're resolved, and the best of the bunch thematically continues to be Raptor's attempts to go straight. She claims she's a changed person, but doesn't want to accept the consequences of her former crimes, which include crippling a man who was trying to do his job. And what about her comments during the battle? "I'm going to SHRED that wise-mouthed mook!" Raptor make THINK she's reforming, but has she really? Good development for a previously one-dimensional baddie of the month.

And, of course, Spider-Girl continues to feel overlooked and disrespected. But considering what her father went through during his superhero career, she's pretty well off. The question is what will her resentment at being a "2nd string" superhero lead to. I think May might have a pretty big turning point coming up.

Overall, a good story but nothing spectacular. The shoe sale was cute and it's good to see a return visit from one of May's very own supervillains. Now bring back Crazy Eight, DeFalco!

Overall Rating

Well worth the cover price. Three and one-half webs.