Spider-Girl #48

Background

Alison Mongrain is out there lurking. Kaine is hot on her heels. The two are on a collision course, but who is the hero and who is the villain here? And how does the newly-restored Amazing Spider-Man figure into this? Will May be strong enough to stop the inevitable confrontation? How many questions can I fit into this section?

Story 'Through a Mother's Eyes'

  Spider-Girl #48
Summary: Peter vs. Kaine
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Pat Olliffe
Inker: Al Williamson

Being a teenage superhero is not an easy task. Just as Felicity Hardy and May Parker, who are both getting scolded by their parents for their role in last issue's fight with the Omega Skrull. Both fight back, both cross the line, but only May has the sense to apologize for her words before storming out of the house. MJ and Peter both know their daughter loves them. Felicia believes her daughter hates her.

Peter, meanwhile, takes solace the only way he knows how: putting on his Spider-Man costume. The wheelchair-ridden Mary Jane can only bite her tongue and pray he doesn't get hurt, but as he leaves she notices a woman standing across the street. Her name is Alison Mongrain, and Norman Osborn once hired her to kidnap Peter and MJ's baby. The couple had given the child up for lost, until the day MJ had gotten a phone call from the enigmatic Kaine, who had tracked down the baby and returned her to her rightful parents.

Kaine himself has returned, coming back to New York in an effort to track down Ms. Mongrain and find out what she's up to, if not kill her. He catches her standing outside the Parker's house, and is ambushed before he can strike by the Amazing (if a bit old) Spider-Man. Alison Mongrain takes the opportunity to run away--"I can't let him stop me! Not when I'm so close!"--while Kaine and Spider-Man continue to fight. Peter, however, is too rusty to hold Kaine off for long, and the clone snaps his bionic leg like a twig.

"Be good to yourself and your family, Peter... and don't repair it. You have to accept the fact that your web-swinging days are over."

May and Felicity take that as their cue, and charge into the fight as Spider-Girl and the Scarlet Spider. Kaine quickly takes advantage of Felicity's inexperience and hurls her a good fifty feet straight up. May slingshots to her rescue, but that gives Kaine time to leave.

Later that evening, as Mary Jane is pondering the events of the day, Alison Mongrain stumbles into her cheap hotel room. Just as MJ wonders "what does Kaine hope to achieve... or prevent," Alison pulls a case out of the closet. She opens it and takes out a loaded rifle.

General Comments

What on earth is Alison Mongrain doing? She's back in New York, fondly remembering the time she spent with May in Norman Osborn's employ... yet she has a rifle with her? This month's story is titled "Through a Mother's Eyes." Could she be wanting May back? Or, if she can't have May, nobody will?

I don't know. All I can tell you is Tom DeFalco's got me hooked on this one.

Kaine is pretty straightforward, though. He just does whatever the hell he feels like doing. But he seems to have no intention of hurting Peter or his family if he can help it. He could have wiped the floor with Peter, but instead just chose to destroy his artificial leg. (Take the hint, Pete!) He could have thrashed May, but simply chose to get rid of her instead. He's after Alison, and nothing's going to stand in his way. And that's the Kaine we all know and love.

I guess the thing I like so much about this storyline is that it's finally showing us what happened years ago. I'm convinced that May Parker's backstory was what was originally planned for the core titles before they made the ludicrous decision to bring back Aunt May instead of little May, and I'm just glad we're finally getting to see it. Maybe there was a good reason not to go this route in the core titles, but there's absolutely no reason not to show us in this title. Thank you, Tom DeFalco.

This issue is also a little different in that, for the first time, the POV/narration jumps between May, MJ, and Alison Mongrain. It works here because MJ and Alison spend so much time remembering the past, but hopefully DeFalco will stick to May's POV in future issues. One of the things that made this book unique was the second-person narration for May, and I don't see any reason to change it since it's worked so well.

So we're learning about how Peter and MJ got their baby back, and next issue promises to shed the light on Peter's final battle with the Green Goblin. A lot of reminiscing lately, don't you think? You know, they say people's lives flash before their eyes just before....

Overall Rating

It's a mystery and I'm hooked. Bring on the next issue ASAP! Four webs.