Spider-Girl #50

Background

Will Alison Mongrain succeed in killing young Normie Osborn? Will the Faces return to wreak vengeance upon New York? Will Courtney Duran live? Will Peter Parker's return to the webs end in tragedy? Will Spider-Girl find a way to make up for her previous mistakes? Will I ever shut up and get on with the review?

The buildup is over. The future is now. The truth is revealed....

Story 'Forgiveness'

  Spider-Girl #50
Summary: Spider-Girl vs. The Faces
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Pat Olliffe
Inker: Sal Buscema

The Parker guilt is eating young May alive. It's bad enough that Angel and Funny Face--the mother/son crime duo she let escape--have embarked on a cross-country crime spree, but her best friend Courtney is lying in a coma after May couldn't find time to be with her. May is far from alone, though. Brad and Moose show up and find a way to mend their fences. May also shares a moment alone with Heather Noble--who doesn't really know Courtney Duran that well but is hurting for her boyfriend Jimmy Yama, who did. Time ticks by and Courtney does not improve.

Outside the hospital, Peter Parker and his lovely wife MJ are on their way out the door. MJ is getting ready for her sonogram, Peter is going to the F5 Building to get his bionic leg fixed. Kaine is still on the loose and Peter is determined to bring him in before he can hurt May. Big Brain warns Peter that the bionic leg needs to be tested, and Peter assures him it will be, but he runs into the Faces before any real testing can be performed. In the midst of battle, Peter's bionic leg sticks to a wall... and won't let go. Funny Face hits him with some knockout gas, and the two bring Peter back to their hideout and prepare a trap for Spider-Girl.

Back at the hospital, May runs into yet another "friend," Jack Jameson. She agrees to talk to him, and he apologizes for dating other girls, telling her that they belong together. May is beginning to weaken when Jack's cell phone rings. May, startled, recognizes the phone as the same kind Green Goblin and the New Warriors use. Realizing that Jack must be either Darkdevil or The Buzz, May eavesdrops on him when he ducks out to take the call--which is from the Goblin. The Goblin ran into some of the Faces' handiwork and is calling in the team members to go after them. May smiles, changing into her costume and swinging out to a head start. "Funny Face and Angel Face are your responsibility," she thinks to herself. "This case is personal."

While this is going on, Normie is arriving at the police station with Blackie Drago, the former Vulture. She has agreed to surrender to custody. Normie wonders where Spider-Girl is, since she promised to be there.

Spider-Girl, meanwhile, is at a warehouse on the other side of town. She has just located the Faces. She briefly considers reasoning with them, but loses her temper when she sees her father hanging captive. "I'm in no mood to trade quips," she growls. Spider-Girl pummels Funny Face, and ignores Angel Face's terms for a truce. She continues to tear into FF, while Angel beats a hasty retreat only to run into the Green Goblin. Phil Urich once fought Angel Face a long time ago, and the thought of her terrifies him. He has no choice, though, and winds up subduing her.

Inside the warehouse, Spider-Girl is quickly losing it. Funny Face, startled by her savagery, asks what happened to her. "You happened to me. You and your psycho mother trampled on my trust and turned my dreams to nightmares.... I thought I could do good and make a difference without resorting to violence! But I was wrong, and you and your mom rubbed my nose in my naivete! You may not realize it, Funny Face, but the only way I could stop you was to become as vicious and ruthless as you and your mom. I guess that means you won the real battle." WHAM! "I hope you're proud of yourself."

After the battle, with both faces wrapped up in webbing, Spider-Man tries to console his daughter, but she is having none of it. Making matters worse, The Buzz shows up and browbeats her for her earlier screw-up. ("Yeah, even I can't believe some of the mistaks I almost made.") May's phone rings, and it's Normie calling to ask her why she blew off Blackie Drago's surrender. Chastised, she swings off into downtown, half-ignoring her father's suggestion that she trust her instincts. Lost in thought, Spider-Girl is practically at the sanitarium before she spots Kaine, instantly leaping into battle. Kaine is frantic: "I'm trying to prevent a murder!"

Alison Mongrain has arrived. Her rifle is loaded and Normie Osborn is squarely in her gunsights. Spider-Girl and Kaine continue to battle, Kaine pleading with her to trust him, Spider-Girl too afraid to be fooled again. Then she hears the gunshots. Thankfully, Alison misses, giving Spider-Girl time to swing into her line of fire. Alison tells Spider-Girl that she's trying to protect the child she once cared for. Spider-Girl pulls off the mask, revealing her identity. "She's safe, Alison. He will never harm her." Alison drops the rifle and the two women embrace.

Later that day, May returns to the hospital to find Moose with Courtney. While the two talk, Courtney wakes up. Moose and May are both overjoyed, and Brad shows up just in time to get a big smooch from May. Unfortunately, Jack Jameson shows up just in time to see it happen.

In another wing of the hospital, Peter and MJ are undergoing the sonogram. The baby is a boy. As Peter stares at his wife, and the image, he realizes that he's playing the fool, and decides to give up his webs for good. Again.

Across town, his only daughter is coming to a realization of her own. Despite Courtney's revival, despite her moment with Brad, she has had enough. May dumps her Spider-Girl costume into a trash can and, in a panel that pays homage to Amazing Spider-Man #50, walks away.

General Comments

sale next month, so it doesn't look like the series will be cancelled yet. One wonders how long May's "retirement" will last, though. If she's her father's daughter, she'll be web-swinging again in no time.

Not a bad issue, but slightly underwhelming. Actually, I guess I feel a lot like May did toward the end. There was just something missing. I can't describe it, but this didn't feel like any kind of monumental story. I didn't even realize it was double-sized until I re-read it.

Maybe it's because the final outcome was fairly predictable. Courtney woke up, Spider-Girl thrashes the Faces, Alison Mongrain doesn't kill Normie. About the only thing that was a surprise was May packing it in at the end of the story, but it's doubtful that that will last very long. I take that back, actually, another pleasant surprise was seeing Sal Buscema draw a Spider-Man title again. His inks compliment Pat Olliffe's pencils well, and give the story a bit of an edgier feel. Which definitely worked in May's fight scene with the Faces. Girl was out for blood this time.

I guess the real question is, "Where does Spider-Girl go from here?". She finally managed to fix her earlier mistake with the Faces, which has really been the only thing driving her lately, other than Kaine. What will make her pull the webs on again? I wonder where Tom DeFalco is going with this. Still, he did a nice job of wrapping up loose ends this time around. With the glaring exception of Felicity Hardy, that is, but nobody's perfect.

I'm beating around the bush a little, here, but nothing really jumps out at me from this issue. After all that leads up to it, it turned out to be underwhelming. Not a bad issue. Just not that great of one, either.

Overall Rating

Not bad, but I was looking for more than "not bad" when I cracked open this issue for the first time. Three webs.