Spider-Girl #59

Background

To recap, the heroes of the M2 Universe are trapped inside the Avengers Mansion, held captive by Seth's entropy field. Spider-Girl, who escaped moments before the field went up, is left to deal with the Serpent God of Death by herself. Can May Parker hope to survive the ensuing battle? They keep talking about cancelling this book, after all....

Story 'Proof of Life!'

  Spider-Girl #59
Arc: Part 6 of 'Season of The Serpent' (1-2-3-4-5-6)
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Ron Frenz
Inker: Sal Buscema

Spider-Girl is badly outmatched. She is surrounded by the Soldiers of the Serpent, but could whip them singlehandedly. The problem is Seth, who is effortlessly backhanding her across Central Park when this story opens. "We already know that you lack enough raw power to defeat me." May believes him, after being pummeled by Seth once before. Trying to keep her composure, she turns her attention to a few of the Soldiers. But when Seth zaps one of them out of existence, she freaks and runs away.

Inside the Avengers Mansion, the M2 heroes are stymied. Big Brain discovers that the field defies any conventional analysis, and J2 nearly dies trying to walk through the field. To put it simply, they're stuck.

While May is running for her life, Seth in hot pursuit, a frantic Mary Jane Parker spots the carnage on the television. Peter recognizes Seth and prepares to suit up, but MJ's water breaks. "I've got to get you to the hospital," Peter says. "No! Our daughter needs you. Go help May!"

Back at the scene, Spider-Girl stops running when she realizes that Seth is endangering innocent bystanders in his pursuit (ripping a bus in half certainly qualifies). She swings back and knocks Seth into a lamppost, then opens a hydrant and sprays him with water. The water gives Seth a bad electric shock, causing a fluctuation in the entropy field and royally cheesing off the Serpent God of Death. Spider-Girl then leads Seth to a construction site, but her attempt to run him down with a dump truck fails.

Climbing out of the wreckage of the now-trashed truck, Seth grabs May by the ankle, but Spider-Girl uses her sticking ability to "attract and repel your face in rapid succession." Stunned by the rapid blows, Seth is momentarily distracted, and Spider-Girl kicks him into a pile of propane tanks. They explode, bringing the framework of the building down on top of Seth. The entropy field continues to waver, and the M2 heroes make ready in case it drops completely.

Meanwhile, at nearby Midtown Medical Hospital, MJ is in advanced labor. Peter is at her side.

Terrified at the possibility that she killed Seth, Spider-Girl digs for him in the rubble. Seth emerges, grabbing the startled May by the neck, and begins to pummel her, demanding that she beg for mercy. "You don't understand me, Seth. You NEVER did. You might be able to bust me up--and even kill me--but you'll never BREAK MY SPIRIT! Do you hear me, Seth? I won't quit. Not now! NOT EVER!" She then promptly kicks him in the crotch. Absolutely furious, Seth morphs into a 40-foot tall serpent creature. ("You've got to be kidding.") Before he can attack, however, something shoots him from behind. The entropy field has fallen and the M2 heroes have arrived. Grateful for the 11th hour save, Spider-Girl drops into a dead faint.

Some time later, Spider-Girl recovers. Seth is in custody, as are the Soldiers. The M2 heroes are quick to praise her for saving their lives. Johnny Storm, however, pulls her aside to tell her that her mother has gone into labor. Without even thinking, May swings over to Midtown Medical and finds her father crying in the hallway. May fears the worst, but her father is merely overcome at the events of the day. He takes her inside the room to introduce her to her happy, healthy baby brother: Benjamin Richard Parker. Fade out.

General Comments

Now this is what I've been waiting for. We all knew it would come down to Spider-Girl vs. Seth, and the final outcome was only slightly less inevitable. That does not make it any less satisfying.

Who doesn't like to see David beat Goliath? Part of the appeal of Spider-Man over the years has been the sight of Peter triumphing in the face of nearly impossible odds. May finally gets her chance to do the same. And a tip of the hat to Tom DeFalco, because this one was spot on. May is perfectly in character, from her momentary panic to her concern for Seth's welfare. And I'm glad that DeFalco didn't focus on the fight after the other heroes had arrived; the real fight was already over and May won. This one was great from start to finish.

Another interesting subplot was the birth of MJ's baby. I was honestly surprised by the fact that Peter would stay with his wife, although I think it's a reflection of how his character has grown in the pages of this comic. He wouldn't have stuck around had this taken place around issue #30 or so. Plus, you have to wonder if Peter missing May's birth played into his decision. You could almost hear him thinking "I can't let my wife down AGAIN." The scene with Peter crying in the hallway was a slightly manipulative head fake, but I'll let it slide.

Overall, this was an excellent issue, and a very good wrap up to "Season of the Serpent." I wish I could say I enjoyed the whole storyline as much as I did its ending (as well as its beginning). I still think the whole trip to the Negative Zone was wasted space and a useless diversion from the main plot. But all's well that ends well. "Season of the Serpent" took a wrong turn or two along the way, but it got where it needed to go in the end.

Overall Rating

Four and one-half webs for this issue (Pat Oliffe would have brought it up to an even five). My rating for the storyline as a whole would have to be three. (And Spider-Girl fans take heart, this series has been saved yet again.)