Spider-Girl #68

Background

Nancy Lu, teenage telekinetic mutant, has transferred to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, which hasn't made her boyfriend Jack Jameson very happy. Factor in that her boyfriend is the hot-headed grandson of J. Jonah Jameson, is secretly The Buzz, and has long been trying to avenge the murder of a friend of his... well, you can see how Spider-Girl might have her hands full.

Story 'The Rules'

  Spider-Girl #68
Summary: Buzz Appears
Editor: Andy Schmidt
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Ron Frenz
Inker: Sal Buscema

It's not easy being Spider-Girl. One minute you're saving a teenage nitwit from being crushed by a speeding truck, the next minute he's putting the moves on you. Fortunately (or not), Spider-Girl hears the sound of gunshots as she swings away from her rescuee and his newly-smashed basketball and runs right into "Mr. Rude 'n Crude himself," namely The Buzz. Spider-Girl arrives right when Buzz is putting the kibosh on the last of the thugs and bristles at her suggestion that he dial it back a notch or two. He then apologizes. "I've been twitchy since I heard Dr. Jade might be back in town." May recognizes the name as the woman working with Dr. Octopus, but Buzz declines her offer of help.

At school the next morning, May runs into Coach Thompson who tries to get her to reconsider quitting the basketball team. She says that her decision is final, and leaves after Flash puts a bit of a guilt trip on her. Running into Brad Miller makes things even more awkward, and May tries to beg off a trip to the mall. Just then, Jack Jameson butts into the picture and nearly gets into a fight with Brad over his anti-mutant tendencies. May pulls JJ into the stairwell and Jack nearly loses it, punching the brick wall and startling May. She asks him to keep his temper under control, and slips a spider tracer under his collar while doing so.

After a brief trip to the hospital to visit Normie Osborn (and, naturally, his girlfriend Blackie Drago), Spider-Girl tails Jack to his control van, and follows him as The Buzz to a high tech bio-research facility, which is being raided by several goons in fancy suits. Buzz arrives and quickly forgets his promise to May, beating the men harder and harder to get information on what Dr. Jade is planning.

Spider-Girl jumps in before Buzz does too much damage, but inadvertantly leads him into a trap. The helicopter serving as the criminals' escape vehicle hits Buzz with an electro-magnetic pulse that shuts down his suit and leaves him helpless. The men, nowhere near as badly hurt as Spider-Girl thought, wrap him up in a steel net and hook him up to the copter's cargo line. Spider-Girl jumps up, grabs the net, anchors herself to the wall, and hangs on for dear life. Just when she's about to pass out, the net breaks and The Buzz falls free. After giving her attitude (naturally), Buzz flies off with a warning for Spider-Girl to stay out of his business.

Miles away, the woman known as Dr. Jade takes news of the failure badly, blasting a viewscreen with a ray from her hand. A shadowy figure in the background assures her that it was nothing more than an setback, and that she will soon have The Buzz's battle suit as well as "a suitable revenge on that annoying little web-swinger." Armored tentacles reach out to comfort her. Doctor Octopus is back.

General Comments

Not bad. Bringing Doc Ock into an issue is never a bad thing, although it's not like we haven't seen plenty of him lately. (You don't think it has anything to do with the movie, do you? Nah....) But that's next issue. This issue features The Buzz, and I have to admit the character's growing on me a bit. I guess I prefer haunted, revenge-driven characters to teenage loudmouths.

I wonder what May's going to do about quitting the basketball team. She has an excellent reason why that she can't share. One wonders what reason she gave Coach Thompson. Chalk up another headache in a life that's increasingly full of them.

May sure spends a lot of time showing up JUST when Buzz is going to seriously hurt someone. Three times in the last two issues, to be exact. I realize that JJ is a young man dangerously close to making a mistake he can't take back, but May's getting pretty close to being caught in the crossfire. Could Spider-Girl and Buzz end up at odds with each other for real?

Pretty good issue, but mostly setup for the coming Doc Ock storyline.

Overall Rating

Three webs for the story, an extra half web for Frenz and Buscema who seem to be getting better with each issue. Oh yeah, and May with red hair is pretty nice, too.