Spider-Girl #69

Background

The Buzz' old nemesis--Dr. Jade--has returned and is being aided by Doctor Octopus. But which one? J.J.'s parents return from Europe, but can John Jameson escape his old demons? And can Spider-Girl save her friend and his father when all hell breaks loose?

Story 'Those Who Hunt Monsters!'

  Spider-Girl #69
Summary: Carolyn Trainer (Doctor Octopus)
Editor: Andy Schmidt
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Ron Frenz
Inker: Sal Buscema

John and Ashley Jameson have returned to New York after spending the last year in Europe. Unfortunately, their return has not gone unnoticed. A trench- coated man (yeah, that's subtle) phones in their arrival to Dr. Sonja Jade, who has been trying to retrieve The Buzz' battlesuit and is working with someone wearing the Dr. Octopus tentacles. "Everything seems to be on track," Jade says.

At Midtown High, May witnesses yet another fight between Jack Jameson and Brad Miller over Miller's anti-mutant tendencies. May breaks it up and walks off with J.J. in an attempt to retrieve the spider tracer she planted on him last issue. The two of them head over to Jack's house, where John and Ashley are waiting for their son. May leaves as soon as she can. Mr. & Mrs. Jameson tell J.J. that they're returning to Europe for another year or more and want him to accompany them. John slips out to check on the equipment he brought with him.

The next day, May discovers that John Jameson has been kidnapped and phones Darkdevil to ask for his help. He later meets her at a "dockside dive" (Josie's, perhaps?) full of newly-unconscious patrons. Appalled by DD's methods, May does learn that Dr. Jade took Jameson, but nobody knows where she is. Spider-Girl swings out into the night only to be stopped by a custom flare in the shape of her mask. She lands on a nearby rooftop to find Chesbro, "an envoy for the man you know as the Black Tarantula." He offers Spider-Girl information on John Jameson's whereabouts in exchange for a future favor. May, already upset at herself for sanctioning Darkdevil's actions, reluctantly agrees.

Spider-Girl arrives to find Jameson locked up in a "mutate chamber." When the Jamesons were in Europe, they were working to reverse the effects of a "rogue genetic engineer" who was turning homeless people into monsters. (Whatever happened to Baron Zemo, anyway?) The Jamesons found his equipment and were using it to reverse the process, but now Jade is planning to use in on Jameson. Just as the process begins, The Buzz bursts in and attacks. Spider- Girl tries to use the distraction to stop the machine, but is quickly stopped by Carolyn Trainer, the new Doctor Octopus!

The battle rages as Jameson suffers in the mutate chamber. Jade quickly gets the upper hand on Buzz, and Spider-Girl barely manages to hold her own until Doc Ock zaps her into unconsciousness. She awakes only to find herself helpless along with Buzz at the hands of Jade and Doc Ock. "If we're actually going to use Jameson's technology to replace highly paid mercenaries with mindless, but obedient mutates, we still need to test our new control collar. I believe our first specimen is finally ready, and so--KILL THEM, MAN-WOLF! RIP THEM TO SHREDS!"

Needless to say: To Be Continued.

General Comments

Not too shabby. I like the fact that DeFalco is using Trainer instead of the original Doc Ock. With two limited series and a guest arc on Spectacular, Otto's already getting enough play right now. Besides, not only does the use of Trainer pay homage to her role in the Clone Saga--and love it or hate it, it shouldn't be completely ignored--but she's got serious potential as an MC2 villain for Spider-Girl. Don't use her in this story arc and then forget about her, Mr. DeFalco. There's some interesting possibilities here.

I liked May's crisis of conscience regarding her actions, although I'm not sure if I like what she's doing. Spider-Girl hasn't compromised before. Now she's sending DD to beat information out of people and aligning with the Black Tarantula? Not quite in character. And did she ever get that spider tracer back?

Not a bad issue and a good start to this brief storyline. Also, it's nice to see people like the Jamesons and Trainer looking their age. After seeing the Black Cat looking like she was still in her twenties, I'm glad that some people in the MC2 universe age gracefully.

Overall Rating

I'll give this one four webs, in large part because it's nice to see Carolyn Trainer and John Jameson again.