Spider-Girl #70

Background

John Jameson's return to the United States has set off a chain reaction of events. As last issue came to a close, Spider-Girl and The Buzz are at the mercy of Dr. Jade and the newly returned Carolyn Trainer, a/k/a Dr. Octopus, and about to be torn to shreds by the Man-Wolf!

Story 'When the Abyss Looks Back!'

  Spider-Girl #70
Summary: Man-Wolf, Doctor Octopus, Buzz
Editor: Andy Schmidt
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Ron Frenz
Inker: Rich Perrotta, Sal Buscema

"The monster's eyes blaze with fury and you really can't blame him. He certainly has a right to be angry. He was a man only a few minutes ago... a man named John Jameson."

The execution, designed to test Doc Ock's spiffy new control collar, is put on hold when Jade expresses concern that Man-Wolf could destroy The Buzz' armor, which she designed. Buzz radios the news to Richie, his support guy, who tells him that he called for reinforcements. Green Goblin, Ladyhawk, and Darkdevil are on the way if Buzz can hold out that long. Time runs out quickly, however, as Jade decides to sic Man-Wolf on Spider-Girl. The costumed May Parker leaps out of the way while still in shackles and tries desperately to buy some time. She catches a break when a band of armored mercenaries breaks through the wall and begins to attack the evil scientists.

Spider-Girl breaks free from her shackles just as Buzz redirects the suit power into his gauntlets and blows his. Spider-Girl tries to keep the mercenaries from killing anyone. "Chesbro said you might be squeamish." She does succeed in deflecting what would have been a killshot on Dr. Octopus; the bullet hits the control module instead. Man-Wolf, free from anyone's control, bursts out the window and escapes. Buzz hauls after him. Jade and Doc Ock also exit stage left, and Spider-Girl is right behind them.

As she exits the building, Spider-Girl she sees the three New Warriors attacking Dr. Octopus and sets her sights on Jade. The two battle for a few minutes, then Spidey tricks her into flying into a chimney. Before she can catch her breath, she is attacked by Dr. Octopus, who escaped capture by threatening the lives of innocent bystanders. Doc Ock pummels May, telling her how happy she is that someone else has taken up the mantle of Spider- Man "so that my poor Otto can rest in peace." She lets Spider-Girl live, however, in payment for saving her life. Doc Ock leaves the web stunner stunned on a rooftop, unable to keep from thinking that if she hadn't spoiled that shot....

Meanwhile, Buzz catches up to Man-Wolf and tries to reason with him only to find himself backhanded across the street. He retaliates enough to stun his hirsute father and tries to calm him down. "Dad, it's me... JJ! I need you to listen closely. I know we haven't always had the best relationship, but I... I love you, Dad." For a second it looks like Buzz reached the man inside the monster, but instead the Man-Wolf slices into his armor, jumping in to finish him off. Spider-Girl intervenes at the last moment, catching Man-Wolf by surprise and pummeling him into unconsciousness. Buzz, who is less than pleased by what happened, takes the Man-Wolf and flies away.

Later, Spider-Girl meets up with the rest of the New Warriors. Green Goblin tells her that he heard from Buzz and that Jameson has been returned to normal. Darkdevil asks her about the mercenaries at the lab and Spider-Girl admits that she doesn't know them, but knows where she can find an answer. She returns to the rooftop where she met Chesbro and finds a bouquet of flowers waiting for her. The note reads: "Well done, my love."

General Comments

Not bad at all. The fact that Doctor Octopus could so easily overpower Spider- Girl makes me hope even more fervently that she returns to the book in short order. Has Spider-Girl finally met her nemesis? I hope so.

The resolution of the Buzz/Man-Wolf plotline drags this issue down, however. We've seen this sort of thing HOW many times before? Was anyone really surprised that Man-Wolf didn't go willingly? We've seen this already and although it was handled reasonably well here, it wasn't anything special.

I do like the fact that May is now in the Black Tarantula's debt. It just goes to show what can happen when you compromise just a little. Last issue a bunch of bar patrons were nearly beaten to death, and this time around May finds herself allied with a cadre of commandos who have no problem with the concept of taking human life. One wonders what she will have to do to return the favor. I shudder to think of the possibilities; I hope we don't have long to wait.

A good, quick storyline that hopefully introduced (or re-introduced) a major new villain into the Spider-Girl universe.

Overall Rating

An otherwise good story gets docked for the entirely too predictable Buzz/Man- Wolf stuff. Three and one-half webs.