Spider-Girl #75

Background

Frustrated by her inability to stop Lady Octopus from breaking former crime boss Canis out of prison, Spider-Girl makes a deal with the devil (specifically, the Black Tarantula) to stop them. Now, as Canis moves to regain control over his former underlings, May Parker must hope that doing the wrong thing for the right reasons will pay off. All this and Spider-Girl's spiffy new costume.

Story 'Team Spider'

May Parker is an early riser these days. Not because new brother Ben "seems to have this thing about eating before dawn," but because she is in training from Elektra, now an associate of the Black Tarantula. Elektra easily gets the better of Spider-Girl, whose moves are too predictable and whose heart is not in the fight, but pronounces that the session was "adequate." A sore Spider-Girl meets up with Chesbro in a nearby control room and is introduced to her new associates, April and June. June is in command of her new strike force, April handles intelligence and communications. A little overwhelmed, Spider-Girl heads off to school.

Hidden somewhere in the city, Canis is frustrated. Seems that while he was in prison, his former flunkies have decided to go their own way. Lady Octopus is less than pleased--she broke him out of prison to gain command of his criminal empire, after all--but Canis has a plan. One quick phone call later and a rather large man with a strange manner of speech named Kodiak is dispatched to the Dockside Social Club, where he promptly thrashes Canis' people.

May's "strike force" arrives on scene and calls her, certain that Handsome Richie Valentine is next on the list. May prepares to head over to Valentine's, but has one little errand to run first....

Kodiak has indeed struck Valentine's body shop, and is beating Richie to a pulp when someone strikes him from behind. It's Spider-Girl, in her all-new black costume (similar to Spider-Man's black outfit, but with a Spider-Girl- style white spider on the front and back.) Spider-Girl attacks Kodiak, who promises to "lead her into harmony" while fighting her. "You lack commitment. You dance between the dark and the light, and will be destroyed by indecision." His words prove prophetic, as he pummels her and then leaves. Spider-Girl's strike force arrives on the scene, but she orders them to tend to the wounded and swings off after Kodiak herself.

She catches up to Kodiak at a nearby subway tunnel and the two continue to fight. Kodiak says that he senses a change in her, that she has embraced her true path and "may now die with honor." Spider-Girl has other ideas. She sticks two pieces of broken concrete to her hands and uses them to knock Kodiak unconscious.

Spider-Girl swings home, a little taken aback at how badly she beat Kodiak and upset about working for the Tarantula in general. But things get worse when she arrives home, when the sight of her costume sends her mother into hysterics.

General Comments

Well, the costume was good. As for the story? Meh.

A good comic book needs a good villain, and Kodiak was boring. His droning about finding harmony and whatnot seemed a bit contrived. Yes, we know May has reservations about working with the Black Tarantula. We don't need some pseudo-philosophical nitwit baddie to tell us all about it. Although May did get in a few good one-liners. ("Will you heed the call of order or chaos?" "Depends on which phone plan they're offering.") Hey, it made me chuckle!

Other than a brief Elektra cameo (yay!) and a brief appearance by Courtney Duran (nice to see May's supporting cast hasn't completely fallen off the map these days) there just wasn't anything that special about this issue. The new costume was an appropriate gimmick for an anniversary issue, but I prefer good stories to gimmicks, and this just wasn't that great of a story.

Overall Rating

You can do better than this, Mr. DeFalco. Two-and-one-half webs.