Spider-Girl #92

Background

With the Avengers still battered and bruised from their showdown with Loki, Spider-Girl must step in and help them weather the storm. But is even Spider-Girl strong enough to survive when Magneto returns?

Story 'The Means!'

Spider-Girl is summoned to the Avengers Mansion after a particularly boring day at school, incurring the wrath of Jarvis as she uses the security gauntlet for practice. Many of the current Avengers are out of action (such as Stinger, who is suffering from a broken leg) and reserves such as Spider-Girl are being called in. The reason for the alert is the reappearance of Magneto, or someone claiming to be the powerful mutant. He was caught on tape robbing a bank, immediately raising suspicions as to his true identity (since when would the real Magneto stoop to robbery?) Mainframe orders everyone not to confront this new threat alone.

Before Spider-Girl leaves, Stinger pulls her aside and tells her about a group of thugs that were ambushed outside Osborn Corporation. Worried that Normie has done this with the help of the Venom symbiote--which, of course, he did--Spider-Girl tries to call him, but he refuses to answer.

Back at school, May is nearly collapsing under the weight of a pile of books when she runs into an old friend, Nancy Lu, who was previously outed as a mutant. The two exchange pleasantries until they hear an explosion. May runs off, suits up, and runs into Nancy again, this time in her new X-People outfit. The reason for the disturbance is Magneto, who is robbing the bank on the corner. The two girls attack, taking back the money, but cannot stop Magneto before he flies away. Nancy starts to call the X-People but Spider-Girl stops her. "I'm pretty sure we've been fighting an imposter--a goofball I fought in the past who is relatively harmless." Worried that the Avengers and X-People will hit first and ask questions later, Spider-Girl convinces Nancy to help her alone.

The two travel to an innocent looking storefront and confront "Magneto," who is actually Charlie Philips from issue #44. In his previous appearance Charlie tried to put his magnetic harness to use for good but caused some serious property damage by mistake. This time, he has decided to dress up as Magneto to secure funds to be a super hero. The two REAL heroes decline to cut him any slack. Nancy telekinetically knocks him off his feet, giving her and Spider-Girl time to grab the harness and destroy it.

Needless to say, the grown-up heroes are less than pleased that Spider-Girl and Nancy handled things by themselves. May has to surrender her Avengers Priority Card and Nancy is facing a similar punishment upon her return to the X-Mansion. Both believe that they did the right thing, however. Spider-Girl then leaves Nancy and sneaks into Osborn Corporation to confront Normie, who tells her to trust him. She promises to take him down if he crosses the line, "and I will hate you for the rest of my life!"

General Comments

Was I the only one who had to dig through their stack of back issues to figure out who the heck Charlie Philips was? Not exactly your memorable villain, or even villain wannabe.

Still, this was a good issue in that it gave May someone her own age and status in the superhero community to commiserate with, as well as highlighting the differences between the older and younger heroes. Mainframe is shaping up to fill the role Nova served in the early part of the series: the older hero who can't quite see past Spider-Girl's age to trust her judgement.

The Normie Osborn plotline continues to roll along, although we don't get any new plot developments other than May's discovery of Normie's little adventure from the previous issue. Tom DeFalco really needs to get things moving if he wants to keep the reader's interest. Maybe something special for issue #100, since that is currently scheduled as the final issue? (Like we haven't heard that one before.)

Pretty good issue with a nice message tied in about not taking the easy way out.

Overall Rating

Not great, but another solid issue and still one of the better titles on the rack today. Three and one half webs.