Spider-Girl #94

Background

Nearly on the outs with the Avengers and having to deal with the potential threat of Normie Osborn living inside the Venom symbiote, Spider-Girl is not having an easy time of it lately. Can she continue to go on after seeing a precognitive vision of her own death?

Story 'Old Soldiers'

Waking up from a nightmare, May can only sit and ponder whether Kaine is playing some sort of a cruel hoax on her. "It can't be real," she thinks. "It just can't be!" May momentarily ponders hanging up her webs, but decides that she can handle them when the time comes. The same can't be said for MJ handling cousin Kristy in her kitchen. After dirtying every pot and pan MJ owns, Kristy remembers that she's late for work... at Osborn Chemical.

At the Avengers Mansion, Tony Stark has called Hawkeye, the Scarlet Witch, and Ant Man back into service to help Mainframe weather their current troubles. Mainframe, however, doesn't think that's the only reason. "I know our 'father' a little better than that," he tells Stark's bodyguard. Unbeknownst to Mainframe, however, Stark is watching through his bodyguard's eyes, and tells him that they have a mission to discuss. Mainframe leaves, but reminds the bodyguard ("I am no longer 'Jim'") who is in charge. After the Avengers, um, assemble, Stark's bodyguard tells them that they have learned of a problem at Osborn Chemical. Stinger says that she ordered Spider-Girl to investigate. Stark's bodyguard is less than impressed, and tells Ant Man to gather intelligence with the help of all the ants in New York. One of them overhears Normie talking to Green Goblin and Raptor about the Venom Symbiote. "Osborn may be an even bigger threat than we thought," Ant Man tells the group.

Meanwhile, May arrives at Midtown High to find Moose distraught. His father is starting cancer treatments but is still working as a fireman, and Moose disapproves. Courtney tells him that his father is still trying to sort everything out. Before she can offer her own two cents, May is distracted by her cellphone. Stinger calls to tell her that Normie Osborn is harboring the Venom symbiote, something she already knew. Running off to warn and/or confront Normie, May runs into Moose, who wants her advice on his father. May basically says she agrees with Courtney and runs off, leaving Courtney to wonder why Moose listens to May and not to her.

Over at Osborn Chemical, Kristy's first day on the job as Normie's secretary is not going smoothly. The Avengers have popped in for a chat. Hawkeye accuses Normie of harboring the Venom symbiote, and Stark's bodyguard grabs him by the front of his shirt. Before anyone can react, the symbiote decks Stark's bodyguard and sends him flying out the window, nearly hitting Spider-Girl. He returns to the building with Spider-Girl in tow. The situation has degenerated rapidly as the Avengers have started fighting Normie, Green Goblin, and Raptor. Mainframe, J2, and Spider-Girl try desperately to stop the fight, but Ant Man and Scarlet Witch force their hand. SW aims a hex at Spider-Girl but hits the bodyguard instead, causing some sort of malfunction. Back at Avengers HQ, Stark's console explodes. At Osborn Chemical, the bodyguard goes on a rampage, blowing a hole through Mainframe while screaming: "Don't call me JIM! Jim Rhodes is DEAD! Murdered by TONY STARK!"

As police and firefighters--including Moose's father--race toward the scene, Stark's bodyguard erupts and tears through the Avengers and Normie's heroes one by one, leaving only Normie himself and Spider-Girl. Dare we say, "To Be Continued?"

General Comments

Whew! SOMEBODY'S got a serious problem with their temper!

The best part of this issue was the interplay between Avengers old and new, with the old veterans stepping in and basically making a mess of things. Not that the newer Avengers were doing much better, but it's interesting to watch Hawkeye et al assume that they can just pick up where they left off several years ago. That didn't work for Peter Parker and that clearly doesn't work for the Avengers, who are disorganized, rudderless, and basically ineffective. Rather than working as a team, they are merely a collection of individuals who take what could have been a civil situation and turn it into a real mess. Nice idea.

So who is this bozo in the red tights and cape anyway? The next issue box promises an answer. He's likely connected to Jim Rhodes in SOME fashion, but how is Stark controlling him (and can he get a refund?)

The Moose/father subplot is essentially filler, but it could be a could set up for future issues, especially with Courtney getting a little jealous. More interesting (although quickly set aside) is May's reaction to Kaine's vision in the previous issue. Her choice of action is vintage May Parker, but you just know this is going to come to a head by issue #100, which may be this series' end. Are the writers gutsy enough to actually kill off May? Doubtful, but if handled right it could be a classic. I suppose we'll see.

Getting back to this issue, it's a nice start with lots of action and dysfunctionality. Here's hoping #95 can build on what this month started.

Overall Rating

Well written with lots of can-kicking. Always a good combination. Four webs.