Spider-Girl #98

Background

The Brotherhood of Scrier wants Spider-Girl dead, and have hired the original Hobgoblin to do the deed. Can May Parker survive this latest threat while the rest of her life is spiraling out of control?

Story 'Sacrifices Must Be Made'

All is well in the Parker household until Kristy Watson blurts out that Normie Osborn has been harboring the Venom symbiote. Enraged, Peter confronts May, who can only admit that she lied to him. Peter takes her costume and webshooters, unaware that May has her black costume in her backpack.

Across town, Hobgoblin is preparing for his fight with Spider-Girl. A Scrier has been sent to oversee the operation, and tells Hobgoblin that he must attack her allies first as punishment for defeating a different Scrier two issues ago. "I remind you, however, that the man called Kaine must be delivered to us. We want him alive and relatively unharmed."

May, meanwhile, reaches school only to find Moose looking for her. He believes he needs to move in with his uncle while his father recuperates, but can't bear the thought of leaving his friends, and especially Courtney. May hugs him and comforts him, telling Moose that Courtney will understand. This last bit, unfortunately, is overheard by Jimmy Yama, who later confronts May and tells her that Courtney thinks the two of them are stepping out together.

At the Scriers' secret headquarters on another continent, the head Scrier Raza is interrupted by a visitor who refuses to take no for an answer. That man is the Black Tarantula, who is welcomed as soon as his identity is confirmed. She asks what she can do for him, and he tells her that they have conflicting business interests in America, "specifically in regards to a costumed crime-fighter called Spider-Girl."

While all of this is going on, Hobgoblin is systematically taking down the Ladyhawks, Buzz, and Raptor. After beating Normie's fiancee into submission, Hobgoblin calls Spider-Girl on her phone as she heads home from school. He tells her that he got her number from Raptor's phone, and that she can find Raptor at the park on the corner of 61st Street and York. May asks why he is doing this, and he says that the Scriers have hired him to "butcher" everyone she loves. "Please give my warmest regards to your father. I'm actually looking forward to killing him."

Horrified, Spider-Girl frantically travels to the park, where he meets Normie in full Venom regalia (he also received a call.) The horror only deepens as they find the Ladyhawks, Buzz, and Raptor strung up on a chain link fence. Alive? Dead? To be continued!

General Comments

Now THAT'S what I'm talking about! Finally, things kick into high gear and the Hobgoblin is proving to be as ruthless as he ever was. One would think that the passage of time would have slowed him down a little, but maybe the goblin formula slows his normal aging process (it would be nice if something to that effect was mentioned in the story, as he doesn't seem to have aged a day since his last appearance in Spectacular Spider-Man a few years back.)

Regardless, this issue was a welcome change from the previous two and it will be interesting to see how Spider-Girl and especially Normie/Venom react, especially if any of the fallen heroes have actually been killed (Raptor in particular did not look too good.) Killing characters for shock value is an easy thing to overdo, but it might not be a bad way to go in this case.

The Courtney/Moose/May love triangle that isn't is due for resolution. As a plot device to ratchet up May's tension, it works. With Hobgoblin on the scene wreaking havoc, it's no longer necessary and needs to be wrapped up before it becomes soap operatic. Then again, there are only two issues left to go.

Overall Rating

A great issue with a wicked cliffhanger that gets the ball rolling toward issue #100. Four webs.