Spider-Girl #99

Background

Hobgoblin has returned, and is tearing through Spider-Girl's allies one by one. May Parker, forbidden by her father to continue as Spider-Girl (and missing her webshooters), nevertheless finds herself forced into battle against Hobgoblin and the Scriers, who seek to end her life. May has forseen her own death at the hands of a Scrier... can she avoid her fate?

Story 'Family Ties!'

Spider-Girl (in black costume) and Normie Osborn crash into the ER of a major hospital with Raptor and the Ladyhawks wheeled in on gurneys. Buzz, protected by his armor, was recovered by his partner and is in no need of attention. Spider-Girl's other allies are not so well off. The police try to question Spider-Girl and Normie but are warded off by Special Agent Weadon, who claims jurisdiction. While he argues with the police, May's phone rings. Her father is on the scene of the assault. May tells him about the Hobgoblin and suddenly realizes that Uncle Phil is in danger. "H-he got a call a few minutes ago and had to leave." Frantic, May hangs up and dials Phil Urich only to have the call cut off with Hobgoblin's arrival. May heads over to Phil's hideout with Kaine (who had arrived with Weadon) in pursuit.

Hobgoblin beats the snot out of Phil Urich, then booby-traps the warehouse. Spider-Girl barely arrives in time to get Phil out of danger. Delirious, Phil mumbles something about Hobgoblin going after family. Kaine stays with Phil until the paramedics arrive, then heads off to Kingsley Comfortware. She arrives just in time to save Daniel's life.

Back at the hospital, Brenda Drago's prognosis is good, much to Normie's relief. He tells her he wants to get married that night, but is interrupted by Agent Weadon. Kaine is on her way to backup Spider-Girl and needs assistance. Out for blood, the symbiote-enhanced Osborn storms off in a rage.

At Kingsley Comfortware, Hobgoblin is giving Spider-Girl all she can handle. Razorbats and finger blasters keep her constantly on the defensive while, on the street below, a Scrier watches. Stunned by Hobgoblin's glider exhaust, Spider-Girl takes a shot in the back and lies motionless on the rooftop. "There's no point in continuing this charade," Hob says. "Tell me where I can find your father or I start taking you apart limb by limb." Across the city, the aforementioned Peter Parker is pulling his costume out of storage one more time. Frustrated by Spider-Girl's silence, Hobgoblin zooms in and takes a wicked sucker punch on the jaw. Kaine arrives to up the odds, but Hobgoblin needs only to whisper the word "now." Suddenly dozens of Scriers appear on the rooftop (Hobby's gas has dulled May's spider sense). Defending themselves from the onslaught, Spider-Girl recognizes the Scrier in her vision and freezes in panic. That moment is a moment too long, as the Scrier stabs her through the chest.

General Comments

Now THAT'S a cliffhanger! I can't wait to see how May Parker survives this one (something tells me she's safe, although I'm starting to wonder if Pete will be able to say the same thing.) This was, start to finish, a great issue. May's desperation and determination fill every page, her refusal to quit leaving no doubt that she is a full-fledged superheroine. Hobgoblin has never looked this menacing, and is a welcome change from the Jason Macendale years that STILL leave a foul taste in my mouth over a decade later. Even the Scriers--yet another mid-90s plot twist I could have done without--look powerfully evil. Good gripping stuff all around.

Even the little touches are well appreciated. Several of the Hobgoblin panels are homages to earlier issues of Amazing Spider-Man, particularly on pages 12 and 13 when all hell is breaking loose. It's clear that Messrs DeFalco, Frenz, and Buscema are really enjoying their work, which always makes for a better product.

It's a shame that Spider-Girl is finally coming to an end but at least it's going out with a bang. I cannot wait for issue #100.

Overall Rating

Almost perfect; I'm waiting for the payoff next month. And I've still got this nagging suspicion that Peter's life insurance had better be paid up. Four and one-half webs.