Spider-Girl #100

Background

Several months ago Spider-Girl had a vision of a Scrier stabbing her in the chest. She tried to ignore it. She changed her costume in an effort to change the future. But her deadly vision has come true, leaving her bleeding to death on a New York rooftop surrounded by Scriers, while her father dons the webs one more time in an effort to stop the Hobgoblin.

Story 'If Death Be My Destiny!'

Horrified at the sight of Spider-Girl's crumpled body, Kaine and Normie Osborn lose control and tear into the remaining Scriers, giving Hobgoblin the opportunity he needs to "finish up some family matters." He flies off in search of his next target while the Scriers regroup. Kaine tries to take Spider-Girl to a hospital, but Normie intervenes, saying she'll never make it in time. Instead, he sends his alien other to bond with Spider-Girl, knit her wounds and counteract the poison on the Scrier's blades. When the alien touches her, May has a vision of her enemies and friends mercilessly berating her. Nearly lost in despair, she sees Normie thanking her for redeeming his life. He convinces her to take the symbiote and merge with it, and it heals her (taking the form of her red and blue costume in the process). Spider-Girl looks at Normie and realizes that the symbiote cleansed him of his scars and tattoos. "A farewell gift," Normie mutters. Spider-Girl tells him that the symbiote is only on temporary loan "once I've finished with the Hobgoblin." She swings off, leaving an alien-free Osborn and Kaine to face the regrouped Scriers.

Meanwhile, halfway around the world, Black Tarantula has failed to convince Raza, the leader of the Scriers, to lay off Spider-Girl. Diplomacy having failed, BT challenges Raza to single combat, which she is forced to accept.

Back in New York, Hobgoblin has caught up with Daniel Kingsley, his brother, and is about to take revenge on him until Spider-Man bursts onto the scene with a kick to the chin. Hobgoblin tells him Spider-Girl has been killed, and Peter freezes in shock long enough to be stunned by a pumpkin bomb. The two continue to fight, but Spider-Man is too mad with grief to notice that the exhaust from Hobby's glider is drugging him. Before Hobgoblin can finish him off, Spider-Girl arrives in time for her own 11th-hour save.

Spider-Girl attacks the Hobgoblin, but her father realizes that she is harboring the alien symbiote. May tries to tell him that "she" saved her life, but the delay gives Hobgoblin time to activate a sonic device. The sonics drive the symbiote off of Spider-Girl, but rather than flee in terror, the alien attacks Hobgoblin and drives him away before the sonic waves kill her. Already at her wits' end, May vows to make Hobgoblin pay for murdering the reformed symbiote. Peter tells her to call it a day, but May refuses. Resigning himself to the fact that she is going after the Hobgoblin, Peter gives her his webshooters. ("And we WILL talk later!")

Hobgoblin, exhausted from his battle with the symbiote, would have been more than happy to call it a draw. A rejuvinated Spider-Girl has other ideas. After webbing his glider and bringing him back down to a nearby rooftop, May slides in and out of the shadows as the Hobgoblin frantically tries to shoot her. She exposes her position, Hobgoblin aims his finger blaster at her, and fires right AFTER May clogs the blaster with a well-timed web. Shaken even more by the blast, Hobgoblin can put up little resistance and Spider-Girl kicks his can in short order.

Spider-Girl webs up the Hobgoblin for the police, Spider-Girl realizes that her father has jumped into the Scrier-bashing fray alongside Normie and Kaine. May hurries to help, realizing that they are vastly outnumbered and that the game may be up. But at that moment, at the Scriers' hidden fortress, Black Tarantula ends Raza's rule (and life) with an energy blast from his eyes. Back in New York, the Scriers fade into the shadows, and a message from Black Tarantula tells them that the Scriers will bother them no more. The heroes, naturally, are skeptical.

Spider-Girl and her father return to the rooftop to pick up Hobgoblin, who has already escaped and has enlisted the help of his estranged brother. A severely battered May and Peter return home to find a distraught MJ waiting for them. "You've got to stop!" she begs them. Peter and May talk later and Peter tells her that he will discuss it with her mother. "You've earned the right to continue as Spider-Girl."

Later on that evening, May Parker swings by Raptor's hospital room just in time to see her marry Normie Osborn (with Kaine and Kristy as witnesses). The wedding, along with the fight that preceded it, makes May much more than fashionably late for Moose's farewell party. But while Moose has already left, Courtney is still around. May tries to tell her that the rumors she's heard about May and Moose are crazy. "I know the two of you better than that," Courtney replies, but admits that she is really going to miss Moose.

Afterwards, May walks home and sorts things out in her head. There's a lot going on in her life and she has made many mistakes along the way. But, she is at peace with herself because, once again, "it's a Spider-Girl world!"

General Comments

And so, the saga of Spider-Girl comes to a close. The comic that would not die has finally been killed. Or has it? More on that later.

As for the story itself, DeFalco and company pulled out all the stops. Not only was May's long-awaited victory over the Hobgoblin satisfying, the final fate of the alien symbiote was well written and, dare I say it, even a little touching. (Though the whole "vision" thing has been done to death in Spider-Man, usually with Aunt May in the role that Normie played this time.) The interaction between May and her parents continues to be believable, and MJ's near-breakdown at the end of the story is both plausible and effective.

All in all, there have been several "wrap-up" issues of Spider-Girl in the past, where the series would have ended were it not for the ardor of the loyal fans. This issue easily outshines them all, and serves as a jumping point for the next Spider-Girl series.

Yes, I said NEXT Spider-Girl series, for it seems as if the final issue of SPIDER-GIRL will lead into the October launch of THE AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL, also featuring DeFalco, Frenz, and Buscema. Personally, I'm of two minds about this. I'm happy that Spider-Girl will be coming back, as I enjoy the comic and thought it was a shame that Marvel was going to kill the series. However, I do feel a little bit cheated by the "last issue" hype, and I question the wisdom of starting a new series for a couple of reasons. It's a lot more impressive to have 100 issues of a series than one, and I don't see how this move will bring in a significant number of new readers. I questioned the renumbering of the main titles back in '98 (subsequently undone in Amazing as soon as they realized they could do an extra double-sized issue once the book hit #500) and it makes even less sense here considering the the new series will feature the exact same creative team. If this is anything more than a stunt for stunt's sake, if Spider-Girl is swinging off in a new direction, why bring back the same people? I hate marketing gimmicks.

Extras in this issue include a cover gallery (courtesy of this very website), a rogue's gallery, profiles of a few of May's friends, and reprints of SG #27 and #53. Nothing too special, just the extras you'd expect to find in a double-sided issue. Reprinting Normie's final issue as an evil Goblin was a good choice, though the "Invisible Girl" story was a bit of a surprise. Re-reading these stories, however, makes me realize just how much Frenz and Buscema have grown on me as artists. Not that I won't have a soft spot in my heart for Pat Olliffe and Al Williamson's work, but that SG's current artistic team seems better by comparison

Overall Rating

Extras and marketing gimmicks aside, this was one heck of an issue. It gets the full five webs.