Spider-Girl (Vol. 2) #1 (Story 1)

Background

Anya Corazon (also known as Arana) became involved in The Grim Hunt (Amazing Spider-Man #634-637) where whe was targetted by Ana and Sasha Kravinov as part of their plan to resurrect Kraven The Hunter.

Anya showed immense bravely and courage and was successful in fighting off Ana and Sasha whilst Spider-Man dealt with Kraven. As a result of their battle, Anya was given Arachne's old black and white costume...

This fifteen-year-old girl, living with her father Gil, has made it into the big time as... Spider-Girl!

Story 'Family Values'

Spider-Girl (Anya Corazon) chases Speedball, the crook who broadcasts her escapades live on the internet! Though she no longer has her powers, Spider-Girl is still pretty good! Having knocked out Speedball’s two cameramen, she eventually catches up with her and knocks her out as well! She hands her over to the police and swings off on her grappling hook to school!

At school she finds with no friends. She keeps in touch with her father, Gil, via text message.

Later she returns home to find him unpacking after their move. He explains that he has to go out tonight to research for an article at City College so he has arranged for Susan Richards (of The Fantastic Four) to take her out for dinner. Gil is The Fantastic Four’s reporter so knows them all personally.

After dinner, Anya tries to explain to Sue how difficult it is for her to meet people. A couple of muggers suddenly race past them! They are easily stopped by Sue’s force field and Anya’s fist!

At City College, Gil calls Anya to explain that he’s going to be late. He hangs up… and hears a rumbling!

Sue and Anya are about to head home when Sue is called by Reed. There is big trouble! She tells Anya to be careful on her way home, though Anya wants to help, and is collected by The Thing!

Twenty minutes later and Spider-Girl is patrolling the rooftops! She sees a broadcast about The Fantastic Four but has to deal with a couple of armed crooks trying to steal a car. She dispatches them, and several other crooks, before learning that Fantastic Four are fighting at City College!

She arrives to find people fleeing the scene! She heads for the library as The Thing comes crashing out of the building! She finds her way inside and goes to help an injured woman. She sees her father lying under some rubble… but before she can see if he is alright The Red Hulk, with Reed Richards desperately trying to stop him, smashes through to face her!

General Comments

This is exactly what I was looking for from this title. Paul Tobin gives a natural introduction to the character, her abilities, feelings, relationships and flaws whilst hooking the reader through realism, honesty and a cracking finish.

That’s an awful lot to squeeze in to one comic but Tobin manages to do all of these things with some very simple and understated scenes. As Tobin does, I appreciate the character’s history and believe that this is going to help the stories as we’re not meeting her for the first time. Tobin has to get us to like her, but the relationships and abilities are present and that battle to introduce a character to readers and themselves is already won.

I love Speedball’s cameo but I’m slightly concerned that Red Hulk appears already but the decision to use a villain that isn’t from Spider-Man’s repertoire immediately makes me more engaged and interested in something new.

Clayton Henry’s art matches the story, emotions and tone perfectly. It’s beautifully understated and realistic but captures the drama and heroics at the right time. I love his use of space and the simple things he does to make his panels have a classical twist.

Overall Rating

A quitely brilliant start, packed with understated and real quality. I'm looking forward to more already.