Spider-Girl (Vol. 2) #4

Background

Anya Corazon, Spider-Girl, has lost her father. He was poisoned by an organisation called RAVEN and Spider-Gril has formed an uneasy alliance with Red Hulk to try to bring RAVEN down.

Meanwhile she can turn to her growing group of friends: Sue Storm, Rocky and Rikki are all there for her, helping her through these difficult times.

They are about to get worse. In Amazing Spider-Man #634-637, Spider-Girl became involved in The Grim Hunt, a plot by Kraven The Hunter's family to bring him back to life. Ana, Kraven's daughter, was instrumental in this successfull plot but she was defeated at the hands of Spider-Girl. Revenge is on the cards!

Story 'Hunters & Spiders'

The recent-returned-from-the-dead Kraven The Hunter trains his daughter Ana for her next task. To redeem the family name she must kill Spider-Girl!

Spider-Girl (Anya Corazon) tweets about a confrontation she had with a burglar. She asked him nicely to leave the apartment he has stealing from but he tried to attack her! A quick flurry later and he was trussed up and on his way to the cops!

Anya returns home where Rocky is moving in. With the help from some interested boys and being introduced to Rocky’s friend Sophia (Chat), Anya finds herself distracted from her father’s death.

The burglar tries to talk his way out of being held in a cell. The cells are suddenly attacked and the officers killed… by Ana! She kills everyone but the burglar, wanting to know about Spider-Girl first!

Anya hangs out with Rocky and Chat but they’re disturbed by Anya’s weird neighbour, Mr Godwin, bringing them chocolates…

She soon heads out as Spider-Girl, needing to clear her head. She stopped a mugging, tying one man up with her rope. He cut it and ran loose but was snagged down the road by Ana! She is led back to the scene of the fight but Spider-Girl is gone. Spider-Girl continues to patrol the city but senses something is wrong. Ana continues to follow her trail…

Spider-Girl once again battles Screwball. The fight spills into a electronics store where Screwball starts parading for her web-cast. Spider-Girl takes the advantage and sets off a fire extinguisher. Panicking about her ratings, Screwball is easy pickings as Spider-Girl smacks her with the extinguisher!

At home Anya watches footage of the fight online. She spots something and excuses herself…

Spider-Girl swings across the city to a secret stash of her clothes. She arrives on the rooftop and invites Ana to show herself. Having seen her loitering on the footage, Spider-Girl figured out she was being followed. She used the clothes as bait and now… Ana is in her web!

General Comments

Paul Tobin’s script returns to what made the first issue so good: the teen drama element. Obviously it has far more drive now with the death of Anya’s father which results in some well-written and composed scenes with Anya’s growing supporting cast. Whilst the tweeting narrative remains a little confusing in terms of when it was actually written, reading it as a simple internal narrative means that you get a real glimpse into the mindset of someone trying to come to terms, carry on and deal with a secret identity.

Including Screwball again, making Ana’s hunt of Anya a logical one and giving Anya plenty of “down time” makes for a well-paced issue that retains the readers’ interest. I don’t feel that Ana has been portrayed as much of a threat though. Her build up in Amazing Spider-Man was phenomenal and she was a real threat. She’s not given much background or mystery here, making this an appearance that does not really benefit the character.

Again Tobin provides another plot hole for us to wonder over: how did Ana find Anya’s clothes? Answers on a postcard…

Matthew Southworth’s art is wobbly. Whilst I’m never lost with the story, he never seems to a have a firm handle on Spider-Girl herself. Whether its that he offers no highlights or additional colouring opportunities on her costume or that he often inks to heavily over the supposed pretty teenage face, there’s something inconsistent in his portrayal of her I can’t overlook. In some places, basic facial anatomy slides (literally) and characters don’t look the same from panel to panel.

With the two pages from Paul Azaceta, you know what you’re getting. It’s chunky but stylish… and consistent!

Overall Rating

Another solid effort with a clever use of supporting cast and villains from Tobin. The art, once again, is a little inconsistent though.