Spider-Girl (Vol. 2) #7

Background

Anya Corazon (Spider-Girl) has recently faced threats from Ana Kravinoff and Hobgoblin! However, her greatest challenge is still dealing with the death of her father. He was killed by the mysterious organisation called RAVEN and, with Red Hulk's tenuous support, she is determined to bring them to justice.

Little does she know that RAVEN are spying her on her. Living next door is Kurt Godwin, an agent of RAVEN, who plans to recruit her to their organisation!

Having received a set of papers from Red Hulk, Spider-Girl asks Spider-Man for help in knocking a few heads together!

Story 'The Raven's Nest'

  Spider-Girl (Vol. 2) #7
Summary: Spider-Man appears
Articles: Arana

Spider-Girl and Spider-Man do battle against several RAVEN agents at RAVEN Lab 722! Having studied the papers Red Hulk gave her last issue, Spider-Girl is firmly on her way to bringing RAVEN to justice! They knock out and apprehend all of the agents and call in Avengers back up before going to their next location.

They find a science lab working for RAVEN against their will. Spider-Man helps them work out a scientific equation that’s been baffling them as Spider-Girl uncovers more details.

As Anya she heads to The Future Foundation with Rocky under the pretence that Sue Richards will help her with some translations. She actually passes her some RAVEN files to run through a decryption program. Rocky leaves… but is grabbed by Anya’s weird neighbour Mr Godwin on the street!

Back together, Spider-Girl and Spider-Man go to the next lab but find that Red Hulk has already visited… and trashed the place! They discuss Spider-Girl’s hatred of Red Hulk and his place on the Avengers. He has left them some instructions through which Spider-Girl accesses a RAVEN computer. She discovers that they plan to brainwash her and turn her into a RAVEN agent! Suddenly RAVEN reinforcements arrive – more soldiers and a giant robot! Spidey is blasted by the robot’s laser but it is programmed not to kill Spider-Girl just capture her! They both try to punch it but it is too strong! Spider-Girl gets an idea and loads up a game on a computer as Spider-Man deals with the soldiers! She hooks wires from the computer into the robot and tricks it into believing it is playing the game on the computer! It stands down and the soldiers are defeated. Spider-Girl looks through some more papers and finds a delivery address for a RAVEN agent: Kurt Godwin, Anya’s neighbour!

She races home, determined to make sure Rocky is not hurt! She arrives to find Emiline Foster, a RAVEN Agent, holding a Spider-Girl costume with a raven on it! RAVEN has Rocky and her father!

General Comments

This is exactly what I’d feared. Paul Tobin has had to wrap up the RAVEN plot quicker than he thought and the overall quality of the plot thread ends up slipping.

In all honesty, Tobin does a good job with the time constraints he’s given but he cannot hope to retrieve the depth or detail of mystery, intrigue and involvement with RAVEN that he hoped to. We jump straight from knowing nothing RAVEN to the main characters having read all the information and knowing where their bases are, what their soldiers are like and eventually what their plans for Spider-Girl are. There’s no mystery left, only reveals.

With this loss, Tobin finds time to do other things, delivering some good old-fashioned action, a great scene between Spider-Girl and Spider-Man concerning Red Hulk, plenty of quick (if not a little neat) investigating and even a neat idea on how to reprogram a killer robot. Unfortunately the cliff-hanger doesn’t leave me hanging as #7 issues isn’t enough to a) establish RAVEN as a serious enough threat or b) allow us to care about Rocky.

With the artists sharing the pencilling duties straight down the middle my preference remains with Clayton Henry’s clean lines and clear anatomy. He manages to capture an incredible amount of emotion within faces and body language without needing to over-emphasize. His clever perspective, shifting panel layouts and tight storytelling ooze detail and thought and not a panel meanders from this level of quality.

Overall Rating

Tobin does a good job with what he's got left but the potential has fizzled out.

In spite of all of that, Spider-Girl still has my attention and remains worth a look.