Spider-Girl (Vol. 2) #8

Background

Spider-Girl/Anya Corazon investigates an organisation called RAVEN who murdered her father. Using files stolen by Red Hulk and with the help of Spider-Man she uncovers more and more RAVEN installations and takes down hoardes of American Ninjas, men brainwashed by RAVEN.

At one base she discovers that her nighbour, Kurt Godwin, is a top-ranking RAVEN Agent and that he has plans to convince her to work for them! She suddenly realises that her roommate, Rocky, is in danger so she swings home... She finds a RAVEN Agent and a gang of American Ninjas waiting for her. Rocky, and her father, have been kidnapped!

Meanwhile, Miles Warren/Jackal conducts an experiment to give ordinary people spider-powers...

Story 'Learning To Fly'

  Spider-Girl (Vol. 2) #8
Summary: Spider-Man appears
Articles: Arana

Spider-Girl finds herself faced with RAVEN Agent Emiline Foster and a gang of American Ninjas (hired by RAVEN). Spider-Girl demands that her roommate, Rocky, and Rocky’s father are returned but they refuse. Suddenly Spider-Girl feels something coming back to her – powers! As a result, she quickly takes down the American Ninjas and webs up Foster, again demanding to know where her friends are…

Soon Spider-Girl swings through the city to an unassuming door where the main RAVEN base is located. She hides and watches Kurt Godwin, her neighbour and the man spying on her, go through the door. It seems that her powers also allow her to blend into her surroundings… She calls Spider-Man and asks him to come and help her if he can. Not being able to wait any longer, she bursts through the door and starts taking out all of the lights! Her powers make it easy for her to pick off the American Ninjas and chase after Godwin! She calls Red Hulk and tells him where she is. Continuing to destroy the lights, she hunts down Godwin and his small platoon of guards. He shoots at her but misses, instead destroying the machine that mentally controls the American Ninjas! Free from RAVEN’s control, the American Ninjas turn on Godwin! Godwin screams for Spider-Girl to help him, pleading forgiveness for killing her father. He was the one who poisoned the coffee! (#3) Spider-Girl goes to help him and is joined by Red Hulk and Spider-Man! Spider-Girl goes to rescue her friends and Red Hulk looms above Godwin…! Spider-Girl locates Rocky and her father and unmasks in front of them! It turns out Rocky already knew, having read her detailed twitter messages. Outside, Spider-Girl is applauded for her heroics.

How does she have spider-powers? What happens next? The questions will have to wait as she doesn’t feel alone any more and can head home…

General Comments

As expected, this final issue takes another slip in quality as Paul Tobin has to wrap up the RAVEN plot. I’ll come on the redeeming, and some, exciting features in a moment but I wanted to start by addressing the impact that this series’ cancellation has had on the story.

Tobin was building up a great relationship between Spider-Girl and Red Hulk, a serious and intriguing threat with RAVEN and the fact that they were spying on her, knew her identity and wanted to make her an agent and was developing a more rounded and interesting set of supporting characters. Most of the first 6 issues involved lots of Anya and her life. Anya only really comes to the forefront at the end of this issue and most of the supporting cast (apart from Rocky) is forgotten due to page constraints.

The events that lead to Spider-Girl bringing down RAVEN are thought-out and bring in Red Hulk and Spider-Man nicely. The bit with the American Ninjas turning on RAVEN reads a little bit too coincidental but fits with what we know about the characters from last issue.

Giving her powers is pretty inspired too. Whilst I liked the struggle she had against Red Hulk, Ana Kravinoff and Hobgoblin, using the events of Spider-Island to boost her status and change her direction is a good idea from Tobin that plays out naturally here.

Clayton Henry’s art stands out from Sergio Cariello’s again but both seem to bring their best to this final issue. Henry’s ability to show Spider-Girl’s emotion and natural physicality is what makes his art the best and I’ll miss the detail and effort he pours in. He also handles the darkness of the base properly, detailing better how Spider-Girl used it to her advantage.

Overall Rating

Overall, this series has seen some great issues, a lovely take on a developing character and some inspiring art from Clayton Henry. I will be following Spider-Girl in Spider-Island: Amazing Spider-Girl and hope that the development and growth continues.