Spider-Girl #13

Background

Spider-Girl first appeared in What If (Vol. 2) #105 in February 1998 and the alternate reality she lived in was eventually spun into a whole universe called MC2. She is May Parker, the daughter of Peter Parker (the original Spider-Man) and Mary Jane Watson-Parker. After hitting puberty, she inherited her dad's spider-powers and decided to follow in his heroic footsteps. These stories occur very early in her crime-fighting career...

Story 'And Now, The Avengers'

  Spider-Girl #13
Summary: Spider-Girl become a Reserve Avenger
Editor: Tom DeFalco
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Pat Olliffe
Inker: Al Williamson

May is out shopping for clothes with her mom, MJ. The Avengers (also known as A-Next) suddenly make an appearance for a local charity and the mall crowd goes wild over them. May is annoyed at the adulation they receive for their heroic deeds while all she gets as Spider-Girl is distrust. MJ says Peter had the same issue.

At school the next day, May is in the library when Moose Mansfield comes up and asks for help in getting him a date with her nerdy friend Courtney Duran. After Courtney herself shows up and chases Moose away May spills the beans and let's her know that he likes her. Ah, young love!

Meanwhile, at lunch May and her friends are eating at a local restaurant when a reporter from the Daily Bugle shows up asking about Spider-Girl. May thinks the paper is working on a hit-piece and gets upset. She even snaps at Brad (love interest #1). Speaking of which, back at school May tries to have a talk with her friend Jimmy Yama, who has been avoiding her ever since he claimed that she was “his girl” a couple days ago. Jimmy slinks off, saying he will call her later. The new kid, Jack Jameson (love interest #2), sees the exchange and advises her to go easy on him. May thinks he's a creep and that he should mind his own business.

After school, she webslings around the city and spies Franklin Richards (from the Fantastic Five) just wandering around, walking on thin air. She joins him in his perambulations and reveals that she's thinking of joining up with the Avengers. He snorts and replies that he thinks the group is a joke. She retorts by asking him if he knows any other super teams she can join and he quickly changes the subject.

Sometime later (there's really no telling how long there is between scenes in this issue; I'm just making up the best segues I can think of!), she arrives outside Avengers Mansion. She is immediately attacked by one of their security devices (one looking for all the world like one of Doc Ock's old arms). Then, she barely avoids a shield to the head from American Dream while the resident speedster, Blue Streak, tries to hem her in by running circles around her. She easily jumps out of that trap but is then snatched right out of the sky by Mainframe. Once back on the ground, the team gathers around and ask what the purpose of her visit is. She announces that she wants to join the team. They ask for some privacy to discuss the pros and cons of the idea amongst themselves. While this discussion is going on, May is left alone with her thoughts and begins to second guess herself. Does she really have what it takes to become an Avenger?

Everyone returns and American Dream delivers the bad news that they aren't ready to take on new members right now. But they are willing to put her through a test. So, it's a game of “capture the flag” – Avengers style!

First up is Blue Streak. Spider-Girl easily webs her up despite her super speed. Then, it's J2's turn. He announces his presence by whomping the ground which knocks her off her feet. She uses her speed to land several blows but all he does is stand there and take it. he doesn't flinch. She takes a break from the fisticuffs and he asks if she's ready to surrender. She says no, all her exertions were just a distraction so she could steal his streamer. D'oh!

American Dream promises to be a much tougher opponent and has even wrapped her streamer on the arm holding her shield to make it harder to reach. May tries to land a few blows but is blocked by said shield. No problem, she just uses her Spider-Stickiness to yank the shield away! Next up is Freebooter, and yes, he's just as cocky as Hawkeye ever was. He laughs at American Dream being bested but he may be celebrating too soon. In fact, May uses her new repelling power (remember that from last issue?) to smack him in the head with American Dream's shield.

Then, Mainframe drops down from the sky and stands in front of her menacingly. She knows that even her strength wouldn't make a dent in his armor, so she decides on a different tactic. She blasts him with a face full of webbing. Sure, he burns it off pretty quickly, but while he is distracted she snags his streamer off of his shoulder and is on her way. Now, only Stinger is left. She shrinks down and quickly goes on the offensive. She moves so fast even Spider-Girl's reflexes can't keep up and so our heroine gets clipped a “stinger bolt” and the fight is over just like that. May is dejected that she lost, but the Avengers cheer her up by saying they have decided to make her their first official reserve Avenger. Woo-hoo!

Afterwards, she finally has a heart-to-heart talk with Jimmy Yama. He tries the old “woe is me” routine to get her to feel sorry for him, but she tells him to cut the BS. They are old friends and she's willing to help him if starts being real with her. They end up going for sodas together and figure out how to “de-jerkify” him in May's words. How's that for a precocious Dawson's Creek style ending?

General Comments

There's nothing much more to say about this one. Stellar plotting and character development as usual. Plus, a plug for the recently canceled A-Next series!

Overall Rating

Remember Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3, where Spider-Man is invited to try out for the Avengers? This is sort of like that, only shorter and with less Hulk.