Spider-Girl #28

Background

Raptor has returned and she's trying to walk the straight and narrow? The sensational Spider-Girl has her doubts, but how can she hope to bring Raptor down to earth without her spider-powers?

Story 'Unfinished Business'

  Spider-Girl #28
Summary: Raptor Returns
Editor: Matt Hicks
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Pat Olliffe
Inker: Al Williamson

Early one morning, while Raptor is breaking and entering, of all places, a grocery store, May Parker is learning that life without Spider powers has its advantages. Being able to sleep later than 5 AM is high among them. Meeting her parents for breakfast, May is unaware that Peter testing her spider sense. No luck; her sense is gone with the rest of her powers. May remarks that she really grew to depend on it, especially how "it also indicates where an adversary is least dangerous. As she leaves for school, MJ asks Peter if May just pointed out an ability he never knew he had. Peter can only stammer.

At good ol' Midtown High, Jimmy Yama notices that Moose is ignoring his girlfriend, Courtney Duran. Believing that Courtney has a thing for JJ now, Moose is trying to do the "noble" thing and stand aside. Jimmy, despite the advice of Brad Miller, decides he's going to do something about it. Tracking down JJ, Jonah's grandson wonders why he shouldn't deck Jimmy for butting into his personal life. "You want to hit me?" Jimmy asks. "Go for it! I'm here because I care about Courtney. I just want her to be happy and I hope that you do, too."

May, meanwhile, is visiting Normie Osborn (can't he go by "Norm?"). On the way to school she discovered that Raptor was on the loose again, but can't figure out a way to bring her in without her spider powers. When she tells Normie that she can't be the web-swinger she used to be, his response is simple: "So? Be a different web-swinger!" As May later ponders Normie's comment, seeds of a plan begin to develop. One quick phone call to her Uncle Phil is enough to bring the Golden Goblin out of retirement. "Since you lost your spider powers, I'd be honored to go after her for you."

"Actually, Uncle Phil... that's not quite what I have in mind."

Back at school, Jimmy manages to track down Moose, who has no interest in talking to his one-time favorite target. Jimmy calls him a coward and nearly gets his head bashed in (I hope his parents have good medical coverage for Jimmy. How many times has this guy nearly been smashed over twenty-eight issues?) Moose reitirates that he's stepping aside for JJ, but anger fades to shock as Jimmy tells him he leaped to the wrong conclusion. "They're just friends, idiot! Just friends!" Moose and Courtney later reunite on the school lawn with Jimmy watching, a satisfied smile on his face.

That evening, Raptor is seen robbing another grocery store, stealing food only to leave it on some woman's doorstep. She begins to fly away only to be caught in a loud explosion. Her head clears in time to see Spider-Girl gliding towards her... wielding pumpkin bombs on Phil Urich's goblin glider. As the fight ensues, May asks why Raptor has picked up the Robin Hood shtick. Her reply is that "I recently took a good, hard look at my life, and really didn't like what I saw!" She has no interest in fighting and just wants to leave. Spider-Girl is less than sympathetic, remembering the courier she paralyzed ten issues ago. Unfortunately, her lack of a spider sense allows Raptor to sucker punch her, leaving May unconscious on the roof of a warehouse.

The next morning, May's alarm clock buzzes at 5 AM sharp. A sore, weary, bedraggled May hauls herself out of bed and starts doing pushups. "You're going to claw your way back into the hero biz even if it kills you!"

General Comments

The daughter of Spider-Man fighting crime on a goblin glider. Norman Osborn must be spinning in his grave right now. (He is dead in the MC2 universe, isn't he?)

Since it appears that Tom DeFalco is keeping May powerless for the near future--although probably just to set up their reappearance with new abilities that the creative team has alluded to in the past--it looks like "Spider-goblin" is here to stay. While it will take a bit of getting used to, I think it's not a bad concept. Riding a glider is the only way May can maintain some semblance of her superpowered days, and the pumpkin bombs help offset her lack of strength. The thing I really liked was how May's own sense of responsibility is beginning to assert itself. It's one thing to play at being a hero when you have powers and think you're invincible, but it's quite another to pull on the long underwear with NO powers after getting thrashed a few times. May originally seemed a little flighty, leaving one to wonder whether fun was a primary motivator for putting on the webs. No longer.

Regarding Raptor, I found it a bit surprising that she would abandon the supervillain lifestyle so quickly. And while her deeds were admirable--nothing wrong with providing food for low-income people--her attitude stinks. Much like the spouse who believes everything's okay because he/she is "sorry, Raptor seems to believe that she should get off the hook for what she's done because she's trying to make up for it. Ask Theo Rudolpho if that makes up for crippling him. Ask him when he misses dancing with his lovely wife if "it's okay" because the Raptor is now helping people. Grow up, Ms. Drago. Anything short of paying for your crimes is useless. I do not foresee a long conversion for this one, folks. I can just picture her being re-arrested, brooding in a cell about how "unfair" it was to be jailed when she was trying to turn her life around, and then turning that bitterness into a rejuvinated criminal career. You heard it here first.

Finally, in regards to Jimmy, the decision of whether or not to get involved in a situation like that is dicey at best. He knew the risks, he didn't shy away from them, and he did some good. Nice job. It's good to see this character growing up a bit.

Overall Rating

Nothing too spectacular, but not bad. May's intentions are honorable, but one wonders if playing hero sans powers is a disaster waiting to happen. Until that day, however, three-and-a-half webs.