Spider-Girl #37

Background

The gang war in New York continues to simmer, Mary Jane Watson-Parker is still suffering from a mysterious ailment, and Spider-Girl finds herself caught in the middle of a feud between Crazy Eight and Funny Face. But worst of all: Normie Osborn has put on the mantle of the Green Goblin again.

Story 'Betrayed!'

  Spider-Girl #37
Summary: Norman Osborn II, Funny Face & Crazy Eight
Editor: Matt Hicks
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Pat Olliffe
Inker: Al Williamson

"I knew it! You've been playing Spider-Girl for a fool. You never intended to abandon your criminal career."

"Is that what you believe, Mr. Urich?"

So opens issue #37. Phil Urich, furious with young Normie Osborn, has either accompanied or been dragged into Osborn's new goblin lair. But was it a one-way trip? "Too bad this city needs only ONE goblin," says Normie.

The scene switches to the Parker household. May happens upon her mother throwing up in the bathroom, and MJ again orders May not to mention anything to Peter. Peter is too wrapped up in work to notice anything anyway, and May heads off to school with only disturbing thoughts to keep her company. But those thoughts quickly vanish as she catches sight of the Green Goblin flying overhead. "Oh, Normie, what have you done?"

Arriving at Midtown High, she runs into Courtney Duran, who asks for her English notes back. The two walk into the gymnasium where they find a pretty blonde trying unsuccessfully to open a locker. Turns out, this is none other than Flash Thompson's daughter, Felicity Hardy.

Meanwhile, Felicity's mother--the former Black Cat--has accompanied MJ to a doctor appointment. The subject of Felicia's daughter comes up, and she admits that Felicity still blames her for the breakup of her marriage with Flash. "You haven't told me anything about your son," MJ says. "What about Gene?" Just then the doctor calls for Mary Jane, and her spirits sag.

While, at the police lab, Peter receives a visit from Julia Carpenter ("but you once knew me as Spider-Woman"), May goes to the sanitarium to confront Normie about this Green Goblin thing only to find him with Raptor. Upset and confused, she switches to Spider-Girl to blow off some steam and finds herself at the site of her last battle, a warehouse on the waterfront. She slips inside to find Funny Face and Crazy Eight bickering like children (FF works for Canis, CE for the Kingpin, remember.) The two are about to come to blows when May jumps down into their midst and tells them they shouldn't fight with each other.

The brothers trade a look. "You're absolutely right. We SHOULDN'T fight with each other. Not when we have YOU!"

The two attack Spider-Girl, and she fights them long enough to stun them both with a repelled tire. Realizing she made a huge mistake getting involved, she runs to the front door to escape... only run right into the Green Goblin.

Finally, across town, MJ receives a phone call from her doctor. Her test results "are still the same." Shaken, MJ hangs up the phone.

General Comments

Okay, how much longer can we draw this out? Normie Osborn is the Green Goblin again, fine, but who's side is he on? Throughout this issue, he never does anything blatantly criminal. Regarding Phil Urich, I think the "only one Goblin" bit was a head fake. My money's still on Normie falling on the side of the angels, but Tom DeFalco's done a pretty good job of being as ambiguous as possible.

Other than the will he/won't he of the latest Green Goblin, the other main plotline is Mary Jane's mystery ailment. Which, judging by the symptoms, could be either some sort of life-threatening disease or a pregnancy. MJ looked a little too freaked on the last page to be pregnant, in my humble opinion, but anything's possible. Either way, time to find out.

A decent enough story, I guess, but more of a full-length lead-in to next issue, in which we should learn Normie's agenda and MJ's. The best new wrinkle is the reappearance of Julia Carpenter, a/k/a Spider-Woman. Why would she suddenly reappear? Beats me, but she's got my interest. As does the conspicuously absent Spider-Man. Just a coincidence that MJ didn't get to hear about Felicia Hardy's son? Doubt it.

Overall Rating

Enough suspense, DeFalco. Let's get to the payoff, huh? Three webs.