Spider-Girl #45

Background

Someone has her costume. Someone knows she's Spider-Girl. How can May Parker hope to get out of THIS mess?

Story 'Secret Lives!'

  Spider-Girl #45
Summary: Felicity Hardy Discovers May Is Spider-Girl, Kaine
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Pat Olliffe
Inker: Al Williamson

The note in her locker says it all: "I Know Your Secret!" May Parker's costume was recently stolen out of her school locker, and somebody has put two and two together. Shaken, she is spooked by the appearance of Ralphie Hicks and Turtle Ragone, the class clowns. They ask if she's okay, nearly throwing her into a panic at the thought that they hit her locker. Felicity Hardy--daughter of the Black Cat--echoes those thoughts. May is surprised that she didn't "sense" her, and Felicity says that she can be as quiet as a cat.

May questions some of the girls whose lockers have been hit, and two act strangely enough to make her suspicious. But with nothing to go on, she ends up baring her sould to Normie Osborn, who tells her that she can get a new costume at "The Spider Shoppe," a store set up to make money off of the Spider-Girl phenomenon. She spots the two girls who acted strangely, but runs into a pushy salesclerk and Brad's ex Heather, giving her reason for a quick getaway. While this is happening, Peter Parker is at the Baxter building getting fitted for a new bionic leg, insisting that May needs his help.

May, meanwhile, spots Turtle Ragone on the way back from The Spider Shoppe and decides to follow. But both are thrown for a loop by the appearance of someone in a Spider-Girl outfit. She pulls Turtle into a nearby alley and strings him upside-down. May butts in before the imposter can do any real harm, and she leaves, telling Turtle to "do the right thing." Turtle declines to elaborate, and gets away as soon as May cuts him down. May wonders what to do about this latest turn of events, but another note in her locker settles the issue: "Meet me on yesterday's roof after school."

Arriving at the roof, May spots her Spider-Girl outfit hanging from a chimney. And wearing another Spider-Girl outfit--and carrying a whip--is the imposter, who promptly launches a kick at May's head. She dodges, but the imposter snares her with her "cat o'nine tails." May breaks free, saying that "you're really going to have to drop that CAT thing if you want to protect your idenity, Felicity." Felicity, pleased that May has finally guessed the truth, pulls off her mask. The two continue to spar, and May asks her why she was robbing lockers. Felicity replies that she didn't rob anybody, that she actually solved the thefts. The true culprit was Turtle Ragone, who had been ripping off Spider-Girl paraphernalia for weeks in the hope of "finding" it, returning it, and being a hero. "So that's why you tackled Turtle." "Someone had to teach him the error of his ways. And don't worry! He assumed your costume was a fake like the others." Felicity is too proud of herself to notice May sneaking ahead of her, and May pounces, tackling her to the ground. She asks Felicity what she wants; young Ms. Hardy replies that she wants to be partners. After all, she says, it's not "like you really have a choice!"

Later that evening, in a musty bar, a man is receiving a photograph. The photograph is of a woman named Alison Mongrain. The man is Kaine.

General Comments

Poor May. Just when she thinks she's got everything worked out, now she's saddled with a partner who's in the biz for the fun of it. She's her father's daughter, all right.

Was there any doubt that Felicity Hardy was involved in some way? Sure, she wasn't the actual thief--although she should have been; Ralphie and Turtle serve no real purpose in this book other than comic relief--but she was the one to figure out Spider-Girl's identity, and she's enough of a firecracker to make May wish she hadn't. I like it because it makes sense. Why wouldn't the daughter of the Black Cat have a wild streak?

So Peter's going the bionic leg route, huh? Why do I get the feeling that Mary Jane knows nothing about this?

This was a good story. Nothing earth-shattering, but it was fun watching May and her friends play detective. Bonus points for a really cool cover featuring several different costume variations. It would have been interesting to see May don a different look, but it's probably better that they didn't go that route. Still, for a book that's been riding the razor's edge of cancellation....

Overall Rating

Some good ol' Spider-Girl fun. I'm looking forward to seeing Felicity's latest exploits (not to mention May's headaches in dealing with them) next month. Three and a half webs.