Fresh off the capture of Funny Face, and still trying to deal with the ramifications of Normie Osborn keeping the Venom symbiote, Spider-Girl heads over to the headquarters of the Fantastic Five to do a favor for Franklin "Psi-Lord" Richards. But one of their common foes is about to make his explosive return.
|Pencils:||Pat Olliffe, Ron Frenz|
|Inker:||Sal Buscema, Scott Koblish|
The story opens with Spider-Girl putting the "next generation of F5ers" through a game of Capture the Flag to hone their skills while the original F5, except for Franklin, are off on a jaunt in the negative zone. Her opponents are Kristoff Vernard, a/k/a "Doom"--a former herald of Count Doom himself--the Thing's twins Alyce "Rad" Grimm (who flies and shoots energy beams) and Jake "Grim" Grimm, who is a real chip off the old block (literally). Spider-Girl defeats them quickly, much to their chagrin. Shortly thereafter, Franklin Richards takes Spider-Girl aside to ask her what really happened with the Venom symbiote. Unwilling to rat out Normie Osborn and afraid that the telepathic Franklin has already guessed the truth, Spider-Girl makes a quick exit.
Across town, Normie Osborn and Brenda Drago are meeting with the Osborn Corporation's C.E.O. Normie asks him to teach him the business from the ground up. "Are you planning to take over my job someday?" "My goals are much HIGHER," Normie replies. Brenda gushes over Normie's forcefulness, failing to notice the Venom symbiote's tendrils flailing.
Spider-Girl returns to Midtown High in time to catch Chris Jarkoer bragging about his supposed bravery at the engagement party. At the sight of May, Chris panics and runs away, much to the confusion of all (but one). Unfortunately, Courtney Duran has some bad news to report: Moose's father has tested positive for cancer.
Upstate New York suffers some bad news of its own at that very moment, as a beam of green light shoots out of space and into the Maximum Security Prison at Mount Athena. The beam does no physical damage, but repowers Apox, the Omega Skrull, last seen a few dozen issues ago blowing the top off of the Fantastic Four building. He breaks out of prison and heads toward New York, hellbent on destroying the Fantastic Five.
The F5 receive a warning about Apox's release from the Avengers. Franklin realizes that Spider-Girl might be in trouble and tries to call her. As her phone rings, May stumbles across Moose crying in the stairwell. She ignores the phone and sits with him while he collects himself. Apox, meanwhile, is leaving no member of the MC2 universe unscathed. On the way to the F5 building he takes out Nova, Mainframe, J2, Thunderstrike, Submariner, and the Hulk.
Moose finally pulls himself together long enough to meet Courtney at the library. He thanks May for staying with him. "Hey, that's what friends do." She realizes that friends also deserve the truth, and that she needs to tell Franklin about Normie and the symbiote come what may. She suits up and swings over to the F5 building only to find Franklin pleading with her to take the next generation F5ers to safety. Suddenly the wall explodes. Apox has arrived.
I've never really been a big fan of the whole alien baddie motif. Seth earned points several issues ago for being sinister enough to carry it off, but Apox's first appearance in these pages wasn't anything special. Alien blows up building, Spider-Girl beats him, big whoop. Apparently somebody's cranked up the bad@$$ meter on ol' Apox, though, because he's turned into a dangerous force all of a sudden. Plowing through seemingly every hero in the MC2 universe wasn't enough for him, but it's enough to make the Omega Skrull seem dangerous instead of laughable. For once it is easy being green. I look forward to the battle royale next issue.
Not a lot else going on in this issue, other than Chris Jarkoer's continued efforts to make himself look stupid and Normie's continued descent into the dark side (if he pulls out a lightsaber, run!) I very much liked May's time with Moose, and how she ignored her phone to comfort her hurting friend. That is classic May Parker right there. It would have been the classic Parker luck if Apox had hit the F5 headquarters with her ignoring the call, but I'm glad that it didn't happen that way. Moose was in pain, and May was the one who could help him, and she did. That's what makes her a true hero, although kicking Apox's butt in the next two issues won't be half bad, either.
Nice setup. Let's see what happens next.
A promising start and a baddie who benefited from some seriously needed rehabilitation. Four webs.