Having recently taken on a new costume and identity as Spider-Girl, Anya Corazon struggles to settle in to her place as a hero with no powers. Her friends and father try to help but things remain difficult.
Things come crashing down when Spider-Girl goes to help her father, who is caught in a battle between The Fantastic Four and Red Hulk, and finds him crushed under a fallen wall!
With The Fantastic Four continuing to battle Red Hulk at City College of New York, Spider-Girl stands over her dead father. She turns to Red Hulk, ready to kill him for what he’s done! A mysterious man watches from behind a door… Mr Fantastic orders Spider-Girl to help evacuate the campus as they deal with him so she heads outside. Red Hulk follows her though, mumbling about ravens, blood and burning! He pursues her across the city, with Spider-Girl barely able to stay one step ahead of him! Eventually she turns and stands up to him! He picks up a car and is about to crush her when he stops in angry frustration! Spider-Gil saves the occupants of the car and then leads Red Hulk away from the city to the river. As Red Hulk disappears below the surface his head begins to clear, blaming someone called Raven! The Fantastic Four catch up with Spider-Girl and plan to continue their pursuit of Red Hulk. Spider-Girl says nothing to them, running off after now realising what has happened to her father…
She swings back to City College where she watches her father’s body being taken away. The medical verdict is that he was crushed and died from internal injuries. His skin is an odd colour though…
Spider-Girl follows the ambulance to the hospital and then goes in as Anya. She identifies the body, feeling that part of her is dead – the Spider-Girl part.
At home she ignores calls from Rikki Barnes (Nomad) and doesn’t answer the door when Invisible Woman comes round.
Days later she goes to her father’s funeral with Rocky Flint and Rikki. No-one can understand what she is going through…
An hour later she is dressed in her Spider-Girl costume, trashing the furniture on a rooftop in anger, feeling that the city is closing in on her!
In her apartment she bins the Spider-Girl costume. Rocky comes round with food for her and she sits and explains how her mother died saving two people from one of the Green Goblin’s pumpkin bombs. Rocky does understand what she is going through and then says that Anya is not alone…
From an undisclosed location, the mysterious man from earlier spies on the scene in the house via hidden cameras! He knows Anya is Spider-Girl!
This is a brave issue in which Paul Tobin delivers a massive shift for the character and begins to drive the series forward in a new direction. Killing Spider-Girls father, though slightly mysterious, brings about the turmoil needed to drive these characters and provide readers with a reason for being a superhero. There are some excellent scenes of grief – anger, frustration, realisation, rebellion – capturing the right emotions at the right time.
Tobin’s clever writing continues with his handling of Red Hulk (a nice choice that produces a completely new threat we as Spider-Man readers haven't really seen before), giving us this unexplained rambling that you just have to try and figure out. The inclusion of Spider-Girl’s supporting cast makes perfect sense and #2 seems like the right time. Then there’s the mysterious man, already a threat as he’s spying on Spider-Girl and knows her identity. Grabbing stuff!
Clayton Henry’s art is completely awesome, delivering the soft but impacting pencils from last issue. Once again the best pages mix up backgrounds and panel structure. The fill-in art really distracts from the remaining story as it doesn’t deliver on the same detail or level of storytelling.
There's a great deal to hook the reader this issue and that is done through controlled careful writing and, within the first half, outstanding art.