Lately, Morlun and his sadistic family has been killing off Spider-Totems. Dameos, Morlun's brother, is perhaps he most brutal of the family. A few Spider-People have realized this and banded together to save others like them. Among these people are Spider-UK and "Assassin Spider-Man."
On the Earth-982 Forest Hills home of Mayday Parker, Daemos, brother of Morlun, is crushing Spider-Girl under his foot as her boyfriend, Wes, is futilely trying to stop him. Daemon explains that he isn’t killing her yet; he’s “tenderizing the meat.” Mayday feels her sternum being compressed and is trying her best to stay alive. When Daemos throws Wes into a pile of rubble, he calls himself as an “inheritor of all creation” while Wes is “a bit of dust in the wind.” Mayday wonders why and how the villain came to her.
Not far away, Peter crouches among the wreckage and Mary Jane tries to calm their baby, Ben. Peter uses himself as a projectile, rams into Daemon and it’s enough to release Mayday. Spider-Girl is amazed at how her father is able to do the impossible with only one good leg. Peter yells, “My daughter is not on the menu!” Daemon explains that he isn’t only here for Spider-Girl; both Peter and Ben are Spider-Totems too. There’s nothing he can do to stop him, Daemon rants, and Peter realizes he’s correct. He tells Mary Jane that he loves her, then orders her to save the kids. Mary Jane gives Mayday Ben and explains, “He’s your responsibility now. Your greatest responsibility.” Mayday’s mom orders her to leave, but stays herself to help Peter. Mayday runs away from her burning house, crying. She understands that her mother couldn’t leave at her father’s “greatest moment of need.” She hears her mom’s scream from the house but doesn’t look back.
Suddenly, a portal opens up before Mayday containing "Assassin" Spider-Man (from Superior Spider-Man #32 (Story 2)) and Spider-UK (from Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 3) #7 (Story 2)) “Assassin” Spider-Man tells her to come with them, but she explains she needs them to help her save her father. He says, “I’m sorry but according to our readings there are only two Spider-Totems here. You. And your brother.” Mayday realizes this must mean her father is dead and it’s confirmed when Daemon walks out of her house holding Peter’s shriveled, dead body. He explains that it tasted “quite savory, if you must know.” “Assassin” Spidey apologizes for her loss and Mayday mutters, “A home. A family. That was his dream. All he ever really wanted.” Daemon explains that he will find her brother and her, and he will devour them. “To save my brother…and to avenge my family, I swear…I’ll break every vow I’ve been taught. All the values my father held dear. And I will kill you,” Mayday swears. The four Spider-Totems teleport away and Daemon explains that, when they meet again, she is more than welcome to try to kill him.
To be honest, I haven’t read too much of Tom DeFalco’s Spider-Girl run. I don’t have any kind of affinity with the character. It’s not like I constantly rave on message boards about how Marvel editorial is heartless for cancelling Spider-Girl’s ongoing series. But, I have to tell you, this story by Dan Slott made me pretty emotional. He fits just about as much sensation into five pages as any writer possibly can. Right off the bat, the reader almost automatically roots for Mayday, they become worried when Peter begins battling Daemon, they feel pain when Mary Jane and Peter die, and they feel complete understanding for Mayday’s vow to kill Daemon. While I’ve never really considered Slott to be a very poignant writer, this story certainly makes me reconsider that.
This story also sets up Spider-Girl’s role in Spider-Verse very well. She is one of the few characters (so far) who have an emotional connection into the battle against the Morlun family. Mayday must avenge her family and protect her baby brother while doing so. It’s not the most original plot, but it works for the character. (Anyways, is any plot truly original?) I get the feeling that Spider-Girl will be one of the driving characters in the Spider-Verse event, and I’m excited to see her inevitable battle against Daemon and the Morlun family.
Now, I might as well acknowledge how many people have said that Slott’s screwed over Mayday’s character and the Spider-Girl continuity. Personally, I have no problem that Slott killed Peter and pretty much destroyed Mayday’s life. If I was a Spider-Girl fan, I would be happy that any writer is bringing Mayday back at all. Let’s face it: she’s a B-list Spider-Man spinoff that hasn’t had a series in years. Slott’s set her on an interesting path and is finally putting her back in the spotlight. Anyways, by destroying Mayday’s world, Slott has almost given the character a blank sheet going forward, making her more accessible to new readers.
As should be expected, Humberto Ramos’ artwork is incredible. His panel layout is very good to pace the fast-paced script and highlight the emotional beats. Ramos brilliantly makes Daemos larger than Peter and Mayday, stressing the hopelessness of their battle. He also captures emotions well by focusing greatly on character’s faces and their expressions. Of course, Ramos’ dynamics are also very good and flow well.
This is a very poignant story with good art. It sets up Mayday's story in Spider-Verse very well.