This second attempt at a Spider-Man magazine hasn't been that easy to find. The publishing schedule seems a bit vague, as does the numbering. This is issue one. I'm told there have been three issues released so far, though I've only found two of them. Both issues have been called #1, but that can't be quite right.
In any case, most of the content is reprint of Marvel Adventures stories, but tucked away in the back of each is a text story. In this case, it's a five page Spider-Girl piece from Tom DeFalco.
The story is written in the first person by Spider-Man. Like all good Spider-Girl stories we open in mid-battle, as May Parker (the What If daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson) battles "The Claw". She's supposed to be picking up party supplies, since she's helping decorate the school gym for the dance tonight. Why anybody would trust May to do anything, I don't know. She's always disappearing without warning.
This time she gets flattened by the Claw, loses consciousness, and comes round to hear her cellphone. The Claw was a nice guy, and didn't stop to kill her while she slept. Davida tells May she's late. May arrives eventually with the decorations, and... Simone has swapped the colors! Oh no! They school colors are orange and white, and these are silver and black! That crazy, out-of-control bad snooty girl Simone is threatening our very way of life!
Courtney, Davida and May aren't amused. Jimmy Yama, Heather Noble and Wes Westin turn up. I must confess that, while I do read Amazing Spider-Girl, I really struggle to tell who is who. It's like going to pick up your daughter from school and trying to make head or tail of the thirty kids in her class. I think I fail to connect with most of the personalities. Probably my fault.
May helps put up the decorations, but feels bad about not catching Claw. Wes helps, but he's shy. Ah, right. Wes is the shy one who likes May but is too meek to confess to it.
May asks Uncle Phil for advice on Claw. Phil knows May is still being Spider-Girl, though I'm not sure if her parents are letting her wear the webs at the moment or not. May goes home and helps feed her baby brother, Benjy. Benjy throws food. Dad tells her not to worry about Claw, but enjoy the dance. Poor May doesn't have a date for the dance. *sniff*. That's terrible.
At the dance. The DJ plays female pop vocals and contemporary rap music. He alternates between them. I think this is supposed to set the scene for me so that I feel that I "get" the mood of the dance. But I don't. I'm probably not hip enough.
Simone turns up and is being a bitch. Meagyn (who?) offers to cover while May takes a bathroom break. She uses the moment to change to Spider-Girl. But then she gets trapped in the cubicle as Heather and Jimmy suck face in the girls toilets. Could be worse...
When Spidey-Girl finally gets out, she catches up with Claw as he's facing down the police at a security car raid gone bad. He threatens the guards, and May is forced to surrender. It's kind of sad and pathetic really, but she does. But she's saved when her Dad turns up, in costume, to put things to rights. Claw surrenders. "Don't you have some place to be?" asks her dad.
May heads back to the dance, and Wes asks her to dance the last dance. Courtney has locked Simone (and herself) in the computer room for the duration of the whole thing. Simone didn't get a chance to show off her new dress, which she brought especially to go with the black and silver decorations. Now her life is ruined. Of course, Courtney missed the dance too, but she's a dweebette so I guess we're not supposed to care.
Wes and May dance. Happy ending.
I always feel that the Spider-Girl comics only just manage to bring me into the story. But this bit of Spider-Girl prose completely and utterly failed to entrap me in the slightest.
I found the dialog unconvincing, the characters would probably be shallow if I could figure out who was who. The plot, both with The Claw and Simone failed to grab me in the same way that a geriatric bishop would fail to grab a greased pumpkin with a teflon table-tennis bat.
Most text super-hero stories struggle to succeed, but this one struggles like an epileptic slug in a turbo-boosted concrete mixer. This tale lies somewhere inside the triangle formed between trite, dull, and who-cares-anyway. One web.