Current Reviews


Spider-Girl #80

Posted: Friday, November 5, 2004
By: Ray Tate

"Secrets Kill!"

Story, Plot, Artwork: Tom DeFalco & Pat Oliffe
Artists Emeritus: Ron Frenz & Al Williamson; Gotham(c)
Publisher: Marvel

It's been a long time since I've read an issue of Spider-Girl. I gave it up because the colorists were making me ill. Christie Scheele who was the best colorist on this title was fired in favor of Livesay and Udon. Both of these gentlemen as far as I'm concerned lack cones--the specialized cells in the eye that allow us the facility of color vision. Their treatment of this book was atrocious. Gotham takes over the colors, and for the first time in a long time, I didn't feel queasy looking while flipping through Spider-Girl.

I have always liked the premise of Spider-Girl. In an alternate future, Peter Parker and M.J. have a daughter named May "Mayday" Parker who inherits her father's abilities and her mother's beauty. Peter was forced to give up his webbing when he lost his leg in battle. May takes over the wall-crawling.

What struck me the most about the book is how after all this time I was still able to plunge right in. Nothing about Spider-Girl seems alien to a new or lapsed reader, and there should be more books like this.

Tom DeFalco through narration and dialogue hides the exposition that eases the reader into Mayday's world. We discover this issue that May and Davida have had a falling out. DeFalco ties this subplot into the main super-hero plot that involves a positive use for May's powers and intelligence. Very rare in current super-hero comic books. All anybody seems to do today is resurrect dead girlfriends and then have them show dead villains what they can do with lollypops or have loser villains rape and kill heroes' significant others.

Spider-Girl always had a terrific list of artists who understood concepts like anatomy, scale and graphic storycrafting. This issue is no different. Pat Oliffe, Ron Frenz and Al Williams make Spider-Girl a visually literate, aesthetically appealing comic book, and with the removal of Udon, the more natural colors merely add to the effect. Now that the misery of Udon and Livesay is a thing of the past, I just may return Spider-Girl to my subscription list. We'll see if this change is long-lasting.

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