Saturday, January 08, 2011

Spider-Girl #2 (Vol. 2) -- A Review

I suppose “atrocious” was a little harsh, but man did this issue have problems. Considering how much I gushed over the first issue, I was dumbfounded that the Marvel editors actually allowed it to be published this way. Why on earth couldn’t they have had Clayton Henry finish the story? The first part was going fairly well, just like the first issue, although the pacing was a little too fast and the parsed dialogue…was…driving…me…insane. The Rulk had it, because he was being mind controlled somehow; Spider-Girl had it, because she was emotionally distraught (understandable);but even the Fantastic Four seemed to be suffering from shortened sentence syntax. There was even a glaring error where Johnny and Reed repeat the exact same dialogue! I’m telling you to have everyone speaking that way really made it hard for me to read (especially since I was jamming to the Tron: Legacy soundtrack by Daft Punk at the time. I did reread it again today to get a clearer perspective).

In response to some of Jim’s comments, Spider-Girl’s twittering captions were actually “sent” days later than the depicted events. And as much as I was upset that her father actually died, he better stay dead now! The paramedic indicated that the strange skin coloring was most likely due to internal injuries, so I don’t think he’s going to come back in a few issues. Of course this is a comic book, so who knows? I do agree that the transition to her Dad's viewing (On my first read I thought it was the funeral too, but I think that'll be next issue and I expect at least one member of the FF to be present [If she's not dead herself by then. That's my prediction.]) was really, really rushed as well as the non-complimentary art in the second half. If you’re going to get someone to fill in for half an issue at least get someone with similar art styles!!!

Worst of all, I have a suspicion that this wasn’t even the original second part of the issue. Let’s examine the evidence:

1) The abrupt end to Clayton Henry’s art with Sue Richards standing outside the door while Anya is in costume inside. And why is she in costume again, when they just showed her in normal clothes at the hospital morgue?

2) The next panel (the beginning of part 2) seems to indicate that Sue is still pleading to be let in, but Anya is now dressed in casual clothes, in another room of the house. Just how long did Sue wait outside anyway? And it’s clear already that she knows Anya is Spider-Girl – she should’ve gotten to talk to her somehow (turned the entire room invisible maybe). Apparently, next issue will contain this conversation. Hmmm, I bet Henry draws that portion of the story. I’m telling you this piece was shoehorned in for some reason!

3) When Anya’s friend, Rocky, finally comes by after the viewing, she indicates that she stopped by earlier. I think it was Rocky behind the door in that first panel, not Sue.

It didn’t make much sense to me either that she would go out in costume just to smash up someone’s rooftop table an hour after the viewing. I can understand her wanting to hit things, but there are plenty of opportunities for destruction in her own apartment! I also didn’t like that her friend Rocky's mother was killed from the fallout of a super-villain battle (Given the BIG TIME banner, they had to throw Spider-Man in there somehow, I guess). I thought it was an unnecessary aspect to her friend's backstory. Anyone who had lost a parent and never had a chance to say goodbye to them could've empathized. It's certainly possible that such a tragedy could occur in a city of eight million people, but it's like Flash Thompson becoming the Hobgoblin -- Does everybody in her life have to be related to super heroes? Her best friend is Nomad, her mentor is the Invisible Woman, and now her other friend's Mom was collateral damage from the Green Goblin's pumpkin bomb. It was too much.

The ending was sufficiently creepy, but I'm not surprised that someone has discovered her identity. She Tweets that her Dad is at City College during an FF battle. Then Tweets that someone in her family died. It wouldn't be hard to put these facts together.

I checked the solicitations and Henry is supposed to be doing the art on issue 3 and then 4 and 5 are going to be drawn by Stumptown's Matt Southworth, which should be good. I want to see who's doing the art in issue 6, before pulling the plug on this title. I know Paul Tobin is a great writer -- I just don't think this issue was finished the way he had intended [He hasn't responded to my e-mail inquiry, so I'm just speculating].

I was initially disappointed too that my letter didn't get printed (there was no letter's page at all), but I don't think I'd want my name in this issue anyway. To add to my frustration, I bent the bottom corner of my copy while preparing this post. My X-Men Omnibus crushed it!


  1. Darn X-Men. Let me know if issue #3 recovers at all.

  2. I also thought it looked re-written at the last minute. The second half seemed to have pacing problems and the scenes just kind of feel thrown together. Having (apparently) four fill-in artists is just additonal evidence.
    I wonder what Tobin had originally written that the editors demanded be changed. Presumably, he had the first few issues plotted before the series began. But then, they did change editors after just one issue. Maybe that had something to do with it.