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Review: Spectacular Spider-Girl #1

Good, clean fun... but maybe too clean.

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Spider-Girl's attempts to lay low are thwarted by the reappearances of the Punisher and the villainous Mayhem

Seeing Ron Frenz and a legend like Sal Buscema work together is a real treat. The art feels classic, with the exact vintage of Spidey thrills that have been well-honed over the decades. I was especially impressed by how they were able to make the modern design of Mayhem's symbiote look at home in this Bronze Age style.
It was also fun to see Frank Castle finally resurface in the MC2-verse. His dialogue felt true to the modern reinterpretations without necessarily needing to go into the dark areas of MAX, and there was a real, entertaining contrast between his voice and Spider-Girl and Mayhem's. I'm definitely curious to see what happens their paths finally cross.

The thing about evaluating a book like this is that it it's intended for young readers, so it's hard to decide what to criticize about it. Is the dialogue corny and on-the-nose at times? Yeah. Do the street-hardened mobsters speak in a way that's too refined to be realistic? Yeah? Is this book pretty predictable for anybody who's read superhero comics for more than a few years? Sure. But is it failing in what it's try to do if? Well...
I'd say that this really isn't an all-ages book, in the sense that your enjoyment of it is going to peter off the older you get.

What I've said about this being dated really depends on how you view the proper Spidey books. If you're enjoying them, this going to come off as too silly for you. If you think they're too dark and self-important, if you're a child-at-heart looking for a throwback to the books you read as a kid, then you're going to love this. I still think it's kind of crazy that this title is actually in my hands. Spider-Girl's been canceled several times, and MC2 ended YEARS ago. But I suppose that's a testament to the appeal of this character and I give props to DeFalco for not letting any of the future continuity get bogged down here. This really is a good jumping-on point for new readers.