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Review: Spectacular Spider-Girl #2

Surprisingly, this gets Punisher better than most titles right now.

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Spider-Girl's trailing of the resurfaced Punisher and the Black Tarantula's gang war is derailed by the interference of Mayhem.
 

The Good

Despite the fact he's been toned down for the all-ages MC2-verse, Punisher's actually pretty true to character here, more so than Franken-Castle. The parts where he cripples Silverback, guns down a bar full of wiseguys and then torches a chop shop were surprisingly harsh. It's actually a pretty interesting premise to see how Spidey's naive, untested daughter fares against this dangerous demon from this past. The team-up of Ron Frenz and Sal Buscema also continues to be a great pairing, giving this entire thing a classic feel. This is very much in the spirit of the 70s Spider-Man.

The Bad

April Parker just never seems to work in this story.  The notion of May having her own clone who's also possessed by a symbiote fits well in the Spidey mythos - - even the idea of her subscribing more to the Punisher's deadly brand of justice fits into this story's theme of right and excessive levels of vigilantism. But Mayhem's rants about "true blue heroes" needing to "get grim and gritty" seems way too self-aware (even of the comics industry itself) and her snarky comments as April - - like how she's "keeping it real" - - run pretty out-of-date as slang.

The Verdict - 3.5/5

Despite Mayhem coming off as more than a little corny, this was an improvement over the second issue, hitting the better elements of the nostalgic elements that Spider-Girl's always tried to capture. You surprisingly get one of the better Punisher characterizations outside of MAX here and I'm curious to see what happens when he finally runs into Mayday. It's looking like he won't actually be pulling too many punches.