Review: Spectacular Spider-Girl #1

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Zack Freeman

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

THE GOOD 
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 BAD 
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.

THE VERDICT - 3/5
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.
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doordoor123

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#1  Edited By doordoor123

Ive always wanted to read everything in MC2 but never got around to it. I picked up this issue and was kind of lost. I understood what was happening (i think), but the characters kind of confused me. I dont like American Dream, so i hated the second feature. I like how it feels like im reading  old school comic book.

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ILuvMsMarvel

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#2  Edited By ILuvMsMarvel

Quick, go grab a "younger audience" off the street and have them read it, see what they think. 

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charlieboy

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#3  Edited By charlieboy

i love spider-girl comics. they definitely have the old school feel to them. and they capture the heart of the spider-man universe more than the actual spider-man books do.
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Primmaster64

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#4  Edited By Primmaster64

Hmmm I'll pick it up later.

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sora_thekey

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#5  Edited By sora_thekey

Every time I try and read a Spider-Girl title I end up dropping it by the 3rd issue... I'm gonna save myself the trouble here and not pick this up

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haydenclaireheroes

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@sora_thekey: well it is a four issue mini series so maybe you should pick it up
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sora_thekey

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#7  Edited By sora_thekey
@haydenclaireheroes said:
" @sora_thekey: well it is a four issue mini series so maybe you should pick it up "

Oh! I thought it was a new on-going!  
Then yes... maybe!
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spiderguylll

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#8  Edited By spiderguylll

Man, Spider-Girl just can't seem to die...

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SUPER-MAN 23

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#9  Edited By SUPER-MAN 23

What about the Batman review, there is two spider-girl reviews for the same comic. The other just has the name Batman on it.

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haydenclaireheroes

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@SUPER-MAN 23: that will probably be edited and become batman very shortly.
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E.I.S.A.M.

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#11  Edited By E.I.S.A.M.

This is the reason I've never been into Spider-Girl. It's just got no teeth. I'm not asking for it to be as gritty as Daredevil or Punisher, but to at least make it feel more like something that isn't afraid to go to places this book wouldn't normally go to. Make me feel like there's a clear and present danger for the heroine, then maybe I'll care about her enough to read the book again next month.  
Maybe that's why it's always getting cancelled.

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Green ankh

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#12  Edited By Green ankh

I always found Spider-Girl to fun.  For me all the dark and gritty stuff was old 20 years ago. I miss the lighter comics.  
And i see some readers want to feel there is danger and all for our hero. 
 
Don't we all know Superman isn't going to die. Batman isn't going to die. Captain America isn't going to die.  
 
Well for long anyway.
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digitalblasphemy

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#13  Edited By digitalblasphemy

I dont know how i feel about this....  it's definitely for a younger audience it feels like. i got to read #2 when it comes out and see where this goes.. its kind of all over the place with the punisher, than into spider girl then into Wild Card, then into Black Tarantula and then into Symbiote April AKA (MAYHEM) which is may parker's cousin which is the real May Parker because she was kid napped and put into a test tube by Norman osborne (???, LOL) and then it jumps back into the punisher and what hes doing during all this shit.....  like i said, its a bit all over the place.. i think they were trying jam to much into 1 book.. i may give it another issue to see if this goes anywhere..... what do you guys think?

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digitalblasphemy

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#14  Edited By digitalblasphemy
@doordoor123:  haha i read 2 pages of the American Dream feature and was like "Okay, that's quite enough... my mind is already numb from reading the actual spider-girl story.. and it was all over, mostly with the characters coming in and out. this book did not excite me or make me really want to get #2.
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haydenclaireheroes

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@digitalblasphemy:  This is what got me into comics is Spider-girl. The reason they jump all over the place is because they have less pages than a regular comic book. They only get 16 pages an issue.
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OriginalSentinei

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#16  Edited By OriginalSentinei

Marvel certainly hasn't done the writing team any favors by creating a limited series out of the last few issues of a story arc that has already been going on for 12 issues in the Digital format and as part of Spider-Man Family and Web of Spider-Man.  The parts where they are trying to explain things for new readers was a drag on the story for those that have been reading all along and at the same time it couldn't possibly have cleared up everything for new readers just jumping in.  I expect #2 to be a much smoother flowing story that'll show why the title has stuck around the last 12 years or so.
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OriginalSentinei

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#17  Edited By OriginalSentinei
@E.I.S.A.M.:
Don't forget Spider-Girl was recently nearly beaten to death by Tombstone in a brutal fight and was taken to have her body to be dumped in the woods and appeared to be dead even to the readers for an issue or more.  Mayhem retaliated by murdering Tombstone, suffocating him to death.  
May has also had to deal with the consequences of her enemy Crazy Eight being gunned down while avoiding the attack of another villian, racism, domestic violence, etc.  No these plot points aren't a constant aspect of the series but it's also not afraid to go to some darker and grittier places when the story telling warrents it.   
I think a lot of today's titles use dark and gritty as a crutch to get through some shotty story telling, I agree when a writer can use it seamlessly as an extension of a story it works with it can be great but there is also a place for the story telling that goes on in Spider-Girl which is often great inspite of not using the cheap shock value methods.

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