Hello there!  This is Aaron Romero, Jr., aka Two-Bit Specialist, aka SuperChencho, aka your official reviewer of the new Spider-girl ongoing series!

Much like our favorite wall-crawler, I feel like I finally hit the big time with this opportunity, for which I’m very thankful to BD.  So even if y’all hate the character of Anya Corazon with a passion, it would mean a lot to me to hear your thoughts on the review itself.

A Little Tidbit that You May Not Care About But Is Here For You Anyway: Some jerk impersonating someone from another reviews site left me a comment on my blog about wanting me to do a review for Spider-girl #1, which I did… then I found out I was duped (the e-mail looked convincing enough for me).  Not wanting it to go to waste, I decided to post it on the boards here at the Crawlspace.  Then the note was published about the site wanting reviewers, so I turned in the review that you are about to see (so who’s laughing now, British anonymous?):

Spider-Girl #1
“Family Values”

Writer: Paul Tobin
Artist: Clayton Henry
Colorist: Christ Sotomayor
Cover Art: Barry Kitson & Chris Sotomayor
Variant Cover: Michael Del Mundo

“Four Shadowing” back-up
Writer: Paul Tobin
Artist: Dean Haspiel
Colorist: Edgar Delgado

The Plot: We’re introduced to Anya Corazon’s current status quo: Anya is now fighting crime as Spider-girl. She and her dad, Gil, have finished moving in to a new neighborhood.  While Gil, who is a high-profile journalist, is off doing research for a story, Anya goes out to dinner with Sue Richards, who is a friend of the family.  Soon Sue gets an emergency call and leaves, leaving Anya to suit up and fight petty criminals.  Soon she finds out that the emergency the Fantastic Four is dealing with is coming from the library where her dad is researching, and she goes to investigate.  Upon arriving, she sees her dad unconscious and the FF at the mercy of the Red Hulk.  To be continued.

In the back-up, we’re taken back to when Anya was a child and meets the FF for the first time.

The Good: I decided early on not to let myself get dragged into the whole “Araña doesn’t deserve to be called Spider-girl” debacle and give this title a try based on the strength of its creative team.  And I’m glad I did.  As I said before, issue one introduces the character to new readers who might not have been familiar with the Araña character (such as myself).  Granted, the recap page tries its best to simplify the convoluted story that the character already brings to the table, but basically, Anya once had Spider-like powers, then lost them.  She still has her combat training, and as of the events in The Grim Hunt arc of ASM, she is now Spider-girl.

There’s lots of action in this book, from the opening sequence with Spider-girl battling BND-reject Screwball, to her stopping small time crooks while disaster occurs.  We also get some good characterization moments as Anya talks to her dad and later Sue Richards, as she texts her dad, and as she tweets.  Instead of narration boxes, we get tweets from @The_Spider_Girl .  We see that Anya, while a superhero, goes through typical teenage insecurities, such as her inability to make friends.  The dialogue from Anya and Gil is fun to read, but am I the only one who thinks Sue comes off as way too serious?

Once again, I have to commend Clayton Henry and Chris Sotomayor for the great art in this issue.  It’s very dynamic and practically jumps off the pages.  The facial expressions are all spot-on, even those when Anya is costume.  In fact, my favorite panels must be the ones where she gets ready to punch Screwball in the face.

Although I’m not a fan of the Red Hulk, it’s clear Tobin is having Anya face him as a way to “establish” her as a respectable heroine, by having her rescue big time heroes such as the FF from a force that is clearly out of her league.

The back-up is cute, and it’s meant to retroactively set up the fact that Gil Corazon has been a close friend of the Fantastic Four for years.  It does its job to establish the friendship between Gil and Sue and between Anya and the Thing.

There was a comment in the back-up of ASM #648 where Anya tweets that she’s not Spider-man’s daughter/sister/evil twin.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d say it’s a little jab at the MC2 universe.  Thankfully, this issue avoided doing any more things like that, so that’s a plus.

The Bad: First of all… the Red Hulk.  I liken the Red Hulk to the Hobgoblin in that both were secret-identity mysteries that ran too long past their welcome, but unlike the Hobgoblin, who is a fun character, Rulk’s only redeeming factor is that he’s Thunderbolt Ross, and that’s it.  Also, I read Hulk #24 (where Rulk is sent to a maximum security base).  Unless something happened that I’m not aware of, why is Rulk loose rampaging through the Marvel U again (he’s also seen in Avengers #7 this week)?  I hope that gets explained in a future issue [which it did, in Avengers #8, but at the time the issue came out this was not clear to me].

Back to Sue Richards, I felt that her lines were kinda stilted.  I see that here and in the back-up.  Quite honestly, I hesitate to list that as a negative because I don’t follow Fantastic Four either so I have no clue how she’s supposed to sound like.  She’s a little emotion-less, to be honest, but if that’s part of her character, hey, more power to her.

The back-up, like I said, is charming, but I didn’t like the way Dean Haspiel draws the Thing.  Speaking of the Thing, I actually liked his interaction with Anya better than I did Sue’s.

I should emphasize that these things are really minor, in my opinion.  I had to look really hard to find some negatives here.

Verdict: Spider-girl #1 was a terrific first issue, and it left me eagerly awaiting the next.  The hiccups I listed here are really minor and, and unless you are nitpicker, you’ll greatly enjoy this issue.  Thus, I give this issue:

5 webheads out of 5

NOTE:  My scanner was giving me problems all day, so I will update with some scans tomorrow.

~My Two Cents

7 Responses to “Spider-Girl #1 Review”

  1. #1 Nathaniel Collins says:

    Whomever the guy who tricked you was, laughs on him. :)

    Great review Aaron, everything you listed here I actually said in my review when I sent in my piece to Brad to become a reviewer on the site… except I was more harsh where I had mixed feelings between a 3.5 or a 4 out of 5.

  2. #2 fantasyfreak says:

    Good review! :) Though I have a question. Didn´t they comment on how her costume is extremely like the second Spider-Womans(forgot her name)? Cause I think that would be way more obvious of an observation, than the Spider-Man comparison. Or has everybody in the MU forgotten about that character(can´t really remember where I saw that woman last)? Not saying this as a jab at the issue, just thought they would have that in there.

  3. #3 joshoncomics says:

    Good review, I agreed with a lot of what you said. Sadly I didn’t enjoy #2 as much but Spider-Girl still looks like it will be a fun series. Congratulations on getting the position!

  4. #4 butters911 says:

    Spider Girl one is the review I sent in too! I gave the issue a 4 and liked it a lot too. She sure could use some powers or something though

  5. #5 Brian Bradley says:

    The interaction with the fantastic four is an interesting parallel to Spidey’s own beginnings. I can’t stand Twitter but it sounds like they’re at least referencing it in a creative way to tell the story and develop the character though.

  6. #6 Two-Bit Specialist says:

    @fantasyfreak – I wasn’t reading ASM then, but, if I’m not mistaken, during the events of the Grim Hunt, Madame Web, Mattie Franklin, Anya, and Julia Carpenter (the second Spider-woman) get captured by the Kravinoffs. Mattie dies, and Webb passes on her powers to Julia before passing on as well.

    So Julia is the new Madame Web, and she gives her costume to Anya, thus the similarities.

    But you bring up an interesting point. I’ve just made my peace that the general population of the Marvel U is not very bright to begin with, so they don’t seem to remember that there was another super heroine with the same suit once upon a time.

  7. #7 Mark says:

    I didn’t get a chance to read it and while I liked the May Day Parker Spider-Girl, I don’t see any real conflict since May Day is in the future and can still be used regardless of what they are doing here. Plus, Paul Tobin is a solid writer. He’s been on the Marvel Adventures Spider-Man book my son gets and while it is aimed for kids, it was a much better read than ASM the past few years.