Spider-Girl #4 Review


Interesting Tidbit That You May Not Yadda Yadda Yadda: Anya Corazon initially started out as Araña (Spanish for “spider”).  Once she began wearing Spider-Woman’s former black suit, she initially resisted being called “Spider-girl” but it was something that just stuck with the crowd.  All this took place in the Young Allies 2010 ongoing.  You know, the one that no one was reading… for shame.

Ahem…

Spider-girl #4
“Hunters & Spiders”
Writer: Paul Tobin
Artists: Matthew Southworth w/Paul Azaceta
Colorists: Chris Sotomayor and Andres Mossa
Letterist: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Jelena Djurdjevic

***WARNING: CONSTRUCTION ZONE, ER, SPOILERS AHEAD***

The Plot: Following the aftermath of The Grim Hunt, Kraven the Hunter and his daughter Ana are having a sparring session.  Ana wants another shot at Spider-man, but Kraven instead entrusts her with the task of taking on Spider-girl.  Meanwhile, Anya continues to bust crooks and try to go on with her life, which now involves rooming with Rocky and socializing with her friends.  Spider-girl goes to a rooftop to find a particular sweater she had stashed away, where she finds Ana waiting for her.  However, Anya picked up on the fact that the young Kravinoff had been stalking her, so she deliberately left that sweater to lure her in.  Now that the hunter is in the spider’s web, the two get ready to battle.

The Good:

Let me start off by saying that I found myself greatly enjoying this issue.  While last issue was all talk and no action, this time we got a good deal of both.  We start off with a look at how Anya’s personal life has changed now that she’s roommates with Rocky.  Now, I have no idea why she thought it’d be a good idea to have a roommate when she has such a big secret, but the concept sure promises to create some tension between the two friends.  We get to see some interaction between Anya and Rocky’s friends and how uncomfortable Anya appears at first around other teens her age (that are not superheroes themselves) before warming up to them.  I hope this isn’t just a one-off appearance for these kids, because I’d love to see Anya in more social situations like this.

We see plenty of Anya as Spider-girl in this issue as well, doing what she does best: protecting the common people from small-time crooks.  These showdowns are over quickly, but they all serve the purpose of providing Ana Kravinoff with a trail to follow.  The parts with Ana following Spider-girl’s trail were really interesting.  Tobin writes her as a smart and eager hunter:  she’s apparently following @The_Spider_Girl (a different type of stalking), allowing her to find the crook she put away, and she seems to blend in with the crowd easily.  Throughout the issue, she always seemed one step right behind her.  I enjoyed these little segments.

But the best part has to be those last three pages.  It was a simple thing: Anya is going to pick up the clothes she left lying around.  Spider-man does it all the time.  But the reveal that Anya was actually setting a trap for Ana was great.  I like seeing Spider-girl like this: bold, confident, ready to take down her opponent (it’s actually pretty amazing how she’s not willing to back down from facing Ana when she was putting the fear of God in Kaine, of all people).  It’s an interesting contrast.  We see shy and aloof Anya on one part and cocky and wise-cracking Spider-girl in another.  Just like Spidey.  It’s all in the costume.

And I kid you not, when Anya revealed her trap (“Ana Kravinoff…You’re in my web”) and echoed the words from Kraven from earlier in the issue, I couldn’t help but smile real big.  I love when the hero has the upper hand all along, and even better is Ana’s expression as she realizes she’s been led on.

Before we move on, let me tell ya: Jelena Djurdjevic draws another amazing cover.  I’m glad she’s continues to be onboard.

The Bad:

Unfortunately, what nearly killed my interest in this issue was the inside art.  Part of it is that I’m now spoiled by Clayton Henry’s excellent drawings, so that’s a bar that’s a little too high.  In the art department we now have two artists, Matthew Southworth and Paul Azaceta, along with two colorists, mainstay Chris Sotomayor and Andres Mossa.  I have not heard about Southworth prior to this, but I’ve definitely heard of Azaceta before (and they weren’t nice things).  I’m not going to try to guess who did what, but there are places where the art looks weird and a little off (Ana, Rocky and Anya look like an old ladies in some panels, and Anya’s skin tone keeps changing throughout the issue), but then we get some great panels (I’m really glad they got the confrontation between Spider-girl and Ana right; it looks awesome).  Personally, I feel the story more than makes up for these inconsistencies, but that there are present cannot be denied.

Once again, we get no interaction between Anya and Spidey in this issue, but this time we don’t even get a cameo.  He’s na

me-dropped, though.  I only list this here in this section for your benefit, as the rating is not dependant on whether Spider-man appears or not.

Also for your benefit: Ana kills Alyosha off-panel.  Like you didn’t already know.

Verdict:

I’ll be honest: I thought revisiting The Grim Hunt was a bad idea before going in, especially since I didn’t even feel like the previous arc got good closure.  The issue kept a steady pace but ramped up my excitement at the very end.  Now I can’t wait for the next issue.  I just hope the art gets better.  It is thus that Spider-girl #4 gets in my opinion:

4 Webheads Out of 5

~My Two Cents

“Do Your Job!” – Spider-man, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (Brian Bradley got all the best quotes, so I’m stuck with this one).