Spider-Island: The Amazing Spider-Girl #3
“The Devil You Don’t”
Writer: Paul Tobin
Artists: Pepe Larraz
Colorist: Andres Mossa
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Cover Artists: Ale Garza & Andres Mossa
***WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD***
The Plot: From our last issue, we fast forward to the events depicted in Venom #8 and Amazing Spider-Man #672 (the “Boss Battle”). While the heroes in those stories have their hands full, we see Spider-Girl leading the Hand, fighting the Society of the Wasp forces to stop them from spreading their poison. Madame Web appears before Anya, telling her that she still needs to ally herself with her enemy, which irritates Anya because she thinks she’s already done that when she teamed up with the Kingpin. Making her way toMadisonSquarePark, she joins up with the Hobgoblin and the Kingpin (who at this point has six arms and eyes). Their plan to stop the wasps has been successful, but they now have to face the threat of the giant spiders.
Finally understanding the meaning of Madame Web’s vision, Spider-Girl offers a truce with the Wasp Queen. She accepts, and their combined forces prove to be enough to redirect the spiders toUnion Square(which is where Spider-Man is fighting the Queen—Spider Queen, that is). The Hobgoblin quickly betrays the Wasp Queen and kills her, which angers Spider-Girl and the Kingpin.
In the end,New Yorkis saved, and Anya, along with everyone inManhattan, takes the inoculation Reed Richards created to cure those infected with spider-powers. Kingpin offers Spider-Girl a position in his empire. She acknowledges that he kept his word but refuses. Kingpin believes that Anya might still change her mind and, as thanks for her help, promises to close her file, forgetting her real identity. As she webs away, she’s ready to return to her “normal” life.
The Good: I found this final issue of Spider-Girl to be greatly entertaining. Much like the last two issues, we get frenetic action with very few moments where that action slows down. I definitely appreciate the pacing. I don’t think there is a “lull” anywhere in the issue.
I believe the art helps very much with that. Once again Larraz and Mossa put out a beautifully drawn and colored issue. Everything is vibrant and dynamic, as it should be. In an issue with ninjas, mutant wasps, spiders and humans, and costumed heroes and villains, everything looks great. As I thumb through the pages for this review, I see really great moments where the intensity of the situation shines through in the art.
As for the story, it definitely threw me for a loop. I mentioned last time that Madame Web’s scenes came off as “forced”, moving the plot along for convenience rather than having Anya reach the decision to team up with the Kingpin on her own. As it turns out, the prophesy was really indicating that Anya should team up with the wasps when the giant spiders turned out to be the worse of the two evils (also explaining the title). I definitely was not expecting this turn of events, so congratulations Paul Tobin for the great job there.
The most notable characterization in this issue is that of the Kingpin. I like how Tobin writes Wilson Fisk here. He’s a man of his word and is not afraid to do some of the fighting himself. Throughout this mini-series, he proves to be more honorable than the rest of the heroes, who seem to look down on Anya (as seen in #2). It’s an interesting relationship that the two form over the course of this mini-series that I hope is explored further. Now, it is a little bit weird that the same Kingpin who knows who Spider-Girl is and does nothing is the same guy who came close to ruining both Daredevil and Spider-Man’s lives when he found out their secret identity. I think Fisk wants to shape Anya to be his enforcer much like the Hobgoblin is now, but that’s just speculation on my part.
The last page is a total tease. Apparently, Anya can still swing webs despite taking Reed Richards’ cure. It may be that the source of her powers was not related to Spider-Island at all. Some proof of that is the fact that her powers resurfaced way earlier than anybody else’s, back in Spider-Girl #8. Again, I’m just speculating, and with no more Spider-Girl for the foreseeable future, that’s all we have left.
The sky is back to being blue! Finally!
The Bad: Honestly, the only problem I have with this issue is with some of the dialogue. It’s that kind of expository dialogue where characters explain everything for the sake of the audience. I understand and have even argued before that it comes with comic book territory, but for some reason it was more pronounced here. A little subtlety would’ve gone a long way.
Verdict: Spider-Island: The Amazing Spider-Girl #3 is a good ending to this little side-story. The whole mini is a good example of how tie-ins should be done. I definitely recommend it. 4 Webheads out of 5.
~My Two Cents