By Avi Weinryb
July 18, 2008 - 06:17
The Spider saga continues to pick up pace as May must contend with a fellow student who has fallen in with a bad crowd. Sara Hingle is a mutant, and in struggling with her biological differences, she is targeted and indoctrinated into a hate group which preys on her vulnerability. Now her incredible powers are matched with a costume and a group of mutants seeking to cause trouble.
Sara Hingle’s transformation is a little too easy, and her character is ridiculously one-dimensional. This can be forgiven (somewhat) because the goal of the writers is to create an internal crisis for May, which they accomplish successfully. A juicier sub-plot involves Peter Parker. The retired Spider-Man is led into a secret lab by Normie Osborn, the grandson of the original Green Goblin. Normie is a family friend of the Parkers, and he has made a horrible discovery. There exists a clone of May Parker, which may in fact be the original. This would mean that May is the clone! The fury Peter experiences, and his interaction with Normie is well scripted and reveals the bitter history between the Parker and Osborn families. The Spider-Girl series all too often feels like it exists within its own corner of the Marvel Universe, so it is nice to see the current continuity so tightly tied into this series which takes place in an extremely possible future.
The artwork is not very exceptional, but it does the job. I’ve grown accustomed to the look of the series – with its thick inks and not very vibrant color palette. Characters always seem to have very angular jaws with overly defined cheekbones. It’s a little jarring at first, but I have gotten used to the penciller’s collective style.
While the idea of a renewed clone saga seems like a recycled example of editorial stupidity, I think the writers are making it work. The very idea of Norman Osborn having his final revenge by crafting a secret clone of Peter’s daughter seems so deliciously devious. Spider-Fans will want to take a look at this book. It has something interesting to offer, and it is quickly moving in an exciting direction.