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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

It's Dangerous Being Spider-Girl

...Not because of the villains, necessarily, but because your publisher is always trying to kill you.

For something like the eighth time, Marvel Comics is about to put the kibosh on Peter Parker's daughter, claiming the 100th issue will be her last. This is a book that I have reviewed for Suspended Animation in the past, and feel that it is something worth saving. I'm posting the review below, and you can read of it's merits, there. As to why I think it should be saved, quite simply, this is a book that I believe could be used to bring new young readers into comics. And, any time that is done, kids learn to enjoy reading. If there's a better reason, no one has told me, yet.

Let me also bring your attention to a site called Save Spider-Girl. You'll find lots of great information here to bring you up on the character and it's history, as well as the media blitz that's been involved with the book. Then, there's this Cinescape interview with Marcus Sarzalejo, one of the creators/designers of the site. Very enlightening.

So, there you have it. My comics-related good deed for the day. Though, it's not a totally unselfish act. Did I mention how I love this book?

I hope you enjoy the review.

One of my favorite comics, and the only Marvel publication that I read on a regular basis, doesn't even take place in Marvel continuity. For non-, or new comic readers, let me explain.

For years, Marvel published a title called What If, where pivotal Marvel events and characters were changed, and/or taken in different directions; the result was entertaining looks at what might have been, without changing what had already occurred.
A few years ago, something unusual happened; a "What If" story about Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and his wife, Mary Jane having a baby, who grows into a web-slinging teen super hero, elicited such positive fan response that the character was given her own comic. Now, having logged over 70 issues, and being saved by readers from several different attempts at cancellation, Spider-Girl, if not one of Marvel's most popular titles, can certainly boast the most loyal following. And for good reason.

Spider-Girl is written by long-time Marvel fixture, Tom DeFalco. Through sheer imagination, and intense love for the character, DeFalco has woven a tapestry of entertaining characters, with believable motivations, actions, and reactions. In the great Marvel tradition, the character of Spider-Girl is built around her alter-ego, May Parker, instead of vice-versa. And, much like the Spider-man books, her villains are often equally interesting.

The series' art thus far has been handled by pencilers Pat Olliffe and Ron Frenz, whose styles are so similar, that making the transition between the two is almost "silky" smooth. Both are action-oriented artists, which is exactly what any Spider-Man-related title needs. Yet, the artists are also adept at subdued scenes. Spider-Girl has also seen the inking talents of long-time comic artists Al Williamson and Sal Buscema, legends, both.

Perhaps the most important thing about Spider-Girl is that, quite simply, it's a lot of fun. Something many comics are missing, these days.

Spider-Girl is recommended for everyone, so let your children, as well as your inner child, read it.

Spider-Girl, published by Marvel Comics, 32 pages, $2.99.