Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review: The Spectacular Spider-Girl: The Last Stand

THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-GIRL: THE LAST STAND (Marvel, 2010; Softcover)
Collects Spectacular Spider-Girl No. 1-4, Spider-Girl: The End and selections from Web of Spider-Man Nos. 5-7 (cover dates April- October, 2010).
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Artists: Ron Frenz and Sal Buscema
Spider-Girl has had more lives than a cat, at least in terms of surviving publication cancellation. Grass roots campaigns to save May “Mayday” Parker from the chopping block were successful many times, but in the end, this is a business, and if a title isn't making money, then the ax falls. I am glad that Marvel at least let Tom and Ron finish up their saga before ruining the good name of Spider-Girl with their completely unrelated character relaunch.
Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz are 'company men' in the strictest sense of the word. They were both weaned on Marvel Comics of the '60s and turned pro in the '80s, soaking up every lesson that Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby had to offer. It's unfortunate that this type of classic superhero storytelling is out of vogue. I can at least revisit my trade paperbacks over and over again. I just wish that Marvel would finish up the run of digests that they had going for the original series.
DeFalco is a master of the ongoing subplot, laying foundations for future events while dealing with the task at hand. It's really fun to watch unfold, and it's what has made me such a huge fan of his and Frenz's work since their run on Amazing Spider-Man in the mid '80s. The amount of goodness that they crammed into the four issue mini-series and The End one shot would take years to unfurl in the decompressed storytelling manner that so many modern day hotshots employ.
Tom DeFalco claims that this is really the end for Spider-Girl this time. I sure hope not, as I have grown quite fond of this "alternate future timeline" MC2 universe.

2 comments:

  1. Is this the graphic novel? Where's the OCD zone? I know it's just a trade, but change is bad for the OCD.

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  2. Graphic novels are comic books originally published in a book format. A book that compiles material previously available as a periodical is a trade paperback. People exchange the terms and it drives me nuts. "Walking Dead is a great graphic novel". No, it is a trade paperback.
    The Spider-Girl book was solicited as a GN-TPB, Marvel's Dark Horse Omnibus size book, smaller than a regular trade, larger than the now seemingly defunct digest format. They changed it to a regular size TPB and jacked up the price by $2.00. No biggie.

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