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When a cover like this one boasts “the only things standing between you and the most synapse-shattering super hero debut of the decade are your hands and this cover” It is a little too enthusiastic, but partially true which is surprising considering there are many things that could turn a reader off right away. Like the fact that May “Mayday” Parker has been abandoned for the already frequently appearing Anya Corazon.
After losing her abilities and fighting against Kraven and his family, Anya has returned and taken on the mantle of Spider-girl.
The story, crafted by Paul Tobin has a great opening and a captivating ending that will make you want to run out and buy the next issue just to see what’s going to happen a panel later. However, Anya is given hand-me-down villains of the Spider-universe. Hopefully, when she receives her own villain they can bring even more of a challenge to Anya.
Her costume is also a small issue. Everyone instantly recognizes the bright colors of May Parker’s costume, and Anya comes along in a black suit that bears a resemblance to Venom. The only good reason I can think of why they did this was because they did not know what to do with the huge amount of hair she has: definitely hard to bundle up under a suit.
The narration may be irritating to people not of the “cyber age.” It was nice to see the comic incorporate modern society by Anya narrating through tweets. But it can get annoying to continually see the spider symbol and her username before every little thing she says. And if all her thoughts are posted online isn’t there a good chance someone will figure out who she is? Maybe that was intentional for a future storyline or it could just be an attempt at bringing a younger generation into the mix.
The lists of the above flaws may seem large, but they are really small and do not hurt the story that is being told, or the message trying to be given: family. Family is an important part of this story. Anya’s relationship with her father is one of the best things in this issue. His relationship with the Fantastic Four is also a very interesting side-story, and a great excuse to see the Fantastic Four often in the comic. Bring in the big guns and the people will follow. Hopefully, people coming to read about the Thing, Reed Richards, Johnny and Sue Storm, will become fans of Anya as well.
The facial expressions drawn by Clayton Henry are done so well that I could not stop looking at the simplest of expressions – his backgrounds are also big and breathtaking, though I would like to see more page-full panels of art to really show what Henry is capable of. It could be a lot more than we’re seeing now.
And the art completely changes with the time for the second foreshadowing story. It is a great change that fits the quickly changing mood of death-defying danger to a nice family moment that I enjoyed more than the action scenes, which were pretty frequent even though it was a first issue.
There are so many reasons why this comic book should be terrible: Anya Corazon is replacing the ever beloved Spider-girl May “Mayday” Parker with no web-slinging powers and a black suit, and she twitters her adventures! Somehow, despite all of this, the first issue of Spider-girl is a great issue that hopefully is making way for a run that may – or may not – last a good long time.
Story – 8.5
Art – 8.0
Characters – 9.0
Overall – 8.5