Introduction to Spider-Girl (with Kraven!)

I want to talk about Spider-Girl.  The second one.  The first Spider-Girl, Mayday Parker, was the alternative-world daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson.  She’s not around anymore.

No, I want to talk about Anya Corazon, a fifteen year-old girl gifted with spider powers by The Spider Society, and by spider powers I mean a creepy blue exoskeleton:

She premiered in Amazing Fantasy #1-6, volume 2, written by Fiona Avery and drawn by Mark Brooks. Using her “armor,” she could lift like three tons and became a little bulletproof.  Nothing terribly special but still useful, until she became Ms. Marvel’s sidekick in her ongoing series and the supervillain Doomsday Man ripped out her exoskeleton.  Now, with a fancy new costume, a change in name (formerly Araña, now Spider-Girl), she continues her quest to fight crime in New York City.  Only problem?  She no longer has any powers.

Marvel gave her a solo series in 2011 called Spider-Girl, written by Paul Tobin and drawn by a bunch of talented artists that was sadly canceled after only eight issues.  It’s too bad, because I really enjoyed it.  From the beginning, Anya struggled with the emotional and irrational decisions that inhabit every young teenage girl.  Like this, for instance:

If you hadn’t yet realized, Spider-Girl, with all the strength of a normal sixteen year-old, just punched a Hulk, who shrugs off getting whacked with buildings.  Terrible strategy.  As the series closed and she regained her lost spider powers (now almost exactly like what Spider-Man possesses), she showed a likability and cunning that I hope writers realize and continue to use.  From stupid jokes:

To total butt-kicking:

I miss this series.  But today, we’re going to focus on Spider-Girl #5.  In the two part article I wrote about the Spider-Man arc Grim Hunt, here and here, the supervillain Kravinoff family kidnapped all the Spider people and killed/tortured/fought them.  Including Anya.  We fast forward a year or so and it’s time for round two.  Well, a mini version anyway.  Ana Kravinoff, Kraven the Hunter’s daughter, has an unfulfilled beef with Spider-Girl.  Time to pay up.

At this point, Spider-Girl still has no powers.  Neither does Ana Kravinoff, to be fair, but she did have that whole trained-to-be-a-killer-since-birth thing that defines so many supervillains.  She’s certainly a better fighter than Spider-Girl.

As with all battles in the urban jungle, the brawl leads them all over the city.  And like the other members of the spider family, Anya realizes she has to use her brain, not her brawn, to win the fight.

I like how her thought bubbles are tweets.  Digital age and all that.  In a city inhabited by a bijillion superheroes, all Spider-Girl has to do is figure out what direction to go and Ana doesn’t stand a chance. Like the Fantastic Four, for instance.

By the way, the “jungle pimp” line deserves far more respect than given.  I’ve never thought about it before, but that’s exactly what he looks like:

Spider-Man has the totally wackiest rogues gallery.  Anyway, if super genius skyscraper defenses don’t work, Spider-Girl will just have to use obstacles the feral supervillain isn’t familiar with, like most of the stuff in a city.

Poor Ana.  The problem with only hunting animals instead of people is that animals are dumb.  Plus, to be a superhero, resourcefulness and ingenuity contain the key elements for surviving more than a few issues.

With the bruised Kravinoff distraction out of the picture, Spider-Girl can now get back to solving the city-wide conspiracy and defeating the shadowy organization that killed her father and is threatening the lives of millions of citizens.  Y’know, the important stuff.

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