Sunday, July 7, 2024

Spider-Girl Modern Era Epic Collection - Legacy

Spider-Girl Modern Era Epic Collection: LegacySpider-Girl Modern Era Epic Collection: Legacy by Tom DeFalco
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Spider-Girl Modern Era Epic Collection collects What If #105, Spider-Girl #1-15, 1/2, and Annual 1.

I wasn't reading many comics when this was originally published around the turn of the century but it had a reputation as a good book. Born out of the Clone Saga, the What If issue by DeFalco and Frenz imagines a world where Peter and Mary Jane's daughter lived and became a super hero. The issue sold like Aunt May's wheatcakes so the MC-2 line was born, spearheaded by Spider-Girl.

Tom DeFalco, Pat Oliffe, and Al Williamson are the creative team on the regular series and put out a consistently very good super hero book. Williamson had to be 70 at this point but was still delivering the goods on inks. It's really cool that Pat Oliffe drew two of the best Spidey books of the later 1990s, this one and Untold Tales of Spider-Man. Anyway, the setup is pretty good. May inherits her father's super powers and hides them from her parents. Peter is missing a leg and the Green Goblin is dead following their last confrontation. Mary Jane is a housewife unless I missed something. May is more outgoing than her father and is on the basketball team.

The stories themselves are well crafted but standard monthly super hero stories. May juggles high school life with being a super hero. I think one of the reasons this really works for me is that it's an almost zero baggage approach to Spider-Man but also a tribute to the legacy of the character. There are nods to Spider-Man's vast continuity but the book isn't mired in them. DeFalco also leaves some mysteries on the table, like what is Darkdevil's deal and why has Kaine resurfaced?

The book is extremely accessible since the reader gets in on the ground floor. The MC-2 universe is slowly unfurled, with Franklin Richards in the Fantastic Five, a teenage Juggernaut being a member of the Avengers, and Jubilee leading the X-People. I'm hoping the rest of the MC-2 stuff is eventually collected.

This title was a breath of fresh air to Spidey fans when it was published and the lighter tone will probably appeal to Webheads today. I'm in for the duration. Four out of five stars.

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