STORY: Paul Tobin (Spider-Girl) and Kelly Sue Deconnick (Osborn). Back-up OSBORN story by Warren Ellis.

ART: Clayton Henry (Spider-Girl), Emma Rios (Osborn).

REVIEW: Master Filmmaker Mark Mackner

Hola, Arachno-philes! ‘Tis I, Poptards’ resident Spider-Man scholar and local indie horror icon MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER with a very special installment of SPIDEY’S WEEKLY WEB-UP.

This week saw the debut of 2 new titles being released under the ASM “BIG TIME” banner. As sister series to ASM (My favorite comic), I felt I should pick up these new books, and see how they tie into what’s happening in ASM. Plus, I happen to love the new SPIDER-GIRL and NORMAN OSBORN, so even if they were totally independent of ASM, I’d have been curious, any way.

We’ll start with SPIDER-GIRL. The first issue deals with our hero ANYA CORAZON moving into a new place with her ace reporter father. She attends Milton Summers High School, where she obviously has a hrd time connecting with the other students, who are more concerned with iPhones, Jersey Shore, and parties than with super-heroics. Dad (Who is good friends with the FANTASTIC FOUR, who grant him exclusive interviews) arranges for Anya to have dinner with SUE RICHARDS, whom she clearly idolizes.

What I like about this book is that, having Spider-Girl as a teenager in high school sets the stage for lots of fun ASM Silver Age-esque stuff, like when Peter was in high school. It also brings to mind BUFFY, which was never more fun as when the characters were still in those painfully awkward years. Also, SG’s true identity is still a secret. Her Dad knows, but he hasn’t told anyone, not even Sue or the rest of the FF. A teenage super-hero with a secret identity is a classic set-up, rife with possibilities.

Another thing that’s interesting is that SG doesn’t possess any real super-powers. She used to, but she’s lost them. Now she just relies on the fact that she’s had combat training from “some of the best fighters in the world (not to mention a few Avengers, to boot)”, some nifty web-shooters, and her naturally plucky personality to save the day. And she also has the Parker wit, which is really important. Tobin is a gifted writer, and gives her a charmingly comedic voice. And her relationship with her father is genuinely endearing.

I really like her costume, and the art is really terrific. I never heard of CLAYTON HENRY before, but the guy brings the goods. I prefer the art here to HUMBERTO RAMOS’ over on ASM. There’s a hint of STEVE DILLON and JOHN CASSADY in what Henry’s doing, but he’s got a style all his own that I definitely admire.

The Twitter voiceovers and instant messaging text between her and her Dad are fun, too, and lend a certain youthfulness to the storytelling. Oh, and another funny thing worth mentioning… a couple weeks ago, Marvel asked on their FB page, “What villain do you most want to see Spider-Girl go up against?”, and I replied SCREWBALL. And who’s the very 1st villain SG encounters in her very 1st issue? SCREWBALL. Great minds really DO think alike sometimes.

All of it totally works as a first issue. You can open this up with zero research or experience with the character and easily follow what’s going on. I will say that I DO miss the days of self-contained first issues that tell solid stories in one book. This one ends with a cliffhanger, and that’s fine, but sometimes I like a first issue like the original TMNT series. That is such a PERFECT first issue. It’s so COMPLETE. You have the origin, they establish the characters, and they exact vengeance on the arch villain, all in one book! Still, all in all, SG has more than enough going for it to warrant picking up further issues.


ART: A+.

COVER: A++. The WARNING on the cover is superb. “The only things standing between YOU and the most SYNAPSE-SHATTERING SUPER HERO DEBUT of the decade are your HANDS and this COVER!” Sounds like something I’D come up with.

Now, let’s take a look at the other BIG TIME release this week…

OSBORN. This is a 5-issue mini about Spidey’s #1 nemesis Norman OSBORN, THE GREEN GOBLIN. So, what’s going on with Norman, post-SIEGE?

Well, you’d be surprised what ISN’T going on with him. For starters, would you be surprised to hear that he still hasn’t officially been charged with anything yet? Hmm… that’s odd. And that there’s a movement to get him transferred out of THE RAFT?

There’s an increasingly large number of folks walking around these days sporting Green Goblin tattoos, and these people will seemingly do anything for Norman. Like getting him sent to another super-villain holding facility that will enable him to communicate with no less than four super-powered criminals. Hmmm… certainly no good will come from this.

The story is intriguing, and the introduction of Norman’s new roommates is well-executed. And one villain in particular, JUNE COVINGTON aka THE TOXIC DOXIE gets her own back-up story by WARREN ELLIS. THAT story is great, an ace origin by Mr. Ellis. Darkly comedic, insightful character study. Plus, she’s pretty hot, so that always helps. And anything with a character called THE TOXIC DOXIE automatically gets my vote. More of this character, please.

And then there’s XIRDAL, a captured member of a “Reptilian alien race”. It’s worth noting here that MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER is fast becoming accepted by Reptilians, and will someday soon become something of a celebrity in that unique social circle. Reptilians are now tagging me in FB photos and asking for my opinion on everything from politics to Babylonian gods. No, I’m not losing my mind, this is what my life is actually like. HAIL REPTILES!!!!!

Ahem. So, as I was saying…

STORY: A. Pretty interesting stuff happening here. I cant wait for Norman to break out and give us another Spidey/Goblin faceoff. Or, now that the original HOBGOBLIN is back on the scene, what I wouldn’t give for another fight between those two!

ART: B. Emma Rios did some work on the recent LIZARD epic SHED. Her work is seemingly anime-influenced, and is growing on me the more I see it.

And THAT is THE WORD, so sayeth THE MASTER!!!!

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(MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER is the resident Poptards Spider-Man nut, and the author of SPIDEY’S WEEKLY WEB-UP right here on this site! Also, true to his name, he is the writer/director of the locally made films DAISY DERKINS, DOGSITTER OF THE DAMNED!, EVIL BREW, and THE HALF-LIFE HORROR FROM HELL or: IRRADIATED SATAN ROCKS THE WORLD!)

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  1. jaydee says:

    i agree with you on Spider-Girl, as per MY review! :) but I was less than impressed with the story/art for Osborn…I was really hoping for a little bit MORE. I found it more then a little forgetab…what was we talking about?

  2. Mark Mackner says:

    I’ll check out your SG review, but yeah, I’ll be adding it to the pull list. As for OSBORN, didn’t you at least like the back-up story? I thought it was a lot of fun. How can you resist THE TOXIC DOXIE????

  3. JayDee says:

    yeah i was kind of MEH. for as much as I liked reading about him during the Dark Reign stuff, I was surprised at how little I cared about this first issue. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still check out the next issue..and I LOVE the idea that he’s started a cult, it’s the perfect next step, I think!!

    PS did you read the new ASM? Awesome!!!
    I’m loving BIG TIME so far…can’t wait to read your review…
    I’ll be reviewing it meself!

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