Comics Spotlight On: Spider-Girl

Geek Culture

Spider-Girl is not a character in regular Marvel continuity. She’s not a male hero. And she’s been canceled twice.

But she keeps coming back. Though no longer in print, she currently has a series of digital adventures, though those are coming to an end soon and her original stories may cease.

Still, May “Mayday “Parker is good at beating the odds.

When my eldest daughter was younger, Spider-Girl was her favorite comic because it was a cool mix of action, high school drama, and a teen dealing with slightly overprotective parents.

The First Appearance of Spider-Girl The First Appearance of Spider-Girl

The First Appearance of Spider-Girl


May Parker is the daughter of Peter Parker, the now-retired Spider-Man, and his wife, Mary Jane Parker. In regular comics continuity, this child was stillborn. In the alternate reality, she grew up to be a teen hero known as Spider-Girl. In many ways, the comic reminds me of the first few seasons of Buffy: the Vampire Slayer. There’s the high school setting and the focus on social issues, along with a strong supporting cast, plus angst as the character seeks to both be a hero and have a normal life. Mayday first takes up her father’s mantle at age fifteen. Over the series, she becomes a more experienced hero and eventually gains acceptance not only from her father but from other Marvel heroes.

What Kids Will Like About It:

Girls interested in Spider-Man may be drawn to the more relatable Mayday, especially pre-teens. The series features a nice mix of action and humor, with the writers getting a lot of mileage as Spider-Girl struggles to juggle being a regular girl and a superhero. My daughter particularly enjoyed a sequence where Mayday has trouble finding a costume that’s not torn to wear for crimefighting. In a way, this series is closer to the early Peter Parker Spider-Man stories because of its emphasis on learning to become a hero.

What Parents Will Like About It:

This is a fun series for Spider-Man and Marvel Universe fans, as it gives readers a glimpse at a cool alternate reality. Peter Parker has a cybernetic leg, which caused him to retire as Spider-Man and has become a police scientist. The next generation of Osbornes is around, as are a set of new Avengers, the villain known as Caine, and Venom. It reminds me of how much fun I used to have reading about the adventures of DC Comics heroes on Earth-2.

Best Panel:

I really like the cover to Spider-Girl’s first appearance. The rest of Spider-Girl’s adventures can be found in the digest form popularized by manga. The series kicks off with Spider-Girl, Volume 1 Legacy. There are twelve volumes of the series available on Amazon, and five volumes of her second series, The Amazing Spider-Girl.

About the Creators:

Spider-Girl was created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz, and her costume was created by Mark Bagley. DeFalco was also the creative force behind four other titles set in the same alternate universe but only the interest in Spider-Girl was enough to sustain a regular series. DeFalco has had a long career in comics and served as Marvel Editor-in-Chief from 1987-1994. Frenz also co-created the young adult superhero team, The New Warriors, for Marvel. His website indicates he accepts commission requests.

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