March 2, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #277: Spider-Girl

Spider-Man and Mary Jane had a daughter in one timeline.

I covered a popular younger hero who seems to have largely vanished last week, so why not do so again, this time with a Marvel character?  Heck, Jimmy probably knows more about this one than I do, but he doesn’t write this weekly feature, does he?

Anyway, here’s Mayday Parker, the Amazing Spider-Girl.

The basic idea behind Spider-Girl, originated in an issue of Marvel’s What If? series, was a second generation of Marvel heroes.  First appearing in February of 1998 from longtime collaborators Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz, while the Ultimate Universe was designed to be more “modern” and edgy compared to Marvel’s original continuity, this continuity, eventually known as MC, was more of a throwback to an earlier style of comic books.

The single issue was popular enough for Marvel to greenlight a whole line of books, most notably one for Spider-Girl.  DeFalco stayed on as writer, and the book chronicled the adventures of May “Mayday” Parker.  Mayday was, obviously, the daughter of Peter and Mary-Jane Parker.  She had inherited her father’s powers, possibly with greater agility.  Peter, missing a leg after a final battle with the Green Goblin (obviously), didn’t want his daughter to do the hero thing at first, but there wouldn’t be much of a series if she did that.  So, she went out as the one and only Spider-Girl in what appears to be a fairly lighthearted series that the fans genuinely enjoyed.  The series ran for 100 issues, and while Marvel had plans to kill off the line and Spider-Girl with it, outrage from both DeFalco and the fanbase kept her alive.

Since then, there have been multiple attempts to give Mayday her own series again, but few of them seem to last very long.  Like Static from last week, she seems to have a devoted fan base, but not enough to keep a solo series running.  Considering what DeFalco and his collaborators had been able to create a rather impressive universe with next generation heroes and villains centered around a likeable heroine, that’s no mean feat.

And that’s not to say Mayday went ;poof.  She pops up for all the big Spiderverse crossovers, and even gets the occasional team-up book with other Spider-Girls.

Apparently, there’s more than one.

Now, personally, though I never read much of any of Mayday Parker’s adventures, there’s a part of me that’s glad to see characters like her take off.  She’s a throwback to an earlier time that, well, actually worked, and I tend to have a soft spot for those sorts of characters.  I think it’s fair to say many of the characters I choose tor this feature, in my mind at least, tend to be those sorts of characters, going back to perhaps the third entry.  Heroes don’t need to be complex and moody.  They just have to be fun, and it looks like Spider-Girl accomplished that much.

Besides, given what’s happened with Spider-Man and Mary-Jane, though, I have to say it is nice to see a future where no one made a deal with the devil because the higher-ups at Marvel didn’t care for a marriage or a divorce.

So, there’s always also that.