And, on a totally unrelated note, I’d like to recommend a new comic coming out today. Sadly, it’s the final appearance of the daughter of Spider-Man, May “Mayday” Parker, in Spider-Girl: The End. With Marvel giving her name to a different character in a couple of months, they’ve signalled – rather strongly – that it’s finally the end for this 13-year old franchise, which has been propelled from the beginning by writer Tom DeFalco and (for most of the issues) artist Ron Frenz.
It’s not only the last appearance of this character and her cast, but likely one less appearance of the classic Marvel style of storytelling, one driven by words and pictures working in tandem, rather than the illustrated dialog so in vogue with most modern comics.
While, surprisingly, Marvel does have a final Spider-girl collection in the works, they have no real incentive to keep these trades in print, given that they’ll immediately have a new and different Spider-Girl to promote. The dubious logic of that move given the “failure” of the Spider-Girl brand is another question, one nicely articulated by Defalco (a former Marvel EIC) himself in this interview: “As a former editor, I think Marvel is committing marketing suicide by switching the name and launching a “new” Spider-Girl series so quickly… If [readers] didn’t order or read Spider-Girl last week, they won’t suddenly order or buy her next–even though it’s a “new” character. I believe Marvel would have been better served if they had waited a year or so before re-naming Arana.”
Supposedly, DeFalco and Frenz have a new gig at Marvel, and I wish them the best with it. (my hope? They’re put to work on Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, where they could keep doing work that they and their fans enjoy, without being shackled to the mainline post-Civil War Marvel Universe) They’re a great team that work really well together and I look forward to seeing what they do next, whether at Marvel or somewhere else.
Spider-Girl: The End should be a fine example of their work together, a classy send-off to a much-loved character and concept, and a darn entertaining comic. Check it out for yourself while you still can!