Spider-Girl, Spider-Girl, it’s the very first issue of Spider-Girl. Spins no webs of any size, is it good? Look inside.

Spider-Girl #1
Writer: Paul Tobin
Artist: Clayton Henry
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Barry Kitson & Chris Sotomayor
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Spider-Girl #1 debuts Anya Sofia Corazon (formerly Araña) with a brand new costume and codename, and starts the young super-heroine off on the right foot. I had little foreknowledge of Anya’s exploits, but thoroughly enjoyed the issue nonetheless. Paul Tobin packs the issue full of action, but allows plenty of time to fully explore Anya’s personality, while setting up an interesting relationship with her father.

Anya is a character that represents a rare opportunity to introduce a new superhero on her own terms. The set-up is similar to the classic depiction of Peter Parker. She feels alienated from her fellow students, struggling to balance super-heroics with school work. Anya is mature, but that leaves her at a loss with her fellow teens. She is brave in the face of danger, cracking wise just like that other arachnid hero. But her differences are more than superficial. Anya’s father is refreshingly aware of her alter-ego, meaning there won’t be any of the tension Peter had with Aunt May with all the prerequisite alter-ego juggling. Her depowered status leaves her mostly tangling with street-level thugs in this issue, but that’s soon about to change. Spider-Girl fits right in the Spider-Man tradition, by showcasing a fun (yet conflicted) character that’s probably relatable to most readers.
Clayton Henry’s art is in the classic Marvel superhero style, and it stands out as a fairly exemplary example thereof. His characters’ faces are expressive, the action is clear and Chris Sotomayor’s colors are appropriately bright. Henry doesn’t skimp on the backgrounds, illustrating a fully-realized world with clean lines without resorting to photorealism. His style isn’t overly showy, but exhibits a high level of competence that would plug in nicely with most superhero books.


The main story is bolstered by a back-up comic that gives some background to Anya and her father’s relationship with the Fantastic Four. It’s funny, it’s sweet, and unlike a lot of back-up strips, it’s meaningful. It emphasizes Anya’s pluck, and explains her familial connections to the Fantastic Four. Tobin scripts this one too, although the art is handled by Dean Haspiel. His cartoony style suits the younger age of the protagonist, and he draws a mean Thing.

The only complaint I have with this book is the much advertised Twitter connection. Writing teenagers is a challenge for most writers who are well out of their adolescence. There’s a tendency to force the teenaged slang, which makes most comic book teens sound like idiots. Look no further than Stan Lee’s dialogue in the original Spider-Man books for hilariously awesome examples of this. Tobin mostly avoids this, but replacing her internal monologue with tweets comes off more as a goofy affectation than genuine. The idea of a superhero pausing mid-fight to bang out 140 characters on their smartphone is a little disturbing. To boot, Anya is only once actually shown whipping out a phone, so it’s not clear when all this twittering is actually happening.


Spider-Girl #1 is a strong debut, setting up the sort of classic heroics that Marvel Comics has been somewhat lacking of late. It harkens back to the original Spider-Man setup without being overly derivative, and provides all the action, emotion and humor readers of all ages could want out of a comic book. It’s just good, clean superhero fun, with organic relationships and relatable characters. It also has some of the best sound effects I’ve seen of late. The full list consists of: 2 beeeeeedeeeeeps, 2 knocks, whattooooom, kraakooooomm, whummppff, whumppff, krakkkk, yannkk, shunnk, krakkk, punktt, whoooooompff, clikkt, , fwuumpppt, ka-chink, thwakkkkt, and a kluumpppp. Spider-Girl #1 has twenty-one tweets, six pigeons, two face punches, two automobile break-ins, one attempted jewel heist, one attempted art theft, one purse-snatching, one car-jacking and one library destruction. Four and a half out of five stars. Check it out.

Rating: ★★★★½

The Author

George Chimples

George Chimples

George Chimples comes from the far future, where comics are outlawed and only outlaws read comics. In an effort to prevent that horrible dystopia from ever coming into being, he has bravely traveled to the past in an attempt to change the future by ensuring that comics are good. Please do not talk to him about grandfather paradoxes. He likes his comics to be witty, trashy fun with slightly less pulp than a freshly squeezed glass of OJ. George’s favorite comic writers are Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison, while his preferred artists are Guy Davis and Chris Bachalo, He loves superheroes, but also enjoys horror, science fiction, and war comics. You can follow him @TheChimples on Twitter for his ramblings regarding comics, Cleveland sports, and nonsense.

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  1. websnap
    November 24, 2010 at 1:17 pm — Reply

    It was a great surprise, totally agree. Really fun read.

  2. Ricco
    November 24, 2010 at 4:13 pm — Reply

    Humm, I’ll check it out, last time I saw her she had lost her carapace and thous her powers in a Ms Marvel issue for no reason.

  3. Smoothesuede
    November 25, 2010 at 11:21 am — Reply

    She’s a recent favorite of mine and I’ve been picking up stuff related to her for a while now, but I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality of this debut. It was my most anticipated purchase that week and so far is my favorite read of the month.

  4. November 27, 2010 at 12:19 am — Reply

    That is AWESOME! A tally of sound effects! Love it!

  5. Crash
    November 27, 2010 at 7:16 pm — Reply

    She’s a great character but I thought the writing was lacking in some parts of this issue. Especially the cheesy “I’m not just a girl. I’m Spider-Girl!” line.

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