Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Because you demanded it! The wildest (and cutest) web-slinger of all!"
Cover blurb, Spider-Girl #1

What if Peter Parker and Mary Jane's baby had survived The Clone Saga? In an Alternate Timeline, the baby was rescued and returned to Mary Jane and Peter alive and well, shortly after Peter Parker retired as Spider-Man when he lost one of his legs in a fight which killed the Green Goblin. The baby grew up to become May Parker--Mayday to her friends (and to help us differentiate between her and her namesake Great Aunt). The character was introduced in What If vol. 2 #105 (February, 1998), created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz. Her costume was created by Mark Bagley.

At fifteen, May is a popular, pretty, athletic girl. She's inherited many things from her parents, like her mother's social ease, her father's smarts....and, whoops, his Spider-powers. They manifest quite suddenly during a school basketball game, where - luckily - her parents are the only ones in the crowd who realise what's going on. She's at most about half as strong as her Dad, but much more agile, and her Spider Sense is apparently better. In an interesting twist on wall crawling, May can also stick other people to walls, or repel them with equal ease.

Needless to say, her parents have mixed reactions to all this. Nevertheless, May finds Ben Reilly's old Scarlet Spider costume in the attic and decides to put it on after a new Green Goblin appears (Normie Osborn, (grand)son of the originals) to menace her father, who isn't in fighting shape. Unable to secure help from other heroes, Peter reluctantly authorises May's one-time-only appearance as Spider-Girl. Of course, she ends up enjoying the experience so much (and has had the "With great power, comes great responsibility" meme drilled into her so thoroughly) that she feels compelled to become Spider-Girl on a more permanent basis.

This series sometimes plays with the I Just Want to Be Normal trope in the way Spider-Man does, but to a lesser degree. May genuinely wants to be a superhero but angsts when it brings her into conflict with her parents, or when she messes up, or when she feels she isn't as good as she'd like to be. There are also times when she gives it up, or loses her powers temporarily... but still misses the thrill of superheroics, and lets her sense of responsibility push her back to them.

Was Marvel's longest-running comic starring a solo heroine through 102 issues (including #0 and the annual) of Spider-Girl, a relaunch/renumbering as Amazing Spider-Girl, and a further 31 issues (they just love their #0 issues in MC2!) before final cancellation. She-Hulk might have reached #100 first, but Spider-Girl did so without ever being cancelled. Currently running as a digital comic that goes to print after a couple months' delay in the anthology title Web of Spider-Man. A recent announcement was revealed that it would be getting a new, proper monthly series again, until it was later switched into a mini series and a The End one shot to wrap up the series and presumably the MarvelComics2[1].

If you're looking for the Earth 616 Spider-Girl (Anya Corazon), search her in the Spider-Man Character Page. If you're interested in The Verse, check Marvel Comics 2.

Tropes used in Spider-Girl include:

Felicity: I don't want to use a name with the word Kitten or pus --

Spider-Girl: Enough!


Elektra: You move like him, stand like him, sound like him, fight like him.

  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Lots of 'em, but most notably Normie and Raptor.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight
  • Ill Boy: Gerry Drew. Darkdevil used to be one.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: May and Phil Urich
  • Jerkass: April Parker, a relatively rare female version.
  • Jerk Jock: Moose, at least before Character Development turned him into a Boisterous Bruiser. Now Gene May's manipulative (ex, finally) boyfriend is taking up this role.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: The final story arc involves May travelling into both her own mind and that of her father.
    • The original series did this twice: Once in Darkdevil's mind and, in the last issue of Spider-Girl, Normie does through the symbiote to snap May out of a near-death Heroic BSOD.
  • Knight of Cerebus: He doesn't completely distort the book, but things get a lot grimmer when the Hobgoblin is on the scene.
  • Lamarck Was Right: At least it isn't unreasonable to believe Peter's DNA could have been altered by that spider bite.
  • Last Guy Wins: Wes.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Mary Jane remarks that Peter quitting as Spider-Man was "almost like an annual event".
  • Left Hanging: We never did find out why the Kingpin wanted Peter Parker dead.
  • Legacy Character: Mayday, and most of the other heroes, as well as a villain or two.
  • Les Yay: Felicity Hardy really, really, REALLY wants to be May's "partner".
  • Let's You and Him Fight... avoided most of the time. Lampshaded all the time.
  • Like Brother and Sister: May and Normie, though they sure took their time getting there.
  • Lighter and Softer: Generally, though some of the 'verse backstory has pretty dark spots.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Being electrocuted when she's fighting Killerwatt causes May to lose her powers. Being accidentally zapped by the Costume Copycat who steals her dad's costumed identity causes May to regain her powers.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Lost in Imitation
  • Lotus Eater Machine: This is Misery's gimmick. Notable attempts include making May believe her parents were killed by the Green Goblin and that she was turning into everything from a turtle to a giant spider.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Darkdevil, aka Reilly Tyne, Ben Reilly's son.
  • Mama Bear: Oh, just guess.
    • Angel Face is an inverted, evil version. When one of her sons dies, she goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge with his brother. Except they end up taking out their anger out on everyone else who had a part in his death, instead of on the killer.
  • Meganekko: Courtney Duran.
  • Mental World: We've seen May's, Peter's, and Darkdevil's. Normie's too, sort of, in a dream sequence.
  • Monochrome Casting: Subverted. Mayday's group of friends is pretty diverse without getting Five-Token Band about it. There's also a lot of diversity amongst random mooks and civilians.
  • More Than Mind Control: April, maybe. She claims she only tried to kill May because Fury was going to kill her, but...
  • Most Common Superpower: Averted with May. Though Jimmy and Wes's indie Spider-Girl comic gives her this, as well as long blonde visible hair and the backstory of being an alien princess from the planet Spider.
    • And she thinks Stripperiffic outfits would leave her vulnerable. (Plus, her dad would freak!)
      • That still doesn't stop her from wearing a very form-fitting costume.
        • Though it's as much for practical reasons as anything else. Hard to do aerial gymnastics in loose baggy clothing.
  • Mutants: Averted and subverted. May's status as a mutant is rarely acknowledged. And her friend Nancy, who has powers, wants to be a doctor instead of a superhero. Unfortunately, Davida accidentally outs her out of jealously and Brad arranges a mob to go after her, forcing Nancy to join the X-People. Then in Amazing, there is Sara, whose father couldn't accept a mutant child. Now, she's been manipulated by Magneta and possibly killed by her own powers.
  • Muscle Angst: In Amazing Spider-Girl 15 a villain Mindworm tricks May into believing she's future version of Black Tarentula. She gets grossed out when she sees her new costume and extremely muscular physique in a mirror.
  • Mysterious Protector: Darkdevil, who subversively ridicules and mocks the heroine. Or maybe it's not so subversive, since he's really her aloof big bro- er, cousin.
    • Kaine becomes a standard one of these after his Heel Face Turn. Reilly, his previous protectoree, probably picked it up from him.
  • Nineties Anti-Hero: April.
  • No Bisexuals: Avoided. The Black Cat is shown living with a long-time lover she met after divorcing Flash Thompson. Before her outing in 616!
  • Not So Harmless: Fury the Goblin Queen. Definitely creepy but May deals with her easily... the first time. Then, she forces Normie to bond with Venom, helps Norman Osborn take over Peter's body and goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against her former allies. While messing with April for the heck of it. Oh, and she's learned May's real identity.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Agent Arthur Weadon.
  • Official Couple: Courtney and Moose, Jimmy and Heather, Normie and Brenda... and of course, Peter and MJ.
  • Older and Wiser: Peter Parker, of all people. Badass, has a beard, a bionic leg and a stick he uses to beat people up. Like Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond, but not as old.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Inverted. Almost all of May's rogues gallery is older than her.
  • Older Sidekick: Phil Urich, aka The Green Goblin.
  • Old Superhero
  • Omake: The one-page stories about Baby Ben in Amazing, with art by Colleen Coover.
  • Only Barely Renewed
  • Overnight Age-Up: Darkdevil
  • Overprotective Dad: Peter Parker, again. It's a lot easier to sympathize with him, since he's less concerned about May's boyfriends than the risk of her getting killed while fighting supervillains. A more traditional application of this trope applies when he very bluntly informs Franklin Richards that May is only fifteen years old.
  • Parental Abandonment: Not for the heroine, but amongst the supporting cast...
  • Papa Wolf: Guess who.
  • Paper Tiger: Normie is the latest in the legacy of some of Spider-Man's most dangerous foes, but goes down very easily every time, even being smacked around by Mary Jane, because he's just a nutty teenager with some toys.
  • People Puppets: The final story arc centers around the Green Goblin attempting to mentally enslave Peter and use his body to return to life.
  • Pick on Someone Your Own Size: Subverted. Many of May's enemies are much older than she is.
  • Plucky Girl: Guess who.
  • Psycho Electro: The villainous Killer Watt. Aftershock, too.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Crazy Eight and Funny Face indulge in this trope to an often disturbing degree.
  • Puberty Superpower: May's powers kick in when she's in her teens and not at birth
    • Also happens to Darkdevil, but is averted (and subtly foreshadowed) with Baby Ben.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Or, as April puts it, "Spider-Girl Red and Spider-Girl Blue" [dead link]. Subverted in that May is more of a Blue and April more of a Red.
  • Redemption Equals Death: April
    • And the Venom symbiote.
  • Retired Badass: Once again, Peter Parker. Age has cost him some of his reflexes and strength, but he's still got the experience and skill gained from his early years as Spider-Man.
  • Romantic False Lead: Brenda/Raptor becomes this after her Heel Face Turn. Subverted in that after lots of Ship Tease and Will They or Won't They? she gets the guy instead of Mayday.
  • Rogues Gallery: Mr. Nobody, Crazy Eight, Funny Face, Killer Watt, Mr. Abnormal, Raptor, Earthshaker, the Hobgoblin, Reverb, Dragonfist, the Dragon King, Angel Face, Misery, Aftershock, etc.
  • Sarcastic Confession: Employed by May more then once to cover up for her Secret Identity. Having a merchandising store around helps people to dismiss them.
  • Secret Government Warehouse: Where Weadon and Kaine's teams works -- an abandoned amusement park.
  • Secret Legacy
  • Shadow Archetype: April and May, May and Arana, Kaine and Peter, maybe May and Darkdevil, played with between May and Normie.
    • Mother-Son team The Faces to Peter and May.
      • Probably Uncle-Nephew team Kaine and Reilly to Peter and May, too.
  • Ship Sinking: May/Brad, pretty brutally. And eventually May/Normie.
  • Shout-Out: After just waking up, Mayday mutters "Kltpzyxm!" In Superman, this is Mxyzptlk's name reversed, and Supes must trick Mxy into saying it to get rid of him until their dimensions next align (in other words, for three months.)
  • Show Within a Show: Jimmy and Wes's Spider-Girl comic.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Darkdevil and Black Tarantula, at first.
  • Sibling Team: Funny Face and Crazy Eight, a villainous example that ends tragically.
    • Played with in Spider-Girl's team ups with Scarlet Spider and Spider-Man II, neither of whom she's related to.
      • May and "April" are a more genuine example. As are Spider-Girl and Darkdevil, who are genetically half siblings.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Spider-Girl and Darkdevil, depending on how you define sibling.
    • Ditto for May and April.
  • Sidekick Glass Ceiling: Felicity's attempts to play Scarlet Spider would count, except that she's always being forced out of (or quitting) the superhero biz before becoming a full-fledged sidekick. Not that this has stopped her. Since then, Mayday's new partner is newly discovered clone April Parker.
  • Sky Surfing: The Green Goblin(s), Hobgoblin, and Fury of course. Mayday even gets in on the act, using Goblin gear when she (temporarily, of course) loses her powers.
  • Sleep Cute: Peter and May get a non-romantic version, after having spent a whole issue bickering at each other and helping reunite an ex-villain with his daughter.
  • Spin Offspring
  • Spirit Advisor: May gets one in the form of a mysterious blonde also named May in the last arc of Amazing. It's Aunt May, of course.
  • Squee: This is basically Gerry Drew's reaction to meeting his idol, the original Spider-Man. Although a little overwhelmed at first, Peter Parker is very flattered.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The Black Tarantula.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Normie looks almost exactly like Harry, Reilly Tyne is basically Ben Reilly with red hair.
  • Stuffed Into the Fridge: Defied by MJ. When Normie comes to kidnap her, she isn't fazed. She starts berating him, pointing out she used to change his diaper, why the hell would she be scared of him? And she starts beating him with a table lamp just before May swings in to the rescue...though by this point, it's unclear just whom she's rescuing.
  • Take That: In issue 19 of Amazing May notes Arana and all the many people who called themselves "Spider-Woman" were all "wannabe web-slinger"s and wonders why anyone would call themselves that. From May's prospective she's just wondering why so many people take a "cursed" name, as the "Parker Luck" (not necessarily by that name) is an actual known thing, or at least a widely superstition believed even by people normally above such, in the Marvel universe. The out of universe bit however is commentary on how Arana as "Spider-Girl" and the many "Spider-Woman" characters pop up every so many years so Marvel can keep the trademark on those names and possibly Marvel's continued introduction female spider-powered people like Silk or Spider-Gwen even beyond that
  • Take That Me: In issue 44 the events of the Clone Saga are referred to as "wild and confusing". DeFalco, the issue's writer, contributed to the confusing mess.
  • Teen Idol: Franklin Richards, a superhero version. He's actually pretty into May until he finds out her real age.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Peter's superior, Captain Ruiz, stands over a foot taller than him.
  • Totally Radical
  • Training from Hell: Who better to train May in the use of her powers than dear old dad?
  • Troubled but Cute: J.J., Normie, and the Black Tarantula.
  • Tyke Bomb: May's baby brother Ben, in the Carnage storyline. Sort of.
  • Uncancelled: Many, many times.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Early in the series, May looked a LOT like Peter. Now she resembles both her parents without looking a clone of either of them. Speaking of clones, though, Reilly Tyne looks just like a redheaded Tobey Maguirerrr, Peter Parker. And somehow only MJ and Normie Osborn have noticed this.
    • A recent dream sequence featured May's brother Ben looking almost exactly like his dad, too.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Jimmy Yama to Mayday. Mayday to Normie.
  • Unwanted Harem: Most of the male cast that isn't related to her has had a crush on Mayday at some point.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Kaine's facial scars. To be fair, Kaine's not drawn as horrifyingly disfigured in the future.
  • Very Special Episode: "The Girl Who Fell To Earth," about a side-character's abusive boyfriend.
    • In a slight subversion, the issue was the culmination of a long subplot, and the abused character (Sandra) remains part of the supporting cast. Later, May and Courtney who also got attacked by Sandra's boyfriend when she tried to help her start volunteering at the women's shelter.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Kaine and Darkdevil, once Reilly gets over his issues.
  • Who's Your Daddy?: The "who is the mother of the new Spider-Man?" subplot. Lots of red-herrings point to Felicia Hardy, but it turns out he's the son of the first Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Mutant Sara Hingle, who was last seen apparently self-exploding from stress after Magneto's daughter messed with her head and hasn't been seen since.
  • What If: Spider-Girl began as a story in Marvel's What If.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: All of the New Warriors to May after she lets Angel Face and Funny Face go out of guilt for not being able to save Crazy Eight, which lets them go loose on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Why Did It Have To Be Symbiotes; Darkdevil. when fighting April.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Mayday and Normie in the original series. May and Wes in the relaunch.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Spider-Girl's enemies have no problem attacking her with everything in their arsenals.
  • Yandere: Elan towards Normie.