"The Hobgoblin and the Hostage"
Plottes: Tom DeFalco & Ron Frenz
Artists: Ron Frenz(p), Sal Buscema(i), Gotham(c)
Amazing Spider-Girl tackles several super-hero issues. It examines the nature of battle between hero and villain. It explores the questions of secret identity. It investigates the very purpose of the super-hero.
At the forefront of the current chapter of Amazing Spider-Girl, the Hobgoblin seeks to smoke out Spider-Girl for the Kingpin's diskette, by using a consequence of her fame. DeFalco introduced the idea of Jimmy Yama's and Wes' comic book Spider-Girl with a little more presence given to a simple joke or subplot. We should have known that the comic book would become integral to Amazing Spider-Girl later on.
Heather, Jimmy's girlfriend, poses as Spider-Girl to promote his comic. Hobgoblin snatches the poor girl, and here's what separates Hobgoblin from the average villain or poser of a villain. He knows Heather isn't Spider-Girl. He knows the psychology of his foe. He knows not to make cliché mistakes, like releasing the hostage, all the better to give the hero enough reason to batter you.
Because of Hobgoblin's experience and a dearth of web-fluid, Spider-Girl must adjust her tactics. DeFalco, Buscema and Frenz give May no easy out. They direct and choreograph a battle that's packed with action and makes tactical sense. They hobble May, but they show in her narration that she's still ready to win.
When the crafters seem to give May a cavalry type rescue from a unique source, what in reality they do is prolong the fight. Had their been no interference, May would have creamed the Hobgoblin and carted his grotesque ass to jail. Now, she will have to wait until he resurfaces. This interference also affects the fate of the diskette.
Surprisingly, these scenes pitting Spider-Girl against Hobgoblin are not the best the book has to offer. The best comes from May's confrontation with Davida, her best friend. She almost tells her the secret, but she works out why she cannot. She cannot play favorites, and everybody cannot know that she is Spider-Girl.
May does come clean with her parents. In stirring words that equivocate her heroism, she tells her parents that she will be Spider-Girl because it is her responsibility, and that should be the major theme in any spider-comic.
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