Saturday, 25 January 2020

MaydayMemer Reviews The Famous Cover Series Spider-Girl Figure

Due to some real-world set backs, I've been neglecting the blog. Fortunately, fellow MC2 fan and Meme Lord extraordinaire MaydayMemer offered up their first thoughts review of the Famous Cover Series Spider-Girl Figure. Thanks for covering for me, MaydayMemer! Without further ado:

The figure came in, it’s a pretty cool one. I unboxed it and was actually planning to make a meme with it. However I couldn’t get either of my ideas right. 

One was a recreation of that panel of her on the glider saying “don’t believe anything you read on the net." I have a Demogoblin Glider I was gonna use but I couldn’t get the perspective or pose right. Another was just a photo of her face looking stern, but the camera didn’t pick up the details right to make her look grumpy like she kinda does on the figure in person.The caption would’ve been:



Them: you can’t make a meme using a figure

 Me: [inserts image of Mayday Figure]




Here’s what she looks like just neutral outta the box:







She can move her head and arms, bend her elbows and swivel her wrists. She has a stomach crunch too.Then she can move her legs, knees and feet up and down.She can even swivel her ankles and do the splits which surprised me given the fact the figure is cloth covered.



Here’s me trying to recreate her iconic Spider-Girl #1 pose:







As you can see the only flaw I have with the figure is the mask; it looks really malformed. I suppose that’s the thing with cloth masks. Funny enough the fig was delivered using a gin tasting kit package. Weird, guess that was the only box he had. But she has the slit on the back of the former so she can reveal her face. She has a split on the mask and on the back, I have no idea why for the latter and I don’t want to know, frankly! lol



I had a Happy Meal/Burger King toy of Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man which had a removable cloth mask and what I think is clever about the back Velcro thing is they made it the black bit of the spider logo, a good way of making it unobtrusive with the design.








It’s actually a pretty neat representation of early issues Mayday, some great detail especially with her even wearing earrings. Makes me wonder how that’d work in real life though; it’d hurt like hell if she got a ring snagged under the mask wouldn’t it? Ah but I’m overthinking it! I will say I think she resembles moreso issues 2 or 3 Mayday a lot more than the first appearance Mayday. Again another nitpick as they’re not THAT different and I’m probably just remembering specific panels like during the basketball scene and taking my impressions from that memory.







Here’s my attempt at a backwards wall crawl sort of pose - with what I believe is a ToyBiz Iron Man to see what the scaling’s like:






Here’s the panel I was thinking of that looks just like the figure:





Here’s one final pic before I go for now. It’s on that Goblin Glider I had hanging around:






She fits surprisingly well on it! Hope you enjoyed the look at it, if you have any questions or anything feel free to ask.


A huge thank you again to MaydayMemer! Check out the Spider-Girl meme subreddit at https://www.reddit.com/r/MaydayMemes/ and check out some of the best quality memes ever made! 

Until I get off my lazy butt and write my own posts, I remain

frogoat

Monday, 13 January 2020

Tom Grummett and the MC2


Recently I've been thinking about well-established artists in the comics industry who's take on the MC2 characters we've yet to see. Then I remembered there are a bunch of artists outside of MC2 mainstays such as the wonderfully talented Ron Frenz, Pat Olliffe, Paul Ryan, Ron Lim or Todd Nauck who've in some way worked on my favourite fictional universe. Every so often I'll try and dedicate a short post to each artist's brief foray into the MC2 Universe.


Tom Grummett


Tom Grummett kind of flew under my radar for the longest time as a young comic reader. I was aware of his work on books like Thunderbolts and it was his artwork alone that got me through New Exiles. But it wasn’t until later I learned of his iconic run drawing Superman and Batman over at DC. Truly, Mr Grummett deserves the comic industry’s respect. But we are going to take a look at the two occasions Tom Grummett drew May Parker aka Spider-Girl.







Tom Grummett actually worked with for Tom Defalco’s novel X-Men & Spider-Man: Time’s Arrow Book 3: The Future which was first published in 1998. We got two chapter illustrations pencilled by Tom Grummett with inks by Doug Hazelwood. The art was presented in black and white, but as I’ve mentioned in my Spider-Girl 2020 post, the first illustration was partially coloured for a composite image in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes 2005. So, technically, Tom Grummett was one of the first artists to draw May Parker as Spider-Girl.








Speaking of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes 2005, Mr Tom Grummett’s art not appeared within the book, he also produced a new piece of art for the cover. This was one of -if not the- first Official Handbook I bought and it was all thanks to that gorgeous art. It certainly helped that it features Tom Grummett’s rendition of May ‘Mayday’ Parker aka Spider-Girl AND Rina Logan aka Wild Thing!







There’s a world out there somewhere in which we saw more MC2 titles and issues, and I believe a prime candidate to fit the style and tone of the MC2 imprint would be Tom Grummett. My appreciation of Tom’s Spider-Girl 2020 design from the novel has increased through the years. I’d love to see him pencil a crossover between the MC2’s Spider-Girl and Spider-Girl 2020. Someday, friends! Someday!



Until I stop building imaginary comic titles and crossovers in my head, I remain



frogoat










Sunday, 5 January 2020

Spider-Girl 2020


With the futuristic year 2020 ushering in a new comic event commemorating the characters of Earth-8410 aka 2020 A.D. - most notably Iron Man 2020- I figured now would be a perfect time to acknowledge the overlooked superheroine in the room: May Parker of Earth-8410 aka Spider-Girl 2020.





While I may have briefly touched on the 2020 in the distant past, this will be a more focused look at the character. To begin with, the character is not a comic book native, making her first (and to date, only) appearance in a novel. Written by Tom Defalco and eluki bes shakar (now legally known as Rosemary Edghill) with interior chapter art by penciller Tom Grummett and inker Doug Hazlewood, X-Men & Spider-Man: Time’s Arrow Book 3: The Future was first published in 1998 with a September release date listed on its interior pages. This third and final book in the Time’s Arrow trilogy of novels by Defalco (paired with a different co-writer for each book) marks the debut of Spider-Girl 2020 in its fifth chapter which takes place in -you guessed it- the year 2020 A.D.!





The story sees Spider-Man (the Main Marvel Universe or Earth-616 version, according to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes 2005) on a mission with Cable of the X-Men and Aliya of Earth-9870 to prevent Kang’s destruction of various alternate worlds.  Having been hired by Kang to stop the heroes, Earth-8410’s Arno Stark aka Iron Man of the year 2020 recruits his reality’s Spider-Girl under the pretext of protecting her territory Queens, New York.





It’s here we learn that this world’s May Parker had lost her own father, and had followed in his heroic footsteps during her freshman year of high school, aged only 14 years old. May notes she can’t remember a time when she didn’t know her father was Spider-Man, and recalls how he died with his secret identity intact, leaving some people mere years later to believe the web-swinger was still alive. May, now ‘twentysomething’ still lived with her mother Mary Jane Watson-Parker due to the housing crunch. Mary Jane was initially not pleased when May announced her intentions to suit up as Spider-Girl at such a young age. May works as a ‘page designer’ for Cadence Communications Corporation… which I guess makes her a web designer, right?



Operating as one of 2020’s last lone vigilantes or ‘Independents’, Spider-Girl protects her territory of Queens, New York from ‘incursions of Wreckers, Illegals, rioting Vidiots or worse’. As for powers and abilities, this Spider-Girl has inherited her father’s spider-like ability to stick to walls, strength, speed and agility, which are described as being equal to the original web-head’s own. May also utilizes ‘gold bracelets of cylinders’ on both wrists that fire explosive ‘venom blasts’ that produce a poisoning effect in their targets. Presumably these are dual-purpose web-shooters, as Spider-Girl is also seen spinning webs. It’s not clear if this May Parker possesses a spider-sense, though she does appear to detect people rather quickly.




As for her costume, I think it’s worth using some direct quotes to demonstrate how the chapter illustrations by Tom Grummett (though absolutely beautiful) do perhaps differ from the books text descriptions. Spider-Girl is first described as wearing a ‘tight scarlet-and-blue combat suit’ with a ‘spill of red hair down [her] back’ beneath which ‘her eyes were invisible behind the white shields of her mask’. For the most part, Spider-Girl is referred to while in action as a ‘red-and-blue figure’ and angrily notes when seeing Spider-Man that his costume is an echo of her own. When Spider-Man catches clear sight of Spider-Girl we get a more detailed portrait spelled out: ‘Her costume was red and blue, just like his, with a black pattern of webbing against the red. Around each wrist she wore a gold bracelet of cylinders-possibly the source of the blasts she’d bracketed him with-and a half-mask above which her long red hair whipped around her face like Medusa’s snakes.






 This combined with the mentions of the costume being red and blue (rather than blue and red) and Peter noting it’s ‘so like his own’ make it seem as the design is meant to more closely resemble the original Spider-Man design. That said there is this one quote that might balance out the artwork somewhat; ‘May Parker had always known that she’d grow up to wear the webbed mask and the famous blue and scarlet garb.’ When added to a brief mention of the first two Spider-Women, it might help explain the potential discrepancy. Either way, I’ve grown to like the Tom Grummett's Spider-Girl 2020 design, even if it does seem to be missing the gold web-shooters.






As for the actual story, accompanying Arno Stark’s Iron Man and his Iron-Bots into the sewers beneath Queens, where they encountered Spider-Man, Cable and Aliya, Spider-Girl is shocked and angered to encounter an apparent imposter posing as her deceased father. When the trio of dimension-hopping heroes briefly escape, Arno brings a subway stop’s ceiling down on them, against the heroic Spider-Girl’s protests. However, Spider-Man and company are rescued from the rubble by Machine Man and his friends, the Midnight Wreckers. When Arno returns to finish the job, Spider-Girl again battles Spider-Man until he unmasks and convinces her of his good intentions. With Iron Man knocked out of commission, Spider-Girl orders his Iron-Bots to retreat, allowing Spider-Man, Cable and Aliya to complete their mission.






Unfortunately, that’s it for this Spider-Girl, except to say her appearance in the Time’s Arrow novel was later confirmed as taking place in the same 2020 A.D. as various other characters in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes 2005. That is, Spider-Girl 2020 shares the same universe as not just Arno Stark’s version of Iron Man but also Machine Man, Death’s Head and Wild Thing (no, not that one! This one’s name is Nikki Doyle). The coloured image of Spider-Girl 2020 originates from the aforementioned handbook as part of a composite image of various denizens of that reality by various artists. The composition, colouring and art reconstruction were (I believe) the work of Scott Elmer under the pseudonym Pond Scum. I mention this as there only exist two official images of the Spider-Girl 2020 character, and this is, to date, the only one reproduced in colour.






Notably, writer Tom Defalco is the co-creator of the world and various characters of Earth-8410’s 2020 including Arno Stark, the Machine Man of 2020 and the Midnight Wreckers and afterwards would frequently reference them in his other work. Or at least he used to, before he conceived the MC2 Universe with frequent collaborator and handsome devil Ron Frenz. I’d absolutely love to see a small crossover with these two Tom Defalco-created Spider-Girl’s, especially because they have such varied stories, ages and costumes and present very different iterations of May Parker.





Until I stop living in the far-flung year of…erm…. the present, I remain



frogoat






Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Who is the Fast Lane Spider-Girl?!




‘Fast Lane’ was the name of an infamous 4-part anti-drug story inserted into the middle of basically every comic Marvel published every second month between September 1999 and March 2000 including the MC2’s Spider-Girl, Fantastic Five, Wild Thing titles. Created by the Marvel Creative Services in conjunction with the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, the story was written by Glenn Herdling with pencils by Gregg Schigiel (who contributed gorgeous art to Spider-Man: The Ultimate Guide by Tom Defalco) with inks by Richard Case.






But why am I talking about this particular story here? Well, you see in Part 4 of the story "Back on Target” there’s an absolutely amazing double splash page featuring various Marvel Heroes all helping out at the site of an accident. The heroes include Thor, Iron Man, The Fantastic Four, Storm, Wolverine, Wonder Man, She-Hulk, Captain America and Spider-Girl. Wait… what?!







Obviously, this story doesn’t take place in the MC2 and that’s not May ‘Mayday’ Parker, so what’s going on? This was a mystery that used to bother me as a young reader, but nowadays looking up information is a lot easier. Curiously, both the Marvel Chronology Project and Amazing Spider-Man: Official Index to the Marvel Universe not only identify the character as being the Mattie Franklin incarnation of Spider-Woman but also place it within the Main Marvel Universe after the events of Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #14 and Spider-Woman (Vol. 3) #9. To be fair, the Official Index chooses to err on the side of caution with notes clarifying “If Fast Lane is in continuity, it takes place shortly after that issue” and “Spider-Woman called “Spider-Girl” here” in an attempt to tie up the matter.






While an admirable effort, there are a few problems with this explanation, the first being that Mattie Franklin never used web-shooters such as those visibly worn by Fast Lane’s Spider-Girl. The second issue is why Mattie would even use webbing in the first place, given her ability to fly. Thirdly, Mattie was never seen in the costume depicted. On this occasion, I’m going to have to disagree with the idea that this character is Mattie Franklin and that the story takes place in the Main Marvel Universe.






So, what’s going on? Well, for answers we have to take a look at an article on Comics Alliance about the Fast Lane story, which includes some great insight from the artist himself Gregg Schigiel. Here’s an excerpt:


Just above that, there's a Spider-Man type girl who's saving a kid…that was a version of Spider-Girl that Marvel's Creative Services was working on at the time, that if memory serves, I helped design. I'm not sure what the endgame there was (clearly something licensing-related), but I only ever drew her here and as a kind of paper doll cut-out type thing, which I think was meant for presentation purposes. In perfect late '90s fashion she has a bare midriff and capri pants



So that confirms it, then. This is not intended to be Mattie Franklin nor Mayday Parker, though the character does perhaps borrow some elements from both characters, notably the former’s hair style and the latter’s heroic identity. As for what licensed products this Spider-Girl design wound up being used for, I believe these contemporary dress-up costumes were part of the merchandising endgame Mr Schigiel mentioned:






Special thanks to Ron Frenz for providing the above image, because it is now seemingly impossible to find online anywhere in the present day. Mr Frenz would reference this costume design with both the cover and interiors for Spider-Girl #91, showcasing it during a scene centred around the Spider Shoppe, a boutique specializing in Spider-Women-themed apparel.








I guess that brings us full circle back to the good ol’ MC2. If anyone has anymore information about this unnamed Fast Lane Spider-Girl, please let me know! A huge thanks to arias-98105, Ron Frenz and the Comics Alliance website for their various contributions to this post, otherwise I’d have no idea what I’m talking about!



Until I find more obscure, unimportant and largely pointless facts to impart, I remain



frogoat




Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Confirmation - Spider-Girl: The Complete Collection Vol. 3 Is Coming!




Thanks to arias-98105 for the heads up on this one! It's still very early days, but based on preliminary information posted on the Hachette Book Group website, we have the closest thing to confirmation that Spider-Girl: The Complete Collection Vol. 3 is on it's way next year. Here's a link to the page and the text from the solicitation:

Spider-Girl: The Complete Collection Vol. 3

  • ISBN: 9781302923716
  • Publisher: Marvel
  • Imprint: Marvel
  • On Sale: Aug. 11, 2020
  • Format: TRADE PAPERBACK
  • Edition: N/A
  • Price: $44.99 ($57.00 in Canada)
  • Category: COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS
  • Territories:
  • Size: 6-5/8" x 10-3/16"
  • Pages: 448
  • Unit Weight: 0
  • Carton Weight: 0
  • Carton Qty: 40
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Substitute ISBN:
  • EAN: 9781302923716


Description: Who will lead the New York underworld? Will the Green Goblin go good or give grief? What secret is Mary Jane keeping? And who is the mysterious new Spider-Man? There are plenty of questions to answer as the adventures of May "Mayday" Parker continue! As a vicious gang war heats up, Spider-Girl struggles to keep order - but when a longtime foe is killed in the crossfire, May finds herself targeted by his family! Can the newest New Warriors help Spider-Girl win the war and survive two vengeance-crazed villains? Wall-crawling gets crowded when a new Scarlet Spider swings into action - and Peter Parker mulls a return to the webs! But even with her dad as backup, can May defeat Apox the Omega Skrull? Plus, startling secrets of Mayday's past are revealed! Guest-starring the Fantastic Five!

COLLECTING: SPIDER-GIRL (1998) 33-50



While, as I mentioned, it's still very early and these sorts of things are often subject to change, I have to mention the apparent omission. While it collects Spider-Girl #33 through to #50, this chunk of issues has usually been reprinted together with Spider-Girl #51. You may remember Spider-Girl #51 was an inventory story written by guest writer Sean McKeever with art by Casey Jones which introduced the character Aftershock. As an inventory story, it does not fit seamlessly between the issues published immediately before and after it's publication. Spider-Girl #50 sees Mayday hang up her costume and quit only to seemingly have returned to her super heroic career without any explanation the following issue with this strange story order.




For reference, the Spider-Girl Digests, which were previously the closest we've gotten to a full reprinting of the original series, placed the story in Spider-Girl #51 between Spider-Girl #35 and #36 in Digest Vol. 7. I think this is a perfect place to put the story, as May had recently regained her powers in Spider-Girl #33, Mary Jane is not visibly pregnant at this point in the series (whereas she was around #50) and the ongoing plots at the time had a natural gap which allows for the addition of further unseen adventures.




Hopefully, the wonderful collection editors at Marvel will see this and make the change before the Volume goes to the printers. It's worth mentioning Spider-Girl: The Complete Collection Vol. 1 changed the placement of the Spider-Girl #1/2 story from the placement seen in the Digests. Whereas the Digests reprinted Spider-Girl #1/2 directly after Spider-Girl #21, the Complete Collection putting the story right after Spider-Girl #13. I'm curious about where future issues and side-stories that haven't been collected together will be ordered or placed.

Until I stop caring about such sill things, I remain

frogoat