Meet The Six-Armed Normie Osborn And His Mutates In Spider-Girls #2

by James Ferguson

If every world in the multiverse has a Spider-Man, then they also seem to have an Osborn causing trouble. In the world of Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, Normie Osborn has grown up to head his company…and he also has six arms. Spider-Woman, Spider-Girls, and Spiderling need his help to track to decipher some ancient scrolls that might help them defeat the Inheritors. That proves easier said than done as Normie’s got a few more spider problems to deal with, mainly a bunch of mutates his kept hidden in his office.

While Spider-Geddon has spiraled out of control a bit, I’m glad that we have a book like Spider-Girls. It has collected a few women that are each in different stages of their careers as super heroes, putting them together in a supportive fashion where they can learn from one another. Mayday Parker, now going by Spider-Woman is suddenly the veteran and she’s not entirely comfortable with that, especially after seeing Spiderling with her parents.
Artist Andres Genolet is most definitely the right person to bring this story to life. The Spider-Girls look light and fun in the air as they swing towards Oscorp. This is the playful nature that has defined Spider-Man and it shows in these images. Although they’re all wearing masks, you get a healthy dose of their emotions through facial expressions. You can see Annie’s worry for her parents mixed with her strength to power through such incredible danger or Mayday’s brief moments of doubt as she leads this trio.

Writer Jody Houser balances the storytelling of the big event tie-in with some smaller, personal moments for each of the characters. All three of them get some development time, even among the chaos. If anything, this makes me want to go back and read everything they’ve ever appeared in as there’s a lot of depth with each character at work here.
Although this ties into Spider-Geddon, the larger focus is on the Normie Osborn of this world. There’s a great sequence where the Spider-Girls outline what’s going on and he just kind of takes it in with a sarcastic tone. Every so often it’s good to remind ourselves of how insane comics can be. In this case, Normie doesn’t have much of an argument against ridiculous stories because he’s living one. He’s got six arms!

This delivery is perfect. Letterer Joe Caramagna handles these deadpan lines so well. There are times where we can almost forget that Spider-Girl isn’t a Parker with how she drops these sarcastic lines.
The mutates are some terrifying creatures that come in a variety of shapes and colors. They’re now more spider than human, with eight legs and sharp hairs springing up all over. Colorists Jim Charalampidis and Triona Farrell make these monsters look as interesting as they are deadly. There’s a great transformation sequence that looks like something out of a classic horror movie with bright reds and pinks.

Some Inheritors do pop up in Spider-Girls, but they’re among the least interesting part of the book. I got so wrapped up in the characters and this world that I almost forgot about them. That’s not a great sign for Spider-Geddon as they’re the big bads of that event, but given everything else these heroes are dealing with, they’re reduced to the second string. It doesn’t help that they all look like Draco Malfoy’s dad.
Spider-Girls continues to be the standout Spider-Geddon tie-in. That could be because it relies more on the strength of the characters and their own lives instead of the never-ending quest for more Spider heroes against a group of dry, boring villains. I could read a book like this forever.
Spider-Girls #2 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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