The 'new' Spider-Girl, formerly Arana.

Parts of this blog were previously posted at www.comicboards.com/spidergirl .

First of all, as seen in my last blog, the Spider-Girl cancelation was sudden, but we've known about it for a while.  The thing that angers me is the fact that Marvel comics has ALREADY passed the "Spider-Girl" name onto another character: Arana, who was supposed to receive the name years ago, but Spider-Girl fans got wind of it and kept it from happening.  Well, now it's come to pass, and not only did Marvel not let May Parker's body get cold, hell, they didn't even wait for her to die!  There are still a few more Spider-Girl issues to be published before her story wraps up... maybe forever.

Anyway, here is my initial reaction on the Spider-Girl Message Board, famous for it's grassroots efforts to save and promote the book in the past.  I co-moderate there, as "VENOM," and have for... well, many years.  I don't even remember anymore.  So here we are.  Gut reaction:

OK, I know this probably isn't the most uplifting or inspiring post, and I'm sorry if it offends anyone on the board, but...

WTF, Marvel?

I know that Previews came up with the line "Spider-Girl hits the big-time" but, man... what a slap in the face that is. She only had to become a completely different character, who apparently thinks that the "Spider-Girl" name itself is "corny" and "makes you want to puke." Great choice to fill May's shoes, guys... and wow, way to p**s all over the hard work that fans have put into helping Mayday over the years, and the years of love and devotion that they've put in as well. I guess the days of Spider-Girl fans being respected by Marvel are long over.

Since I can only take this as a big "F.U." from "The House of Ideas," (in which a good one hasn't come along in some time now...) let me be the first to say "right back at ya!"

I'm done.


And here is the letter than I sent to Marvel, thankfully a little more thought out, and a little less knee-jerky, as posted on the SGMB:

Marvel folks,

As a longtime Marvel reader from the age of 7 (I'm 29 now), and a Spider-Girl (May Parker) reader since issue #14 back in '98 or '99, I have to ask..

What the heck is going on?

Please hear me out.

I can almost understand giving Arana (lame character, IMO) the "Spider-Girl" name to give her some publicity, but to do it at the expense of Tom DeFalco and Co's "Spider-Girl" and her fans is a real travesty. Not only does Arana say in the most recent ASM (which I'm ashamed to have picked up) that the Spider-Girl name is "corny" and "makes you want to puke," now we have to accept the fact that this (THIS?!), is the "new" Spider-Girl?

Thanks... but no thanks.

The Spider-Girl fanbase is very passionate about her, and always has been, and most of the time, Marvel (as an entity) has been supportive and appreciative of their efforts. These recent changes though (May's latest series being canceled, more or less, before it even hit shelves by becoming a mini, and now Arana taking her name) can only come as a massive and collective slap in the face to everyone who ever supported May Parker and her book. I can't say that it surprised me, but I didn't think it would be done so soon and so contemptuously.

Due to what I can only perceive as a complete disregard for the character of May Parker and her fans, after 22 years of being a faithful Marvel fan, you can count me out from now on. Unless you manage to pull something crazy out of this whole thing and bring May back (all signs point to this not happening), then I will no longer be reading your books. I can't support a company that treats it's fans in such a manner. I've had to deal with Marvel's EIC referring to fans as living in their mother's basements and so on and so forth for years, but I guess this is the last straw.

Am I overreacting? After reading a book for 12 years (not even mentioning all of the work we've put into trying to get the word out and support it) to have it all thrown away so nonchalantly... no. I don't think that I am. Most books nowadays don't last that long. You'd think that that would count for something... but I guess not.

So again, thanks... but no thanks.

Matt Kayser,
city, state

PS: OK to print. As if.

I know that sales of the book weren't at the numbers that Marvel, or the fans, wanted, but there's reason for this:  They canceled the main book and made it a back-up feature in "Amazing Spider-Man Family"... then they canceled that book and relaunched it... then they canceled it again, and made Spider-Girl a back-up in "Web of Spider-Man"... then they announced a new regular series.  Yay!  We were all ecstatic.  Then, before the first issue even hit, we found out that it  had been changed to a 4-issue limited series.  Bummer.  After all of that, we learned that the book was dead for good (after one more "Spider-Girl: The End" book), and even it's digital counterpart on Marvel.com was going away. 

All of this, to a paranoid fan-boy like me, lol, almost seems like it was purposely undermining the book, the character, and the fans, whittling them down and confusing them as to even what book to look for, until there just weren't enough left to support the title.  None of this surprises me, especially when it comes to giving Arana the name.  Hell, they tried it before.  What surprises me is the fact that it happened so suddenly, so soon after our beloved May's cancelation, and the fact that it was done so contemptuously. 

Now don't get me wrong.  This book lasted longer than anyone could have predicted, and I don't think that everyone at Marvel is a mustache-twirling villain.  But certainly, when all is said and done, this whole affair could have been done with more tact, more respect, and a little less "wow, everybody, look at the NEW Spider-Girl!" which just seems to be rubbing it in our faces, new book to promote or not.

We've played nice for a long time, boys and girls, and I don't call myself "VENOM" on those boards for nothing.  And one thing that the character of Venom doesn't do is play nice.  No more Mr. Nice VENOM, lol.

This time, it's war.  And what's the best way to wage that war?  With our wallets.  Not only am I obviously not going to support the new fake Spider-Girl, but I'm dropping all of my Marvel titles (no, Spider-Girl is not the only book I read).  If enough of us do that... well... maybe they'll notice.  Maybe not.  But I know that I'll feel a lot better not giving my hard-earned money to a comic company that 1-doesn't think much of me, and 2-treats me like crap.

Maybe someday we'll see May come back, and maybe, in that possible future, I will too.  But it doesn't look like it's gonna happen.

So to May Parker, the last remnant of the Peter Parker/Mary Jane Watson marriage: I salute you, and book or no book, I will continue to support you.


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