Strange Times & Places: What If? #105

Welcome back to Strange Times & Places, where this week we’re reading a one-off, single issue story that spawned over two hundred issues worth of fan favorite comics – What If? #105, the first appearance of the Spectacular Spider-Girl!

How’s It Different?

Like most, if not all, issues of What If?, it’s a For Want of a Nail story. In this case, it posits what would have happened if the daughter of Peter “Spider-Man” Parker and Mary Jane Watson-Parker had been born alive in Sensational Spider-Man #11 and grown to be a teenager.

What’s The Story?

May “Mayday” Parker is having an awesome life: she’s the star of her high school basketball program, she’s an academic whiz, she’s popular with both the sporty in-crowd and the science-y geek crowd, and she has two loving parents. Everything’s going great until one seemingly normal evening where she leaps a solid 20 feet through the air at a basketball game and then is attacked by the Green Goblin while out with friends. This is how she learns of her father’s time as Spider-Man and their family’s feud with the Osborns, leaving her to decide what to do with her newfound power and responsibility.

Best of Differences

  • Peter & Mary Jane are happily married and their daughter is alive and well. Considering how much of a bummer Spidey’s life usually is, it’s kind of nice to see him as a happily retired family man.
  • Mayday’s takedown of Normie Osborn on the bridge where his grandfather murdered Gwen Stacy is all kinds of awesome.
  • This issue served as the pilot episode for the entire MC2 line of titles, anchored by Spider-Girl. Amusingly, writer Tom DeFalco would drop over half of The Avengers line-up he shown here after the first issue when MC2’s A-Next launched.
  • Spider-Girl went on to be Marvel’s longest running female solo title bar none, a record unlikely to be broken in this era of “seasonal” ongoing books. Not bad for an issue of What If?.

Come back next week for the next installment of Scripting Errors!

About Chris Walker

Chris Walker (@back2past) is affectionately referred to as Back to the Past’s social media lackey. He’s all over finding nuggets of pop culture news, wherever they may be hiding!

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