By Radread 5 Comments
It's been a while since there was talk of any debate between Anya Corazon and May Parker, both who have shared the name: "Spider-Girl" one in the MC2 Universe and one in the normal 616-Universe. Since the ending of May's last title and Anya being pushed from the name "Araña" to Spider-Girl and getting her own title when she has already had 2 failed series, left a lot of fans of both characters upset. For May it was taking her title of Spider-Girl and giving it to Anya when she already had a name and for fans of Anya, trying to pawn another name off a character who already has an established name and history. What's the difference between the two:
May "Mayday" Parker is the child of Peter and Mary Jane Parker in a alternate future In the MC2 continuity. When she was little she was kidnapped from her parents. They were reunited with their baby daughter by Kaine, who found the child living with Alison Mongraine, the con artist who had kidnapped the baby on instruction from the Green Goblin. After they were reunited, Peter lost a leg during the horrific final conflict with the Green Goblin. After the battle Peter was offered a bionic replacement from Mr. Fantastic and, considering it a wake-up call, decided to retire and focus on being a husband and father (the battle is glimpsed in Spider Girl #7, and fully explained in Spider Girl #49). For years, they chose to keep their past from Mayday and hoped that she wouldn't develop powers of her own.
Despite her parents' hopes, May began developing versions of her father's Spider-powers when she was 15. At the same time, Normie Osborn (Green Goblin's grandson) set out to restore the family name (as he saw it). Mayday donned Ben Reilly's Spider-Man costume to stop him and soon took to crime fighting, at first hindered, then helped, by her worried parents.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Anya was a normal girl until one night when she went out to a bridge to fight a boy from school. But when she arrived, a fight broke out between a group named the "Sisterhood of The Wasps", and a group called " The Spider Society". Whilst attempting to help a mysterious man named Miguel (from the Spider Society), Anya was stabbed by a member of the Sisterhood of Wasps. Due to a spell which Miguel had cast, the Sisterhood of the Wasps were transported away because they had used a weapon on sacred grounds, but the wound was still severe. Miguel (the sorcerer of the Spider Society) transferred some of his power to her, saving her life, transforming her into the Hunter of the Spider Society, for whom he had been looking.
Anya received a spider-shaped tattoo from the energy transfer, and life seemingly returned to normal. However, the Spider Society soon approached her asking for help in fighting crime, as she was their new Hunter, despite that several members were annoyed with Miguel's choice of who to make the Hunter. After one or two fights against the Sisterhood of the Wasp, Anya was taken out to the desert to unlock her true potential. After a few hours she was attacked by wolves, and had a vision of her mother. Anya then discovered that she could summon a blue exoskeleton around herself, which gave her added endurance and strength. After being picked back up by Migueld and the rest of the Spider Society, Anya was asked to choose a name for herself. Anya decided on Araña, which means spider, as it was her mother's name. Miguel and Araña would team up many times for the Spider Society, for example, preventing the Sisterhood of Wasps from summoning their chosen warrior.
Araña recently learned that Hunters (of The Spider Society) don't have an exoskeleton like she has. In yet another battle against the Sisterhood of The Wasps, the Wasps were once again trying to summon their Hunter. The Sisterhood was unsuccessful, but Miguel did not survive the battle despite Spider-Man's help. Araña transferred her power to Nina Smith, another Spider Society member, after the death of Miguel. Although she isn't a Hunter anymore, she still has many of her superhuman abilities.
Both come from different backgrounds, both have different histories and both character are unique, so where does the problem come from? During the Kravinoff family hunt for Spider-Man and spider affiliated individuals, Anya is attacked by Ana, Vladimir and Alyosha. Spider-Man, Arachne and Kaine come to her aid, but after a run in with Alyosha she gets sprayed with a type of sleeping powder and taken to the Kravinoff mansion. While in the dungeon Anya, Madame Web and Arachne are attacked by Vladimir. Just before she's about to be killed, the recently reborn Kraven stops his feral son. She and the other captors are taken as hostages by Sasha only to be saved by Spider-Man, who chases after Sasha, with Araña following after him. While Madame Web bleeds out in Julia's arms - not before passing on her powers - Spider-man fights Kraven, Anya takes on Ana and Sasha, beats Sasha and goes after Ana to stop her from interfering with the
Kraven-Spidey Battle, when Spider-man is about to kill Kraven. Arachne with Madame Web's powers intervenes and helps Spidey make the right call by showing him what would happen if he didn't. After Spider-man lets Kraven live, he and his family disappear. Later Spidey Julia and Anya are seen talking over Kaine's tomb as Julia takes on new responsibilities and gives her costume to Anya. Peter calls her Spider-Girl but she refuses the name and decides to stick with Araña. After Julia leaves Araña and Spider-man set off swinging. The Spectacular Spider-Girl title concludes with Mayday sacrificing herself to save April's life. However, in the far future, a future incarnation of April uses Doctor Doom's time machine to return to the present and convince her past self to act responsibly, she does and saves Mayday's life at the cost of her own and at the cost of the future that came to be. Mayday is later united with Wes, who reveals that he does indeed know Mayday's true identity and they kiss, beginning a relationship. In several interviews at Comic Book Resources following the publication of "One More Day," Joe Quesada mentioned that the Spider-Girl title would be the ideal place for disgruntled readers to follow the development of an aged, married Peter and M.J. as they raise a family. Quesada's comments were followed by a feature article on Spider-Girl with an interview with Tom Defalco, who acknowledged that Quesada was a fan of the character and the title. Moreover, during the 'Brand New Day/One More Day' story arc, Peter and Mary Jane have visions of a very young girl with red hair, who after the deal is made with Mephisto, is revealed to be the daughter they would never have now that the deal is done. Despite this Quesada has stated that he feels the MC2 universe is the natural progression of the characters.
It was a simple talk and getting rid of one title, that was believed to not be selling for what it should be, to bring back a character, who has more everyday connection with Spider-man and the talk about keeping Peter and Mary Jane unmarried and apart to keep Spider-man looking young. It's easier to have a teenager that has no true connection with Peter to have the name "Spider-Girl" and still have her be the junior Spider-man of the Marvel Universe. Hence, everything was taken way out of context and now the controversy over why May should have her own title and Anya should just be shipped to the Avengers of made a regular supporting cast member of Spider-man to make everyone happy. It's sad that such a twist of words and view of one character has made this such a heated debate among must readers. The truth is, the fans and where the money is being put in, should decide what character really should have more lime light than the other.
Having Young Allies title around, giving Anya a team of her own and her relationship with Nomad, Rikki Barnes was a stroke of good writing and genius, As the characters are from different worlds but have had the legacy of known characters thrust on them and they have handled it very well, despite losing friends and family as a result. Making them more of modern day super heroes and not copies of established ones. It's sad that this will probably go on for some time now, even if May gets her own title back and the editorial offices change again like they do frequently in the business but who knows? May Parker was the first true Spider-Girl and Anya Corazon was a brand new character that was given a pretty well established history and friendship and mission around the regular Marvel Universe. The truth is, there should be room for both.
Special thanks to Comicvine for the images and extra info.