"Because you demanded it! The wildest (and cutest) web-slinger of all!"
— Cover blurb, Spider-Girl #1
What if Peter Parker and Mary Jane's baby had survived The Clone Saga? In an Alternate Timeline, the baby was rescued and returned to Mary Jane and Peter alive and well, shortly after Peter Parker retired as Spider-Man when he lost one of his legs in a fight which killed the Green Goblin. The baby grew up to become May Parker—Mayday to her friends (and to help us differentiate between her and her namesake Great Aunt). The character was introduced in What If? vol. 2 #105 (February, 1998), created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz. Her costume was created by Mark Bagley.At fifteen, May is a popular, pretty, athletic girl. She's inherited many things from her parents, like her mother's social ease, her father's smarts....and, whoops, his Spider-powers. They manifest quite suddenly during a school basketball game, where - luckily - her parents are the only ones in the crowd who realise what's going on. She's at most about half as strong as her Dad, but much more agile, and her Spider-Sense is apparently better. In an interesting twist on wall crawling, May can also stick other people to walls, or repel them with equal ease.Needless to say, her parents have mixed reactions to all this. Nevertheless, May finds Ben Reilly's old Scarlet Spider costume in the attic and decides to put it on after a new Green Goblin appears (Normie Osborn, (grand)son of the originals) to menace her father, who isn't in fighting shape. Unable to secure help from other heroes, Peter reluctantly authorises May's one-time-only appearance as Spider-Girl. Of course, she ends up enjoying the experience so much (and has had the "With great power, comes great responsibility" meme drilled into her so thoroughly) that she feels compelled to become Spider-Girl on a more permanent basis.This series sometimes plays with the I Just Want to Be Normal trope in the way Spider-Man does, but to a lesser degree. May genuinely wants to be a superhero but angsts when it brings her into conflict with her parents, or when she messes up, or when she feels she isn't as good as she'd like to be. There are also times when she gives it up, or loses her powers temporarily... but still misses the thrill of superheroics, and lets her sense of responsibility push her back to them.Was Marvel's longest-running comic starring a solo heroine through 102 issues (including #0 and the annual) of Spider-Girl, a relaunch/renumbering as Amazing Spider-Girl, and a further 31 issues (they just love their #0 issues in MC2!) before final cancellation. She-Hulk might have reached #100 first, but Spider-Girl did so without ever being cancelled. Currently running as a digital comic that goes to print after a couple months' delay in the anthology title Web of Spider-Man. A recent announcement was revealed that it would be getting a new, proper monthly series again, until it was later switched into a mini series and a The End one shot to wrap up the series and presumably the Marvel Comics 2note Did anyone really believe Quesada when he said he loved the series because of its portrayal of marriage?.If you're looking for the Earth 616 Spider-Girl (Anya Corazon), search her in the Spider-Man Character Page. If you're interested in The Verse, check Marvel Comics 2.
All Guys Want Cheerleaders: At first it seemed like May would join the school cheerleading squad, and one cover even showed her in the outfit, but it's becoming increasingly unlikely with each new issue.
Book Dumb: Lampshaded by Moose when he points out that he might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer...right before he points out to May that she doesn't need to blame herself for Courtney being in the hospital after being hit by a car.
Also Sara Hingle, who briefly appears in one panel, long before the Brotherhood of Mutants subplot.
Civvie Spandex: Subverted/Inverted with the Spider-Shoppe, where people can buy Spider-Girl themed clothes and even costumes. MJ founded the place to keep May from getting ripped off by Spidey lookalikes and also to fund May's college education.
Kaine and Peter also have guilt over not protecting Baby May and Ben Reilly. Kaine protecting Spider-Girl and Darkdevil probably has something to do with that guilt, too.
Fanservice: Usually avoided. Then comes the last page of Amazing Spider-Girl #26, wherein the first thing May sees as she recovers consciousness is Arana's rather generous cleavage. The panel is a POV shot, at that.
And then there's the whole flipping-around-in-body-bending-poses-while-wearing-skintight-spandex bit...
Foreshadowing: Two of the first bad guys May meets, Crazy Eight and Funny Face, are Monster Clowns. Turns out they're brothers. Oh, and sure, Funny Face sounds similar to another DeFalco badguy Angel Face but that's just a gag. She's their mom.
Generation Xerox: Played straight in that almost all of the MC2 heroes are following in their parent's or mentor's footsteps (and costume choices). Subverted in that most of them have different personalities and motivations.
May has a LOT of xeroxed relationships, though.
Heck, even Peter's gotten in on the act. He's as overprotective as Aunt May sometimes...
J. Jonah Jameson himself. Not that he was a villain, but in this continuity, the old man openly supports Spider-Girl's actions. Still grumpy, though.
Hero Killer: The Hobgoblin. Arguably the deadliest villain in the series (barring the Eldritch Abomination Set), in Spectacular Spider-Girl #4, he effortlessly beats down an assembled group of heroes with only one other ally at his side. He is only defeated via sneak attack. In the last issue of the original series, he even killed the Venom symbiote itself.
Lightning Can Do Anything: Being electrocuted when she's fighting Killerwatt causes May to lose her powers. Being accidentally zapped by the Costume Copycat who steals her dad's costumed identity causes May to regain her powers.
Angel Face is an inverted, evil version. When one of her sons dies, she goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge with his brother. Except they end up taking out their anger out on everyone else who had a part in his death, instead of on the killer.
And she thinks Stripperiffic outfits would leave her vulnerable. (Plus, her dad would freak!)
Mutants: Averted and subverted. May's status as a mutant is rarely acknowledged. And her friend Nancy, who has powers, wants to be a doctor instead of a superhero. Unfortunately, Davida accidentally outs her out of jealously and Brad arranges a mob to go after her, forcing Nancy to join the X-People. Then in Amazing, there is Sara, whose father couldn't accept a mutant child. Now, she's been manipulated by Magneta and possibly killed by her own powers.
Omake: The one-page stories about Baby Ben in Amazing, with art by Colleen Coover.
One Dialogue, Two Conversations: In Spider-Girl #5, there is an oblique conversation between Peter Parker and Phil Urich after which Peter thinks he made Phil understand that Mayday must not continue being Spider-Girl while Phil thinks Peter told him to train her being a superheroine because Peter can't do it himself for fear of worrying his wife Mary Jane.
Overprotective Dad: Peter Parker, again. It's a lot easier to sympathize with him, since he's less concerned about May's boyfriends than the risk of her getting killed while fighting supervillains. A more traditional application of this trope applies when he very bluntly informs Franklin Richards that May is only fifteen years old.
Shout-Out: After just waking up, Mayday mutters "Kltpzyxm!" In Superman, this is Mxyzptlk's name reversed, and Supes must trick Mxy into saying it to get rid of him until their dimensions next align (in other words, for three months.)
Sidekick Glass Ceiling: Felicity's attempts to play Scarlet Spider would count, except that she's always being forced out of (or quitting) the superhero biz before becoming a full-fledged sidekick. Not that this has stopped her. Since then, Mayday's new partner is newly discovered clone April Parker.
Sky Surfing: The Green Goblin(s), Hobgoblin, and Fury of course. Mayday even gets in on the act, using Goblin gear when she (temporarily, of course) loses her powers.
Sleep Cute: Peter and May get a non-romantic version, after having spent a whole issue bickering at each other and helping reunite an ex-villain with his daughter.
Stuffed into the Fridge: Defied by MJ. When Normie comes to kidnap her, she isn't fazed. She starts berating him, pointing out she used to change his diaper, why the hell would she be scared of him? And she starts beating him with a table lamp just before May swings in to the rescue...though by this point, it's unclear just whom she's rescuing.
Teen Idol: Franklin Richards, a superhero version. He's actually pretty into May until he finds out her real age.
Uncanny Family Resemblance: Early in the series, May looked a LOT like Peter. Now she resembles both her parents without looking a clone of either of them. Speaking of clones, though, Reilly Tyne looks just like a redheaded Tobey Maguirerrr, Peter Parker. And somehow only MJ and Normie Osborn have noticed this.
A recent dream sequence featured May's brother Ben looking almost exactly like his dad, too.
Very Special Episode: A downplayed example in "The Girl Who Fell To Earth," which was the culmination of a long subplot, and the abused character (Sandra) remains part of the supporting cast. Later, May and Courtney who also got attacked by Sandra's boyfriend when she tried to help her start volunteering at the women's shelter.