Hello, my name is Dean and I’m a fan of Dennis Hopeless. There are a few examples out there of my love for Hopeless like here, here, here, here and also here. But as you can see most of that comes from Avengers Arena. I admit, I have not read a single Spider-Woman issue until now. I’m not sure why I decided to give it a shot now that she is pregnant, but apparently a pregnant woman with cool shades flexing is enough to draw me in. Spoilers, it was great.
Jessica Drew is pregnant. Just in case you were in that awkward position where you haven’t heard about her being pregnant and then you see her with a belly and are thinking, “Is she pregnant? She looks super pregnant. I should congratulate her. But what if she isn’t pregnant? What if she just discovered Bronuts, that place downtown where they make gourmet donuts? It’s too late now to say anything, I’ll just wait until I actually see a baby.” If you happen to be caught in that situation,don’t worry, Hopeless lets you know in the opening page she is pregnant, awkward moment avoided. I don’t mean to brag, but I have a lot of pregnant friends, or at least friends that have been pregnant before. Our hangouts used to be sitting around drinking beer, laughing loud and cursing our jobs. Now our hangouts are diapers, crying and nap time. The point is, things change. So, what do you do when life hits you with an unexpected little human being? You love it like crazy.
Alright, I’m getting ahead of myself. She hasn’t had the baby yet. Right now she is the cool pregnant lady, doing what cool pregnant ladies do. Even though she looks like she is going to burst, she is still at her job. Her job contains some…physical labor so she is placed in an “office” type role. Similar to Oracle she is talking to her partner Roger a.k.a. Porcupine as he is in the field and she watches with journalist Ben Urich from the car. Did I just compare a pregnant woman to a paraplegic? Ladies please hold your hate mail. Jessica also reluctantly covers up her motorbike. Even a super hero needs to go through some changes. She throws a huge super rooftop party on her last day of work where she sticks it to Tony Stark for asking if she knows who the father of her baby is. It’s not what you said Tony, it’s the way you said it! After the party it is time for Jessica to start her maternity leave. She is bored to tears. Well, as much as this comic is not about fighting crime, the crime will eventually find Jessica.
Javier Rodriguez does a beautiful job with the comic. Right from the opening page he creates such interesting panel layouts. My favorite is definitely a scene at the rooftop party. The shot is a profile of the building, you can see the heroes on the roof and within the building are the grid panels. It is a very cool visual. Speaking of the party, I always love seeing a scene with a collection of superheroes. Artists must love this. Rodriguez is used to drawing Jessica, Roger and Ben for 18 pages, it must be nice to cut loose and draw your version of Spider-man, Iron Man and Hawkeye. The party is definitely one of my favorite scenes. One of my least favorite scenes is at an aquarium. I have an irrational fear of fish just listen to the first 10 minutes of this podcast to see how deeply it is seeded. Rodriguez draws a few really freaky motherfuckers in this scene. Some of the fish were so realistic looking, I had to speed read through that page. Nice work on the drawings, but come on man!
Hopeless is painting a perfect picture of a soon-to-be mom having to sacrifice a few things in her life to make room for a child. He is able to take some very real emotions and adapt them to the superhero life. It is one of those real life situations that makes people say, “It’s funny because it’s true.” This story will make you laugh, and depending on your life experience might make you cry.
by Dennis Hopeless and Greg Land
The Story: (Full disclosure: I have not been following Spiderverse, of which this issue heavily deals with) Spider-Woman is guarding Silk on an adventure through the Mighty Marvel Multiverse from a pair of deadly blond twins hunting them. They are joined by the Noir Spider-Man, who eventually gets injured and leaves the plot. Meanwhile, some epic fight is happening off-page and 616 Spider-Man asks Spider-Woman to leave her mission while Spider-Gwen and Spider-Girl fill-in. Spider-Woman teleports out (which some or all of them can do for some reason that’s never explained) while Silk jumps to another dimension while the deadly twins close in on her.
The Art: I would not have guessed this was Greg Land art. I could have mistaken it for Mike Deodato or John Cassaday in certain panels. Land-detractors may find some of his trademarks in the pages (money-shot faces, visual inconsistencies, etc) but I found the art to be inoffensive while somewhat typical Marvel art 5-10 years ago.
Overall: I found much of the early dialogue annoying. It seemed to be pulled right out of bad TV movies. I couldn’t understand why Spider-Woman and Silk were bickering so much (a story reason is given that’s not convincing). Also, lack of background information. Then again I could be the wrong fan for this book as it’s meant for everyone following Spiderverse and the introduction of Silk and her adventures. For as much hype as this book as gotten (about 20% was the actual story, the rest for that variant cover that caused a stir. Then another, then another, then why does Marvel keep doing this?) this issue left me particularly cold. Nothing really makes me want to come back to this series (which was $3.99, that should say a lot) and I don’t see this book lasting very long after Spiderverse ends.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent