Review: Spider-Woman #8
This has been possibly the most perplexing title at Marvel in the past year, but perhaps for good reason as it also contains one of the most perplexing characters in Marvel’s publication history. Despite Marvel’s ability to stick the word spider on the beginning of most things and thereafter sell a lot of comics, Spider-Woman has never enjoyed the success of her namesakes. Instead the character has been one that has mostly been a secondary character or a team member, but never really able to hold down her own series. It would seem though that the problem all along is the choice of focus, on the spider rather than on the woman. The first issues of this recent attempt at the character seemed to be heading down the same path as those before. It was entirely serviceable but also overwhelmingly normal, and stayed as such until the series was rebooted almost before it had a chance to begin.
The reboot threw Jessica into a completely different story line. Eschewing her Avengers friends, she instead got interested in protecting the people and made her view a lot smaller. She was approached by Ben Urich in relation to a story about the disappearing loved ones of supervillain henchmen, and the action took her to a town where they all reside and live their lives in a safe haven as opposed to the outside world of super-chaos. In the final issue of this new arc, Jessica comes to blows with a human wearing a construction equipment based exoskeleton as she decides what to do with the fates of those involved.
What the creative team has managed to do with this series is interesting. In comics the default gender is male, and by adhering to the usual story lines, the creative team would never have been able to take advantage of what makes Jessica special, the woman suffix, not the Spider prefix. This issue is a perfect example of how that is done to build a competent superheroine and one that typifies her gender as opposed to hiding it under spandex or a cape. With this first story arc now completed it seems as though this series is on a good path as it looks to extend her adventures into mainstream comics for the foreseeable future.
Story: Dennis Hopeless Art: Javier Rodriguez
Story: 9.2 Art: 9.2 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy