In the history of new title launches for superheroes at the big two comic publishers, there might not have been as strange of a debut as Spider-Woman underwent to get to what is the now fifth issue of the series. Before the series was even debuted it underwent a massive amount of well-deserved criticism for the depiction of its main character on one of its variant covers. For those fans that were not deterred by this they picked up the first issue and found the character somewhat confusingly dropped into the middle of the Spider-Verse crossover. After five issues, the character is once again rebooted, this time getting her own “Batgirl” treatment, in league with other female characters at the big two that are getting younger, more confident and more up-to-date.
The story follows Jessica Drew as she has thrown off her larger commitments in the superhero community to focus on her life as a “normal” superhero, more focused on the streets than on the skies. Some parts of this don’t work, for instance as she is depicted as a bit of rookie in her efforts despite her long career, but on the whole the grassroots approach to the character works. When she is teamed up with Ben Urich, the story starts to kick into a higher gear, as both the reader and the main character realize the importance of heeding Ben’s journalistic instincts.
What is evident about this issue is that the creative team has the potential to pull this together, and only begs the question why they were not allowed to do that in the first place before all the controversy and all the misdirection (in which case Batgirling would be replaced by Spiderwomaning?) Regardless while this series and this story still has some ground to make up, and despite that some of the previous four issues read well as individual issues, this #5 feels like a #1 and perhaps there is hope yet for Jessica to get some of the attention that is deserved.
Story: Dennis Hopeless Art: Javier Rodriguez
Story: 8.3 Art: 8.3 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Read