Tag Archives: Madame Web

Sony shifts Madame Web and Kraven the Hunter release dates

Sony announced some new films and shifts on already announced release dates. Two Spider-Man universe films are getting a bit delayed, we’ll just need to wait a little bit longer to see how these turn out.

Madame Web, starring Dakota Johnson and Sydney Sweeney, is moving from October 6, 2023 to February 16, 2024.

Kraven the Hunter, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, is also moving from October 6, 2023 from January 13, 2023.

An untitled Sony/Marvel film is also set for release on July 12, 2024.

Kraven the Hunter

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day! What are you all getting? What are you excited for? Sound off in the comments below. While you wait for comic shops to open, here’s some comic news from around the web.

CBR – Amber Heard Was Targeted by a Social Media Hate Campaign During Her Defamation Trial – No shit?

CBR – Sony Delays Madame Web to Late 2023 – Do movies ever come out when they initially say now?

Book Riot – 10 Great YA Fantasy Graphic Novels – What would you add to the list?

Madame Web

Investigating Alias #16-17

 alias_16_cover_marvel_february_2003Investigating Alias is a weekly issue by issue look at the source material that inspired the popular and critically acclaimed Jessica Jones Netflix show.

In this installment of Investigating Alias, I will be covering Alias #16-17 (2003) written by Brian Michael Bendis, drawn by Michael Gaydos, and colored by Matt Hollingsworth.

Alias #16 starts a new story arc called “The Underneath” where Jessica Jones looks for Mattie Franklin, who stumbles around Jessica’s apartment in costume and then jumps out the window while cursing her out. Jessica is freaked out and spends the night at Scott Lang’s apartment, who she started dating last issue.There, she calls Agent Quartermain, her contact at SHIELD, who gives her grief for sleeping with Ant-Man and gives her information on Mattie’s whereabouts and known associates. The issue ends with Jessica confronting J. Jonah Jameson, who she had previously scammed out of money while he wanted her to find Spider-Man’s secret identity.

Alias #17 uses a non-linear narrative structure with Scott and Jessica starting to have sex, but they stop when Jessica tells him that she’s had a horrible day beginning with “J. Jonah Dickface”. (Scott’s words, not hers.) Writer Brian Michael Bendis bookends the story of her day with Jessica and Scott’s observations on these events and offers insight into their relationship while furthering the mystery plot and also hinting at her dark backstory. After Jessica tells J. Jonah Jameson being missing and asks about his relationship with the girl that he and his wife raised and cared for, he gets angry in his typical, superhero hating way and promises to destroy her if she doesn’t find Mattie.

She does some online digging and finds out she was connected to Jessica Drew, a more prosperous Marvel private investigator, who doesn’t pick up her call because she’s in Istanbul for the month. Then, Malcolm, who is much more annoying in the comic than the Jessica Jones TV show, bursts in and is his irritating self. However, Jessica is so desperate than she enlists his encyclopedic knowledge of superheroes and possible connection to help find her offering him a job if he finds any information on Mattie. Then, she meets the cryptic, telepathic, clairvoyant, and quite creepy Madame Web, who babbles about Mattie possibly meeting a horrible, violent end. The climax of the issue is Web reading Jessica’s mind without her permission and seeing her horrible past (Killgrave still isn’t mentioned by name.), which causes her to run out in anger. The comic ends with Jessica silently remembering.

The opening scene of Alias #16 where Jessica Jones thwarts a convenience story in a not very superheroic way. I read this scene as Bendis along with artist Michael Gaydos and colorist Matt Hollingsworth deconstructing his more straightforward superhero work on Ultimate Spider-Man with artist Mark Bagley. Whereas Spider-Man would have swung in on a double page splash page and had some kind of a Clerks joke at the ready, Jessica opens up by throwing shade on a women’s magazine and its obsession with thinness and pleasing men. The hold-up happens as she is reading, and it’s never in doubt that Jessica is going to help, but she saves the day in her own special way starting out by throwing a can of soup at the robber and then just tackling him while referring to Spider-Man’s jokes as “shit”. However, the situation almost gets more horrible when the clerk is about to shoot the robber, and Jessica has to talk him down. The little incident doesn’t end with the typical, “Yo *insert superhero name here*, you’re the greatest and New York loves you”, but with Jessica having to pay full price for cigarettes. There is a sad, yet all too true kind of realism in the worker’s ungratefulness.


This sequence encapsulates both Jessica Jones and Alias’ relationship to the superhero genre. Sure, she’s cool with helping people as seen in her previous cases, including an assist to Captain America, but superheroes are both a nuisance and a stress to her. Gaydos and Hollingsworth do an excellent job showing the stress part by quickly cutting from Jessica to the robber and now gun-wielding clerk with a blood red background showing she’s barely in control of the situation to go along with rambling dialogue like “El speako Englisho.” Gaydos shows the chaos of the situation by losing his usual panel grid and jumbling panels together as Jessica tackles the robber and tries to get everything squared away before the police officers come. And her fear of the police isn’t the silly “They’ll reveal my secret identity.” reason, but that the fact that police officers held her in an interrogation room and accused her of murder in the first arc of Alias and she’s afraid that they’ll do a similar thing and ask her continuous questions about quitting her superhero gig. The mistrust is well-placed, but kind of bites her in the ass when she doesn’t go them when Mattie Franklin shows up in her apartment and goes missing.

Along with setting up the P.I. plot, Alias #16-17 examines the burgeoning relationship between Scott Lang and Jessica Jones. Even though he has a criminal past, Scott is a decent guy, who cares about Jessica and invites her over to stay at his apartment for her safety, not a booty call. In fact, he’s snoring on the couch while Jessica does some work on her laptop with his adorable Avengers mug and Ant-Man helmet on his kitchen table. It’s a nice moment of domestic tranquility while Jessica freaks out about the missing, mysterious superhero, who showed up at her apartment, cursed her out, and literally bounced off the walls outside her place. Scott and Jessica also share some fun, sarcastic banter like Scott letting Jessica stay because he want “future boyfriend points”. But most of their conversation is about more serious topics.

Scott is a pretty good listener and stops having sex with Jessica in Alias #17 when he realizes that something is the matter with her. (Gaydos does an excellent job differentiating between emotionally vacant and pleasured fill faces in this scene.) However, he can get a little judge-y at times like when he inserts a completely unnecessary “I told you so” when Jessica says she should’ve called the police about Mattie after being verbally threatened by J. Jonah Jameson and getting a preternaturally eerie phone call from Madame Web just before she was about to dial Web’s number. And maybe his being an ass about her choices in a difficult situation is why she is silent in the final pages of the issue.


In Alias #17, Bendis thinks of something clever to do with the annoyance that is Malcolm. Malcolm is definitely a stand-in for teenage fanboys, who picked up Alias for its sex, use of “fuck”, and perceived edginess instead of Hollingsworth’s noir color palette, Gaydos’ ability to convey fear, paranoia, and negative feelings through facial expressions and switch-ups in panel layouts, and Bendis’ ear for dialogue. He is just plain mean and makes fun of Captain America for revealing his secret identity and calls Daredevil a “pussy” for suing the tabloid that outed him as Matt Murdock in some kind of insane, proto-hipster way of telling Jessica that she’s cool for going public with her superhero identity way before them. But instead of throwing him through a plate glass window, but with her sass firmly intact, Jessica puts Malcolm the “geekboy” to work trying to find evidence on Mattie Franklin. And she gets to throw him the mother of all side eye when he asks for a cell phone to go with his purely theoretical part time job. Malcolm doesn’t get the robust manipulated addict to altruistic helper arc that the Malcolm played by Eka Darville in Jessica Jones did, but at least, he’s slightly useful to the plot in this issue instead of just being target practice for Jessica’s snark.

Jessica’s meeting with Madame Web towards the conclusion of Alias #17 is one of the most emotionally draining scenes in the series up to this point. Gaydos is an artist who conveys feeling through the eyes so he makes Web a character divorced from it by showing her either wreathed in shadow or just a panel of her glasses for close-ups. However, she isn’t completely removed from empathy and bows her head when she talks about seeing Jessica’s past while saying, “I’m so sorry.” This is the first straightforward thing she’s said in the comic, and her dialogue up to that point reads like possible ways this story arc could be concluded as Bendis doesn’t want to give away anything major at this point in the game. And then she does something that Killgrave did years ago (and we’ll learn more about later) and reads Jessica’s mind without her consent earning a well-deserved earful of anger from Jessica.


Telepathy and mind control has been one of the most problematic elements in both superhero and science fiction from Obi Wan Kenobi using it to get past a Stormtrooper in Star Wars to Professor X’s shenanigans in various eras of X-Men comics to Ms. Marvel being brainwashed, raped, and impregnated in 1980’s Avengers #200. I believe that reading someone’s mind without their permission is the psychic equivalent of rape because it’s a violation of consent and should be treated as such in sci-fi and superhero stories. Bendis handles it pretty well in Alias #17 by having Jessica tell Madame Web what she did was wrong in her signature foulmouthed way. Again, Gaydos goes away from the grid and uses big slashing style panel layouts to go along with Jessica’s accusatory gestures and Hollingsworth’s red and black palette. I don’t know much about Madame Web beyond the fact that she was extremely weird in the 1990s Spider-Man and Spider-Man Unlimited cartoons, but she comes across as a character, who lacks any kind of moral compass and idea of consequences. And she triggers memories of Jessica’s past that she would rather keep buried down deep as seen in the dark grey coloring of the final pages of the issue as she lays in bed.

Alias #16-17 opens with an exploration into Jessica Jones and Alias’ relationship with the superhero genre showing that it encroaches upon Jessica’s goal of just moving on with her life and job as a private investigator and also looks at her partially sweet and empathetic and partially strained relationship with Scott Lang as she tracks down D-List teen hero Mattie Franklin, the third Spider-Woman. Brian Michael Bendis’ writing, Michael Gaydos’ art, and Matt Hollingsworth’s colors are full of emotion as Jessica battles the pressure of J. Jonah Jameson accusing her of ripping him off in this situation along with being forced to relive past trauma when Madame Web reads her mind without consent. Jessica is really in a dark, lonely place by the end of Alias #17 even though she’s in bed with Scott Lang.