Previously in Spider-Woman #9
I’m reading a lot of great series right now, so it’s been hard for me to list one as my favorite. Until now.
This. This. THIS. This shit right here.
It’s so good, y’all. So damn good.
Ever since the Spider-Verse event ended, Spider-Woman has gone in an interesting direction. Jessica decides to leave The Avengers, get a new uniform, and spend time helping people on a smaller scale. This may seem like story suicide when you have Spider-Freaking-Woman, but it’s as we watch Jessica find a new purpose that we get to really know her. She’s stubborn, loyal, determined, and funny as hell.
The story played with time in interesting ways: revealing a situation and then backtracking to show how the characters got there. Even though this was done a few times, it never got old because it was always creative. One of my favorite panels in a comic book ever was the “How She Did It” sequence showing how Jessica went from being tied to a ceiling to the trunk of the bad guy’s car without being seen.
This issue begins with Jessica, back in her old uniform, joining Black Widow and the other heroes as they prepare to stop (or fight or flee) the incursion. *record scratch* Right? How the hell did we get here? I mean, we knew all the series would eventually blend into Secret Wars and hopefully our favorites will make it out the other side. But what happened to Ben? To Roger? To the weird robotic people in that one-horse town?
Well, a flashback reveals Roger actually saved Ben, rushing him to a hospital where a nurse informs him that all the townspeople are zombies. She hustles them to an ambulance where she’ll tend to Ben if Roger will just drive and get them the hell out of there. Roger proves his usefulness again and again in this issue. First, saving Ben, and then he figures out that the meat is what infected everyone – the nurse is the only vegan in town. Finally, as Jessica takes on Hulk cows and other baddies, he discovers the whole thing is a game. He takes control and saves the day.
As the others rest and celebrate in a motel room, Jessica heads out for ice and that’s when she’s approached by Black Widow. She has no choice. She has to join the fight. And she doesn’t bother to say goodbye to her new friends.
I could lick the pages they’re so delicious looking! While Dennis Hopeless has been killing it with the story since issue #1, it took me an issue or so to warm up to Javier Rodriguez. Hey, change is hard! I was such a fan of Greg Land’s work (especially in issue #5) as everything was so sleek and shiny. I loved the women’s faces and how their bodies were depicted in action panels.
Rodriguez’s work seemed darker in color and mood, but that definitely fit the direction the story had gone. The new uniform is badass: functional, still flattering, and multi-purpose. If I could sew, I’d make it in a heartbeat. I can’t sew, so someone needs to get on that shit so I can buy it.
For this issue, Rodriguez did the cover and Natacha Bustos and Vero Gandini did the heavy lifting inside. Bustos’ work was very much like Rodriguez’s with a few exceptions including the scenes of Jessica in her old clothes. Those had a different feel, which I suspect was the point. The action panels were still some of the best I’ve seen in a comic book and the colors were gorgeous. I particularly liked the panels with Jess sporting a cowboy hat low on her brow. It felt very much like an old western.
I’m so pleased this series will be back after Secret Wars and they’re not mucking up the formula that has worked so well: Hopeless, Rodriquez, and the kickass new uniform will be back. And the time away is just long enough for Jessica to find herself in a delicate situation. Click here if you wish to be spoiled.
I can’t wait. I’ve loved everything about this series. At times, it felt like it was written just for me.