Previously in Spider-Woman #7
Spider-Women Omega #1 | Writer: Dennis Hopeless | Art: Nico Leon | Color Artist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Crossover events in comics are always tricky. While they can bring in new audiences and highlight commonalities between various characters, they can also struggle to be coherent and to offer stakes that are true to all the characters involved. Spider-Women Omega manages to conclude the adventures of Cindy, Gwen, and Jess in a way that honors the roots of each character, but also promises to take them in a new direction. And while the bad guy is defeated and brunch is saved, these women have been changed profoundly by their adventure together.
Gwen has recently struggled to balance her life as superhero, daughter, and friend and Cindy-65 taking away her powers offered her a chance to opt out of life as a hero/wanted vigilante. But when she’s forced to sit on the sidelines and wait for her powers to kick in, she realizes that she doesn’t like feeling powerless anymore. Unfortunately, the serum that Jesse gave her will eventually run out and her time as Spider-Gwen may be ending whether she wants to face it or not.
Jessica got to see how her doppelgänger Jesse compartmentalized his family and his job and although he seemed to be able to separate work and family, that’s not necessarily an option for her. Jess cares about her son Gerry, but she also cares about keeping the world safe and eventually those two things may conflict. Right now, she’s spending every moment with Gerry that she can. It’s really empowering to see a comic say a woman doesn’t and shouldn’t have to choose between a job and her family while at the same time acknowledging that having superpowers doesn’t make you a supermom … and that’s okay.
Cindy perhaps had the hardest realization of all. Since coming out of her bunker, she’s been trying to find her parents and in many ways she’s idealized what her relationship with them would have been like if she has been able to stay home. To find out that Cindy-65 had the life she’s longed for and rejected it, and that the Earth-65 version of her parents essentially hate her, was a giant blow to her emotionally. But she’s also realized that life isn’t hers and she has to live the one she has for better or worse. Hopeless and the other Spider-Women writers have also created a formidable and layered villain with Cindy-65. She’s a genius and megalomaniac, but there’s also a part of her that just wants to be special, which makes her the perfect foil for these women who are always searching for normal. Also, she kicks butt with or without powers.
But it’s not all sadness and harsh realizations. Hopeless and Leon crafted a beautiful fight scene between Cindy-65 and our heroines. And they used a trope I love. You know those recaps at the beginning of each issue that everyone generally skips over? Each one has referenced the fight with the adaptoid robot that kicked off this event and apparently that was not a throwaway reference. I won’t ruin it for you. Hopeless, as well as Robbie Thompson and Jason Latour, created an arc that truly gives each of these women a chance to shine and sets each character on a new path.
It will be interesting to see where it all goes from here. The one thing that is hard for these crossovers is the inconsistencies with the art. The individual issues had their own style – Silk and Spider-Gwen retained their usual artists, but the Alpha and Omega issues were done in two very different styles. I know that it’s just how the comics biz goes – especially at the bigger houses – but it’s very jarring for readers, and for collectors it’s hard to deal with a drastic change in style from page to page. Other than that, this crossover presented a really great emotional arc and it was awesome to see these women reunite one year later. If these books continue, it would be cool to make this an annual event.