Previously in Spider-Woman #4
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that comic books aren’t for girls. Aren’t for women. Aren’t for parents. It’s a testament to the creative genius of the team behind Spider-Woman that a story about the highs, lows, and fears of parenting has been so wonderfully captured in a place you might least expect to find it: in a comic book.
I’ve mentioned this before in another review, but I’ll repeat it here: Everyone who writes for Project Fandom does so because they love pop culture. We do get review items of some books, movies, comic books, and games, but Marvel comics aren’t one of them. Every Marvel book we’re reading, we’re reading them because we want to – and the fact that we then take the extra time to tell you about it should give you a measure of confidence that we’re being honest and fair in our criticism.
So, when I say I love this book, I hope you understand that I love this book.
Some books end too soon, and not because the story was so good the ending sneaks up on you. They feel like they’ve ended too soon because there wasn’t a lot of substance. You can almost feel the writer trying to stretch out the story because it’s supposed to be X number of issues in an arc. This is never the case with Spider-Woman. I am always thoroughly satisfied when I hit that last page. The story feels so full. For instance, in this issue we got to experience Jessica’s concerns as she gets used to being responsible for a tiny human; her genuine confusion as to why newborns do what they do (So sleepy they cry instead of just going to sleep? Yup, that’s a thing); her irrational fear of leaving her baby alone with a sitter for the first time, and her mourning of the free time and long sleeps she used to have.
Even though Jessica’s “day job” is being a boss-ass superhero, like all mothers she worries she’s going back to work too soon. On top of that, she has the added trepidation of continuing such a dangerous job. Is she being irresponsible bringing a child into the world who could be orphaned at any time? Every thought Jessica had or word she uttered felt natural and relatable.
And while Hopeless doesn’t waste a single opportunity to deliver such a compelling story, complete with some of the best, wittiest dialogue I’ve ever read, Rodriguez doesn’t waste a single inch of space with his illustrations. My absolute favorites are splash pages with one panel that depicts various movements within the story on that one page. And special shout out to Rachelle Rosenberg for her vibrant contribution of color.
It was such a pleasure watching Jessica come to the realization that the best thing she can do for her son is to allow him to see her be the best Jessica Drew (the superhero, the friend, the mother) she can be.
Everything in this issue just worked for me. A few highlights were: the way they told us what everyone was thinking during Jessica’s first night out with her friends, Jessica picking up the baby’s pacifier with her toes (because we’ve all done that), and the reveal of the baby’s father.
I so cannot wait for this story to continue in issue #6 when it kicks off the special Spider-Women limited series.