Rating: 2.5/5 – Not Enough Spider-Woman In Her Own Debut Issue.
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas
When Marvel announced a new series starring long time Marvel heroine Spider-Woman, I was excited to see the character get a fresh start. After Brian Michael Bendis successfully brought her back in the pages of Avengers, she’s had an Origin mini-series and a limited series that really altered her origin story and ultimately made the character a bit more complex. She was part of Hydra, she was an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and an agent of S.W.O.R.D., not to mention having a Skrull take her place for years as revealed in the Secret Invasion event. A fresh start to the character would be just what this character needs. Unfortunately, this first issue’s focus is on the Spider-Verse crossover event instead of focusing on the title character.
If you haven’t been following the Spider-Verse storyline, you might be lost in this first issue. The themes and characters of Spider-Verse take center stage while Spider-Woman seems to be just along for the ride. We get appearances by Spider-Man Noir, the new Gwen Stacy Spider-Girl, Silk and others which makes this book feel like it should be a Spider-Verse one-shot or tie-in rather than an all new Spider-Woman series. There’s no origin recap for Jessica Drew, no solo moments that define what she’s about, and no nods to her history. It feels more like a team book. Writer Dennis Hopeless throws the reader right into the big Spider-Verse event and seems more interested in the recent addition to Spider-Man’s supporting cast, Silk, rather than the character who carries the title of this comic.
Greg Land is known for drawing beautiful women, although all of them looking eerily the same. The female characters do look beautiful, but Silk goes from looking as though she’s in her mid teens in one panel, to a full grown woman in the next. Land’s character movements also feel posed throughout, rather than natural and “spider-like” which is consistent with my take on his style over the years. The art does serve the story well enough, but if you’re not a fan of Land’s previous work, there isn’t anything new or different that you’ll need to see here.
Spider-Woman #1 does most things wrong as a debut issue. It throws you into the deep end of a major event giving the reader who hasn’t been following that event barely enough to get by. It puts more focus on the supporting cast rather than the character who the book is named after. It does little to re-introduce the character and her history in order to allow new readers to create a much needed and important connection. If you’ve been following the Spider-Verse story than you may enjoy this as a tie-in that adds depth to the event, but if you’re looking for a fresh new start for a long time Marvel character, this isn’t it.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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