REVIEW: Spider-Woman #1

STORY BY Dennis Hopeless, ART BY Javier Rodriguez

The Marvel Universe has been reset, again, and as a result, some books that had a pretty good vibe going, have had to pause before moving forward.  The seemingly always starting and stopping and re-starting Spider-Woman is one of those books.

Now that world is safe, Jessica Drew is back taking on low profile life with  reporter Ben Urich and reformed Porcupine Man Roger Gocking along for the ride.  However, right from the outset, there is something a little different about Jessica.  Yes, she is pregnant.  No she is not getting too involved in crime fighting and putting the baby at risk and no, we don’t know who the father is.  And that is pretty much it, which for a restart issue may not seem like a not.

Dennis Hopeless is definitely taking this book in a new direction.  Pregnancy in comics books is rarer than a happily married couple.  One of the things I like about the writing in this issue is that Jessica makes no apologies for her situation.  The somewhat odd baby shower/party clearly shows she has the support of some of her longest allies. Still, Hopeless is walking a tight rope regarding how this arc may well end, but I have enough faith that he knows what he is doing.

Also returning is Javier Rodriguez whose style has certainly made the book stand out  against the raft of “Batgirl’ed books that are out there at the moment.  Clear lines with a less is more approach to figure work and faces, give the book a somewhat bohemian  coffee-house feeling.

You got to feel a little bit sorry for the Spider-Woman book. First of, the book was originally started as part of a major Spider-verse crossover, making the first couple of issues a tad meaning less if you weren’t reading the whole thing. Then she gets a mini-reboot with the new costume and art direction and finally, when the creators find their groove its end of the universe time! All the while, Spider-Gwen seems to get more attention despite that fact her book is mainly rehashed early Spider-man stories (yes, I know it’s meant to act as a parable, but frankly I am just bored with Spider-Gwen).  The pregnancy issue, whilst brave, may end up costing the book readers if not handled correctly.  I would hate to see that happen as Jessica Drew is more than just a female version of a male character.

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