REVIEW: Spider-Woman #5

STORY BY: Dennis Hopeless
ART BY: Javier Rodriguez
COVER BY: Javier Rodriguez
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE DATE: March 04, 2015

Confession time – I only started picking up this run of Spider-Woman due to the press “that” cover received ( I have the standard cover only, in case you are wondering ). Now, five issues in and we are getting a reboot. Has the negative press had an actual impact?

Dennis Hopeless has had a tough job, starting this series in the middle of the Spider-Verse marathon, but there were enough character moments for a new reader to enjoy, I for one didn’t buy any other Spider-Verse books, mainly because I was more interested in Jessica. And it’s this focus on Jess that’s the key to the book. Back in New York, back to her roots Jessica has a destination in mind, but no directions on how to get there. Enter Google Maps in the shape of Ben Urich, whose attempt to help her get there, are initially rebuffed.  This is not the first time I have read the “hero in search of themselves” story. The feel of the writing, reminds me of the Ms Marvel book a few years back and more recently Batgirl.

Art is supplied by Javier Rodriguez and for me is a mixed bag. I like the action panels and most of the setup panels which surprisingly consist of whole bodies. I don’t think I have seen that many feet in a long time.  However, when it comes to faces, I run into problems. Jess is a character who has never been a Spider-Girl. With her past of spy, double agent, triple agent, you get the impression that she has lived through a lot, that’s not even counting her Avengers stint. So to see her drawn, at least facially, as  late teens / twenty-one is kinda jarring for me.

Jessica, in recent years has been tagged as an overly sexualised character, especially with her pheromone powers. It’s this reputation that may have helped contribute to the comments about “that” cover, which may have been seen as a step to far. This new version may be trying to redress the balance, but I hope that we don’t lose the actual character in striving to adhere to perceptions.

It’s obvious to see that the book has taken a leaf, at least artistically and in the shape of a new costume, from Batgirl. Is this a good thing; I don’t know, but this issue was interesting enough to remain on my pull list till at least the not so Secret War event.

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