What Went Wrong With Spider-Woman?

By: Christopher Johnson

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Disclaimer: there will be spoilers for this series as this is an indepth look. The character and all storylines belong to Marvel Comics

 

If you asked me in December of 2014 what book I am looking forward to the most in 2015 based on their 2014 issues, my answer would have been either “Legendary Starlord” by Sam Humpries or “Spider Woman” by Dennis Hopeless. Both series we not in my top 5 but for two very different reasons. If “Legendary Starlord” was not a part of Black Vortex ,then it would have most likely been there,. No, we have to ask ourselves…why? What went wrong with a book that had so much promise? Allow us to time jump to December of 2014 and January of 2015.

 

Story Discussion 1-4
Issue 1 had Jessica Drew, Spider-Man Noir and Silk venture into this dessert world but things go amiss and Spider- Man Noir gets injured and they have to take him back to his world to patch him up and at the end JEssica gets dragged onto another mission. This was a very messy issue but I discussed this in detail exactly one year ago, (check it out here if you want), so my thoughts about 1-3 will be short and too the point so I don’t repeat myself.

Issue 2 is easily the best of the series. It featured Jessica be SPY-der woman as she walked through the world trying to learn more about the enemy. Issue 3 was a terrible issue, the writer tried to handle the issue the same way as the second issue but it felt rushed. There are three major events that spread across 20 or so pages. Plus the final battle is cut off and you have to buy a totally different book to see how it ends.
Issue 4 is really strange. You are promised major status quo changes in the book but the first half sets up something that has no effect on the story and the second half features a battle that sets up interaction with characters who never appear in the book again. Such as Captain Marvel AKA Carol Danvers. She interacts well with JEssica and could be an interesting character but we never see her again in the book. Then at the very end we see the status quo change. My question is to why this issue exists? Everything in this book is complete filler and is very boring.

Quick Review: 1-4
Now, let’s talk. Sure, Issue 1 was messy and confusing but If issue 2 was so good where did issues 3 and 4 go wrong? The simplest answer is the rushed or lack of story telling and either minimal to no use of SPY-der woman. Each book needs something to set it apart. Make it stand out compared to other books and that is where these books lacked. There was nothing in these books that set Jessica apart from other heroes. The next issues are apart of one coherent story so let’s get into the story and discussion.

Story Discussion: 5-8
Issues 5 starts off this new series at a decent start. Hopeless does an excellent job at showing that Jessica is terrible at being a solo hero and even though I wish Carol was apart of the cast, Ben Ulrich has good chemistry with Jessica.

Issue 6, in this book Jessica kidnaps Porcupine and locks him up in her house while she learns that wives of various C-list super villains were kidnapped.The book ends in an interesting situation that sets up the return of SPY-der Woman. Now, issue 7 is where we finally see the full on return of SPY-der Woman and it is as fun as you would expect. The mysteries presented in issues 5 and 6 are revealed and we meet the woman who “kidnapped” the ex girlfriends/wives of various super villains. Issue 8 we see the “Not so epic” battle with Jessica and Lady Caterpillar and the very undramatic ending. Then the final panel previews a new story arc that I have not read as this is the last issue I bought.

Quick Review 5-8:
Issue 5 is not a bad issue infact it is a good start to the series ,but the problem is that it is very boring. Nothing dramatic happens and I just wish it was just a bit more exciting. Isue 6 is very strange. I feel her kidnapping the super villain was excessive and really just unnecessary. This really brought the series down for me because they seem to be shoving down your throat that she doesn’t know what she is doing. I just don’t buy it. I know she hasn’t done the solo gig for a long time but with as many teams she has been on surely she knows something better to do than kidnap a villain.

Issue 7 restored my hope. We were finally given a full blown issue of SPY-der woman and it was such a fun ride. Not only did she dress up as porcupine but she escaped an interrogation room and sneaks into the city where all the “hostages” are kept and pretends to be one but her cover is blown as the battle is set up against mastermind behind this. I do not feel this issue is better than issue 2 simply because Ben and Porcupine are in this book but do not play a major role at all. They seem to have not role in the finale at all and their presence is confusing. Finally, we have issue 8. This issue destroys all hype the previous issue built up. Jessica defeat “Lady Caterpillar” ,but the ending is strange. She lets the women live in this city they created and just leaves. It just felt very boring.

Conclusion: Why did I drop this series?
So, if the last few issues were not bad…what would make me not want to buy anymore? Simple put the series was just boring. I literally wanted to yawn after almost every issue. I just felt nothing exciting happened and the story wasn’t anything spectacular. Yes, there were really good issues such as 2 and 7 but that was not enough to keep my attention.

This was the first series I dropped with the intention of not returning to it. Hopefully, this will be the last book this happens to. Please let me know what you liked and what you didn’t like about this article. This is the first article like this I have attempted and I want to do more like this at some point. If you would like to keep track of when I post new articles please feel free to follow @Cjohnson0545 on Twitter or “like” Comic Conversations” on Facebook.

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