Jessica Drew’s Spider-Woman has taken a bit of back seat over the last few years to other Spider-Man Family members and Avengers. That is very different from where the character was once placed in a prominent position as a core member of the Avengers entering the 2010s. But with the Spider-Man Family more popular than ever, with Peter Parker, Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy leading things, there is no reason Jessica Drew as the main Spider-Woman shouldn’t be part of that popularity. Jessica Drew is a character who has a lot of qualities that make her standout from her Spider-Man Family and Avengers teammates. Getting a new opportunity at an ongoing series should hopefully tap into all the potential Jessica Drew has as Spider-Woman. Let’s find out if that is the case with Spider-Woman #1.
Writer: Karla Pacheco
Artist: Pere Perez (Main Story); Paulo Siqueira (New Costume, Who Dis? Back-Up)
Inker: Oren Junior (New Costume, Who Dis? Back-Up)
Colorist: Frank D’Armata (Main Story and New Costume, Who Dis? Back-Up)
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: While fighting some thugs Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) thinks about how she doesn’t feel like a hero at the moment.
Ten minutes earlier Spider-Woman is working as a security guard for a girl named Rebecca Marchand’s sixteenth birthday party on a yacht. Michael Mearchand, a pharmaceutical executive, thanks Spider-Woman for protecting his daughter’s party.
A minute later Michael gives his daughter her present, a brand new car. Rebecca is upset that the car is not adapted to be accessible for her.
Before they can get into it more some thugs attack the party. Spider-Woman is quick to take down the first two thugs that appear. More thugs begin to show up. Spider-Woman works quickly to take these thugs out as well.
Spider-Woman suddenly starts feeling weird. Rather than focusing on that Spider-Woman tells Michael to take the party guest to go to a secure location in the yacht as those thugs she beat up were likely only the first wave.
As Spider-Woman gets everyone to safety one of the kids dressed as Deadpool talks crap about Rebecca and the fact she is handicap. Spider-Woman teaches the kid a lesson by throwing him into the water with a float tube to hang on to.
More thugs show up and Spider-Woman immediately takes them down one by one. As she uses her powers she continues to feel worse.
Meanwhile the thugs decide to escape on the boat they arrived in. Spider-Woman quickly gets into the car Michael gifted his daughter and drives it to the thugs boat, leaving the bad guys to float in the water.
Just as things look safe another group of mercenaries show up in a helicopter and start firing their guns at Spider-Woman. Spider-Woman is forced to dive into the water to escape all the gunfire.
Without Spider-Woman on the yacht the mercenaries take Rebecca as a hostage.
Underwater Spider-Woman quickly swims to where the anchor of the yacht is located. She then climbs back up the boat while carrying the anchor chain. She then tosses the anchor at the mercenaries helicopter and uses her strength to make it crash into the water.
The mercenaries leader on the yacht gets distracted by his helicopter crashing. Spider-Woman uses this as an opportunity to use the Deadpool kid to toss him into the mercenary leader. Spider-Woman then slams the mercenary head on one of the bars. She then uses her Venom Blast to destroy the mercenary’s helicopter.
As the coast guard shows up to arrest all the mercenaries Spider-Woman begins feeling weird. She suddenly pukes up a green liquid.
Spider-Woman then collapses as the same green liquid comes out of her eyes and ears as well. The green liquid then begins to form Spider-Woman’s spider symbol on the ground. End of main story.
The Good: Spider-Woman #1 is not an Earth-shattering beginning and it does not have to be. Karla Pacheco wisely spends the time to catch people up to speed on where Jessica Drew is mentally and what her current status quo is. By going with this route Pacheco makes Spider-Woman #1 came across as a fresh start both for a long time and new fans can jump into.
With the opening few pages of Spider-Woman #1 Pacheco is able to establish how Jessica Drew finds herself in a spot that she does not like. We see a character that is very much in a spot where she is wandering and not so sure she is doing what she should be doing in life. Especially with the incredibly high stature Jessica once had as Spider-Woman in the core Avengers team she now is in a place that is very much grounded.
At the same time, Pacheco makes sure that Jessica isn’t blaming the world for her situation. Throughout her dialogue in Spider-Woman #1 we get a good idea that Jessica understands she chose this path for herself. Trying to balance being a mother and superhero is not easy, especially when you have to pay bills like everyone else.
Which makes the Heroes-For-Hire type role she has taken on by opening her old agency back up an understandable next step for Jessica. This new career choice allows Jessica to continue to use her powers to protect others while making some money. While there is no shame in that Pacheco makes it clear that Jessica is not comfortable doing this yet. She still has a lot of reservations on this since it’s not the type of life as Spider-Woman she is used to.
Because of that Pacheco does a solid job explaining why Jessica is changing up her Spider-Woman costume. This is something many fans questioned when it was announced that there was going to be a new Spider-Woman costume in this series. To Pacheco’s credit she quickly explains how Jessica does not feel right doing her Hero-For-Hire work in the iconic Spider-Woman costume that is supposed to represent her superhero life with the Avengers and Strikeforce. The black and red costume also works to give her a look that will possibly mean we see her do other types of work that is not just security detail.
Defending a party from two different groups of mercenaries was a good way to show off Spider-Woman’s abilities and skills. We saw how she fights in a way that focuses on her speed and agility like the other members of the Spider-Man Family. But what we see more from the way Spider-Woman fights more aggressively and brutal. She does not hesitate to do something to send a message to mercenaries like blow up their helicopter or send a car into the boat they wanted to use to escape.
While the story with the party and the mercenaries Spider-Woman stopped seemed like a one-shot deal it does look as though Pacheco has bigger plans in play. The person who helped Jessica with creating a new costume seems to be working with someone who is playing a long game. Given how the main story ended it is likely connected with why Jessica ended up throwing up what looked like acid out of her face.
Now given that the liquid ended up forming a spider it would be interesting if it tied into the Spider-Totem story. We’ve seen Jessica as Spider-Woman get involved in the Spider-Totem story through her part in Spider-Verse. This could end up developing her greater role in the whole Spider-Totem angle that ties all the Spider-Man Family members together across the multiverse.
Pere Perez and Paulo Siqueira did a good job with their respective parts in Spider-Woman #1. Perez did well in showing off the Spider-Woman’s skills in battle as she used her agility to her advantage. The aggressive fighting style she had worked against the opponents that she was up against. As for Spider-Woman #1 back-up story, Siqueira got over how Jessica feels she is a tough spot with her money issues.
The Bad: The story in Spider-Woman #1 was very basic. It won’t be the punch that some may want from their superhero story. Especially since Spider-Woman just fights a lot of nameless mercenaries this comic book your decision on picking up this comic will be based solely on if you just want to see her in action.
The other thing that Spider-Woman #1 misses the mark on establishing the supporting cast. We see Gerry Drew and Roger during the back-up story but it doesn’t do much to sell the key supporting cast relationships. It would’ve been nice to see characters like Captain Marvel or Peter Parker get brief scenes with Jessica. Hopefully we see that part of the series developed, as a strong supporting cast will be beneficial to Spider-Woman’s success.
Overall: Spider-Woman #1 is a solid start to the latest ongoing series for Jessica Drew. Karla Pacheco established a direction for Spider-Woman that has a lot of possibilities to develop Jessica in new, creative ways. The generic nature of the antagonists that Spider-Woman goes up against is the only thing that keeps this debut issue from reaching its full potential.
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