In the first issue of a new Spider-Woman story, Jessica Drew is nauseated, irritable, and extra-violent, beyond what you get when protecting a bunch of privileged teens while wearing a brand-new uniform. Is it good?
Jessica Drew is not in a great place. While she loves being a member of Strikeforce and she’s in a committed relationship with the Porcupine, they are broke and adding a superpowered baby to the mix, her stress levels are at an all-time high. So when an ultra-rich dad offers her a job protecting his daughter from kidnapping threats, she basically can’t say no.
When all hell breaks loose aboard the sweet sixteen party yacht, Jessica’s response feels kinda extreme, even to her. Not that we all haven’t wanted to throw a sexist, snot-nosed teenager into the ocean, but it’s probably not the best idea when you are hired to protect him. When another crew of kidnappers show up, even more decked out and over-the-top than the first, Jess knows that something is seriously wrong.
Is It Good?
Karla Pacheco kicks off this new take on Spider-Woman with a bang, smartly starting off with a high action sequence, showing rather than telling what Jessica is going through. It’s obvious she and Pere Pérez are having a blast, with the writing and the art playing off of each other — there’s a great mix of humor and quips, with the more serious moments of Jessica struggling against the murderous rage that’s filling her. I love Pérez’s take on store-bought versions of superhero costumes, and his action sequences are dynamic and clear, boosted by Frank D’Armata’s vibrant colors. I especially love how they played with shadows and blackness to emphasize certain sequences:
While both stories in this issue have solid writing that balances catching up new readers with moving the new story forward, the art in the second story by penciler Paulo Siqueira feels more throwback than the style Karla Pacheco is writing. While Pérez draws Jessica’s costume as spandex and form-fitting, her body is proportional and her poses are natural. In the second story, in certain panels Siqueira slips into the old T&A tricks, where the women might as well be naked and posed to show both boobs and butt. It changes the tone of the issue, and leaves the two stories feeling disparate instead of two parts of a whole.
Overall, Pacheco has set up a great new arc for Jessica and, based on her author’s note, this is going to be an intense ride for Spider-Woman.