It’s time to celebrate Spider-Woman as she reaches 100 legacy issues this week. Karla Pacheco wraps up her first story arc on the series which has been a huge hit for both longtime fans and casual readers. It’s no surprise — this book is bonkers, playing up over-the-top action with sharp visuals and a deeply personal story for Jessica Drew. In this issue, Drew must escape…her mother? It gets real, y’all.
Running 35 pages, this issue wraps up where we left off the last issue and offers a little extra story featuring Mattia De Iulis which can’t be missed. Really, the entire issue can’t be missed, as it’s fun as hell. Things get really messed up and if you’ve ever had an uncomfortable Thanksgiving dinner you’ll relate to Spider-Woman. Well, that is if your mother screamed at you, made horrific faces, and things eventually came to blows. This issue leans on everything that builds up to it like Jessica taking the serum to get stronger, and dealing with the guilt and doubts of her origin.
The main story massively relies on the art, and Pérez delivers big time. The chaotic nature of Spider-Woman coming to blows with her mother is captured well with wildly different layouts on every page. Panels sometimes even fly around, reacting to things like explosions or bleed into each other with spiders used in the gutters of the panels. It’s also delightful to see how Pérez plays with panel sizes, which always seem to be positioned to best move your eye from left to right, further pushing the action forward.
Even though “the end” can be seen at one point, the book doesn’t end there. Mattia de Iulis takes over on art with a story that homages comic book covers mixed in with a story to truly honor the character. It’s a cool way to celebrate 100 issues while also stylistically showing us the history of Spider-Woman. In between these covers are scenes of Jessica recovering from the story we just finished — a Jessica who is regrouping, checking in with family, and even reflecting on the black costume. Intermixing the beautiful covers with this epilogue story adds weight to what Jessica does next while preparing us for a bright future.
Spider-Woman #5 ends Pérez and Pacheco’s epic run with a whole lot of action in an exciting finish. It’s a deeply emotional story for Spider-Woman as she deals with dysfunction, but also a bit of closure. As a milestone issue, it closes out well, reminding us this character has come far over the years and there’s so much hope and a bright future for the character going forward. Under Pacheco and Pérez, Spider-Woman is as exciting as ever with a bright future in front of it.
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