In Spider-Woman #6, Jessica Drew is pissed off. She thought her family was dead, but they were just hiding. Her brother made a serum to temporarily keep her alive, but it’s making her angry and erratic. She needs to find a cure to save the lives of herself, her son, and her niece, and it’s just a matter of finding the High Evolutionary who helped create her superpowers. That has left Jessica in space with Captain Marvel fighting giant space-rats. Just lovely.
This issue is an expert example of how scene changes can keep the story moving along. It also has an effect on making Spider-Woman’s behavior even more erratic. Karla Pacheco is doing a great job making Spider-Woman quite angry as she flies off the rails more than once with only Captain Marvel holding her back. With multiple scene changes, the issue zips along, pin-balling from one violent interaction to another. The journey Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman are on feel epic in nature, but also a bit fruitless. They’re trying to find a supervillain after all, and they keep well hidden.
The quickness in pace also helps keep Spider-Woman’s anger at a constant level yet it wouldn’t be believable for Captain Marvel to stop her and say something. She has no time to. It’s uncommon to see a superhero fly off the handle more than once and Pacheco gives her plenty of time to punch and smash baddies who probably deserve it anyway. This all builds nicely so that Spider-Woman feels a bit different and unpredictable. Her comedic flair isn’t really there, but in its place is a chaotic nature that’s exciting.
There is a McGuffin at work here in the High Evolutionary, but it’s Spider-Woman’s behavior and rising anger that develops and changes over time. Aside from this change, not a lot happens per se, but it’s still entertaining nonetheless.
That’s in part because Pere Perez is so good at making a screaming and kicking Spider-Woman something you can get behind, even when it’s (probably) an innocent person who doesn’t have the right info for her. The scene changes are well rendered with good environments helping to carry the story forward. Perez delivers on one knockout double page layout worth checking out, and curved panels that slash from bottom left to top right, which further enhances every white knuckle punch thrown by Jessica. There are plenty of truly bizarre aliens and creatures in this issue that are well-rendered, making it easier to side with Jessica when she kicks their butts. It’s also worth noting Perez makes these characters feminine, but not sexualized.
Spider-Woman #6 sets up a different kind of hero who is very angry, a bit unhinged, and perfectly within her right to be so on some level. She’s also losing control due to a serum that powers her up as Pacheco and Perez play with a potential addiction subplot on their hands. Spider-Woman is a fast-paced action frenzy with a very angry Jessica Drew at the helm.
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