With Spider-Woman in the news, it’s time to dive into possibly the most balls-to-the-wall action comic on stands today. Spider-Woman #15 features Jessica Drew trying to make sense of her next move, save her kid, and stay alive in a helicopter fireball. Just another Tuesday for Jess, but in Spider-Woman #15, new context is added that fleshes out the characters around her.
As far as writer Karla Pacheco and Pere Pérez are concerned, this is a tamer issue, but it allows readers to soak in backstory and understand the psychology of its characters. It opens with a breakneck escape, complete with a full-page splash that references the first issue’s cover art, but early on has Jess recap what happened to her that led her into a helicopter at all. This helps establish a new enemy in the field while explaining how Jess could let herself get in such a dangerous situation.
A fight sequence hits hard midway through the book with some excellent fight choreography. Pérez makes you feel every “Krak” and “Grrnch” laid down on the enemies. This scene harbors one of the coolest pages you’ll see in comics all week, with Jess holding her baby and preparing to fight a bunch of men in suits. Along the floor are tiles, which turn into panels of action that proceed the scene above it. It’s a radical idea that is just one of many original visual ideas at work by Pérez in the issue.
This is followed up with four blows on an enemy, each drawn with a sound effect that is also a panel of where Spider-Woman is making contact. It’s really cool. Frank D’Armata is coloring the heck out of this book too, with added shading where needed, like in the helicopter explosion, or the bright colors that seem to pop up when Pérez goes ham on the page.
A double-page montage features a lot more info around a key character that has entered Spider-Woman’s life recently. It’s not entirely clear if we need to know every detail here — it feels a bit slow — but it may pay off later.
Pacheco continues to give Jess plenty of side comments and comical bits of dialogue to keep fans fed. She’s a high-energy character who quips naturally (why hasn’t Karla been given the keys to Spider-Man yet, Marvel?!), and her personality continues to impress. This plays well into Jess making a key decision on the last page which feels earned given the conversation that leads to it. What Pacheco and Pérez are doing with Rebecca is really cool and we may just have another superhero on our hands by the end of this story arc.
Spider-Woman #15 continues to excite, even if it’s a “slower” issue for the series. It still has explosions, a fight sequence with dazzling artistic ideas, and a rather uplifting focus on a young girl who needs a bit of guidance and support. The creative team continues to blend good character writing with the best action in comics today, making for possibly the best run on Spider-Woman yet.
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