Review: ‘Spider-Woman’ #5 Has The Most Dysfunctional Family Reunion Ever

by James Ferguson

You’d think that Jessica Drew would be a little more cautious about letting people into her life with all the betrayals she’s been through. She’s like the Sting of the Marvel Universe. (Only a few of you will get that reference, but I’m going with it.) In any case, she faces yet another betrayal as Octavia Vermis’ forces close in on her and her family. Just when she was learning more about her past, a big monkey wrench is thrown into things.

Artist Pere Perez is an absolute all star in Spider-Woman #5, especially with how Jessica’ mother is drawn. She is literally falling apart with her skin basically melting off of her. It’s like something out of a horror movie. Pieces of flesh fall away like drips of sweat. It’s so gross and I love it.
The fight scene that follows, a three-way showdown between Jessica, her mother, and Octavia is a sight to behold. Perez delivers some brilliant choreography that adds so much to an already tense scene. One thing I really loved was how colorist Frank D’Armata shows certain panels in all red, emphasizing the impact of the attack in these images. The spittle and blood flies out of the panel too, which is a great touch.

Jessica’s mother gets increasingly erratic as this issue continues. Letterer Travis Lanham adds to this with a changing font, showing her deranged voice as she throws everything at her daughter.
In many ways, these first few issues of Spider-Woman lay the groundwork for what’s to come for the character. Writer Karla Pacheco re-introduces us to Jessica Drew and her complicated life. I wasn’t very familiar with her before this series, but after this issue, I am hooked.

What really helps this are the teasers dropped at the end of this issue in short snapshots illustrated by Mattia De Iulis. These fill me with anticipation as to what’s to come next for Spider-Woman, while also paying homage to everything she’s done up until this point. This is a book that cements Spider-Woman as a major player in the Marvel Universe and a stand out female character, as she should be.
Spider-Woman #5 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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