Spider-Woman goes back to basics as the series resets a bit before diving into the next adventure. Although the status quo is going back to normal, we’re still getting all the quip-filled fun and action that has come to define this comic.
Jessica Drew has had a tumultuous few weeks. She found out she had a brother and a niece, got infected with a serum that almost killed her, went to space, fought an army of clones of her mother, and even got a new flashy costume. Now it’s time to get back to basics. The old suit is back and Spider-Woman is returning to the kind of ass-kicking she’s known for, even if that means stressing her relationship with Roger, the father of her son.
It’s impossible to read Spider-Woman and not get caught up with Jessica’s quirks. Writer Karla Pacheco fills this issue (and this entire series) with fun quips that give you a great idea of the character’s personality. It pulls you in completely.
It’s also super fast-paced. Pacheco’s work in Spider-Woman has an excellent flow to it. We seamlessly bounce from a trip to the costume shop to dinner with Roger to a battle with some new villains and back home. Despite how quickly this moves, the story covers a ton of ground and offers up a lot of character development. The twist at the end can be seen a mile away, but it opens up an interesting spin on the relationship between Jessica and Roger.
As great as the story is, it’s only part of what makes Spider-Woman such a delight to read. Artist Pere Perez amplifies that energy a thousandfold. There’s a great segment as the villains attack and Jessica needs to leave dinner to jump into battle. Every panel shows the same shot, but Jessica is running in and out of frame. It’s a great setup for the gags of this scene and definitely made me laugh out loud a few times.
Perez really excels at the action sequences, delivering a varied layout that really accentuates each attack. In this case, there are a lot of horizontal panels that mirror the swipes of the villains’ swords. Letterer Travis Lanham adds some great sound effect work to put these segments over the top. I wasn’t sure what it would sound like to hit someone with a scooter, but now I know.
Colorist Frank D’Armata uses a muted palette for much of this issue, lining up with the evening time period. I think this tracks with Spider-Woman’s overall tone too. She sits in this interesting space between the high-flying adventures of the Avengers and the gritty, street level work of vigilantes like Daredevil with a bit of espionage mixed in. She can fit in almost anywhere and that certainly shows in the colors.
I’ve said it a few times, but it bears repeating. This comic has given me a newfound appreciation for Spider-Woman. It shows how versatile the character is and the kind of fund antics she can get into. She’s got layers and it’s been fascinating watching the creative team dig into them.