Jessica Drew is in Western Kansas, and things are about to get even weirder for our Spider-Woman…
Your Major Spoilers review of Spider-Woman #10 awaits!
Previously in Spider-Woman: “Jessica Drew quit The Avengers in order to lead a normal, non-spandex life and help regular people. So when Ben Urich, ace reporter for the Daily Bugle, asked for help investigating cases across the country, she was happy to help. Joined by Roger Gocking (AKA Porcupine, a reformed super-villain) the trio have made their way across America and have solved a few cases before the End Of The World
The Avengers and the End Of The World have a way of catching up with ya, though…”
(TAKES PLACE BEFORE SECRET WARS #1)
The new Spider-Woman book has been one of the bright spots of Marvel’s recent spate of ‘All-New All-Different All-De-Time’, as it actually IS all-new and all-different. As we open this issue, though, Jessica is back in her classic costume, arguing with the Black Widow as they pilot a giant arc full of scientists during the world-ending conflict that led to the Secret Wars. You remember, the Ultimate Universe and Mainstream Marvel came crashing together, all the universes were destroyed, and only Doctor Doom could save the day? (It got dark.) As Spider-Woman bitterly remarks that Avengers never get to retire, we flash back a few days to her last hard-traveling adventure. Porcupine had been shot in the chest and left for dead, Ben Urich was injured and Jessica herself was at the mercy of the wicked sheriff of Dodge City, Kansas. Things quickly get freaky, with Hulked-out cattle, mind-control and some interesting fighty-fighty…
THE END OF THIS ERA
As a fan of the Fraction/Aja ‘Hawkeye’ series, I have been enjoying this book’s similar tone, including the fact that Jessica is just a normal woman, one who is kind of bad at some of the conventions of superheroism. The downside comes in that, as the issue ends, she just up and abandons her new friends, which feels awkward within the story being told. Yes, from the greater perspective of the Marvel U, there’s a good reason for it (this is the literal End Of The World, the worst catastrophe in a world that has had it’s share of ’em), but it leaves the issue feeling incomplete and plot-dangly. The guest-art is pretty fabulous, though, reminding me of regular artist Javier Rodriguez, with a slightly rounder aesthetic that still looks great. Jessica returning to her traditional super-suit is another moment that just feels a little bit off for me, taking the “what they do in their downtime” aspect that made Hawkeye so great, and turning it into a “running from her real responsibilities” tone that I don’t care for quite as much. Hopeless still gives us great dialogue, and a wonderful hero moment for Porcupine involving line-dancing (you kinda have to read that one), leaving the issue feeling pretty positive.
THE BOTTOM LINE: WHY CROSSOVERS CAN BE BAD
When it comes to full-on restarts, books like this one (as well as Ms. Marvel and the other books that aren’t all about world-ending colossal catastrophes) always seem to get the shaft, and even though there’s a new Spider-Woman #1 coming from the same creative team, this issue feels a bit like an anti-climax. Still, Spider-Woman #10 is successful temporary stop for the character, putting her dual life in perspective, with really lovely art throughout, earning a well-deserved 3 out of 5 stars overall. It’s not a pefect stopping point, but at least those of us who love Jessica’s solo series have the comfort of knowing she’ll be back soon enough…