Brian Michael Bendis
(a) Alex Maleev
FC 32 pgs w/ ads $3.99 US / Higher in Canada
After a few false starts and a lot of talk, Bendis finally has his Spider-Woman comic book. I’ve been waiting for this title since Bendis and the Luna Brothers retold Spider-Woman’s origin in the appropriately named Spider-Woman: Origin mini-series. That was way back in 2005. The ongoing was suppose to follow shortly. Then Secret Invasion came around and everything changed. Spider-Woman was revealed to be the Skrull Queen in charge of the invasion of Earth. The war ended and the real Spider-Woman came back. That was in October of 2008. Here we are almost a full year later and now this fabled ongoing is before me.
The issue starts of with Jessica Drew – Spider-Woman – dealing with the fact the entire world hates her for what the Skrulls did while using her face and there is very little that she can do about it. Agent Brand from S.W.O.R.D. contacts her and makes Jessica an offer she can’t refuse: Work for S.W.O.R.D. and hunt and exterminate aliens, particularly Skrulls. Spider-Woman accepts and the adventure begins in a town of scum and villainy, Madripoor.
Bendis’ writing is average here. Wordy, with prolonged internal monologues that along with Maleev’s visuals tries to create a dark and seedy noirish world. Instead of a story about a super-hero / private detective solving cases, we have a dark and gritty story of a woman whose identity was stolen, which causes her to take revenge on random aliens while wearing a brightly coloured red and yellow costume. It’s not a bad start but I hope there’s more to this series. After all that set up in Origin it feels like Jessica is missing out on the fun Nick Fury and the Secret Warriors are having.
I should also mention that Marvel has already offered this comic as a “motion comic” on Itunes. I haven’t bothered to watch it because I’d rather read comics than watch poorly animated cartoons – which is what Marvel has done here with a fancier name. In 1965, a Canadian animation company called Grantray-Lawrence Animation produced a show called The Marvel Super Heroes which featured a variety of Marvel characters. They took the actual art from the comics and provided limited animation or a motion comic if you will.
If I’m going to read a comic I’ll read it. If I’m going to watch a cartoon I’ll watch a real cartoon. (Shane Hnetka)