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Spider-Woman #1

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by Dennis Hopeless, Javier Rodriguez & Alvaro Lopez

Even though this is issue five of Spider-Woman, it’s also a minor relaunch. After the events of Spider-Verse and Jessica quitting the Avengers in the previous story arc, Jessica Drew is trying to simplify her life by trying to lead a “normal” life while doing more street level crime fighting. Basically what all of that means is: SPIDER-WOWAN NEEDS A NEW COSTUME!

Let’s address the elephant in the room right off the bat and discuss the new Spider-Woman costume. For the most part it’s pretty cool. Spider-Woman has had the same look forever now, so a new costume is more than welcome. Yes, it does seem reminiscent of the new Batgirl redesign with the biker jacket and snaps, but it’s not like Marvel and DC “borrowing” ideas from each other is anything new. My only gripe with the new costume is that those sunglasses (or whatever they are) look dumb. One assumes she has no interest in hiding her identity with those glasses, and in fact she happens to get herself arrested this issue too.

Speaking of that, Jessica being so inept in this issue seemed really out of character. In Spider-Woman’s defense, the way she got arrested is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read in a comic. That’s what was off-putting about this issue, is everything felt like the exact opposite of the previous issues. The tone got a lot more silly than previous Spider-Woman stories. Which is weird because Dennis Hopless was writing the previous story. However, halfway through this issue, Ben Urich shows Jessica a case he’s been working on that things pick up. The mystery behind villains’ loved ones going secretly missing is a great plot concept that actually got me interested in reading more.

With the new costume comes a new art team with Javier Rodriguez and Alvaro Lopez. These guys made a kick-ass looking comic. The whole issue looked wonderful and flowed incredibly well. Vibrant colors and well thought-out panel structure made the whole issue an effortless read. They actually use arrows in certain areas to highlight movement that was really clever. Some readers might not like the arrows; it’s probably an acquired taste. The one thing these guys do well is bridge the gap between the realistic look of the current main Marvel Universe with a more playful style that is popular in the female-starring superhero titles.

There have been a great resurgence of this more all-ages books that seem like they are being also aimed at the female audience. For the most part they’ve been a lot of fun but this new Spider-Woman actually did feel kind of forced at the start of this issue. However, by the end things were starting to shape up and get interesting. It’s still nice to finally see a more diverse range of comics on the shelves now. It’s slow progress on a long road, but it’s good to know someone out there is finally listening.

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