By Dennis Hopeless, Joelle Jones, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Travis Lanham.
If anyone can save this “Spider-Women” cross over event, it is Jessica Drew – new mother and world-renowned super spy. Spider-Woman # 6 picks up after the events of Silk #7, counting in total as the fourth “Spider-Women” event issue. So far, Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez have delivered a great, mature, solid story with Jessica in Spider-Woman by having her navigating the whole motherhood thing. Jess makes taking down bad guys looks easy compared to handling a newborn. Meanwhile, in this story the three Spider-Ladies are waiting for Earth-65 Reed Richards to figure out a way to get them back to their home Earth and Jessica is trying to get to the bottom of who stole Spider-Gwen’s inter-dimensional watch. It leads her to a crazy meet up with Earth-65 Jess Drew and hilarity and action ensues.
This issue marks the addition of a new artist and the story really feels different from the other titles out of the “Spider-Women” issues, because it not only ties into Jess and her own personal stuff she is dealing with being a mom and balancing work and life, but the story also ties into the overall story of how do the three Spider-Amigas get back to Earth prime. Hopeless has been delivering a consistently kick ass story each month with Spider-Woman so, you could expect he would find a way to introduce a little emotion and heart into this other wise pretty boring and tired cross-over event. Hopeless delivers purpose and excitement into the story and we as readers begin to feel the desperation Jess feels to get back home to see her son underlie her every action as she searches for a way home. The introduction of Earth-65’s version of Jess was also a clever play on gender norms of male versus female spy in comics, but also was reminiscent of Kill Bill volume 1 when the Bride goes to Vernita Green’s house. Big shout out to Mr. Hopeless with this issue for introducing some great storytelling to an otherwise predictable and tired crossover.
Spider-Woman #6 also welcomed Joëlle Jones on pencils this issue, with Rosenberg on colors, and Lanham on letters. So far, this cross-over has had pretty inconsistent art and character design, from reading between the three different artists, it is hard to differentiate between the three ladies and keep a consistent feel to the story. The art in this issue stands out above and beyond the art that was seen in previous issues, something it shares in common with the writing. We are welcomed to pretty traditional character designs, and call me old-fashioned, but I like and trust a Gwen Stacy that is wearing a headband. The lines are deep and strong with bold colors and great panel layout to keep the action movie forward amidst the heavy dialogue. The best pages in the book are a great action double-page spread between Spider-Gwen, Silk, and Earth-65’s Doc Ock. The heroes are flipping and punching amidst tentacles and webby spider-ropes and it is beautifully drawn in a way that has a classic Spider-Man feel to it.
The whole issue you are thinking ‘Thank God for Jessica Drew’; she will be the one to save our heroines, get them back to their home world, and resurrect our faith in this series contributing something substantial to each character’s continuity. Spider-Woman #6 really gets the ball rolling for this story and convinces you to see this series through until the end. Crossover events between characters are great, they help to building bridges between fandoms and introduce readers to new great heroes, but when done unnecessarily, it can be tedious to read as it distracts our favorite heroes from some fun and meaningful alone time. The verdict is still out for what the history books will write about the “Spider-Women” crossover, but this is a step in the right direction.