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Is It Good? Spider-Woman #5 Review

Don’t call it a reboot since we’re on issue #5, but in a lot of ways this week’s issue of Spider-Woman might as well be a #1 issue. She’s got a new costume, a new direction and a new creative team, but I can’t fault Marvel for not slapping a #1 on a comic simply to sell a few more books. All that said, is it good?

Spider-Woman #5 (Marvel Comics)

The funny thing about this new direction for Spider-Woman is that it didn’t have a lot of build up prior. The thing is she’s simply changed her mind about being a “super” hero and wants to get back to her roots as a human being who fights smaller street level crime. Call me crazy, but this new direction feels a bit inspired by the recent Hawkeye series by David Aja right down to the art style, but that’s not a bad thing in the slightest. Frankly with all the Marvel events coming out it’s nice to see more normal crime fighting over the intergalactic, interdimensional alien space storylines Marvel has been playing with lately.

This is about all the detail you get on why she gets a costume change.

Written by Dennis Hopeless, this issue does a fantastic job with pacing, integrating action with story and plot and giving Spider-Woman a personality. In some ways this new direction appears to be a reaction to the now internet famous Milo Manara cover of Spider-Woman’s butt. In fact Hopeless has her reference that very image in this issue, which is great in that Marvel is recognizing Spider-Woman has been more of a walking sex billboard more than anything over the years. Hopeless instills a good amount of character, giving her the customary attitude and bullheadedness she’s exhibited over the years, but with a sense of self reflection and need to be better that many readers should relate to. Overall a strong female lead I’m sure most will appreciate.

I wonder if they have a good dental plan.

Parkour is alive!

I was a little wary when I heard she’d be taking on street level detective work as it sounded similar to what Daredevil does (albeit he’s a lawyer but he takes cases and see’s them through after all), but Hopeless has tied her to Ben Urich which gives it a bit of a Frontline sort of feel to it. It also gives her a bit more purpose than to snatch cash from those who need help and it gives her a source for information outside victims and widows.

That last panel hammers home, pun intended, the drama.

The art by Javier Rodriguez is fun and colorful with a great use of purples and blank space to make everything pop. There’s a thick line being used which gives the imagery a cartoonish feel, especially with the use of color, but the detail is there to ground the comic in a neon based reality. Because of these traits many will compare it to David Aja’s work, but the layouts aren’t nearly as structured. Instead there’s a wide variety of shots and at times I got a cinematic feel with interesting wide shots and well placed close ups to hammer home the dialogue. Overall it’s a fantastic blending of character work with good expressions and fun imagery,

So does this confirm the Milo Manara cover was a photograph on the web?

Is It Good?

This is a fantastic first issue that establishes Spider-Woman’s new direction, her quirky yet determined character and a compelling mystery for her to tackle too.


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