The majority of Marvel’s comics for the next few months will be all about Secret Wars. Most will take place in Battlworld, whether focusing on one realm in a mostly self-contained story or directly tying into the main event. Some are focusing on the destruction of the 616 universe under the Last Days banner. Thankfully, some comics are ignoring Secret Wars and doing their own thing, and today saw the release of two such solo comics, Spider-Woman 9 and All-New Hawkeye 4. They’re both great, but of the two I decided to review Spider-Woman.
The last arc of Spider-Woman was strange, but good. After leaving the Avengers to take on a simpler life for a while, Spider-Woman ended up confronting a bunch of victims of circumstance, some of which became violent toward their abusers. There were former villains in strange suits blackmailed into doing the bidding of these victims. The whole situation was messed up but it made for a fun comic. During the story, Spider-Woman met Porcupine, a former villain who’s trying to be a better person. This issue takes Spider-Woman, Porcupine and Ben Urich on a superheroing road trip.
First off, this comic is just fun. Jessica Drew is clearly excited for this trip, until she finds out that Porcupine is coming. There’s a montage of the trio visiting different towns and solving several strange problems, with Spider-Woman doing all of the work and the others pretty much being useless. Dennis Hopeless’s dialogue is always entertaining and often funny. Porcupine’s optimism clashes with his shortcomings, and he’s such a likeable character who I’m starting to root for. Of course, things aren’t always fun and games when the trio end up in the wrong tourist trap.
Javier Rodriguez’s art is good. The backgrounds are well detailed with plenty of onlookers in a beach battle, or shop signs in the tourist trap. Jessica’s facial expressions range from excited to annoyed, which often adds to this issue’s humour. Porcupine’s optimistic smile, even after his failures, adds that extra touch that makes him a fun character who plays off Jessica’s frustration well. The montage of cases they take on is brilliantly told in a handful of panels each. The best is probably their first case, where Spider-Woman and Porcupine take on demons in a nursing home while Ben is prepared for some sort of ritual. The action scenes flow very well, especially in the two page spread of Spider-Woman taking out a bunch of gunmen.
This is a fun comic, and a welcome break from Secret Wars. Hopeless writes Spider-Woman’s road trip well, which only makes me feel more optimistic for his upcoming All-New X-Men run. If a superhero road trip sounds like fun, you’re a Marvel reader in need of a Secret Wars break or you like Spider-Woman, be sure to check this out.