In the last issue of Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew gave birth to her son. It was a really fun issue that was weird in all the right ways, taking place in an intergalactic alien hospital as Skrulls took it over, forcing Jessica to go Die Hard on them. With such a weird opening arc, it’s great that this issue takes a huge step back into normalcy, while still being both fun and dramatic.
Writer Dennis Hopeless handles this issue very well. It mostly focuses on how Jessica is handling her newborn. Her struggles, fears and altered state of mind are explored in great depth; in ways that I’m sure only a parent could write. The subject matter is also handled in a way that’s both dramatic and amusing. The conversation she later has with Porcupine, who she hires as a babysitter, also helps her figure things out while he talks about his own experience as a father while under house arrest.
During her first night out with a babysitter taking care of the baby, it’s mostly told through the art and thought bubbles, where the others are all having fun while she’s worried that Porcupine is burning her apartment down and taping up the baby’s butt instead of slipping on a new diaper. The other characters’ thought bubbles are just hilarious, whether it’s Hawkeye alternating between hoping for love and being heartbroken, Hellcat’s rising count of alcoholic drinks, or Captain Marvel and She-Hulk’s varying moods that perfectly fit their personalities. And of course, the end of the issue reveals where the baby came from and what changed Jessica’s mind from not wanting a child in the first place. Everything about the writing in this comic works really well.
The art by Javier Rodriguez is also great. The opening pages show an exhausted and overwhelmed Spider-Woman in her now messy apartment. The night out I described earlier is perfectly told through the art alone, with a lot of environmental detail, characters’ expressions and the thought bubbles using sketches and symbols to say what everyone’s thinking about used to tell the story. The final splash page where Spider-Woman returns to superheroing is an epic shot, showing Jessica dropping on a bunch of thugs in an intimidating pose, blasting her venom while Captain Marvel flies in the background. The colouring by Rachelle Rosenberg is also great. Everything is bright, colourful and appealing to the eye.
This is a great issue. Not only is this a satisfying follow up to the first four issues, but it also acts as a great one-shot about a single mother struggling to get used to taking care of her newborn baby … who also happens to be a superhero. Spider-Woman fans should be reading this series, and anyone interested in this issue’s subject matter should at least give it a read, even if you don’t plan on picking this series up.