As with a whole bunch of other titles this week, Dennis Hopeless’s Spider-Woman run comes to an end. It’s been a great series, spanning two volumes that started with the Spider-Verse event, divided by Secret Wars, and ended after a total of 27 issues. Not bad in this age where most runs end after 12 or so.
After a very intense story arc involving the Hobgoblin, Spider-Woman 17 is a party issue of sorts. It’s just fun. The party starts off a bit awkward, with a bunch of Jessica Drew’s superhero friends judging her ex D-grade supervillain boyfriend, Roger (porcupine). Some do it with glances (Carol Danvers), some do it with jokes disguised as compliments (Spider-Man), while Black Widow directly questions his merits, and in turn, Jessica’s life choices. It’s all in character, and it adds a bit of necessary tension. But then baby Gerry starts manifesting Spider-Woman’s powers and things get really weird.
Writer Dennis Hopeless captures every aspect of this comic perfectly. He captures Spider-Woman’s annoyance at her fellow superheroes’ various forms of judgement, first by drinking more wine, and later getting into an argument with the openly judgemental Black Widow. Meanwhile, the chaos revolving Gerry’s powers manifesting is just fun, the same way the rest of this series is fun. The strange humour is half told through Hopeless’s clever writing style and the art. Everything wraps up nicely when Roger demonstrates in front of everyone what makes him special, and what Jessica sees in him, after Gerry amusingly works his way through the other superheroes like a boss of course.
Veronica Fish’s art is great, and it perfectly captures the mood of the comic. Facial expressions perfectly capture everyone’s mood, like Carol’s suspicious looks when she knows that Jessica isn’t watching, Roger’s look of shock when he first sees Gerry crawling on the ceiling, and Gerry’s calm smile when he’s climbing up the side of the building as if it’s no big deal. That last bit really adds to the humour. The best page is easily the splash, showing Gerry bouncing all over the apartment, knocking over furniture and gleefully using his venom blast powers on objects and Roger, likely not understanding how much it can hurt. There are also nice touches here and there, like most of the superheroes wearing casual clothes that still kind of represent who they are, like Natasha’s dress with the Black Widow symbol, while others are fully in costume, like Thor, Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man for example. Rachelle Rosenberg’s colouring is also great. The orange evening sky reflects into the apartment, and the various characters wear a good variety of colours.
I’m not quite sure which comic is my favourite this week. Several of the final issues are great in their own way, and so is the Batgirl annual. This however is easily the most entertaining comic I read this week. There’s the perfect blend of humour and fun, with just the right touch of tension, to make this the perfect closer for Dennis Hopeless’s Spider-Woman run. I hope he has the opportunity to write Jessica Drew again sometime soon. I would recommend this series as a whole to existing Spider-Woman fans, those interested in exploring the greater Spider-man franchise, or those interested in a series about a single-mother superhero.