Comic Book Storytelling: More Spider Women

Spider-Woman has debuted her new costume and now Spider-Gwen and Silk have started their own series so its time to talk about these ladies again.

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We will start with Jessica Drew the Spider-Woman.  The first three issues of her new series were Spider-verse event ties ins and I still feel like they should have been a separate mini series.  #4 could have easily been the first issue of this run but its too late for that now.  #5 and 6 have now come out and debuted Jessica’s new costume.  Marvel has been accused of trying to copy what DC is doing with Batgirl and I can kind of see their point.  They are clearly going for a similar lighter tone with a more modern looking costume.  However Jessica is not a college student.  She is an adult who has lived a very adult life and in some ways it comes off like she is trying to run away from adult responsibilities.  She has quit the Avengers and more or less cut herself off from the rest of the super community but she has not completely given up the life of a costumed hero.  And from what we see so far all she has managed to do is cause herself and others trouble.  She is trying to live the superhero life completely on her own and she is not doing a very good job so far.  Then reporter Ben Urich comes along with a possible case, at first she rejects him but then it turns out he might have been onto something.  Yes it seems that Jessica needs a man to set her on the right path and save her from herself.  It seems someone has been kidnapping lesser known super criminals’ loved ones and forcing them to commit crimes again.  At one point Jessica has a lead and she is about to ride her motorcycle into a trap but then Ben Urich shows up again in the nick of time to saver her from her own stupidity.  I might give this series one more issue to improve but in general I don’t like reading stories about irresponsible stupid people.  And to be honest I was never that interested in the Jessica Drew Spider-Woman no matter how much Marvel has tried to push her over the years.

 

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Next lets talk about Cindy Moon or Silk.  On the day that Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider Cindy Moon was also bit by that same spider and immediately after she was shoved into a bunker away from the world where she lived for years until Spider-man let her out and kicked off Spider-verse.  She was put in the bunker by Ezekiel, that guy who also had spider powers and mentored Peter Parker about spider stuff for a while but then tried to murder Peter to extend his own life.  He did realize the error of his ways at the last moment and gave his life to save Peter but still, Ezekiel was kind of an asshole.  Anyway a lot of fans complained about Silk, I was one of them.  Now that she has her own series I have to say, Silk is a much more likable character on her own.  I still think the whole thing with her and Spider-man making each other super horny is totally creepy and weird but so far Spider-man has not played a part in this series and hopefully they will keep it that way and let Silk be her own character.  While Silk is free to do her own thing now she is still living out of the bunker and trying to adjust to a world that she was cut off from for years.  There are even some subplots that could be interesting in the long run.  I will probably keep checking in on this series to see what happens with the character.

 

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And finally lets talk about Spider-Gwen.  In a parallel universe Gwen Stacy was bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker.  She became the Spider-Woman of her world and it seems that Peter became the Lizard and now he’s dead and everyone blames Spider-Woman for it.  Spider-Gwen is by far the best of these series, it is also the most depressing.  Seriously Spider-Gwen’s life kind of sucks.  J Jonah Jameson has an irrational hatred of masked Spider-people in any world and has been doing everything he can to turn public opinion against Spider-Woman.  And pretty much everyone who is an ally to Spider-Man in the regular Marvel U is evil in Spider-Gwen’s world and out to get her.  Even her friends are kind of horrible to her.  The only person on her side so far is her dad who is still alive and a police captain.  They have an interesting dynamic.  Captain Stacy knows that his daughter is the Spider-Woman and he wants to protect her but he always taught her to do the right thing and help people.  However it never occurred to him that she would ever be in danger for that.  He probably assumed she would just volunteer or do charity work because she is a girl.  But instead she has been given real power to make a difference that could get her killed on day.  And in #3 it almost does when she fights Frank Castle who is still a detective and not the Punisher but still likes to wear skulls on his riot gear.  And Castle manages to unmask her and is so surprised to see a pretty young girl that Gwen is able to get the upper hand and escape.  There is an underlying theme of people misjudging Gwen based on her gender and appearance.  Gwen is so far the most complex and interesting of these Spider-Women and the one I am most likely to keep reading.

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So in closing lets do a quick recap of what we learned.  Jessica Drew is not Batgirl and trying to make her be is going to be a tough sell.  Silk works much better without her convoluted relationship with Spider-Man.  Spider-Gwen is great and you should be reading it.

I will be right here on Nerditis.com this weekend bringing you coverage of C2E2.  Be sure to check it out.

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