The most exciting element within Spider-Woman is the fact that we’re given a female superhero who is the brains and the brawn behind her ensemble cast. Ben Urich provides some extra intelligence and Porcupine provides a tiny bit of muscle power, but Jessica is a woman who can hold her own. That’s why I was a bit hesitant when I heard she’d be coming out of Secret Wars pregnant. It was an announcement meant to shake up the status quo, but I couldn’t help but wonder how it would translate to the page.
Now that we’re two issues in, it’s clear that Dennis Hopeless wants Jessica to keep her brains and her brawn; he just wants her to do it with a bigger belly. She has different responsibilities, but that hasn’t changed who she is. Unlike the first issue, Spider-Woman #2 is all action with very little character development; however, it isn’t without its charm as it reunites us with a powerful Jessica Drew who will do whatever it takes to do what is right.
Focusing on scuffles against Skrulls, Dennis Hopeless highlights Spider-Woman’s most prominent characteristics as he pits her against beings who make her blood boil. Featuring sarcastic quips and Jess’ desire to beat the bad guys, this is classic Spider-Woman. She’s always been a physical hero, and that’s not going to change, especially when it comes to handling body snatching villains who are threatening a handful of innocent pregnant women.
While it is exciting to see Spider-Woman in action, I do have some reservations about this issue. She says she’s concerned about her baby, but she also becomes increasingly violent as the plot progresses. At this point, I’m still not sure if this is because Jessica is struggling with how to be both a superhero and a soon-to-be mom or if Hopeless is still learning how to handle a pregnant Jess. Maybe it’s a little bit of both. Either way, it prevents me from fully immersing myself into this storyline and is the one downside of Hopeless’ work within Spider-Woman #2.
Misgivings aside, with a book as heavy on the action as this one, the art shines. The panels that capture my attention are the ones depicting movement, since Rodriguez captures motion like no other artist. There’s a fluidity to his work that allows me to picture the range of motion he’s attempting to bring to life, and that’s what a book as physical as this one needs from its artist. This writer and artist duo understand each other and seem to have a grasp on where they want to go with our titular character. I’m sure I’ve said this almost every time I talk about Javier Rodriguez’s work, but I can’t see this comic continuing without him.
The only bothersome element artistically is the cover of issue #2. Though I appreciate interesting cover art, nothing irks me more than a cover that has nothing to do with the inside of the book. I know this happens all of the time, but every instance when I finish a comic and realize the characters featured on the cover don’t appear at all within the book adds more fuel to my fire.
Although it isn’t quite as good as Spider-Woman #1, the second issue of this relaunch is a strong beginning for this next chapter in Jessica’s life. It may not be perfect, but it’s my favorite Spider-book that Marvel is putting out right now, and that’s enough to keep me on board for a few issues. If you’re looking for a book that manages to blend real world problems with superheroes and aliens, it’s a good time to start picking up Spider-Woman. If you’re not, then I’m not really sure why you’re reading Marvel comics in the first place.
Spider-Woman #2 picks up where issue #1 left off to highlight a much more physical Spider-Woman. With an action-packed issue and supporting art from Javier Rodriguez, this is an enjoyable read that depicts a classic Jessica Drew with an interesting twist.