Writer: Karla Pacheco
Artist: Pere Perez
Colors: Frank D’Armata
Synopsis: DOWN WITH THE SICKNESS! Spider-Woman discovers the origin of her illness. Spoilers: It wasn’t bad sushi or that cold everyone at the office has. What does Jessica’s illness have to do with the daughter of her old nemesis Otto Vermis? And how does a shipment of black-market spiders fit in? Jessica Drew is fighting for her life while someone is pulling the strings of her web…BUT WHO?
Remember when Jessica Drew mattered to Marvel? They made her a focal point of the New Avengers after the Avengers: Disassembled story line took place. She was a sexy bad ass spy who could keep up with Wolverine, Spider-Man, and Captain America.
Then she was a shield spy. But also a double agent for Hydra. But also a triple agent for shield again. Then Secret Invasion happened and she died…or faked her death and was secretly the Queen of the Skrulls…and now my head hurts.
Jessica has become a throw away character. She was the first female spider that sparked fan interest that lead to all the current female spider-knockoffs. (I’m looking right at you Spider-Gwen) Jessica should hold a much higher place in the pantheon of Marvel characters but instead she has once again slid to the bottom of the barrel and this series is not doing the character any favors.
Pacheco is trying to hold together a sinking ship. This story is all over the place from the word GO! Jessica is sick, but don’t worry she’s been poisoned by her employer who is trying to save his sick daughter and needs Jessica’s blood, but instead, he strips Spider-Woman of her powers to test an antidote on her and then blackmails Jessica into assisting him with further tests because whatever is wrong with her might also be wrong with her son….got all that. That’s not even the worst part.
All of this culminates in a fight with a designer knockoff of Granny Goodness, a character named Octavia Vermis. The daughter of Otto Vermis. A crazy old codger that Jessica bumped uglies with back in her spy days. These two grown women then engage in a fight involving electrified nun chucks, while quipping about their designer costumes and bragging about the amount of Pilates they do.
Did I mention this whole fight is because Jessica broke into a warehouse to steal a rare spider, thought to be extinct? Oh yeah! We are that far out in Left field.
The only saving grace to this cluster is the art of Pere Perez. Perez did a great job lacing the issue with realistic facial expressions, stunning action sequences, and amazing page layouts. It really helped to keep my attention as I wanted to bail out on this issue long before the climax, but the art made me stay. This artist is being wasted on this title.
While the costume may be new. (a character in the book even compliments Jessica on her new duds) This is the same old story. Marvel doesn’t care enough to give Spider-Woman a decent comic. This will run for 12 issues and then it will be time for a reboot and let’s hope the next creative team gets it right because this is not the comic that is going to take Jessica back to the top tiers of Marvel’s canon.
Final Score: 4 out of 10