Writer: Karla Pacheco
Artist: Pere Pérez
Color Artist: Frank D’Armata
Penciler: Paulo Siqueira
Inker: Oren Junior
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Jung-Geun Yoon
Variant Cover Artists: Kaare Andrews; Artgerm; Chip Kidd; Jung-Geun Yoon; Carmine Infantino, Mark Morales & Morry Hollowell; J. Scott Campbell & Sabine Rich; Peach Momoko; Todd Nauck & Rachell Rossenberg; Ron Lim & Israel Silva; Bruce Timm; Mr Garcin
In order to save her from radiation poisoning, Jessica Drew’s father injected her with a chemical mix including parts of rare spiders and sealed her inside of a specially-designed hibernation chamber. Years later, she emerged as a fully-grown woman with very little life experience, but a host of new powers. Since then, she’s been manipulated into joining Hydra, joined the Avengers, and even formed her own P.I. agency.
The story opens to Jessica Drew narrating over a backdrop of rage-filled brawl with sailors before cutting to 10 minutes beforehand. Sporting her new costume, Spider-Woman finds herself in a truly-nightmarish scenario: trapped on a boat surrounded by spoiled, rich kids during a birthday party, and just to make it even worse, she has a splitting headache. In short order, our heroine finds herself rescued from this torment by armed mercenaries sent to kidnap the birthday girl, the daughter of one of the richest men on the planet. Spider-Woman, blessed with the element of surprise, proceeds to unleash a glorious beatdown, providing us with not only several panels of gorgeous action but also an exceptional introduction to the character.
Once all of the “perfectly reasonable” justice has been doled out, the story cuts back to two weeks beforehand, explaining everything that’s led up to this point. On one side, Jess is faced with the tribulations of being mother to a baby that’s already quite literally crawling up the walls, leaving disaster in his wake. On the other side is her rapidly-shrinking wallet, already drained to the point of having to borrow cab fare from other heroes. With no other choice, she resorts to selling her services as a bodyguard. Refusing to do mercenary work in the costume she has, Ms. Drew takes advantage of a rather-impressive sale going on at Big Ronnie’s Custom Battle Spandex, ending the issue as she leaves the store.
The art of this comic is phenomenal. Action scenes flow beautifully together, and the artists have made beautiful use of framing in a few shots. The attention to detail that’s been taken can’t really be overstated, either. Each time I read through the issue, I find another detail I’ve missed. From items in the background destined to be used as improvised weapons to the emails on Jess’s laptop, almost everything in the background finds a way to make its way front-and-center
Although Spider-Woman’s perspective as a mother is one insufficiently explored in settings like this, it already serves as a catalyst to set the plot into motion. Her motherhood isn’t simply an afterthought in this comic but seems to be set up as a driving force mentioned as early as the first page. The pharmaceutical executive’s casual mention of a potential cure for his daughter’s disability not only suggests an alternate motive for Rebecca’s attempted kidnapping, but it sounds suspiciously similar to the origin story of several heroes and villains. Overall, the writing is fantastic, and I’m excited to see where Karla Pacheco takes us with this.