Story: Dennis Hopeless
Art: Greg Land
What They Say:
Spider-Woman and Silk get split up leaving Silk alone on her suicide mission. Spider-Woman doesn’t look like she’s in better shape, undercover in the most dangerous place in the multiverse!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
I had looked forward to getting back to the Spider-Woman character I knew with Jessica Drew so the first issue of this series, even with all the noise around one of its variant covers, was definitely well anticipated for me. I just didn’t realize that it was going to tie into the Spider-Verse storyline, which I should have. There was plenty of time there to try and grasp what was going on as I’m not reading that event series, but Dennis Hopeless did a solid job of bringing out the key points to make it accessible and show that Jessica is definitely established and part of a big world of what’s going on out there. Granted, I would have preferred something smaller and more personal, but it was just good to see her taking a prime position.
With Jessica having been assigned a solo mission to gather more information, we’re thrown into the bigger part of the Spider-Verse storyline by having her going to Loom World, which is where the Inheritors are from. It’s an unusual place to be sure as it seems like it combines a number of worlds that they’ve dealt with so it has a mixture of technologies, peoples and species that all seem to get along pretty well. A kind of spatial New York City hub of sorts. Jessica, in her costume and mask, manages to not only just stand out, but it turns out there’s a Spider-Woman already there and there’s two very different views of her. The other Jessica, which we see walking around with bodyguards, doesn’t wear a mask but plays up an almost cute and pretty-fied version of herself, but it’s one with a dark edge to it as she doesn’t like people in general. It’s a decent contrast to our Jessica, and it allows her to grind her teeth a bit while watching what she does.
There’s a lot of fun in exploring this world overall, seeing how other-Jessica interacts with people and her personality, but also watching how our-Jessica does her best to investigate things while playing the role of other-Jessica. She doesn’t like it, and doesn’t like part of how her powers work, but she does it because it’s necessary. Of course, it all moves towards a bit creepy moment at the end, but playing the role of spy requires such hardships. Getting her internal thought on the matter was perfect though because it is one of those areas that you see in sprawling stories like this with the big bad and how real connections might be.
This issue also gives us a little time with Silk, who had bolted her watchers at the end of the previous issue, and found herself being chased by the sibling Inheritors. She’s on the run and doing her best to survive still across a few worlds, but she ends up briefly at the Loom World as well, which makes for a cute cut but also a transfer of devices that puts our-Jessica at risk. In the end, it potentially works out well as when she’s chased again back to Earth-3145, we get a clue or two about what can potentially cause some problems for the siblings, which is one of those important pieces of information that they really need to get back to the main group. It puts Silk in a position of being useful, something I don’t think she really has been for a bit, since being put under our-Jessica’s protection.
I’m still in the somewhat wary camp of this series simply because I’m not invested in the Spider-Verse, but I keep getting drawn into it in bits and pieces. The opening issue helped a lot in being accessible and letting new readers understand the overall arc and what was going on. This one plays into that but it also definitely gives us time understanding who Jessica is and how she thinks and operates. It’s been more instructive than one might have guessed considering what it’s a part of. I also liked that this one focused largely on Jessica and not having to deal with all the introductory stuff, so it could just hit the ground running on Loom World. It also managed, surprisingly, to get me to like Silk a bit based on the pages she has here, though there’s still a random factor to her that keeps me wary of her as well. All told, I definitely enjoyed the book and am looking forward to more, but part of me still wishes it had the opportunity to be its own book first before going into all of this.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: December 17th, 2014