Friday, 11 November 2016

Spider-Woman: Shifting Gears, Volume 1: Baby Talk Review (Dennis Hopeless, Javier Rodriguez)


Jessica Drew aka Spider-Woman is knocked up hard and about to pop - but oh no, her OBGYN has been taken over by Skrulls (shape-shifting space goblins)! Superhero comics, eh? 

Preggo Spider-Woman is an ok comic but I didn’t love it. Why is her maternity hospital in a black hole - is that really the ideal location to be birthing babies? And Skrulls? It all felt so contrived, like Jess can’t just have her baby, she’s also gotta be kicking butt because she’s a superhero. I wasn’t into the forced and silly action. 

I was hoping we’d find out who the dad is but it looks like Marvel’s gonna keep teasing that indefinitely - it’s only sorta revealed a bit here. I will say though that Jess seeing her kid for the first time was a sweet moment - but how could it not be, right? 

I really enjoyed Javier Rodriguez’s art. From the visuals alone it seems like Marvel is turning Spider-Woman into the replacement for Matt Fraction/David Aja’s Hawkeye, aka the arty Marvel book. Jess’s night out is full of speech balloons of symbols only and the splash pages of Jess traversing the alien hospital undetected were really clever. I also liked how Rodriguez cuts down on the panelling by putting the character into multiple positions in a scene instead to make the story flow more naturally, which worked really well. 

Artwork aside, I wasn’t that taken with Dennis Hopeless’ script. Maybe it’s because I’m not a parent or even that interested in kids or having them - Jess’ monologue on the realities of parenting was so drearily unoriginal - and I’m not a big fan of the character either but Spider-Woman having a baby didn’t do much for me. Marvel fans who are parents or people who’re the opposite of me on the above will probably get more out of this one though. 

I know, I’m a heartless beast, children are our future, yadda yadda ya… !

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