Friday, 21 April 2017

Spider-Woman, Agent of S.W.O.R.D. Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev)

Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman is apparently traumatised after her identity was stolen by the Skrull Queen in the pap that was Secret Invasion. So Jess jumps at the chance when Abigail Brand, the head of SWORD, approaches her to kick some Skrull boo-tay in revenge. And that’s all the story Brian Bendis needs for a 7-issue book!

I wasn’t very impressed with this one. The setup is unconvincing – the stolen identity thing being traumatic sounds like bunkum – and the story is vague and wafer-thin at best. Bendis fills up the book with Jess fighting various people: Skrulls, armed police, Skrulls, Hydra, Skrulls, Dark Reign-era Thunderbolts, and more Skrulls – bah, all this bland fighting is like Secret Invasion all over again! The reasoning behind why the Skrulls targeted Jess for their Queen was stupidly nonsensical and immediately refutable too.

Bendis does do a decent job of summarising Jess’ character to readers (like me) who don’t know much about her, going through her background and powers. Weirdly though, while he explains her Poison Ivy-esque pheromone powers and ability to glide, he fails to explain what her green energy beams/gas blasts are?!

However, this book contains Alex Maleev’s best work yet. The photo-realistic art is ridiculously high quality and looks stunning against the noir backdrop of Madripoor. It’s also really clear to see how Jessica Jones came out of Marvel telling Bendis he couldn’t use Jessica Drew for his Alias series – aside from the scene where Jess puts on her Spider-Woman outfit, this could easily pass for a Jessica Jones story!

Unfortunately, as always, quality art can’t save a comic that doesn’t have a strong story and Bendis’ rambling, forgettable and pointless waffle sunk this Spider-Woman book for me. ‘tain’t worth the effort, folks!

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