GANG WAR: FIRST STRIKE! The Web of Destiny restored Spider-Woman's life, but even CAPTAIN MARVEL and MADAME WEB can tell something's changed. Now SPIDER-MAN wants to recruit her for a new team because VIPER has engineered a deadly union between HYDRA and DIAMONDBACK that's about to tear the city apart, bringing forth a new foe powerful enough to destroy the city while burning Spider-Woman's world to the ground. DON'T MISS OUT on this action-packed premiere that features CAPTAIN MARVEL, SPIDER-MAN, VIPER and DIAMONDBACK…and introduces a terrifying new force of evil in SPIDER-WOMAN's world!
Spinning out of recent events in Zeb Wells’ Amazing Spider-Man, Gang War is here, and Jessica Drew is hip deep in it! In her first solo book since the fan favorite run by Karla Pacheco & Pere Perez, there’s definitely something going on, and we’re not sure if everyone is aware that something’s going on. Steve Foxe and Carola Borelli have Jessica out here crushing heads, and taking names! We also see the rise of once prominent Harlem gangster, Diamondback, as well as HYDRA taking it to the streets. Without further ado let’s get to the review.
After languishing in relative obscurity for nearly two decades, Jessica Drew rose in popularity in the early 00’s, thanks to her addition to the New Avengers during the beginning of Bendis’ long storied run. Picking up new fans, as well as invigorating her older fans, we’ve seen her in various Avengers rosters, as well as a handful of solo books of her own. Whether it’s as a member of SWORD, hunting down rogue Skrulls after Secret Invasion, or a part of the Spider-Verse, a pregnant private investigator, or a single mom, who meets her real mom, who’s a genocidal clone making factory, Jessica can be everything or anything, and make it work.
We really haven’t seen Jess much since the end of the Pacheco run, except as a supporting character in the recently concluded Kelly Thompson Captain Marvel run. It was during the Thompson run that we saw the best depiction of the Carol & Jessica friendship I’ve read in years. We get a small sampling of it here, but Foxe’s voice for the two women seems…off. It’s the first issue, and it’s a tie-in for a crossover for Spider-Man, so expectations are low, but Foxe will be launching Jess’s ongoing later next year, so how he handles her here will form my opinion on how I can expect to see her in that upcoming title.
The best part of this issue is hands down the development of Diamondback. He’s one of the few crime bosses of color that’s been introduced in Marvel Comics since the 60’s, and like most of those who were introduced were bogged down in racial stereotypes, using a speech pattern that was heavily influenced by the blaxploitation era films, that they never seemed to take off in other books. Instead of taking a larger presence in the more noir type of titles, like Daredevil, we’re faced with a plethora of stories that dealt with crime bosses with old white male leads, and leave behind the stories that could be told with a character like Diamondback or Black Mariah, which would grant the writers and the fans a voice that they’re not quite used to seeing.
Carola Borelli is the artist here, and her style is quirky and energetic. There’s a distinct flavor that her art has that sets the tone for the story being told. The characters aren’t depicted in an overly cartoony way, but they’re not in a photorealistic way either. The characters are quite charming, and full of personality, and the action sequences are fun to read. It’s the emotional scenes that lose the most impact here. I’m currently not caught up on what’s going on in the Amazing Spider-Man, and thankfully this tie-in doesn’t delve too far into the ongoing plot, to deter my interest here.
Despite being a part of a huge crossover featuring the more “street level” Marvel Comics characters this first issue could stand on its own. Steve and Carola do a pretty bang up job here crafting a rather new reader friendly first issue. Sure, there’s some rough spots, but overall I found this to be a rather decent first outing. Here’s hoping this team can knock it out of the park.
Spider-Woman #1: Deadliest of the species…
- Writing - 7.5/107.5/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 7.5/107.5/10
- Color - 7/107/10
- Cover Art - 7/107/10
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