Interesting Tidbit Vol. 4 #4: After her debut in Marvel Spotlight #32 in February of 1977, Jessica was featured in her own self-titled on-going series which lasted from April 1978 to June 1983, a total of 50 issues.
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SPIDER-WOMAN: AGENT OF S.W.O.R.D #5
WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis
ARTIST: Alex Maleev
LETTERER: VC’s Cory Petit
MODEL FOR SPIDER-WOMAN/JESSICA DREW: Jolynn Carpenter
When we last saw Jessica, she had rather foolishly leapt off of a building in order to escape Hydra. The problem? She had no means with which to stop her body’s acceleration at 9.8 m/s/s. Jessica does survive the fall but winds up back in the same Madripoor prison she started off in. She escapes once again (using her chemicals to cause fear this time), retrieves her Spider-Woman outfit, and runs into a brick wall, ie. The Thunderbolts.
For the most part, this issue really speaks for itself and I cannot really find much to say about it. Jessica’s voiceover is strong, as usual, and I think Bendis writes the voiceover in a way that is different from many other characters I have read. One can really delve into the mind of Jessica through her words, figuring out her feelings, her thoughts, her actions, all of which may or may not be actually written on the page. I most enjoyed the beginning of the issue, with Jessica falling like a penny from the Empire State Building. Her words are amusing yet thoughtful and let the reader know that even in a crisis Jessica is not one to freak-out.
This issue, however, creates more questions than it actually answers. It was not as strong an issue as the past four have been and it seemed like a filler to me; but a necessary filler nonetheless. While I have consistently been a fan of the artwork, some of the panels seemed superfluous (the countless panels of the officers trying to get into the interrogation room, for instance) and I think those could have been done away with in order to speed the story along and add words.
What I liked most about the issue is that Jessica has her suit back! I really love and admire Bendis keeping Jessica out of her suit for the past four issues because I think that she needed to find her own identity before becoming someone else. Hydra, Madame Hydra, and the Skrull were all a test for her, and I believe that she passed. It is now time for her to suit up and go to work!
And the Thunderbolts? Well, I guess they had been teased ever since the second issue, but now it seems the action is finally moving forward. I’m excited to see what the next issue brings!
3.0 out of 5.0 Webheads: This is the weakest issue, thus far, of the series. It was slow and really only made readers mark-time until the Thunderbolts showed up. On the plus side, Jessica is in her suit again!
Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Girl!