Interesting Tidbit Vol. 4 #5: The Thunderbolts were first presented to readers and the Marvel Universe as a group of superheroes like the Avengers. They became heroes to help protect the world when the Avengers were declared dead after the events of the 1996 “Onslaught” crossover. In a shocking twist, the final page of the first issue of their comic book revealed that the Thunderbolts were really the Masters of Evil in disguise. Holy plot twist, Batman!
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SPIDER-WOMAN: AGENT OF S.W.O.R.D #6
WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis
ARTIST: Alex Maleev
LETTERER: VC’s Cory Petit
MODEL FOR SPIDER-WOMAN/JESSICA DREW: Jolynn Carpenter
*NB: This takes place prior to Thunderbolts #134*
Oh poo! It’s Spider-Woman vs. The Thunderbolts B-Team. Once Jessica realizes they just want to take her in to talk to Norman Osborn, she decides to run and engage the players only when necessary. Agent Brand tells her that there is nothing she can do and to GET OUT OF THERE! This is a basic flight vs. fight issue…
As Jessica’s first full issue inside of her Spider-Woman outfit, it makes sense that this issue feels completely different from the previous five. Up to now, it has been about subterfuge, Hydra, and finding out who Jessica Drew really is. This issue has Jessica fighting and using her training in more ways than one. We see her intelligence as well as her common sense. On the other hand, we see that this new team of Thunderbolts is really lackluster and inconsequential…are they really like this, or is this just how Bendis is writing them? I cannot comment on this, but to me, they really seem like rookies.
I loved Jessica’s voice in this issue. Gone was the anger and ever-present was the annoyance and sarcasm. I found myself laughing several times throughout. Here is one of my favorite parts:
*Jessica types on her S.W.O.R.D. touch-phone while in a dumpster. Outside several Thunderbolts are looking for her. Jessica hasn’t checked her phone in a while and she finds 34 messages waiting for her when she turns it on. What follows is her communication with Agent Brand*
SW: Sorry, Boss. Can’t exactly talk right now. Thunderbolts are here. Can you get them off my ass???
Agent Brand: No.
SW: What do I do?
Agent Brand: Osborn doesn’t know about S.W.O.R.D. Do not engage. Do not get captured.
SW: Too late for not engaging. I’m in a pickle. Advise.
Agent Brand: Run like Hell.
Agent Brand: We have a lead on your Skrull target. MOVE!
I thought that was great; not only the answers, but the fact that the entire time Jessica is in a dumpster. This was just ONE of the great moments in this issue.
Now, normally I applaud the art, but this time I had some problems with it. I know, shocking! There were several panels where it is really hard to discern what is going on and they are slightly disorienting. It could be the dark colors used, but the art was not really working as well this issue, when it should have been top notch in order to match the level of the writing.
And did I catch an inconsistency? How would Spider-Woman be able to get into the Thunderbolt jet if she can only GLIDE, not FLY?! Say what?
4.0 out of 5.0 Webheads: Much better than the last issue and some of the best internal dialog I have seen. Jessica’s voice was great and I am loving this character more and more! However, the art was off in this issue, which is shocking and a little disappointing.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Girl!