Spider-Woman #4: Outlier
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Greg Land w/ Scott Forbes (recap)
Inker: Jay Leisten
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover Artists: Greg Land & Frank D’Armata
Editors: Charles Beacham & Nick Lowe
Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso
Recap: In the fallout of Spider-Verse, Jessica and the female spiders (Spider-Gwen, Silk, and Anya Corazon) return to the Inheritor’s Loomworld to confront their Jessica Drew. 616 Jess convinces her to rule in the Inheritor’s place, using her pheromones to make the masses love her.
When she returns to 616, she visits with Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers). She goes to Avengers Tower to quit, when a giant alien creature attacks. She takes it down and tells Steve Rogers she’s had enough of alternate dimensions and space creatures. She quits the Avengers and ends the issue contemplating a new costume with Carol.
Thoughts: There’s a lot to like and a little to dislike here. Conceptually, this issue is golden. Jessica turning to her counterpart to lead a warring planet? And having her do so by tapping into her pheromone powers? Awesome. Jessica quitting the Avengers only to be interrupted by the type of stuff she is quitting over? Funny as hell. Both solid concepts that just come out of the blue in this series. If it was Dennis Hopeless’s intention to have Jessica quit the Avengers and her counterpart become a ruler, then why not bring either of these points up at anytime during the first three issues? Having Loomworld Jess become the new ruler especially felt out of the blue. I can at least appreciate the scene that leads up to Jessica deciding to quit the Avengers; the Jessicas discuss if maybe she’s the outlier amongst them, the only one in the multiverse whose a do-gooder working with the Avengers. That kind of conversation with an alternate self is sure to get in your head and do some damage. I like both concepts but neither feel earned in this issue. I do hope we come back to both at some point though; even though Jess quit, she also told Steve she would always be there if they need her.
As an epilogue to Spider-Verse, I’m glad we got to see the Spider-Women in action one last time and Anya Corazon joins the club this time. She has a pretty good line too, but it’s the joy of seeing these girls interact again that works as an excellent capper for Spider-Verse. They’ve got fun distinct costumes that Greg Land gets to have some fun with before he exits the series. He’s not the artist I would have launched this book with, but he did really solid work during Spider-Verse. Also, pirate Namor.
And then we go back to the 616 and the book comes alive. Jessica and Carol Danvers together under Hopeless’ pen is as fun as the Spider-Women, maybe even more so as he makes light of their pasts in a way he couldn’t do with new character Silk and Spider-Gwen. He has a recurring joke where Jessica feels incredibly apologetic around Steve Rogers and his addition into the banter between Jess and Carol is seamless. It feels like these are teammates and friends and it makes what could be a dull or over dramatic scene really fun. These final scenes make Jessica Drew more of a character than all of the Spider-Verse stuff combined and it has me excited for where Hopeless is going.
Verdict: Every joke in this issue works. Greg Land turns in some solid artwork. We get a very fun capper to Spider-Verse. We get a great scene with some core Avengers that gives us a new direction for the book. It’s just, it all really comes out of the blue and that hurts the book a bit. I’m going to recommend that anybody who wants the fun banter that Spider-Verse didn’t deliver to check out issues 1-4 and anybody who is excited for a new direction for Ms. Drew check out the book starting next issue.
- Fun end to Spider-Verse
- Solid start to Jessica’s new adventures
- Art team delivers
- Hopeless’ Spider-Women
- It all felt a bit out of the blue.