I have Issue 8 and 9 sitting here beside me, so I guess I should probably review Issue 7 before I read them. Because this issue is pretty great.
Spider-Woman #7: Hostages
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Javier Rodgriuez
Inker: Alvaro Lopez
Editors: Devin Lewis & Charles Beacham & Nick Lowe
Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso
What are the chances of making it through this without encountering some dress-ruining monster: Still diguised as Porcupine, she feigns unconsciousness while being transferred. Unfortunately, they gas her and she ends up tied up in a gas station bathroom for interrogation. She escapes and hides in the car of her interrogator.
Whilst hiding, she calls Ben Urich to let Porcupine and himself know that she’s heading upstate.
When they stop, Jess breaks out expecting to find hostages. Instead she finds a quaint little town. She buys a dress and tries to blend in. She gets caught snooping around, but she is mistaken for Erin, Diamondhead’s wife, who should be arriving the next day. She is taken around town by Olivia, Porcupine’s wife. The town is full of super villain spouses and children, whom seem to be living happily.
Jess admits she was expecting to find some big bad in charge, so Olivia agrees to take Jess to Cat, the woman in charge. When they arrive at Cat’s, Porcupine and Urich are tied and beaten. Turns out Cat knows she is Spider-Woman and happens to have a giant murder machine.
Don’t Be Stupid, This Dress Is Ruined: This is a fantastic issue. It really keeps the reader guessing whether the town is a good place or not, and even by issue’s end we don’t fully know, although it looks bad.
In the same way Robbie Thompson writes Cindy, Dennis Hopeless nails Jessica’s voice and she comes off very distinctly Jess. I love how she beats herself up for picking the cute dress over the ugly because the odds are stacked against the dress getting out unscathed. She plays everything on the fly and sometimes just goes for the (partial) truth to see what happens. It’s entertaining to read.
Also, can I just say how grateful I am that this Cat isn’t Felicia Hardy? Sure having it be Felicia could have brought in some fun guest stars for Jessica, like Silk (part of her Spider-Verse team) or Clint Barton (her ex, who tussled with evil Black Cat with Deadpool in their mini) but back when this issue came out (… 4 months ago, damn) Black Cat was appearing in both Spider-Gwen and Silk, as well as a backup in Daddy ASM and the recently wrapped Hawkeye vs. Deadpool mini, and while I like that she went on to be a mainstay of the Silk book, I was seriously at a saturation point of Black Cat.
I don’t know what to say about the art team that I haven’t already said. A serious highlight of the issue is Jessica’s breakout scene, but everything in this comic is vibrant and beautiful to look at. This issue works largely on how the art team portrays this town as serene and nonthreatening, but man they shift gears hard on the final few pages, creating a unsettling tone as we move into the arc’s conclusion.
Verdict: I feel really bad letting this series fall so far behind, because it’s really another solid hitter in the Spider titles, never bad and always on the cusp of remarkable. I’m very curious to see how things play out next issue, which is what I’m about to read.
- Never sure if the town is good or bad
- Jessica is hilarious and on point
- Art team really sells the peaceful nature of the town (and the horror of the final pages)
- It’s a little convenient Jess runs into Porcupine’s wife, who just happens to be the town guide