Dennis Hopeless finally gets his chapter in the Spider-Women event, so how does he do?
Spider-Women Part Four
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Joelle Jones
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Production: Idette Winecoor
Letter: Travis Lanham
C. Artist: Yasmine Putri
Editor: Devin Lewis & Kathleen Wisneski & Nick Lowe
Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso
You Know How You Met Someone Truly Awful: After the events of the seventh issue of Silk, Jessica Drew goes off on her own to hunt down her doppelganger. She ends up meeting his wife, Ellen and Jessica learns her Earth- 65 doppelganger is actually a male named Jesse Drew. Despite trying to avoid conflict, the two comes to blows briefly before Ellen’s children arrive. Jessica and Ellen put aside their differences to keep the children out of it and Jessica gets time to explain everything that’s going on; Ellen comes to see her side and helps her out. Afterwards, Jessica meets up with the other two Spider-Women and they return to Earth Prime through a dimensional portal made from Lego by Earth- 65 Reed Richards. Jessica sends Gwen and Cindy after Earth-65 Cindy Moon, while she heads home to her child.
And Then The Truth Starts To Sink In, They Are Just Like You: This issue brings a close to the first half of the Spider-Women event, bringing our Earth Prime heroes home by its final page. But as they say, it’s the journey that matters, not the destination, so how was this issue? Well, it happens to be the strongest issue yet, which is unsurprising given Dennis Hopeless’ track record.
Unsurprisingly, Jessica Drew is front and center. Each of these Spider-Women are witty in their own way, but I find Hopeless writes the funny better than Jason Latour (Spider-Gwen) and Robbie Thompson (Silk.) Hopeless is good at using humor to diffuse tense situations, which drives it home in a realistic/familiar way. Jessica’s narration flirts with judgment and compassion, successfully walking a fine line between the two. Grumpy Jessica is a very entertaining Jessica and it is great watching her interact with the bickering younger Spider-Women as she puts them in their place. It is a great journey Dennis Hopeless has taken her on, as she used to be as insecure as the others, but regrew into a confident hero before our eyes.
The story beats are very fun as well. In a very Kill-Bill esqe scene, Jessica and the wife of her male Earth-65 counterpart, Ellen, have to pause their fight as the latter’s children comes into the picture. The pausing allows Jessica to navigate out of the conflict with Ellen, Hopeless continuing his portrayal of a ‘fast on her feet’ Jess. And as enjoyable as that whole exchange is, I think I prefer the scene at the end with the three Spider-Women and young Earth-65 Reed Richards. That kid is great, consistently well-written by each writer as he drifts in and out of their issues. Hopeless started this whole she-bang during Spider-Verse and his handle on the Spider-Women has just gotten better since. Jessica’s big rousing hero speech to Cindy at the end showcases both Jess’ growth and Hopeless’ humor.
While the void of Javier Rodriguez is always felt on the series, Joelle Jones has the added benefit of being the best Spider-Women artist yet. Although the only real superheroics in the issue is a single page of Gwen and Cindy fighting Earth-65 Otto Octavius, that one page is beautifully rendered. Sadly, she has the Tana Ford problem of too many lines on her face (Cindy in particular looks off-putting) but her work with Jessica is strong despite this. I also find Jones draws male figures better than females. I found Rachelle Rosenberg’s colors in this issue really strong and it continues the trend Javier Rodriguez set, where the vibrant colors of the world fade into the background and become part of it; for example, when they are standing in front of Reed Richards’ Lego-portal, the entire room is cast in a blue hue from the portal. It just makes the world of this comic more believable.
Verdict: Dennis Hopeless, Joelle Jones, and Rachelle Rosenberg deliver the best issue so far of the Spider-Women event, but how does it fare as an issue of Hopeless’ on-going Jessica Drew saga? Fairly well, but it is not the best issue he has done. Hopeless’ strong narration and wit keeps the issue lively and he uses the other Spider-Women to show how much Jessica Drew has grown over the last sixteen issues of her on-going series (plural.) Joelle Jones is a weaker artist than Javier Rodriguez, but she’s the best artist on the event so far. The first half on Earth- 65 was entertaining, even if it did drag its feet a bit plot-wise. Here’s hoping for a bombastic second half.
- Hopeless’ Humor
- Reed Richards
- Jessica Drew (and her interactions with the other Spider-Women)
- Drags it feet
- Awkward faces
Next Issue: Javi Trujillo already has a review for part five up.