Spider-Woman #9: Wake Me Up Wendigo-go
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist/Colorist/C.Artist: Javier Rodriguez
Inker: Alvero Lopez
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Title Page: Anthony Gambino
Editors: Nick Lowe & Devin Lewis
Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso
Recap: Our story picks up with Jessica Drew and her gang (aged reporter Ben Urich, reformed criminal Roger Gocking, and infant child Gerry Drew) in Canada. They received a call to duty, hunting down an elusive Wendigo. Jessica takes the job to avoid her best friend, Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel), who is at the head of a superhero civil war over a pre-cognitive Inhuman. Legend has it those who consume human flesh on Canadian soil will become a Wendigo, but Jessica laughs it off as superstition. It turns out to be true though and Jessica has to stop a resort from consuming man meat, while Roger battles the mastermind behind it. A few still turn into Wendigos, but Carol arrives to save the day; solely so she can yell at her elusive best friend. Jessica makes it clear she wants no part in Carol’s civil war, but Carol offers her a job she can not refuse. Jessica and her team will be the ones vetting the Inhuman’s visions and will be well compensated for it.
Thoughts: Possibly the most heartbreaking announcement of Marvel Now’s relaunch is that Javier Rodriguez will be leaving Spider-Woman, leaving to work with Silk scribe, Robbie Thompson, on a new Sorcerer Supremes book. Dennis Hopeless and Rodriguez are the dream team, bringing Jessica Drew’s world to life in creative beautiful ways. So let us take a moment to discuss Rodriguez’s art.
Javier Rordriguez continues to innovate with each new issue. He has tried several styles of storytelling and I can not recall a time where he has taken a misstep. In this issue, he portrays the action scenes in a grid like manner. He uses tiny panels to tell the small beats of the action, in place of splash pages with big dramatic moments. He emphasizes the most important elements of the fight, focusing on a specific body part or expression in place of full figures. He also uses the grid to intercut Jessica’s fights with Roger’s, creating dual fight scenes that fit together beautifully. He is able to portray motion in a still medium so well, I can forgive the few awkward faces he gives Carol Danvers.
His art is also able to switch from fervent family fun, with colorful snowsuits and cheery faces, to sinister scenes, with dark hues and chilling imagery, with ease. His colors have been as innovative as his pencils. In just this volume, he has created animated alien backdrops, sinister shades, and made the mundane majestic. Javier Rodriguez is one of Marvel’s superstars, but he is only half of this creative team.
Dennis Hopeless never leaves his partner to carry the weight alone. Most tie-ins to big comic book events often suffer from one of two things: a lack of a strong connection to the the core event or poor writing. Thankfully this comic is neither of those things. Jessica Drew and Carol Danvers have become one of the prominent friendships in the Marvel Universe. With Carol leading the charge in Civil War 2, it makes sense that she would turn to her private detective friend for help. And despite Jessica’s aversion to world-shattering events, she has her friend’s back. It will be heart breaking if their friendship comes undone by the end of this event. By giving Jess this job, having her best friend be the head of one of the two warring factions, and having her ex become a key player after the third issue of CW 2, makes this book one to watch for the duration of this event.
Hopeless also excels at using his cast wisely, giving everyone a purpose and a unique voice. Roger Gocking continues to be a star, shinning brightly beside Jess. Humor is such a key element of this book and Hopeless gives Jessica and Roger very different types of humor. Jessica’s opening monologue is a semi-bitter humorous critique on the nature of superheroes, while Roger tends to deliver more simpler jokes; stuff like “You do you” and “Try not to eat people.” There is an enthusiasm to Roger’s humor that makes it work so well in contrast to Jessica’s cynicism. And while he is not around often, Ben Urich is used well as a tool to transition Jess into her new job. Even Gerry Drew is used well here, bringing a nice element of realism to the comic. I love seeing Jess breastfeed and the way Gerry grabs at her hair and throws up on her mirrors my own experiences with my newborn. This book is losing some parental magic when Javier Rodriguez goes.
Verdict: The dreaded tie-in syndrome hits Spider-Woman this issue, but the book excels because of it. Jessica Drew is connected to a lot of the key players of Civil War 2 and this issue brings her past as a detective to the fore-front, after a fun Wendigo filled detour to Canada. Javier Rodriguez innovates himself once again and Dennis Hopeless uses every member of this book wisely. Another home run by the Marvel dream team.
- Contrasting humor
- Honors Jessica’s past and place in the MU
- Supporting cast used well
- Fantastic action scenes
- Womderful tone shifts