Congratulations to Dennis Hopeless, who accomplishes a twenty-five issue run this issue. It is Marvel’s best book, and while I would love for it to run another twenty five, the end seems to be in sight with issue seventeen (sales have dropped into the 14k range, which is the Marvel kill floor.) Have you guys enjoyed his run as much? Let me know in the comments below.
Spider-Woman #15: The Robin Hood of the Hundred Acre Woods
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Veronica Fish
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Travis Lanham
C.Artist: Javier Rodriguez
Editors: Nick Lowe & Devin Lewis & Allison Stock
Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso
Hobgoblin Killed Him Over A F***ing Costume: The issue starts with Roger’s meeting with Hobgoblin from the thirteenth issue. Roderick Kingsley has made a business for himself by licensing super-villain franchises/costumes and Roger is one of the people who pays him fees. Roger informs Hobgoblin that he is going straight and hopes to buy the Porcupine franchise from Roderick. Roderick says they should be able to come to some sort of a deal, which turns out to be Roger’s execution.
In the present, Jessica takes down the new Porcupine and forces these answers out of her. Jess decides to go on a warpath to Hobgoblin, despite Ben Urich’s warnings. Jess is ambushed by Hobgoblin’s men, but Roger ends up saving her. Turns out he was wearing old Alpha Flight tech that shielded him from the blast that would have killed him and he has been on the down low since, watching over Jessica. In the spur of the moment, Jessica kisses him but Hobgoblin kidnaps Roger immediately after.
I Was Shocked When You Decided To Revive Porcupine Of All Things: In some ways, Roger Gocking has succeeded Jessica Drew as the central figure of the book. In twenty five issues, we have had five Jessica Drew centered stories (Spider-Verse, Moon’s Hollow, Maternity Ward in Space, Spider-Women, Civil War 2) and four about Roger (the original Roadtrip arc in Volume One, the various one shots (Vol 2: #5 and #12 in particular), the Hobgoblin story, and he played a huge part in the Moon’s Hollow arc.) His story of redemption and growth has far more development to it than anything Jess has done, except becoming a mother and even then I would say this story has more development. And while bringing him back is a little safe, the story was shaped in a way around Roger so his return makes sense. The opening with Roger trying to retire from the super villain game in a building full of super villains is fantastic, as he earnestly tries to resolve things peacefully in the worst situation possible. It was a smart decision by Dennis Hopeless to open with a reminder why Roger is a great character. It also does a lot to solidify Hobgoblin’s presence as the antagonist, since without it he would just be popping in and out of the series without any clear motivation. Roger’s reunion kiss with Jess is heart-warming, but something I feel is very in the moment and maybe not necessarily an indication Jess and Roger will get together over the next couple issues; it definitely helps that Roger is full Prince Charming with the best depiction of the baby face when clean shaven look in comics. Jessica also has the weight of what is happening to Roger’s neglected family weighing down on her and I hope that influences a decision not to get together.
Not much happens this issue outside of that opening scene and the reunion. Her goal at the issue’s beginning is get to Hobgoblin to avenge Roger. By issue’s end it is get to Hobgoblin to save Roger. And I would be okay with an action heavy, emotionally driven chapter but the action in this chapter is not all that exciting. Although it is a great ‘whose who’ for D List super villains, Jess gets injured early on and does nothing original to mix up the fight. There are little details I love, like Jess supporting herself on a street sign; Spider-Woman has always been about the little moments. And the use of shadow and light in the opening scene is another little thing done wonderfully. I am going to take Travis Lanham to task though, because none of the sound effects in this issue really pop. The lettering is colorful but fairly flat across the board. The Hobgoblin’s laugh should come off the page eerily, not flat.
Verdict: It is not the best issue from this creative team, but is still very strong thanks to a feeling of being earned. This book has been as much about Roger as it has been about Jess. If the ending is only a couple issues away, then I am glad we have both of them for the final ride.
- Roger Gocking (and his return)
- Little moments pop…
- … Sound effects don’t.
- Pacing is a little off.