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Posts Tagged ‘Spider-Woman

Back when it was announced that Spider-Woman #7 would be the end of the series, Bendis mentioned in his press statement that he and frequent collaborator Alex Maleev had been working on a project for Icon Comics. I got extremely excited for this mystery book before I completely forgot about it (as I’m wont to do). And I have to admit, when it comes to the creator-owned properties of Brian Michael Bendis, I’m pretty much clueless. I’ve never read Powers or any of the Jinxworld books (which is apparently blasphemy). When I picked up Scarlet #1, I did it while blindly thinking of Spider-Woman rather than Sam and Twitch. I know, I’m a terrible person.

Scarlet tells the story of the titular character, a young girl who is sick of getting fucked over by a hopelessly corrupt world. After a horrific event in her life, she decides to take up arms and start a revolution, using her own brand of vigilantism to try and clean up the mess starting with her own hometown of Portland, Oregon.

I have to admit, I’ve never seen a book quite like Scarlet and, as weird as it sounds, I couldn’t help but think of old episodes of Mister Roger’s Neighborhood. Bendis has smashed the fourth wall and, much like Rogers singing to you while putting on a sweater, Scarlet addresses you directly while strangling a cop to death. For the entire duration of the first issue, she speaks to nobody else but you in a sort of stream of consciousness way, explaining why she has decided to take this path.

Alex Maleev (in his first creator-owned project ever!) also takes the opportunity to experiment in Scarlet. At one point she discusses why her life was so normal and it is presented with a slideshow of the same milestones every kid goes through (which, to Bendis’ credit, came across as the perfect way to make somebody identify with the protagonist). And, much like Rucka and Southworth’s Stumptown, Maleev helps present Portland as a character rather than just a setting, including landmarks and settings from all over town. It’s somewhat refreshing to see similar styles Maleev has used in his Marvel superhero projects in a much more realistic setting.

No shit, I recommend this book. While most books have at least one glaring flaw, I was hard pressed to find anything I didn’t like about this one. I mean, aside from an awkward reference to Twilight. That was kind of weird. But I’ll let it slide.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna stop being a pretentious dumbass and go buy as much Powers as I can get my hands on.

spiderwoman1I got to open a Christmas present in October this year; Rob picked up Spider-Woman #1 (Volume One, not the new Bendis run) for me at Long Beach Comic Con. (Thanks Rob!) I finally opened it tonight, thinking “This was written in 1978, it’ll be cheesy enough to lovingly mock, right?”

Turns out, not so much. This issue? Kind of great. Dated, yes, but dated by aesthetic rather than absurdity. I’d love to see this book redone, using the same script, with a modern artist against a modern backdrop. But can we keep the cheesy ads? Sometimes I get a little sick of “got milk?” and Honda getting up in my face every few pages.

Gee, I always wanted to be a locksmith!

Gee, I always wanted to be a locksmith!

What really gets me about this is the “Do Real Jobs” line. Really? Just who the hell sponsored this ad? Apparently, someone from New Jersey. Jeezus Marvel, were you so hard up you needed to let the mob buy adspace?

So, basically...make yourself a stoner mobile?

So, basically...make yourself a stoner mobile?

You know; Orange, CA is pretty much the next town over from me. I wonder if these guys are still in business? I think learning how to upholster my Saturn with some sweet velour or something is definitely the best idea I’ve had all week. I wonder if I could fit a disco ball in there…

FREE EXAMINATION!

FREE EXAMINATION!

Yeah, so your poem “Dinos are Awesome” is pure genius, kid. Now, if you’ll just send us $500 we’ll press it onto a record and you’ll be a star in NO TIME! But don’t worry, you can afford it!

SEE?

SEE?

“Loads of mystery & fun?” Actually, kids, this is a great way to meet your favorite superheroes! Just make lots and lots of bills with your super-awesome machine, then start using your REAL DOLLAR BILLS to buy stuff! (Allright, I know it’s just a magic trick, but still! If I were a little kid, I’d totally be thinking, “Oh man! I can turn all my shitty $1 bills into $5 bills! What a great machine!”)

No words.

No words.

Admit it, your mind went there. Pardon me while I go giggle uncontrollably.

When I was a kid comics still had a few ads like these, but by and large mail order scammers have moved onto baiting you over the internet with a THIRTY DAY FREE TRIAL that you’ll end up paying $49.99 a month for. Still, I seem to have given myself an artificial nostalgia for the comic book ads of yore, if for no other reason than the fact that they’re freaking hilarious.

The one thing I wish the Big Two would bring back? Features like this one by Marv Wolfman, who penned the issue. Click on it! I made it big enough for you to read, because it’s fascinating.

Marv Wolfman on Jessica Drew, 1978

Marv Wolfman on Jessica Drew, 1978

Of course, we’ve got the INTARWEBS now, and print is dead and blah blah blah, but there was just something about the fan mail and the columns from the authors and editors that made reading a single issue an experience, you know? Sure, I was only alive for the tail end of that era, but sometimes I wish my comics were a little more interactive offline. BOOM! has some great features in the back of their issues, James Robinson is doing some cool stuff with his essays in Cry for Justice, and of course there’s always DiDio’s “DC Nation” – but overall the industry has gotten away from engaging readers socially in print. Luckily, the trade off is that you get more STORY in any given issue, and I wouldn’t give that up for anything.

You don't even have a BACK!

Except maybe this.

The absolute best thing about the new Long Beach Comic Con was the MASSIVE artist’s alley, which took up most of the exhibition floor. We picked up a couple of little sketchbooks and went ’round collecting cool sketches from artists we like – some big names, some little ones. Check ’em out (and click to enlarge)!

The Flash and Wonder Woman by Drew Johnson, who pencilled Rucka's Flash/Wonder Woman team-up!

The Flash and Wonder Woman by Drew Johnson, who pencilled Rucka's Flash/Wonder Woman team-up!

Batwoman by Dustin Nyugen, currently working on Streets of Gotham

Batwoman by Dustin Nyugen, currently working on Streets of Gotham

Optimus Prime by Livio Ramondelli, Wildstorm concept artist.

Optimus Prime by Livio Ramondelli, Wildstorm concept artist.

Batgirl by Phillip Tan, currently working on Batman & Robin

Batgirl by Phillip Tan, currently working on Batman & Robin

Baby Beast by J.J. Kirby

Baby Beast by J.J. Kirby

Batwoman by Joel Gomez

Batwoman by Joel Gomez

Detective Chimp, also by Joel Gomez

Detective Chimp, also by Joel Gomez

Martian Manhunter, by Doug Mahnke, currently on Green Lantern

Martian Manhunter, by Doug Mahnke, currently on Green Lantern

Spider-Woman by Ray-Anthony Height

Spider-Woman by Ray-Anthony Height

Captain America by Edward Nuñez Jr.

Captain America by Edward Nuñez Jr.

Spider-Man by Michael O'Hare

Spider-Man by Michael O'Hare

Doctor Fate, also by Michael O'Hare

Doctor Fate, also by Michael O'Hare

Lieam by David Petersen

Lieam by David Petersen

Spider Jerusalem by Darick Robertson

Spider Jerusalem by Darick Robertson

Another Lieam by David Petersen, this one was done at the Comic Vone party on Friday night.

Another Lieam by David Petersen, this one was done at the Comic Vine party on Friday night.

We picked up this awesome sketch of Jughead slugging Galactus at the Comic Vine party, but we don't know who drew it!! Who are you, you mad genius?

We picked up this awesome sketch of Jughead slugging Galactus at the Comic Vine party, but we don't know who drew it!! Who are you, you mad genius?

Well, Long Beach Comic Con is over and, I gotta admit, it made for one hell of a weekend. So much awesome sh*t went down, I barely even know where to begin.

HIGHLIGHTS, Y’ALL:

  • At the Boom! Studios panel, they announced a bunch of titles we’re really psyched about! Dingo (by Michael Alan Nelson), the Anchor, Nola, Incorruptible, several Disney titles (but no Darkwing Duck… yet)!
  • Scored many awesome sketches: Batwoman and Detective Chimp by Joel Gomez, Martian Manhunter by Doug Mahnke, Spider-Woman by Ray-Anthony Height, Captain America by Eddie Nuñez, Spider-Man and Doctor Fate by Michael O’Hare, Lieam by David Petersen, and two which totally get their own bullet point!
  • Darick Robertson did a sketch of Spider Jerusalem for both Maggie and Rob! His son also sketched us a sweet Batmouse and got himself an awesome David Petersen Mouse Guard sketch! Geek faces were had by all!
  • Maggie held a copy of X-Men #1 for a long, long time and got a copy of Spider-Woman Vol. 1 #1!

HIGH FIVES FIVED HIGHLY:

  • Darick Robertson (okay, technically a hand shake) and son (TOTAL high five)

Today was mostly spent geeking out amongst ourselves but, man, it was full of unexpected events. Especially listening to Darick Robertson give a really great constructive critique to an aspiring artist while we chatted with the younger Robertson, who drew us a cute little Batmouse and absolutely freaked when David Petersen sat down on the other side of his Dad.

“Son, do you know who this is? He writes and draws Mouse Guard!”

“AWESOME!”

Seriously, what a cool kid. We are all due for a rest, though. In the meantime, here’s some photos of what totally happened, you guys.

That is the face of "We can just not pay rent this month. Or all of next year. Right?"

This is the face of "We can just not pay rent this month. Or all of next year. Right?"

Darick Robertson's awesome kid, busying himself while Dad worked.

Darick Robertson's awesome kid, busying himself while Dad worked.

Batmouse by young Owen Robertson.

Batmouse by young Owen Robertson.

Darick Robertson signing Rob's copy of Transmetropolitan Volume 1

Darick Robertson signing Rob's copy of Transmetropolitan Volume 1

Awesome, right?

Awesome, right?

We’ll be posting photos of all the cool sketches we collected this weekend a little later, so stay tuned! The guys from comicimpact.com did a quick little interview with our very chatty editor, Maggie, so we’ll be sure to send you their way when it goes up in a few days!

FEB092519_mThere isn’t much going on at Marvel that I’m interested in right now, which isn’t terribly surprising. Marvel tends to be a boy’s club (said the female comic geek) and even though I’m sure Marvel Divas is fine if you’re into that sort of thing, I’ll start buying what Marvel markets to women when they can stop wrapping it in Pepto-Bismol pink. I like comics, ok Marvel? When you name a comic book “Divas” I half expect Celine Dion to show up. I’m not saying Divas is bad, I haven’t read it yet. For all I know, it’s the best book ever; but when comics are running $2.99+ an issue, I damn well do judge them by their covers. I don’t need a cutesy looking book, DO YOU HEAR ME JOE QUESADA? Just get some kick ass writers to write kick ass female characters and try not to call them Divas and wrap them up in SPECIAL FOR GIRLS TPB pink. Girls who LIKE comics are insulted, and girls who don’t like comics still aren’t going to buy them.

That said, thank you for Spider-Woman. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I like Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man is one of the four Marvel titles on my regular pull list, thankyouverymuch) so I picked up Spider-Woman last week. I know next to nothing about Jessica Drew, except that the Skrulls impersonated her and used her likeness to fuck a lot of shit up, but now the real Jessica is back. That’s it. That’s all I know. Well, other than the fact that along with Ms. Marvel, she’s one of only two women in the Marvel U carrying her own title right now.

821615-list_superThe only other female Marvel character I can think of who’s carried her own title in recent years is She-Hulk, and they keep shoving her into the Fantastic Four and the Lady Liberators. Oh, and cancelling her book. Most of Marvel’s female characters weren’t created to be standalone heroes, but to be part of a team. When a character is created to fill a specific role in a group, he or she is hard-pressed to carry a successful solo series. Wolverine is the exception that proves the rule, but come on, would you really buy a Cyclops solo book?

Jessica Drew might be able to carry a solo title longer than Jennifer Walters has ever managed to. She-Hulk’s never had much going for her. Seriously. There just aren’t that many places to take a watered down, big-boobied version of the Hulk. She-Hulk is completely derivative of the male Hulk which makes her one dimensional at best. Besides, the only time she actually seems to get used these days is in courtroom scenes anyway. Spider-Woman, on the other hand (name not withstanding), exists outside of Spider-Man continuity. Her powers are different from Peter Parker’s, her origin isn’t remotely related to his and she’s been screwed far more thoroughly than he has. Between the crazy scientist parents, the being raised in stasis, the HYDRA brainwashing, the Skrull invasion, Jessica is indeed the most screwed person in the universe. At this point she’s been screwed over just as hard, if not harder, than Wolverine – a comparison Bendis makes in issue one.

Bendis has proclaimed his love for the character a million times over; I love it when the powers-that-be give a good writer the chance to reboot a personally beloved character. Take a seasoned writer and let him have at the character he’s wanted to write for years and I guarantee you it’s going to be a blast to read. I never watched more than a preview of the motion comic version of Spider-Woman, and while I know this book was designed specifically for that format, I didn’t notice. Spider-Woman is dark, brooding, gritty and hot damn! Abby Brand shows up within the first ten pages, gives Jess a skrull detector and sends her off to Maripoor to wreck shit.

The Big Two have finally begun to put some serious effort into growing their female ranks. Rucka’s Batwoman should get her own title when Bruce gets back from the dead (sort of) and wants Detective Comics back, if she doesn’t get one it’ll be a crime. Abby Brand has become the female Nick Fury (Abigail Brand: Director of S.W.O.R.D. anyone? Close enough.) and if the first issue is any indication, Spider-Woman is going to be kicking ass for a while to come.

I drank a chilled glass of UV Pink Lemonade over ice with Spider-Woman. This is what happens when we start to run low on booze.


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