SPIDER-WOMAN #9, available now from Marvel Comics, continues Jessica Drew’s desperate hunt for a cure. Once again she’s in a surprising situation, as she finds herself in the home of several distracting surprises and revelations.
So far, Spider-Woman‘s latest series has forced Jessica Drew through quite a lot. She learned more about her family than she probably ever wanted (which is saying something), she is sick, and now fears for her son. That was all before Knull invaded, changing the world around her even as she continued to fight for a cure.
Oh! And don’t forget Spider-Woman’s current ally, who feels like a risky decision at best. Especially for any fan who is up to date in Spider-Verse and the various characters that it introduced.
Spider-Woman #9 continues from that point, throwing Jess into yet another chaotic and dangerous situation. It seems that she still can’t catch a break, though she is apparently getting closer to her goals, so there’s that.
Spider-Woman #9, written by Karla Pacheco, really does nail that whole family drama vibe. But with a Spider-Woman twist, naturally. After all, it isn’t every day that you come across a woman interacting with a room full of clones of her own mother. No, that’s the sort of luck that only Jessica Drew (and probably Peter Parker, if we’re being honest) could come up with.
All things considered, Spider-Woman #9 is a fascinating issue. One that drops a whole lot of information, without falling into the sins of show/tell issues. A liberal use of flashbacks helps to explain the situation, while also raising many more questions along the way.
On the bright side, it does answer a few longer running questions in the process, so we’re not going to go and complain about it. Yet even with that in mind, there is a lingering sense of dread that grows as each page passes.
That probably has something to do with a gut feeling for how this is all going to play out. There are many elements that feel achingly familiar here, for Spider-Man fans. That isn’t to say that the plot is derivative, more like it’s taking advantage of our knowledge and understanding to create something subtly haunting.
Spider-Woman #9 has some of the best cut scene/flashback art I’ve seen in quite some time. It quickly runs the readers through years of backstory, and it does so quickly and smoothly. These small vignettes easily layout the lives before us, while still leaving some room for imagination to fill in the gaps.
That isn’t the only highlight from this issue, naturally. With Pere Perez as the lead artist, this is an issue full of visual twists and turns. Most of them being memorable ones at that. The overall layout for this issue is remarkable, literally. As are the character designs, cameos, and fight scenes.
Frank D’Armata’s do help to enhance the scenes, naturally. There’s heavy use of negative space for the layouts, leaving plenty of white on the pages. Meaning that the colors really pop, especially those familiar greens and purples.
The lettering, provided by VC’s Travis Lanham, really gives a sense of impact, especially during the fight scenes. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as knowing that a hit landed, or that somebody undoubtedly received a solid zap.
Spider-Woman #9 is one of the most visually compelling issues I’ve read in recent times, and coupled with the clever writing, it leaves a strong impression. A positive one, to be clear. Naturally, we’re all left wondering how that cliffhanger is going to get resolved.