Spider-Woman #8 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Karla Pacheco, art by Pere Pérez, colors by Frank D’armata, and letters by Travis Lanham. Having been left in detainment by her friends, Jessica is forced to accept the help of her long-time nemesis Octavia Vermis in her quest to find a cure for her worsening condition. But before they can get to work on a cure, Jessica and Octavia have some shopping to do. And none of their stops are going to be easy.
The arch enemies being forced to team up for the mutual benefit of both is a classic storyline. As each character goes into the arrangement with raw nerves already exposed, the dueling personalities, if delivered properly, can be some of the most entertaining comic books can offer. Happily, Pacheco delivers these personality clashes in spades.
From panel one, Spider-Woman #8 delivers a character clash that all alone makes this story worth the price of admission. Pacheco captures Jessica’s loathing at having to work with her enemy, emphasized with every barbed jab she directs at Octavia. And she does no less justice for Octavia.
As the duo are forced to rush from locale to locale acquiring the elements Octavia says she needs, she clearly takes no small pleasure in seeing Jessica having to punch, kick, and scramble through every hurdle before her. Rarely do I see such a smug sense of self-superiority outside of Doctor Doom.
While this mostly verbal conflict is the prime mover of Spider-Woman #8’s story, it in no way wears down the immanent danger Jessica is in. The fact that the serum treatments she’s taking are killing her is never forgotten. And this harsh reality only intensifies the spite between the two.
Just as they’ve done in previous issues, the art team puts in some tremendous leg work in pushing the story right in the reader’s face. From Jessica’s volatile emotional state to her rapid-fire verbal sparring with Octavia and the moments of combat that dot their shopping spree, everything hits with all the energy you could ask for. Artist Pérez hit the ground running with the art and never eases up for a moment.
Just like Pérez’s lines, D’armata’s colors continue to shine. The colorwork does a great job of highlighting Jessica in every panel she is in. Surrounded by generally lighter tones, her black and red outfit always makes her the center of the frame. And a special acknowledgment, since I feel I’ve been remiss in mentioning it before, of how D’armata couldn’t have picked a more stomach-churning color for whatever it is that keeps spilling out of Jessica’s nose. Even without the threat of death, I would think not wanting that there would make a person move heaven and earth to find a cure. Its presence makes Jessica’s more volatile moments hit all the harder.
Wrapping up, we have Lanham’s lettering. The lettering here does a great job of delivering the story clearly, while also guiding the reader through a couple of less orthodox page layouts. Perfect dialogue placement makes sure the reader never takes a wrong turn.
When all is said and done, Spider-Woman #8 delivers a high energy story full of quippy nemesis and life or death stakes. My enthusiasm for this book continues to grow with each issue I read.
Spider-Woman #8 is available on January 6th, wherever comics are sold.
Spider-Woman #8 delivers a high energy story full of quippy nemesis and life or death stakes. My enthusiasm for this book continues to grow with each issue I read.