Spider-Woman #1 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Steve Foxe, with art by Carola Borelli, colors by Arif Prianto, and letters by Joe Sabino. Spider-Woman is back but struggling, trying to find what is missing in her life. But as Hydra mingles with one of the gang bosses, she is quickly sent into action.
Spider-Woman enters the picture somewhat by accident. The plot matches the scatterbrained approaches Jessica Drew currently has in her life after so much death, return, and upheaval. This is a woman who has been through so many things, which is also represented well in the plot. It moves from scene to scene, but the pacing is brilliant and keeps the tempo moving without losing control.
It’s evident from the start that Jess has her own mission to deal with, hunting down those on a list given to her by Taskmaster. The opening fight is fun and exhilarating, which serves as the basis for the story going forward. It is only because the event’s path intersects with her mission that she becomes involved. There are some fantastic and frantic fight scenes that are more than just a battle, as they provide reasons for further action.
It is amazing to have this character back because of the terrific personality that she possesses. Foxe taps into all of those facets and provides mere teasers of what she’s capable of. Throughout the whole thing is the deadpan humor that is brilliantly sardonic and sarcastic. As she struggles eternally, her own unique quips come out as a method of coping. There is a tenacity to the character that is excellent to read, as it often turns into a reluctance to ask for help. Then comes the fury, a silent rage that can often be delivered through one angry punch.
Foxe also calls on the most important relationships that Spider-Woman has, but there have been changes. The friendship she has with Captain Marvel is the strongest, and the conversation she has is warm yet tinged with secrets. And yet there is one character that is purposefully missing, and that leaves an agonising, hollow void. Opposing Spider-Woman is one of the gang leaders, and the dialogue from them is dangerous and effective.
The art is absolutely stunning. Borelli has a clean and sleek style. Spider-Woman has her old costume back, and Captain Marvel dons a new one, with both of them looking phenomenal under this pen. Jess’s is perfect without so many details, whilst Carol’s has perfect details added. The facial expressions and body language are sublime. They heighten the drama and can be brilliant even with a mask obscuring Jess’s eyes. The punches have weight and force to them, so much so you can almost hear them all.
The colors are gorgeous. The contrast works amazingly well for much of Spider-Woman #1, as her costume is intensely vibrant. That shade of red is only replicated for Carol, who is just as heroic and deserving of that tone. Others have a dark, serpentine green or a deep purple that juxtaposes the palette of the heroes. The word balloons are extremely easy to read, and there are some dynamic uses of SFX.
Spider-Woman #1 gives Jessica Drew her spark back. She enters the series with demons and mysteries, but her personality has not been tampered with in the slightest. That fire and drive that turned her into an established, headlining hero for years has returned, with Foxe injecting that energy into the whole book. The magnificent art is pivotal to that success as it brought with it a wave of nostalgia for the original costume. Drew is part of Gang War, but there is so much substance within this book beyond the crossover. As it stands, this event is a terrific jumpstart for the storyline.
Spider-Woman #1 gives Jessica Drew her spark back.