This was My Spider-Woman
. The First and the Best! No way! I was furious when I found out about her pregnancy than I was with the whole Veranke idea! So.... I stayed away from the book. Besides, her new duds did not settle in well with me; or let's just say I was too enamored with her classic to even give her new one a shot. With all those in mind, the baby bump idea was not going to grow on me and I was not planning on reading the book anytime soon. But "soon"
came and I caved in. I bought it. And funny enough, after all the fussing, the huffing, the middle fingers to Marvel(okay, not that bad but I was pretty dissuaded), and after all the disdains I had to say, I really like the book. I like Jessica Drew as a mother. I thoroughly enjoyed her struggles during her 'maternity leave' and having to cope with being Spider-Woman while knocked up and was even more fascinated with her thoughts(both vocal and inward) about how HOW she was going to deal with it when the baby is finally born. How is it that I came to enjoy something as 'mundane' as that? Well, this part:
One thing I will say is that Hopeless might have done an extensive amount of research with having a child or may have a child himself (didn't delve into his life that much; just read what Wiki provided. Tried his website, didn't work, so yeah). The page above, and the next few that follows after really really
touches on plenty of newborn parents' fear. But let's back track a bit before I go into that. First off, I haven't gone into Jessica's life in her 'street-level' crime fighting with Porcupine and Urich so I'm not sure how much I am missing story wise. Seems not too much, but having her sidelined to 'coach' while Porcupine handles the rest, well, it's really funny. Then we get into the Marvel Universe getting involved with her maternity party (Nice, Stark: "Do you know who the father is?"), her alternate reality coffee moments with Gwen (those two have gotten close it seems; gone are Drew's abrasive tone with Gwen in Spider-Verse; then again, those days with the Inheritors were stressful moments so I can see why Drew was a bit harsher to the younger spider-gals), then her coping with NOT
being super heroine... a right mixture of 'fictional' maternity moments to downright to the core of realistic duress of a pregnant woman. But things go a bit haywire when we get into the extra-terrestrial hospital....
I'm not sure if it was the art, or maybe I was just not feeling the ambiance, but that entire part felt out of place for a bit... but then as I get further into it, as I read more, I get the message: Jessica Drew is Spider-Woman, Spider-Woman is an Avenger, and Avengers do crazy sh*t. They literally reintroduced her readers' to the fact that Jessica Drew has done way more outlandish crap than the street level things she has been doing before and during her pregnancy. Then the appearance of Drew's long time nemesis:
None other than the Skrulls. I have to say, while Drew mentioned how angry she still was with the whole Secret Invasion deal, the reunion between Spider-Woman and the Skrulls fell flat. Last time I really read anything about her emotions about Secret Invasion was during "Agent of SWORD" (erm... not Drew's finest moments) and I felt that the angst was right (though it was cool to hear the Skrull recognize her name and changed their tactics the moment they found out that they have a pregnant Spider-Woman in the hospital). But I suppose this was showing a time that she 'moved on' and a time to highlight her deal with having to deliver her baby in a black hole
based space hospital. I won't get into the whole deal because again, lots of weird out of this world crap that sometimes felt out of place, but let me just say that ... Jessica Drew ain't messing around when it comes to protecting her bundle of joy. The delivery moment and the badassery moments after was the Jessica Drew I came to love. Badass Vixen going right into a fight after being stitched up (pumped up on some extra terrestrial pain deterrent, a few blasters, and some of her venom blasts and spider-SHIELD-HYRDA-training).
Jumping right into her moments when the baby was born, it was really heart touching to hear some of her thoughts on how she can balance her life as Spider-Woman and as a mother. There were PLENTY of memorable dialogue between her and other key characters (Hawkeye, Porcupine, and Captain Marvel were my favorite ones), and there were plenty of key moments with her talking to herself about how her life is going to turn out now. Her fears amplified and again, the pages when She-Hulk and Hellcat visited her and she just spewed out fears from SIDS, to shaking the baby, to lack of sleep... for anyone who knows about having a child, that is something one has to worry about and it really hits it off that this was not a super heroine comic book from here on out. It's going to be about a Super Heroine dealing with her life as a mother and having to continue on with her life as Spider-Woman; the Avenger and the protector of Earth. A not-so-normal-mom trying to jest with the idea that perhaps she could give her child a 'normal' life. As for the whole 'father' deal, meh, I suppose they can go somewhere with that in the future if they want. Though I wouldn't mind being the 'online guy' that scared the crap out of her. Ha!
The art as I have mentioned fluctuates between awesome to 'wtf' for me. Don't get me wrong, it was good enough, but there were times that it was just silly. Some of the facial emotions were a bit off and Captain Marvel had no appeal to me drawn the way she was. Though Jess had her moments of 'girl don't make that face', she was still the same sexy, green-eyed, tempting, Spider-Woman I know (yes even with the bump). But there were far too many 'flat' areas in the book that just made me cringe; the emotions portrayed at some parts were questionable and I know it's all comic book art, but they went a bit overzealous on some portions of 'unrealism' and 'cartoony' than I would like. One of these days, I would love to see Choi and Finch take on Jessica... or Jim Lee even, but that is a possibility so slim that it stretches even the current Ms. Marvel and
Reed's capability! But as for Jessica Drew, she looked good, had some sassy expressions, and not to mention, she had some badassery images. So I suppose as long as the main character was good, everything else was just background noise, I suppose. This part was something you just had to like or not.
The most important part about this whole thing is that Jessica felt like she 'grew up'. Her thoughts, her stress, even her posture looked and felt 'motherly'; a young and 'brand new' motherly feel, that is. A shift in gears to say the least. All in all, I think this book was amazing and I want to keep following her throughout her adventures. I will honestly
follow each volume and if the cover arts of particular issues are great, I'll buy them. For those who are opposed to her idea of motherhood and have not delved into this, try it out. If you still dislike the idea, then at least you tried. For those who knows her trials and tribulations throughout the trimester (without the crazy stuff that goes on in a Spider-Woman's life), then I think there are some things about this that will hit the spot. All in all, my girlfriend has grown up with me... and she is still sexy as she was before
I'd say. Ha!