Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Femme Fatale Moment

Spider-Woman; Art by Michael Turner

Jessica Drew was the first and in my opinion still the best Spider-Woman.  Created in 1978 by Marvel to copyright the name (or one of the reasons anyway), her popularity ascended by her own right and she developed a decent underground fan club. She spawned a 50 issue comic book that lasted from around her creation time to 1983 (a good year to be born by the way) which favored her popularity even more through appearances in other comic books, her own cartoon show that was loosely based on the comic book, and of course it gave her somewhat of a skeleton for the present day of which she is still active now.

With great obviousness since I am posting about her, Spider-Woman remains to be one of my favorite Super Heroines in both Marvel and DC universe. There are many reasons why but the first one is that she was the first comic book hero I saw on T.V. with her very classic animated series way back in the late 70's and 80's.

It wasn't a great cartoon at all, but by its standards to a young boy's eyes it did it a fairly decent job. The story was off from the comic book, but hey, let's not hate. Jessica has been a poor victim of numerous re writes of her origins and what not. Regardless of her many origins, Spider-Woman's fame had a lot of underground followers even in her disappearance. Her fifty issues in the late 70's and early 80's, as badly written they may be at times still proved some worth for a lot of Marvel fans. I mean the art wasn't all that bad, it was actually decent at times, but the writing wasn't top notch. I mean just check this out:
It continues to make less sense. Trust me.

I'm telling you, it'll get more and more hazy. The art is still good in my opinion.

So... She could've loose that whole time? 

So what was the point of all this then if she could've broke free of the ropes this whole entire time?!
And this Hangman guy sure is redundant with his speeches to 'protect women' by tying them up and gagging them and leaving them on ... a haunted house?!

So the whole comic book proceeds where all of a sudden Spider-Woman is engaged in a ghost like, haunted house, and Merlin and Morgan Le Fey is all of a sudden in the mix, part of her past. {Okay. There was a good reason why I picked these issues to show the lack of consistency in the old Spider-Woman issues} Wait? What does sorcery and haunting apparitions have to do with a former Hydra agent?! So needless to say this very disorganized origin caused Spider-Woman to spiral down and the character herself went to the limbo of the Marvel Universe. She disappeared almost completely and only making cameos here and there and for the most part when she did she was not even wearing her Spider-Woman attire. Hell, most of the time she didn't even have powers. I was of course disheartened, but nonetheless I stuck with Marvel until I reached that point in my life where I stopped reading comics {WHAT?!}. But when I did glance at comic books here and there, I always wondered what was going on with one of my past favorite Heroines. What was Jessica Drew doing in the Marvel Universe?

Between late 1990's and 2006 I was out of the loop of comic books completely. But one day while I was in Barnes and Noble, something caught my attention:

Spider Woman. Back in the game.
Michael Bendis has and infatuation with Spider-Woman that came into full public knowledge when he recreated the Avengers team and called them 'New Avengers'. The team consisted of Captain America, Iron Man, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Ronin, Luke Cage, and The Sentry. This team shifted more than once but the team lasted all the way until the Civil war story Arc until the team changed immediately because they split because of political views. Well, while the team lasted with the Original crew, Spider-Woman had a pretty good spotlight. Being the only female in the team, she was the sight for sore eyes, and she usually brought interesting interaction with many of the characters. She even seem like she had a Triple Agent status, working for Shield, Hydra, and for the Avengers. When the Civil War happened, well her whole story line seemed to have die off; her spotlight seemed to have dimmed until well of course The Secret Invasion saga where some of us hardcore Jessica Drew Fans found out a very dreadful news...

The Spider-Woman that had been interacting with the New Avengers from the beginning was actually the Skrull Queen herself, Veranke. Jessica Drew had not been herself since Day One of her new spotlight in the Marvel Universe. LAME!!! The Secret Invasion had revealed to us that Veranke took Jessica's spot and wreaked havoc in her body. You know what kind of uproar this had with the Spider-Woman fans?! Well at any rate, what's been done has been done and even Bendis himself said he planned this from the beginning. I asked 'WHY' a thousand times, but I came to grip with reality. I just wanted to know where was the real Jessica Drew. Was she bound and gagged somewhere being tested on or something? Was she dead? Did she have powers or was she powerless? Well in an anti-Climatic event, Iron Man finds everyone that the Skrulls had replaced, heroes and villains alike. They were alive and well. Which of course leaves the Real Spider-Woman in a limbo as to where her place is in the Marvel Universe. Who can trust her? Who will trust her? Well, Thanks to Logan, she had a place in the New Avengers during the Dark Reign Saga.

She even had her Kick ass Moments!!!

And She stayed with the New Avengers until it was rebooted after Dark Reign. Hell during this time she even had her own Motion Comic which sad to say didn't fare so well. I'm sad to say that it wasn't that good. It was a better graphic novel I can say that much, but as for what Bendis and Maleev was trying to turn it into, it just didn't work out quite as well. It didn't impress me and just about anything Spider-Woman impresses me {that's how much of a die hard Jessica Drew fan I am. Fuck Julia Carpenter! And that other wannabe... Mattie Franklin I think?} For all the motion comic was worth, I'd say it had a pretty good art; voice acting wasn't half bad but the story was just so jumbled and it had no point. Yeah so Spider-Woman is an Agent of SWORD; she hunts aliens, especially Skrulls and boom. It turned out to be another New Avengers comic and in the end, like I said before it was just better as a graphic novel. It gave Jessica a bad publicity more than anything else. Although in the graphic novel, Bendis did mention that it was a 'dream come true' that he was able to bring out a Spider-Woman graphic novel. I couldn't be anymore happy for him.

So the days are going by and Spider-Woman gets her shots here and there for some fame. Nothing big really, but she's still out there; alive and not powerless and not completely useless. Honestly I believe she just needs a better spotlight and a writer to actually give her the actual spotlight. She's getting very minor ones like she had a comic book mostly on her turf on Fear itself. She went toe to toe with the hammer wielding Hulk and had some romance with Hawkeye.
Odd Couple. Really though.
So in the grand scheme of things, Spider-Woman is not in the best spot for spotlight. I think some are even going to argue with me why I even consider her to be femme fatale. She is another generic female version of a very popular Super-hero. She has 12 different versions of her, her powers are somewhat vague and if not some are not spider related, she doesn't have good writers to back her up most of the time, that and some people are even going to argue that her costume sucks. Well news to you, the woman looks good in tights with the color scheme. But I have no argument for the others set aside the argument for her powers since I think they tried to make it more original and away from Spider-Man's. All in all, I think Jessica Drew is in a better spot than she was when she began. She has more potential to land better writers and for sure better artists. I'm glad she's not MIA or dead in the Marvel Universe. She's got improvements YES, but hey, I can point out one of the most popular Super Hero/Heroine and pull out their best and worst. 

So I guess you can say I just have a soft/hard spot for this Super Chica {no Empowered references. yeah right}. I still adore her after everything she's been through, Skrull, bad origin, or even now just a filler in the Avengers. I have hope that she'll get a shine one day; not as big as Black Widow maybe, but a shine nonetheless. Mostly she's eye candy, yes, but I do think she has some cool traits for a super heroine. When she's written right, she kicks ass. In more ways than one she has saved the world with some of the hard hitters and sometimes she was one of the main gun. I know she isn't Ms.Marvel or Supergirl, but she is her own being. She's just not movie material, yes I know. Speaking of eye candy, it's time.So Let me just post some dedication pictures of some of her best show in my opinion before I close this rant out, okay?

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