Spider-Verse is in full swing, and this week we choose to look at the fairer sex on the web of life. While Jessica Drew has had next to NOTHING to do with the Spider-Man mythos for the majority of her life-span in comic books, that doesn’t change the fact that she does bare the name SPIDER-Woman. Thus, including her in the massive Spider-Verse event was all but unavoidable.
However, something that probably WAS avoidable was the choice of artist for this title. The variant cover art for this book has garnered much scrutiny over the past few months and with the book in-hand, I can confirm that the disdain is well deserved. The primary artist of this book is the INFAMOUS Greg Land, known best for his use of tracing live model photos (particularly porn), and copy and pasting his own work multiple times over. Will his artistic dreck drag this title and bring this story arc to it’s knees? Let’s find out!
Our issue begins with the visage of our book’s trio, Spider-Woman, the new Silk, as well as Spider-Man NOIR. In the previous issue of Spider-Verse, Jessica and NOIR Peter were tasked with protecting SILK from being captured by the Inheritors (hunters looking to capture and eat spider totems). Silk represents something special among the spider totems, something referred to as THE BRIDE. The “BRIDE” is supposed to be a special totem, completely original to its own universe without any parallel doppelganger. This makes her unique and quite desirable to the Inheritors, regardless of any superstitious prophecy that may or not be unfolding.
Spider-Woman and her fellow spiders are forced to continuously jump from dimension to dimension in hopes of keeping Silk one step ahead of the inheritors, however, their first attempt at a safe world jump does not last for very long, as they are quickly found by their hunters. Spider-Man NOIR does his best to stand in Silk’s defense but is nearly killed in the process. This was honestly a very suspenseful turn, as NOIR Spider-Man is a very interesting character in his own right, and to see a character such as him die so early in this arc, or at ALL would be something of a let-down.
Thankfully, Silk and Spider-Woman manage to escape the Inheritors and jump NOIR back to his home dimension, in order to get him medical attention from his world’s version of Black Cat. While NOIR is being cared for, Silk is reprimanded by Spider-Woman for the brash behavior she exhibited before they were attacked by inheritors. Silk is completely new to the hero game and very inexperienced in regards to the hardships of combat, war, and good vs. evil. While Spider-Woman could make a good mentor for her, Silk refuses to follow orders and acts without regarding any consequences. Just as Spider-Woman begins to drive this point into Silk’s head, however, they are interrupted and joined by 616-Peter Parker, as well as Arana and Spider-Gwen.
The new spider trio inform Jessica that they are switching her out for Arana and Spider-Gwen and assigning her to a new mission. Jessica does not take this news well as she believes she is Silk’s best chance at survival, and the only one among them who can properly keep her in line. Peter reasons with her, however, and convinces her to leave Silk in the care of their fellow spider ladies. The new ladies cannot take over their spider sitting duties, however, as Silk has taken her dimensional jumper and left on her own in an attempt to prove herself to both Jessica and herself, ending the issue.
The story, overall, is solid, making for a compelling issue that explores Silk’s role in the Spider-Verse. Silk has had little time to develop much character through the pages of Amazing Spider-Man, as anytime she approaches peter, she becomes enthralled by an animalistic lust. This leaves her seeming more like a fanfiction sexual insert, as opposed to a true blue character. With her now separated from peter, she is able to explore her own character in a deeper way.
However, the damning nail in this book is its artwork. Greg Land’s artwork does NOT help this book in any way. Even with only the three pages I have used as examples in this review, you can see just how poorly drawn this issue is, alongside MULTIPLES of Greg’s trademark art decisions. Copying, pasting, and limb disproportion, all trademarks of Mr. Land’s work, and all very much present throughout this book.
In the image of Spider-Man, and the two spider girls crouching on the table, half of Peter’s body seems to be morphed into the table he is crouching on, either that or he is a severely deformed Super hero. There are also numerous instances of obvious pornographic gestures and suggestive expressions being exhibited by the ladies of this title, making it quite hard to take the characters seriously.
Overall, while I will be following this title for its role in the greater scheme of Spider-Verse, I doubt I will be following it past that point, especially if Greg is allowed to stay on the book.
-Solid side story for Spider-Verse
-Exploration of Silk’s character
-Interesting Mentor dynamic between Silk and Spider-Woman.
-Porn trace artwork
-Copy and paste Artwork
-Spider-Woman (the title character) is under-utilized, focusing primarily on SILK