Written By Dennis Hopeless
Art by Joelle Jones and Rachelle Rosenberg
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: April 27, 2016
And one little Spider goes back to her roots.
J. Drew has tracked down the home of her Earth-65 counterpart and is intent on settling business. Who she finds instead leads to a surprise encounter and a revelation for the both of them. After a tete-a-tete, Jessica puts her own puzzle pieces together to accomplish what she’d set out to do since the start of the Spider-Women crossover.
What a wonderful return to Jessica’s capabilities in terms of story and art. Not only do we get to see elements of Super-Spy Jessica Drew, but these parts of her emerge in a way that makes her look assured, capable, and smart. She knows how to work a room and she knows how to handle herself, parts of her that make her who she is and a veteran Spider. There’s an excellent Kill Bill Pt. 1 vibe in this story, which I’m happy to say didn’t end with a dead Black woman or traumatized children. Yet, the first part of this issue really brings out who Jessica is as a woman, hero, mother, and spy.
While enmeshed in a larger story, Dennis Hopeless makes apparent Jessica’s abilities in a way that does not detract from the overall arc or who she is as a character. She’s still snarky and quick-witted, yet she’s also determined and mature. Her parallel with Ellen, who does not seem to have the same type of formal training, puts a different spin on the element of motherhood in Jessica’s latest story. Ellen may not be a spy, but she was willing to take care of Jessica, highlighting an important part of both women and their dedication to those around them. Hopeless’ use of each of the characters in this chapter creates a framework which serves to enhance and express their personalities, even ones who may not show up after this crossover is, well, over.
Let’s just say Joelle Jones as the newcomer on art immediately caught my attention. There’s a sharpness throughout this issue that brings out parts of Jessica that haven’t been seen for a long time. Full of power poses and clean and realistic activity, Jones draws a Jessica who emanates power and a world full of expression, vitality, and humanity. Drawing back on the Kill Bill feel, Rachelle Rosenberg’s colors are a wonderful touch, as they capture the feel of suburban living, dungy sewers, and the flow of interdimensional energy from a portal built of Legos. Rosenberg excels at providing a real-life feel to Spider-Woman #6, which grounds the story despite its more adventurous or imaginative elements.
Separating this issue as its own piece rather than the part of a larger story is actually not difficult. There are some wonderful parts of one of my favorite characters that re-emerge and as a standalone issue I can definitely see it as part of her solo series across from the crossover. Spider-Woman #6 actually gives off a tone that I think would be awesome in Jessica’s solo series, as Hopeless has demonstrated how to incorporate her motherhood with her heroism while also deliberately discussing her personal dilemma in finding balance. Jones and Rosenberg craft a Jessica I love to see and who is emotive, again adding to the new developments in this Spider’s life while conveying power and force. There is just enough in this issue to keep you adrift with Spider-Women, yet if you read it as a solo issue not too much is lost. If you love Jessica Drew and what makes her a formidable force in the 616, pick up Spider-Woman #6.
The Verdict: 10/10