Comics : Spider-Woman Origin #3

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This review was first published on: 2006.

Background...

Jessica, now a member of Hydra begins her training with the Taskmaster who is going to make her a super agent because of her venomous powers. Their first few training sessions leaves Jessica more battered then her opponent but she's a fast learner and soon is able to hold her own against her trainer himself.

After becoming romantically involved with a Hydra agent, Jared is sent on a mission to deliver food to the hungry but he is taken prisoner by Nick Fury and the S.H.E.I.L.D. agency. Wearing her new costume, Jessica goes on her first mission for Hydra to save Jared and to try and take down Nick Fury at the same time if she can. Sneaking into the S.H.E.I.L.D. headquarters she sees Jared being beaten up by a number of agents with Fury supervising. Jessica drops down into the room from the air ducts above and threatens that she'll kill all of them for hurting him.

In Detail...

Spider-Woman Origin #3
Apr 2006 : SM Spin-Off
Editor:  Tom Bervoort
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis, Brian Reed
Artist:  Johnathan Lumas, Joshua Lumas
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Surrounded by S.H.E.I.L.D agents and Nick Fury, Jessica decides to take them all on to protect Jared, her new love interest. Dodging bullets and hitting various agents with her venomous energy blasts, the only one she can't seem to hit is Fury who happens to have an invisible force field around him. Finally getting Jessica completely surrounded, Fury gets her to calm down for a minute so he can show her something. On a monitor Jessica sees Jared ranting and raving at the scene of a terrorist attack on innocent lives in a Moroccan Marketplace, where innocent people, including children, were hurt in the attack.

Not knowing what else she can say as she watches her cherished beliefs for the organization she has banded with crumble away, she asks the next thing that comes to her mind, how do they know who she is. Nick Fury explains what really happened in the background of her life. General Wyndham was an undercover spy for Hydra in the British Government and when her father, Dr. Drew had a falling out with the government, Hydra took over footing the bill for his research without letting him know where his funding was now coming from. He still believed that he was working for the same people and not Hydra. When Hydra found out what happened to Jessica and her parents they took her and kept her sedated in a coma so that they could figure out what exactly happened to her and how they could possibly duplicate it. Ten whole years they experimented on her, keeping her in a state of suspended animation.

This new information is more than she can take and she bolts out of there as fast as she can. Some of the S.H.E.I.L.D agents spring into action but Fury tells them that no one is to stop Jessica from escaping. He commands one agent to follow her so that he can see what she'll do next. The only problem is the agent losses her and it takes them a total of four years to finally track her down.

Two years later at a trendy night club from a van parked outside Hydra soldiers, including agent Jared, watch as a black haired Jessica walks arm-in-arm into a dance club. Inside while dancing with the nameless guy she brought with her, Jared equipped with a suit that makes me invulnerable to her energy blasts, cuts in and smacks her to the ground. Jared reveals to a stunned Jessica that he was commanded to have a relationship with her by General Wyndham and, in a particularly cruel moment, tells her that kissing her was like making out with a "retard" because her thoughts and feelings being that of a six year-old at the time. Jessica manages to get away from him and stumbles outside in a flurry of gunfire.

Outside Jessica lands at the feet of the Taskmaster as he tells her his training her was a complete waste of his time. Pulling out a gun and a sword he starts to look like the wolf that her father once resembled when he attacked Jessica's mother. During the fight between Jessica and the Taskmaster they both inflict damage on one another with some of the gunfire spilling over onto the Hydra soldiers standing around the two combatants. At one point Jessica kicks his sword out of his hands and she catches it on the way down. As the Taskmaster runs in to finish her off with a bullet in the head, he runs right into the end of the sword Jessica is holding.

Seeing that the fight is going in the complete opposite direction that it was suppose to go in, Jared commands everyone to kill both of them. Transferring her energy blast through the sword, into the body of Taskmaster, Jessica creates a enormous energy web that hits the dozens of Hydra soldiers standing around her and the Taskmaster.

Jared wakes up later tied to the pilot seat of a large airplane heading towards General Wyndham's complex. Jessica tells Jared she wants him to see exactly what is about to happen as she jumps from the plane moments before it crashes into the house with the general drinking tea in the window.

Two years later, Jessica is attending a class on American literature. Afterwards, outside she runs into Nick Fury grabbing a hot dog from a street vendor. He tells her that because of what she has done, taken down General Wyndham and the taskmaster and blown up a Hydra base, he wants her to come and work for him. He also tells her how impressed he is with how she has gone completely invisible for the past two years what with the best of the best searching for her and turning up nothing. Jessica tells him she she just wants to make a life of her own and honor the memory of her parents. Jury looks at her and asks, "who told you your parents were dead".

In General...

Picking up where last issue left off, Spider-Woman is surrounded by Nick Fury and S.H.E.I.L.D. agents who are beating on Jared, Jessica's new boy-friend from Hydra. After Fury sets Jessica straight on the terrorist group she is actually working for, she leaves the building abandoning her rescue attempt to save Jared after watching a tape of him blowing up a civilian marketplace.

It takes Hydra two years to finally track her down to a night club in London where they attack her. Jessica fights back and manages to kill the Taskmaster (or so it seems at the time) and disables the rest of the Hydra soldiers who are trying to apprehend her.

Another two years goes by by the time Nick Fury finds her. Approaching Jessica after a class in American Literature he tries to get her to join his organization but Jessica only wishes to be left alone. This is when Fury drops the bomb that Jessica's parents are still alive.

Overall Rating...

This issue was better than merely average but not by much. I thought the fight outside the dance club was a little too long without dialog but that seems to be the way Bendis is writing more these days. He still writes well enough to make the characters in the story seem to be real and alive but I just wish his issues had more packed into them.

Besides that though the issue was just fine and it had a nice cliffhanger leading to the next two issues in the mini-series. I also liked how they turned Jared into a despicable character in less then one entire issue, going from a sort of sweet guy towards the end of issue number two, to this horrible guy who we are happy to see crash into the Hydra base by the end of issue three.