Comics : Spider-Woman (Vol. 2) #1

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Worst of the Worst

This review was first published on: 2002.

Background...

When Marvel created Spider-Man, it really was just a matter of time before they gave him a female counter-part. That arrived in 1978, with Marv Wolfman's Jessica Drew as the first ever Spider-Woman in her title, Spider-Woman. Personally, I'm a little surprised it took so long for Spider-Woman to hit the scene, but Marvel made up for lost time by featuring four females in the role of Spider-Woman over the subsequent 20-something years.

This particular limited series features the second Spider-Woman, Julia Carpenter. Without going into her background here, let's just remind our gentle readers that by the time she gained this, her own four-part limited series, she was a solo-part mother of a young pre-teen girl - and a member of the West Coast Avengers.

Nel Yomtov is the editor, and he already has a reputation for working on bad comics. The story is written by Roy Thomas, who should know better. But somehow, he manages to produce this confused and pointless disaster which belongs in our "Worst of The Worst".

In Detail...

"Deathweb, Be Not Proud"
Spider-Woman (Vol. 2) #1
Nov 1993 : SM Spin-Off
Summary: Re-Match With Death-Web
Editor:  Nel Yomtov
Writer:  Dann Thomas, Roy Thomas
Pencils:  John Czop
Inker:  Fred Fredericks
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Review

Even after reading the story, I have no idea where that title "Deathweb, Be Not Proud" comes from - clearly it's an erudite classical reference. Also classic is the introduction... U.S. Agent (looks a lot like Captain America to me) and Spider-Woman are helping mop up after a botched drug-bust.

More of a talk-fest than a drug-bust. Roy & Dann Thomas clearly have so little faith in penciler John Czop's artistic skills that they feel the need for Spider-Woman to rattle through a running talk/thought-balloon commentary through every single panel. Actually, looking at John's art, maybe I understand they're point. In either case, it makes for a pretty long-winded intro, with plenty of super-hero team angst inherited from the West Coast Avengers.

We finally managed to break clear of the WCA tie-ins as Julia heads to the airport to meet her folks. Her stereo-typically chariacatured super-hero folks. Nothing ordinary about these guys. They run an eco-hotel in the heart of the Amazon. This passion for the jungle was the reason they neglected Julia so much in her childhood, but hey, what's a bit of angst between friends. Anyhow, they don't know about Julia

Julia's parents, after arriving, are expecting a visitor. He arrives, and turns out to be some guy called Dr. Carter Napier. He arrives, swolled with facial bumps, and dies on the spot. What a co-incidence! More than that, it seems that he told Julia's parents that he had something important to tell them, but couldn't say it on the phone. Even more of a co-incidence, Julia also knows him from her government work! I sense some sort of clumbsy half-baked plot being assembled behind the scenes!

And I'm not disappointed. Julia dresses in her costume, and heads out into the dark, where she meets Therak! - a big eight-armed spider-monster from the DeathWeb team. Hmmm... I don't know who DeathWeb are, but they sound pretty lame. They fight... Julia the whole time unable to shut up her pointless thought-balloon commentary.

Julia wins (whatta surprise) and staggers back home where she collapses just inside the front door. Looks like her parents know about her secret identity now, eh? I sense more angst!

Overall Rating...

Formulaic, clumbsy, half-baked. Giant monsters, beautiful babes, intrigue and deadly mystery. This stuff is terrible! Ain't it great. One web!