Spider-Woman (Vol. 3) #18

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Mike Fichera (E-Mail)


Attacked by an ancient curse, Spider-Woman has now become aged and wrinkled. Even worse for Mattie, it seems that her lame-ass series has been cancelled. Can things possibly be wrapped up in a single issue?

Story 'Dry Bones'

Bess is revealed to have been chosen by her parents to be free of her half of the curse, now transfered onto Spider-Woman. Only able to save one of the twins, Itch and Scratch chose Bess as the lesser of the two sisters responsible for betraying their sister Bonnie. In order to complete the spell transferring the curse, Itch and Scratch had to perform ritual cannibalism upon their daughter Flesh. Meanwhile, back at the Jameson's, Cher comes by for JJJ's help, since he spoke before of understanding werewolves (his son). Cher shows JJJ a pentagram on her hand.

Rosa and Marie take Spider-Woman to Itch and Scratch to help her undo the curse. Before the parents have a chance to dine on their daughter, Spider-Woman burst into the room. Mattie takes down the parents. Rosa throws Bess into Spider-Woman, and the curse is reversed, back into Bess. Turns out the curse is linked to twins who have killed their own blood. Rosa and Marie killed their father (who had murdered their mother and abused his children). The old lady, Rosa, and Marie insist they'll clean things up. Spider- Woman leaves, sneaks back home, pretends to wake up, and finds her uncle Jonah was worried about her. With a peck on the cheek, and a final pin-up picture this series is over. The End.

General Comments

This final three part arc seemed more like a Tales from the Crypt story than Spider-Woman. But, hey, I can't fault Byrne for trying something new and different from the other stories in this series. These final three issues were more the "Skin and Bones Show" than Spider- Woman, so the last chances to make Spider-Woman an enjoyable character were lost. Skin and Bones and Itch and Scratch were gross and creepy. What were Itch and Scratch's powers? How'd they get like that? Who dressed them? What was Mattie's connection to the curse? Is Cher a werewolf? What's the ramification of their suspension from school? I guess these dangling plot lines were left in hopes that the series would be renewed. Odds are pretty slim.

Spider-Woman Vol.3 was a strange and mediocre series. I hoped by the end I would care for Mattie, but she never grew on me as a likeable hero. She remained closed off emotionally to the reader, motivated superficially by excitement and showing little depth for motivating her to want to help people as a superhero. Let's hope for a better Spider-Woman #4 (or is it #5) someday. Or even better, how about the return of Spider-Woman #1?

Overall Rating

Final rating 1.5 webs.

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Mike Fichera (E-Mail)