OFF THE RACK COMICS: Marvel’s Spider-Woman

Growing up, I was really into Marvel Comics. I was, and still am, a DC snob and never really cared for their superhero comics. Though I did enjoy DC’s horror comics such as House of Mystery, characters such as Superman and Batman just didn’t interest me. I am guessing that I was exposed to Marvel first and became very attached to their characters. As a child, my funds for buying comics were limited so if I had to choose between Marvel and DC comics, I would choose Marvel because it was something I knew. This has stayed with me to this day.

I remember seeing Spider-Woman comics on the racks every week but never tried reading them. I wrongly though she was a rip-off of Spider-Man and that she was a title designed to be read by girls. As an adult, I started exploring other Marvel titles on my Kindle and started reading the various Captain Marvel, Black Cat and Spider-Woman titles. The first Spider-Woman title I read was the 21-issue series from 2020 featuring the writing of Karla Pacheco and the amazing artwork of Pere Pérez.

According to this series, when Jessica Drew was a child, her father rescued her from a fatal illness using a serum of irradiated spider-biomaterial. The concoction not only cured her, it granted her adhesive fingertips and toes, enhanced speed and agility, a high concentration of pheromones, and the ability to fire biokinetic “venom blasts.” I am so glad I chose to start with this series; after I read it, I was hooked. I then followed up with the rest of the more recent series, and Spider-Woman is now one of my favorite characters.

One of the things I love about her is how sassy she is, and genuinely funny. Her snarkiness is on the level of Peter Parker except where Peter Parker is rated PG-13, Jessica Drew is an R. The character is written very well, and you can’t help but want to support her and be there for her. As with many Marvel characters, you get to see every aspect of Jessica’s world. It has always fascinated me seeing how superheroes do what they do best and at the same time juggling a personal life.

In recent issues, Jessica is pregnant. Not only does she have to deal with everything that comes with having a baby, but she also tries to continue being a hero. Her friends try to help her out wherever possible, but it doesn’t always end well. Over the years there have been many incarnations of Spider-Woman, but Jessica Drew was the first and, in my opinion, the best.

Now that I have read all of the more recent series, I am not going to go back to the original series that started in 1978. This series ran for fifty issues, and I am really curious to see how the original characterization coincides with what is being published today. I am also hoping that Jessica Drew’s Spider-Woman makes it into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and she is a character that needs more exposure. Though she has been in the animated Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse she definitely deserves a live action version, perhaps being in the Avengers as she was for a time in the comic books.

To do her justice, she would need to be as close as possible to how she is in the recent series. Her sarcasm and wit are such a strong part of her character and would transfer to film nicely. I also believe she would be a strong female character that females in the audience would enjoy and look up to. I also think men will relate as well, thanks to her snarkiness. Fingers crossed.

Make sure to check out my entire series of OFF THE RACK COMICS!

~David Albaugh

About Author

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: