Published on December 23rd, 2014 | by Lauren McPhee0
Spider-Woman Gets New Artist and Costume
You have no idea how relieved I am right now. Seriously, thank you Marvel for making these changes. I was pretty worried for a while there. But now things are looking up. Because here we have Spider-Woman: brought to you by Kris Anka, Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez from issue 5, the real issue 1.
I was really disappointed when I heard the news that Greg Land was going to be the artist on Spider-Woman, my favourite kick-ass, Marvel lady. I’ve been following her since New Avengers in 2005, although I will admit that it was 2009 when I actually read those comics, right in line with the release of the Brian Michael Bendis series. I know Carol Danvers is many a fan’s favourite, but I’ve always been a fan of the darker ones: dark hair, dark history, dark humour. And Jess is pretty distinctive as such, which is why I still remember when Greg Land did X-Men Legacy because when I saw her in issue 236, for example, it just didn’t feel right. In comics you have to get used to different artists having different takes on characters, and you choose your favourites, but there are also those who just don’t fit with you personally. For me, Greg Land falls into the second categorically. Unfortunately, memorably so.
When I read issue 1 of the new Spider-Woman series when it came out, I was not overly impressed. Stuffed in along with the other spider-titles, it didn’t feel so much like a first issue as it did a tie-in. Silk takes prominence throughout the comic, and although you get a few good one-liners from Jess, she just comes off as irritated and unengaged the whole time, like she’s just going through the motions. As a first issue, setting things up to come for our heroine, it just didn’t deliver. But it’s Jess. Of course I’ll give it a shot. One issue is not going to turn me away. However, I already had the feeling that ongoing issues with Gred Land would be the thing that drove me off.
Say what you will about Land, for me, Spider-Woman just isn’t the right title for him. Which is why I am so excited at the announcements that Jess has a costume redesign by Kris Anka and Javier Rodriguez is taking over artist duties on the comic. Hopeless may or may not be able to pull a convincing, entertaining story together over the next three months but I’ll be there for support nevertheless, bringing all the optimism I can muster. But my investment in this first arch has already wavered as I set my sights on issue 5.
First of all, the costume change. This is something I knew had to come, but with such a longstanding, iconic costume, I knew there were a thousand ways a costume change could go wrong before it went right. What Kris Anka has produced kind of hits the nail on the head. Okay, so it’s not Jamie McKelvie’s redesign of Captain Marvel, but if you’ve seen any of Anka’s other redesigns, it’s still just as brilliant as you would expect. I’m not saying it couldn’t have been done better but it falls pretty squarely on the right side of right. I’m a big fan of leather jackets so that’s a good. It’s got Jessica’s dark edge to it, it has power, practicality and brand recognition. Basically, it’s Spider-Woman and I approve.
In fact, I am so impressed with Anka’s take that I’m kind of disappointed that he’s not taking over artist duties. I love his work and I think a Spider-Woman done by him would really capture what she’s about. However, after taking a second look at Rodriguez’s stuff, if Spider-Woman comes across with any of the atmosphere and presence that Daredevil gives off, I will be super happy. Simply by demonstrating that he can draw women in a diversity of different poses, not limited to staring vacantly while looking sexy, he’s already shown greater ability for dealing with Jess than Land ever has. Sure, I’ll manage for the next three months and I’ll be happy, but no way here as happy as I feel I’m going to be when March comes around.