Well, I did it. I read all 50 issues of the original Spider-Woman comic book series, one issue per day, for 50 days. This was quite an enjoyable experience and perfect way to kill time. Though the issues are old, and so, a bit rough at times, the series was very inconsistent when it comes to quality. Some writers, like Wolfman, Fleischer, and Claremont, seemed to struggle to give the character direction, but you could tell they were giving it their all. And then other writers…not so much. The series has left me with so many questions, like:
- At one point Spider-Woman comes into possession of a costume warehouse. A box promises to explain how this happened in a later issue, but that explanation never comes. Who shit the bed here?
- Why did the other creators drop the macabre themes of the book after Wolfman and Fleischer? Why did they see it as not a fit?
- Viper is revealed to be Jessica’s mother…and yet, we never get an explanation, Viper never returns to the story, and Jessica never wonders or questions or seeks out answers. ARGH!
- Spider-Woman is revealed early on to have connections to one of Marvel’s biggest baddies, the High Evolutionary, but not a single one of these writers ever thought to bring him into the series? That could have been very interesting and seems like low-hanging fruit.
- They killed her?? Seriously, the final issues ends with her death. I was shook to the say the least. Why did they do this? I understand cancelling a series if it isn’t selling, but did they have so little faith in the character that they thought the Marvel Universe was better off without her? Oof, it was a stunner. At least she recovers from death soon enough.
Even though I finished this series, my Spider-Woman adventure will continue. First, I’ll be reading Bendis’ Spider-Woman: Origin miniseries, which apparently retcons nearly all of this original series out of existence. Then I have another Bendis series, Agent of SWORD, the short-lived cartoon series to watch, and the brand new comic series which should begin shipping again soon. The character currently is drastically different in personality than her original incarnation, so it was fun to see what she once was and was intended to be.
Despite all of the wobbly inconsistencies with this character, I have to say I’ve come to adore her. I can now, officially, call myself a fan.