Saturday, April 22, 2006
As superhero mini-series go, this was pretty damn good. Not a throw-away story or an adventure featuring a popular team character that really didn't need to be told. This series, by Brian Michael Bendis, Brian Reed and the Luna Brothers, was just as engaging as many of my favorite superhero titles currently: New Avengers, Nextwave, Manhunter... The weakest issue, unfortunately, was the initial one and many people may have abandoned ship at that point, but it really does get better as the story progresses. It's a fun superhero comic featuring plenty of betrayal and mystery, focusing on Jessica Drew's ties with Hydra, SHIELD and her own family. I think my favorite part of the series was her confrontation with the Taskmaster, the man who trained her at Hydra to be the fighter she is today. It occurred early on in the story, yet it seemed like such a pivotal moment, and it was executed with such tenderness for the character, that it was really just a perfect moment in my eyes. Not that the big showdown in the final issue was anything to scoff at - it was definitely a nice, satisfying finale. And Bendis has a way of writing Madame Hydra so cool. She always has such a presence in his stories. But anyways - the art. I love the Luna Brothers. My favorite superhero comic ever is Ultra: Seven Days, but Jonathon Luna's art is really best when they play to their strengths and under their own terms. Things in Spider-Woman: Origin would seem a little rushed or off or something once in awhile - just not as cleanly illustrated as usual. It was still some damn great artwork - don't get me wrong - but when comparing with a series like Girls, this is their least stunning. The story more than makes up for any shortcomings there, however, and I love Jonathon's style enough to not get too distracted by little things. All-in-all, great origin story. I will definitely be checking out Bendis' on-going Spider-Woman title set to debut next year and I can't wait to see what the Luna Brothers take on next.