REVIEW: ‘Spider-Woman,’ Issue #6

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Spider-Woman #6

Spider-Woman #6 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Karla Pacheco, art by Pere Pérez, colors by Frank D’armata, and letters by Travis Lanham. Having survived her recent trip to Wundagore Mountain, Jessica sets out to find the High Evolutionary to see if he can cure her. But this hunt will require some interplanetary travel, and it just so happens Jessica knows the Boss of Space.

This issue’s portrayal of its lead is a bit of a struggle for me, though not in a bad way. As Jessica continues to rely on her brother’s treatment to hold back the disease that is trying to kill her, the fluctuations in her mood are becoming worse. She begins losing control of her temper at the drop of a hat, with violence quick to follow. I kind of expected to read “JESS SMASH!” before the issue ended. While this made our usually likable fountain of sarcasm of a main character far more grating, this is, however, the intent. Pacheco does a great job of showing Jessica’s awareness of what’s happening as she struggles with how best to deal with it, even as one of her closest friends tries desperately to let her help.

Spider-Woman #6’s strongest aspect comes through its portrayal of caring between friends. Just as those around Jessica want desperately to help her, she herself feels the need to keep her distance lest they get hurt. This attitude of Jessica’s is simultaneously frustrating and completely relatable. As someone who almost constantly insists on facing every problem without letting anyone know, Jessica’s insistence on isolation hits home with me.

While there is a strong emotional core to this story, my one complaint about its narrative is that it doesn’t really go anywhere. A lot of places are traveled to, and a lot of people get beat up. But that’s pretty much it. I appreciate Pacheco’s choice to focus on character in this issue, but I wish a bit more narrative progression could’ve happened as well.

The art of Spider-Woman #6 delivers on its story’s themes splendidly. As Jessica’s rage grows, Perez’s art captures her growing derangement vividly. This stark showing of Jessica’s rage is perfectly complemented by the visuals when Jessica is actually calm. When she has an emotional crash halfway through the book, Perez delivers her frustration and fear with a skill to match her rage.

The colorwork here is a little mixed for me. While I really like how much D’armata’s color choice separates the different scenes from each other, with each having their own unique look, the colors within each scene feel washed out by a single overriding color. While the use of a unifying color can work to reinforce emotional theming, here it just makes the individual elements lose some of their presence.

Lastly, we have the letters. Lanham does a good job of delivering the story well, but I wish there had been a bit more energy put into the text. While some larger fonts are used for emphasis as Jessica’s rage grows, I would’ve really liked to see Lanham really get into it in the font. As it is, it delivers the story well, but I feel like it plays it a little too safe.

When it all comes together, Spider-Woman #6 delivers a strong emotional story even if it is narratively a little weak. Jessica’s struggle to cure herself while also trying to protect those she cares for from herself is relatable at its core. Combined with a solid artistic presentation, and you have a well-done issue.

Spider-Woman #6 is available on November 18th wherever comics are sold.

Spider-Woman #6
3.5

TL;DR

When it all comes together, Spider-Woman #6 delivers a strong emotional story even if it is narratively a little weak. Jessica’s struggle to cure herself while also trying to protect those she cares for from herself is relatable at its core. Combined with a solid artistic presentation, and you have a well-done issue.