REVIEW: ‘Spider-Woman,’ Issue #10

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Spider-Woman #10

Spider-Woman #10 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Karla Pacheco, art by Pere Pérez, colors by Frank D’armata, and letters by Travis Lanham. With the cure returning Jessica Drew to her senses only moments before Octavia murdered her daughter, Jessica must now confront her arch-enemy before she takes control of the High Evolutionary’s tech. But with everything she’s been through lately, is Jessica up to the task?

It’s been a tumultuous ride for our resident spider-themed superhero. For the past nine issues, Jessica has been dealt blow after blow of every imaginable kind. A storyline with the amount of personal pain and struggle dolled out here needs a strong finish to make all that agony feel resolved. Luckily, Pacheco does as good a job in Spider-Woman #10, resolving Jessica’s struggles as she did, dragging her through them.

This story is split into two parts—the resolution and the repairs that follow. Jessica’s confrontation with Octavia brings a lot of emotion with it. While much of this comes from the ever-mounting frustration Jessica rightly feels toward her old enemy, Pacheco delivers the most from Octavia herself. As the villain monologues about her, shall we say, “unique” relationship with her daughter, the reader is exposed to what can only be described as a base perversion of parenthood. Juxtaposed by everything Jessica has gone through largely for the sake of her child and Octavia’s cruelty shines as something truly abhorrent.

Once the dust settles at the High Evolutionary’s lab, Spider-Woman #10 sees Jessica return to her world to do her best to mend the many hurts she has left in her wake. Needless to say, some injuries heal easier than others. Pacheco handles these moments well enough. While some aspects of these moments feel a little too cookie-cutter, they all deliver a solid emotional return.

The art in Spider-Woman #10 delivers this book’s varying emotions excellently. This is particularly true where the opening confrontation is concerned. As Jessica and Octavia lash out at each other artist, Pérez delivers every hate-fueled blow with the intensity it demands. The level of animosity Pérez brings to these panels elevates this fight to a place high up on my list of iconic hero/villain matchups.

The colorwork here also does a great job of building up the energy during the climactic confrontation. Colorist D’armata delivers colors who’s shifting palettes keep the pages feeling fresh, while never failing to build up the energy that infuses this climactic battle.

Rounding out the presentation is Lanham’s lettering. This is a tough story to deliver properly from a lettering standpoint. On the one hand, there is a lot of hard-hitting, and extremely loud emotion at play here. These moments feel like the type that calls for big, exaggerated dialogue bubbles with huge lettering. But at the same time, there is a lot of serious emotion at play that such exaggeration would feel belittling to. In the end, I think Lanham manages to land in good middle ground. With the height of the yelling getting a little extra attention, but not enough to undercut the moment itself.

When all is said and done, Spider-Woman #10 delivers a strong ending to its story. The climactic confrontation brings the level of emotion that, given how much agony its protagonist had endured to reach it, was needed to feel like an appropriate payoff for its story.

Oh, and I loved seeing the wink and a nod to the best land shark there is.

Spider-Woman #10 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 

Spider-Woman #10 
4.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Spider-Woman #10 delivers a strong ending to its story. The climactic confrontation brings the level of emotion that, given how much agony its protagonist had endured to reach it, was needed to feel like an appropriate payoff for its story.