Story: Dennis Hopeless
Art: Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez
What They Say:
Jessica Drew might have solved the first mystery Ben Urich threw her way, but he’s got one or two more cases up his sleeve from other cities in the U.S. of A! It’s a road trip with Spider-Woman, Ben Urich and the Porcupine! Destination: Justice.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
While most books have ended as the Secret Wars event rolls on, some of the series are finishing out with a little additional storytelling. Spider-Woman is one such title where the creative team is adding a few finishing touches to the series that kicked off not so long ago and it kind of serves as an epilogue story to the events of the book so far. While I鈥檝e enjoying watching what Jess does to some degree, issues like this remind me that I鈥檓 likely not coming back for whatever鈥檚 next for the character under this team. It鈥檚 not bad per se, as there鈥檚 a competent bit of work overall, but it鈥檚 simply not engaging and the humor is mostly falling flat for me, especially at the price being asked.
With this installment, what we get is the start of a weeklong road trip for Jess. Now that she鈥檚 decided what kind of hero she wants to be and having dealt with the previous arc fairly well, she and Urich are heading off on the open road with a big box of case files from around the country to deal with that are up her alley. Which means it鈥檚 a slew of D-rank villains, plots and caricatures that she gets to contend with but do in the end help out people in the immediate area, and those that are perpetrating the crimes as well. She鈥檚 happy enough to do that, reminding Urich that she鈥檚 no Philip Marlowe to be sure (ah, Powers Boothe鈥? but she鈥檚 intent on doing a good job. The complication is that Urich invited Roger along. While he鈥檚 trying to turn over a new leaf and not be the villain Porcupine anymore, he鈥檚 not really competent at this.
And we get a good dose of that in the first few pages that play out like a travelogue as we see them kicking off things in Pittsburg and hitting up other cities. Jess handles things for the most part as Roger and Urich end up often not being useful or simply being captured. That has her putting her foot down and just being simple about not putting up with their ineffective selves anymore. That鈥檚 all well and fine until they hit Kansas where they get overtaken by a group of old school cowboy types that fear she鈥檚 about to call in a Quinjet on them. It鈥檚 a numbers game for the most part here with her being taken out and put into some mild semi-torture sequences and you know she鈥檚 going to come out on top in the end, but the opponents aren鈥檛 even worth remembering their names as they鈥檙e basic D-rank types and the whole thing just feels off and very fillerish.
With some solid artwork as usual and some fun scripting in places with the humor and self aware aspects of Jess knowing who she is, the book has its moments with what it does in the travelogue and the weirdness of it all. But at the same time, knowing that the end of the world is around the corner, this is a very mundane and uninteresting way to run out the clock on the book since it doesn鈥檛 feel like it鈥檚 really doing anything. Perhaps the next installment will have a bit more to it in order to justify it, but what鈥檚 going on here doesn鈥檛 exactly excite or ensure that I put the new post-Secret Wars series on my pull list, especially a $4 a pop.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: July 22nd, 2015