segunda-feira, 31 de julho de 2017

40 Years of Spider-Woman | Spider-Woman (2015) - Part 2

In the first part of this article I addressed the first arc of Spider-Woman (2015). And in this second part we will see the second and third arcs, and the beginning of the new phase of Jessica Drew.

The scripts continue with Dennis Hopeless, but with a great change of tone of narrative, evidenced with the simpler art of Javier Rodriguez. What also symbolizes this new phase is the new Spider Woman costume:

Returning to her life as a vigilante, instead of the madness of the Avengers' missions, Jessica finds out that this life is not so simple and that there are several very complicated problems in this environment as well. She ends up joining reporter Ben Ulrich (already known to readers of Spider-Man and Daredevil), who asks Jessica for help in solving lost cases. She would be a private investigator again.

These cases are related to missing relatives of low-ranking villains who were not registered by the police. The first clue of the case was a bank robbery promoted by Roger Gocking, the Porcupine, who is detained by Jessica and regrets for failing in his mission. And so she discovers that someone was kidnapping relatives of low-ranking villains to blackmail them and force them to carry out thefts.

Then Jessica decides to go after the other villains, counting on the help of Ben Ulrich and Gocking. Stepping ahead of the villains, she ambushes them, slipping into Gocking's uniform and letting herself be led by the evildoers so they can take her to the person in charge of the whole scheme. She then arrives in a town, Moon's Hollow, where only the wives, children, and family of the villains live. Drew went through a villain's wife and, talking to the women there, she discovers that the operation was promoted by someone named Cat. Meanwhile, Ulrich and Gocking followed Jessica and when they arrived in town they were being watched unknowingly and were caught and they were taken to a shed.

Then Cat appears and attacks Spider-Woman so that her operation is not threatened. And in a few pages Cat's past is shown, revealing her violent husband. On a given day Cat retaliated and it was not clear what actually happened to the man. Now she was fighting Spider-Woman and all her violence motivates the other women to turn against Cat. With this help, Drew reacts and holds Cat. Jessica finds herself in a complicated situation, knowing that it was not right to force the villains to steal by threatening their families, while at the same time she didn't want to expose that place where these women just wanted to get rid of their family problems. In exchange for not revealing Moon's Hollow's secret, Jessica convinces women to lead a normal life there, without threats and thefts. Gocking goes to talk to his wife and daughter, who was excited to see his father. And Ben Ulrich assures Jessica that he won't write anything about these events, and says he wants to help her on new missions.

The sequence is the last arc of the series in the last two editions. It shows more of Jessica's missions alongside Ben Ulrich and also Gocking, who was hired to help them. One of the missions took the trio to Kansas, and the solution was found by Gocking, who managed to defeat the villain who was mentally controlling the population of a small town.

With one more case settled, the trio returns to NY to rest. However, here comes Jessica Drew's avenger friend, Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow. It was an emergency and the Spider-Woman's presence in the Avengers was required. The reader may have already noticed that it was the incursions at the end of Jonathan Hickman's great plot in Avengers and New Avengers, which culminated in his Secret Wars. The Avengers were divided at this point in the plot and Romanoff summoned Jessica to the Avengers team of Roberto da Costa. Jessica would then return to her old costume. And whoever has read these Secret Wars knows that the end of everything came with the incursion of Earth 616 with Earth 1610. And everything is reborn with the Earth Prime.

This lighter and uncompromising style of narrative is no doubt entertaining, as in Matt Fraction's Hawkeye (including the arcs focused on Kate Bishop) and Nick Spencer's Ant-Man. Hopeless was able to show in this series that he knows how to work with different narratives (given that he has already did more serious narratives - but with a bit of humor - as in his Cable and The X-Force, and with plots full of twists and editions focused on different characters, as in Avengers: Arena. There is no doubt that he's a good writer.

As I said before, I believe the approach on Spider-Woman must contain a mixture of espionage, working her facets of agent and private investigator, reflections of the character in the narrative, and a relatively serious tone, but with a bit of subtle and sarcastic humor. And despite my preference for this kind of narrative, I think Hopeless' series is very funny. The series was renumbered after Jonathan Hickman's Secret Wars and remained with Hopeless. I believe that the decisions taken from there were precipitate, but were also interesting and promising. However, I will not address this volume in this series. That should be on another occasion.

These arcs were published in Spider-Woman (2015) 5-10.

The 40 Years of Spider-Woman series ends here. I hope the reader enjoyed it. To check all the articles click here.

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