Issue(s): Spider-Woman #23, Spider-Woman #24, Spider-Woman #25
...and she's rescued by Tim Braverman, a guy claiming to be a reporter.
Pretty sad. Worse is that he asks her out on a date and she accepts.
After that she gets into an argument with the passive-aggressive Scotty McDowell.
Scotty was a hard sell as a supporting character to begin with (Spider-Woman/Jessica needs friends to interact with, not someone giving her assignments); making him a jerk is not winning him any points.
A gimmick of the current status quo for Spider-Woman is she's constantly wearing various costumes, and it's in that capacity that she learns about the Gamesman's next caper.
She then goes on her date with Braverman, in full costume. They get to making out pretty quick.
The Gamesman's target is a Rajah ruby (how come no one steals Rajah rubies in comics anymore? Criminals were always stealing Rajah rubies back in the day.), and he's expecting Spider-Woman. Again after blowing her single-use venom blast, Spider-Woman is defeated...
...and tied to a post, and the building is set on fire. Scotty McDowell arrives to rescue her, but then the Gamesman (who is really Braverman. Did you guess?) returns to free her. And make out with her some more.
Hahahahahaa! Oh, sweet jesus. I'd like to blame Spider-Woman's pheromones, but it's like it's the Gamesman who has pheromones.
It doesn't end here. Next issue has Spider-Woman making lovey-dovey with Braverman through the prison visiting grates...
...and he convinces her to talk to Alexander Walsh about getting an early parole. On the way home, she gets shot by some of the Gamesman's men, who want vengeance and don't realize their boss is in loooooove with her.
Scotty McDowell continues to give Spider-Woman a hard time (although i'm forced to agree with him now)...
...and Walsh is similarly incredulous.
Meanwhile, there's now a new Gamesman in town, and he gets Spider-Woman captured. Because she is apparently completely incompetent! This Gamesman wants to know about some money that the original had squirreled away, and assumes that putting Spider-Woman in an Adam West style deathtrap will get her to divulge the location.
Jessica's aspiring actress friend Lindsay is hired to dress up as Spider-Woman. She doesn't realize it's part of a criminal plot to break Braverman out of jail (so he can talk about the money before they kill him) and implicate Spider-Woman...
...until Spider-Woman gets her alone and has a talk with her.
Then with the help of the ol' switcharoo, Spider-Woman brings the bad guys to justice.
When it's over, Spider-Woman realizes she's been gullible, since Braverman had lied to her about the money...
...and she flies off, letting Braverman go back to jail.
The straight crime stories were avoided in the early issues of Spider-Woman in favor of the bizarre/mystical elements to avoid comparisons with Spider-Man, but it was never really pulled off well. Fleisher's bounty hunter premise allowed Spider-Woman to be a more normal series, but craftwise it's even worse than the weirdo stuff. And he writes Spider-Woman as completely ineffectual (she even forgets that her one friend Lindsay is getting out of the hospital). And this stuff with Braverman. It's already been a problem with this series that Spider-Woman falls in love with every man she meets. But with this guy, it's just outrageous.
The good news, and saving grace for this arc, is that beginning with issue #25 (and with some interruptions initially), this book becomes a vehicle for Stephen Leialoha's unique art style, which i very much enjoy.
Beginning with issue #24, Denny O'Neil becomes editor of this series. Before that Jim Shooter was listed as editor, and i don't know how much attention he could have been giving individual books while also being the EiC. It's possible that O'Neil was responsible for what may have been a change of direction regarding Spider-Woman's love affair.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I never read this title, but I remember Fleisher's run on it coming up briefly in testimony in the lawsuit he filed against Harlan Ellison and the publishers of Comics Journal. His claim was that his reputation and livelihood had been harmed by Ellison's references to him in an interview as crazy (it was more colorfully phrased than that), mostly based on his work for DC's The Spectre and a novel. Shooter (a frequent target of CJ himself) testified on Fleisher's behalf, and one of the attorneys for the other side asked him something like "Is it true that when Mr. Fleisher was writing your Spider-Woman comic, the main character was constantly being tied up in every issue?" implying that this happened with such frequency that it said something disturbing about Fleisher. Shooter just replied that the hero getting captured and tied up wasn't so unusual in comics.
What's interesting is that looking at cover scans of this series, three of the first ten issues have Spider-Woman tied up on the cover, and that was long before Fleisher was writing it!
Posted by: Todd | April 29, 2012 9:57 PM
Posted by: fnord12 | April 29, 2012 10:12 PM
So sorry, fnord12. Can you remove my comment(s) on the ish...or, rather, you have my blessing to do so. I didn't realize this was some ongoing skeevy thing. I just recalled that exchange from the transcript in the CJ's issue devoted to the case.
Posted by: Todd | April 29, 2012 10:34 PM
Todd, the info you provided on the Fleisher/Ellison trial is interesting, and i wasn't accusing you of anything untoward. ;-) I even suspect that whoever was searching for those phrases was just looking for commentary on the subject; it really is an obvious phenomenon as you go through the issues.
So your comment stands, you skeevy bastard.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 30, 2012 7:30 AM
Rajahs these days are too busy avoiding getting suicide bombed by Al-Qaeda.
After the Fleisher/Ellison/Comics Journal trial ended, it was speculated but never proven that Shooter egged on Fleisher to file the lawsuit to begin with--not because Shooter had a problem with Ellison, but because Shooter hated the Journal.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 6, 2013 2:48 PM
I-Issue tw-twenty th-three was almost i-impossible t-to r-read...
Posted by: Tork | May 17, 2017 2:49 PM
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