Issue(s): Spider-Woman #34, Spider-Woman #35
...and gets ready to move her from LA to San Francisco with Lindsay (a strong female supporting character, and the only one that Claremont keeps).
Along the way she runs into Hammer & Anvil...
...a forest fire...
...and Angar the Screamer.
Thankfully, Stephen Leialoha remains on the book. His art has been the highlight of recent issues, so now that he's coupled with a good writer this book will be in good shape. Unfortunately, Claremont will only be on the book for a year.
We're reminded in this story that Spider-Woman still has her pheromone problem. It's normally kept under check by the pills she got in Spider-Woman #19, but she briefly stops taking them in this arc and the results are immediate.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showAngar the Screamer, Anvil, Hammer, Lindsay McCabe, Scotty McDowell, Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew)
I find Claremont's Spider-Woman's run not exactly good, but certainly revealing - of Claremont's strenghts and shortcomings as a writer if not necessarily of Spider-Woman's as a character. It helps that this is one of the comparatively few solo books that he wrote, and relatively early in his career.
Objectively, the stories themselves were sort of bland. And while Claremont is often praised for characterization, I find the merits to be heavily centered on concept as opposed to implementation. His writing (here as in most other books) is usually heavy-handed and lacking in nuance to the point of distraction. Still, he tends to have good character insights (less often with his own creations such as Ororo) and would probably have made a good line editor had he tried his hand at that line of work. His own ability to develop and implement those insights is often over-estimated. Much is hinted or even informed, not too much is actually developed organically on panel.
Still, he was a tremendous boon for Spider-Woman at this point. Gone are the troubles fighting serial murder clowns with gimmick gadgets and the need for hitchhiking during crime-fighting, which probably felt like characterization under Fleisher, but only made Jessica feel amateurish and incompetent. Scotty is allowed to develop, even if that leads to writing the character out of the book. So is Lindsay, who becomes more of a real character. Even Jessica becomes more proactive if perhaps reckless.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | May 2, 2018 3:42 AM
Claremont's run on Spider-Woman improved quality, but failed to make it a successful series. He jettisoned what wasn't working with Fleisher's run, but didn't retain any of the few successful elements from the title's earlier efforts. As a result, it's hard to see why an early fan of the series would have kept buying. The title is almost unrecognizable. These is no sense of continuity on this title which is soon going into its fourth year.
Claremont will make some good decisions and bad. Bringing back Hydra is a good decision, but making Viper Jessica's mom is bad. Bringing back Morgan Le Fay is bad - all the magic elements from Wolfman's run doesn't work. Establishing the Yakuza as long term villains for a west coast hero is good, but not in the strange way its done.
But the most important failure is that Claremont is the fourth straight main writer of this title who doesn't establish a good rogue's gallery. If he had brought back some of her more interesting villains (Brothers Grimm, Gypsy Moth or Nekra), it would have gone a long way to establish that while he built on Hydra and Yakuza as new foes. Instead, Spider-Woman is losing everything that made her distinct.
Claremont's work is strong, but he has a tendency to make everything "generic Claremont". He's a genre all his own. His work on X-Men made that seem very much part of the X-Men's identity. But reusing those elements again and again on other series didn't work as well.
Posted by: Chris | May 20, 2018 10:52 AM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|