Brian C. Saunders:
Issue(s): Spider-Woman #44
Satisfied for the moment that Sabrina is not corrupt, she settles into routine detective work, depicted in the print equivalent of a montage scene...
...and learns her current whereabouts. On her way there - on a motorcycle borrowed by her boyfriend David - she's visited by a vision of Morgana Le Fey, who taunts her and remind her that she rejected Morgana's offer to join her in the fight against the elder demon Ch'thon.
When Spider-Woman tracks down Viper...
...she learns that Viper has been possessed by Ch'thon for over 50 years.
Spider-Woman helps her break free of the possession and prevents the demon from manifesting on Earth. And in the process, she learns that Viper is her mother, Merriam Drew.
It's not clear how this revelation fits with Brian Bendis' Spider-Woman Origin mini-series that depicts Jessica's mother, shows her pregnant prior to Jessica's birth, and shows her later murdered by Whiplash. It's also worth noting that in Marvel Two-In-One #33, Modred the Mystic showed Jessica an origin story in which her mother died from hysteria. Marvel's official word on the subject is that Viper was mislead by Ch'thon into thinking she was Spider-Woman's mother. But even in later Bendis written Spider-Woman stories, Jessica refers to Viper as her mother. So it's all a little confusing.
On the other hand, the revelation that Viper was possessed by Ch'thon helps explain the shift in her personality. In her earliest appearances, she was extremely radical and unnecessarily violent. In her later (Claremont-written) appearances, she is much more sophisticated and calm. We can chalk that up to Viper's personality gaining more control over Ch'thon.
Claremont's scripting is good, but i think tying Viper to Ch'thon and to Spider-Woman is just a little too random and doesn't really add much to either character.
Leialoha's art continues to be a good fit for this book.
Quality Rating: B
Historical Significance Rating: 3 - revelations about Viper that later turn out to be... less than true?
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: N/A
Inbound References (1): showCh'thon, David Ishima, Lindsay McCabe, Madame Hydra (Viper), Morgan Le Fey, Sabrina Morrel, Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew)
Chthon doesn't get mentioned at all when Viper appears in some New Mutants early issues.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 17, 2011 7:48 PM
That's because the events of this issue were retconned away as a trick by Morgan Le Fay in Captain America 281, which was published before those New Mutant issues.
Posted by: Michael | September 17, 2011 8:40 PM
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