Issue(s): Spider-Woman #1
She gets caught stealing food from a supermarket but the officer lets her go - possibly influenced by her pheromones. She later saves a SHIELD agent during a shootout with some thugs. The SHIELD agent, Jerry Hunt, instantly falls in love with her.
Jessica dies her hair black (with the most permanent hair dye in the world, i think).
She also opens up her skull cap in the back to let her hair flow through.
Jerry Hunt is the most underutilized SHIELD agent around. He investigates break-ins at the super-market and gets involved with petty crime investigations. He doesn't wear a SHIELD uniform and only carries a small revolver. And i really do think his obsession with Spider-Woman is based on pheromones, although that power hasn't been revealed yet.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
For some reason, I have fondness for Spider-Woman, but this series is just a mess. It's obvious Wolfman (and other writers) simply had no idea what to do with the character. Her origin is with espionage and science fiction, but the first 12 issues deal with some magic plot that has nothing to do with the central character and is all about some supporting character. This is a huge error. The Jerry Hunt angle also doesn't work. The tie-in to SHIELD makes sense, but it's way too early for a romance subplot at this point.
Gruenwald seems to have a much better idea what to do with the character, but he's lost the critically important first half year and makes a crucial misstep in eliminating the only cool thing about the Wolfman issues (the Brothers Grimm). Gruenwald was one of those writers who range from anywhere between mediocore to excellent, but works best with characters with established continuity. He's not the guy to create a theme, supporting cast, and rogues gallery from the get go. After he left, it was all down hill.
Posted by: Chris | September 3, 2012 7:40 PM
@Chris: It probably _is_ too early for a romantic subplot. But since this is Marv Wolfman writing, it is hardly a surprise. One of his main traits as a writer is that he always emphasizes the romantic life of his protagonists, often by creating new love interests. Heather Glenn, Starfire, Cat Grant, you name it.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | July 5, 2014 11:38 AM
Wait, Jessica Drew doesn't actually have black hair? Is this shown to be true in any other appearance of her?
Posted by: Erik Beck | April 1, 2015 12:11 PM
Oh yes, it is.
To the best of my knowledge that is a detail that has simply been forgotten along the troubled way of Spider-Woman's solo book in the 1970s and 1980s. It went from Marv Wolfman to Mark Gruenwald to Michael Fleisher to Chris Claremont to Ann Nocenti in just fifty issues (unusually for the time), often going through considerable overhauls along the transitions. That meant that things such as her hair and her pheromones were not always kept consistent.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | April 1, 2015 12:52 PM
I'm not sure creatively what having five different writers in her initial run meant for Jessica other than everyone probably washing their hands of her after that original run. While she's the longest lasting of the "female clone" trio, it really does mean it lasted that long mostly on the strength of the character in general than probably writing quality. (by comparison: Ms. Marvel pretty much became a Claremont character, while Shulkie had David Anthony Kraft for her initial run prior to the later adjustments by Stern and Byrne)
Posted by: Ataru320 | April 1, 2015 1:11 PM
@ataru this book also may have lasted longer than those other series because there was a Spider-Woman cartoon.
Posted by: Hugh Sheridan | April 25, 2018 7:24 PM
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