Review: Globe-Trotting & Dinosaur-Punching In ‘Spider-Woman #3’

by James Ferguson

What started as a simple protection gig has turned into a globe-trotting adventure complete with dinosaur punching. Spider-Woman is pissed off, and rightfully so, but she’s going to see this through as it means saving a young girl’s life. That journey continues to reveal secrets from her past that even she didn’t know.

The thing with this series is that it’s super convoluted, but you just kind of go with it. Jessica Drew has to jump through so many hoops for this story, yet writer Karla Pacheco keeps the pace moving so quickly that you are along for the ride every step of the way. Much of this can be traced back to her stellar character work. It’s like even Jessica realizes that her life is so very weird, but this is the hand she was dealt and she’s going to make the most of it, even if that means punching a dinosaur right in the face.

This extends to Spider-Woman’s current employer, pharmaceutical CEO Michael Marchand. Sure, he tricked Jessica with the best of intentions, but at the end of the day, his actions show that he’s rarely told “No” in his life. He’s a rich white guy used to getting whatever he wants, even if that affects other people’s lives.

OK, I’ve mentioned punching dinosaurs a few times and for good reason. Artist Pere Perez packs Spider-Woman #3 with some incredible action. When the fight scenes pick up, the panel layouts get more dynamic. There are a crazy amount of panels on the page, each showing a small detail of the battle and it’s pretty great.

Perez’s images are full of intensity as Jessica leaps right into action. My favorite panel is when she swoops in to save the girl, kicking a dinosaur away with such power that it’s mind is knocked back to the Jurassic era. Letterer Travis Lanham matches that intensity with some great word balloons that show the terror of those around all this.

This incredible fight scene takes place in an otherwise somber setting. Colorist Frank D’Armata uses a serene palette to create this landscape that would be rather fitting on a motivational poster somewhere. It’s interrupted by this epic encounter like an explosion of energy.

Spider-Woman is downright fun. I wasn’t super familiar with the character before this, but this comic has given me a newfound appreciation for her. If this is the kind of adventures she can get into on a regular basis, then I want to read everything she’ll ever star in.

8/10

Spider-Woman #3 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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