Review: Jessica Gets More Desperate And Reckless In ‘Spider-Woman’ #8

by James Ferguson


Spider-Woman gets more desperate and reckless as this fascinating exploration of addiction through a super hero lens continues. Teaming up with your enemy to rob your friends is totally normal behavior, right?


Reeling from a hyper dose of the Marchand Serum, Spider-Woman can’t even remember her own name. She finds help in an unlikely place as Octavia Vermis has come to lend a hand, for a price of course. The two go on a super hero scavenger hunt while Knull’s forces are keeping folks busy. Will this be enough to save Jessica Drew?

As with the previous issue, the tie-in to King in Black is totally unnecessary. There is no bearing on that event at all. It just serves as a backdrop for this story to unfold against. Anything else could have filled in that space. Hopefully having that logo on the cover will bring some new eyes to this great comic though.

Writer Karla Pacheco continues this fascinating exploration into addiction by taking it to the next logical step. Jessica is essentially strung out and desperate. There are few if any other circumstances that would have her teaming up with an old nemesis to steal from her friends. Think about that behavior for a minute.

Although we’re dealing with some serious stuff, Pacheco maintains some levity throughout Spider-Woman #8. The dynamic between Jessica and Octavia is fun and the dialogue is full of quips. You can tell that Jessica isn’t happy about all this and Octavia is reveling in it.

Artist Pere Perez shows the difference between the two characters in interesting ways. Spider-Woman, the hero, is often shown hunched over, like she’s hiding something or preparing for a fight. She’s also the first one to jump into combat in each scene in this issue. Meanwhile, Octavia, the villain, is poised and calm. She is in complete control.

Perez once again knocks it out of the park with some dynamite action sequences. I love how the panel layout changes into a more angular look when a fight breaks out. We get a few of them in this issue and each one is unique. Spider-Woman looks great in these too. She totally kicks ass.

A standout is a fight between Spider-Woman and War Machine that spreads over a few pages. Letterer Travis Lanham does some great sound effect work here, often lining up with the attacks in a natural way. Jessica’s voice gets louder, shown by an increasing font size, culminating in a huge exclamation as she launches a big attack.

As there’s a dark cloud hanging over the entire planet thanks to Knull’s symbiote army, Spider-Woman #8 has a dreary tone. Colorist Frank D’Armata sets the stage for this issue with lots of greys and dark colors. It coincides with Jessica’s change in her emotional state well.

Spider-Woman is getting more desperate and reckless in this quest for a cure. She might fix herself at some point, but it may cost her everything and everyone she holds dear. Needless to say, this is a riveting story. It’s definitely putting Spider-Woman on the map.

Spider-Woman #8 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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