Jessica Drew’s journey has been absolutely crazy and it’s only getting moreso as she faces off against the High Evolutionary and an army of clones of her mother. Will she find answers and a cure for her condition? She’s going to have to punch a lot of people first as these amazing adventure continues.
Jessica Drew’s search for a cure has brought her to the High Evolutionary’s lair inside a volcano along side her nemesis Octavia Vermis, Octavia’s daughter, and a bunch of clones of her mother. Will she find answers here or just more questions? And how many old ladies is she going to have to punch in the face?
There is no one that does action in comics like artist Pere Perez. Spider-Woman #9 is a visual powerhouse from the very first page. The angles, the layouts, the panel shapes, everything works together to make for such an exciting reading experience. There are two beautiful spreads in this issue where Perez packs a ton of information and backstory into just a few images. They’re swirled around first the tentacles of a Hydra and then the sequences of a DNA strand, making the backgrounds part of the artwork in a beautiful manner.
Perez creates a nice contrast in emotions and personalities as these characters come together. Jessica is cautious and a bit cynical, slow to trust those around her after everything they’ve done to her over the years. The High Evolutionary is uncaring. He sees people as pieces on a chessboard and little more. Then there’s Octavia who is clearly up to something. All of this is implied with the facial expressions and mannerisms of the characters.
Colorist Frank D’Armata brings a drab, sterile feeling to the High Evolutionary’s lair that works well. The tone shifts when the action heats up and the energy blasts start flying. Spider-Woman’s attacks pop on the page with an electric quality. My favorite panel in this issue comes with a shocking moment towards the end where Jessica is covered in a green look with a bold sound effect imposed over her face in a bright yellow. It really nails the emotion and intensity of the scene.
As Jessica is thrown off balance by the recent events in her life, so are her thoughts. The first page of Spider-Woman #9 has some brilliant effects by letterer Travis Lanham, showing Jessica’s inner narration in skewed caption boxes. These are not rectangles with right angles, but more odd shapes, like they were stretched and pulled in different directions. It’s some great work.
Spider-Woman has been an often bizarre, yet amazing journey so far. This series has really made me appreciate the character, what she’s been through, and where she’s going. Writer Karla Pacheco has crafted something amazing here and I cannot wait to see where these insane adventures go next.