Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Writer Brian Michael Bendis, who is about to become Marvel's most influential scribe since Stan Lee (OK, OK, you don't agree, but he comes up with fun stuff), and artist Alex Maleev, the rising master of moody photorealistic comic art, are following their Eisner-Award winning Daredevil tour de force with a new Spider-Woman monthly book. One of my favorite techniques to elevate a generic costumed superhero comic to an addictive series is the old spy conspiracy thriller twist. Few can pull this off better than Bendis and Maleev. In issue one, Jessica Drew, Spider-Woman's alter-ego, is recruited by a secret agency (S.W.O.R.D.) to hunt down Skrull aliens and put a serious damper on their earth-invading aspirations. Her first mission takes her to the seedy Southeast Asian island of Madripoor, home to the worst of humanity, where she's immediately targeted for execution by the loving green space invaders. I found out Madripoor was fictional when I tried to buy a chalet in that den of depravity and the real estate agent laughed me out of the office. The damn place sounded so real. The series had a pleasantly intriguing beginning and, if the art below is any indication, it's bound to get sexier, unless Maleev is just messing with us. The origins of the current Spider-Woman were re-imagined in 2007 by Bendis, Brian Reed and the Luna brothers in the series appropriately entitled Origins. And any hard fiction fan (notice I didn't say just comic book fan) unfamiliar with the previous collaborations of Bendis and Maleev has to get a copy of their Daredevil Omnibus.

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