« Home | Daily Beast says DC Fan Dome was more funeral than... » | Specialty store in Erie, Pennsylvania succeeds in ... » | Some history of a 1980 Comics Annual from Canada » | What kind of "fans" of Venom actually want a seque... » | Tom Taylor puts hypocritical words in the Joker's ... » | Canadian retailer sells old pamphlets for just a q... » | Wonder Woman 1984 uses villainous take on Max Lord... » | Chuck Dixon explains why today's writers can't do ... » | Declan Shalvey says nobody knows who Jack Kirby was » | CBLDF tries to rebuild their image after the Brown... » 

Thursday, August 27, 2020 

Cinema Blend's superficial take on Spider-Woman's history

Cinema Blend wrote a weak history item about the first Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew, and how she came about in the late 1970s, since she may become the subject of a movie in time:
Olivia Wilde, a talented actress who made an impressive feature-length directorial debut with last year’s high school comedy Booksmart, is reportedly working out a deal to direct a movie centered on Spider-Woman for Sony. Not much else is known about the project at this time, such as which iteration of the Marvel heroine the film plans to focus on. It could be assumed that Gwen Stacy may be the star since Hailee Steinfeld’s portrayal in the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse previously sparked discussion of her own animated spinoff, but even Mary Jane Watson [has been known fight under the moniker] (https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/MaryJaneWatson_(Earth-8545) in a few alternate realities.
Assuming it was in discussion before, what if any plans to make "Spider-Gwen" the star of the show have been called off, due to the accusations leveled against co-creator Jason Latour of sexual harassment in the UK? If there really has to be a movie made based on Spider-Man's Bronze Age female counterpart, I'd say it should be based on the original, and maybe Drew's origin at the time would make for the best premise. But when they turn to how Jessica began, they become sloppy:
Created by writer Jim Mooney, illustrators Sal Buscema and Marie Severin, and Marvel's then-Editor-in-Chief Archie Goodwin, Spider-Woman made her first appearance in February 1977’s Marvel Spotlight #32. She was born Jessica Miriam Drew in London, England, to a pair of scientists whose HYDRA-funded research actually became responsible for her arachnoid abilities. Her father, Jonathan Drew, injected a young Jess with a serum made from the irradiated blood of various rare spider types hoping to cure her from a lethal exposure to uranium.
Mooney was mainly the inker of Jessica's premiere, but he was not the official writer. It was Goodwin who was. However, the story does serve as an example of a character co-developed by a woman, Severin, who worked on the original costume design.

Not mentioned, however, are behind-the-scenes decisions made with how to write the character. Although Spider-Woman's original solo series ran about 50 issues during 1978-83, it was criticized for going through several different writers, and at the end, she was killed, an editorial decision to which there was audience backlash, which thankfully led to reversal of the death shortly after in the Avengers (Ann Nocenti and Mark Gruenwald, who oversaw writing the demise, also regretted initially going in that direction), an example of respecting the audience, which DC hasn't often shown the courage to do, though in all fairness, Marvel eventually got to the point under Joe Quesada where they didn't respect the audience either.

And, even after Jessica's death at the end of her original series was reversed, she did not return to costume for at least a decade. Though she still had most of her powers, she wound up in a non-costumed co-starring role in the pages of Wolverine's first solo series, and it wasn't until Sensational Spider-Man's 1996 Annual that she made another appearance in costume again. Yet even that was squandered (Gruenwald passed away at the time, and subsequent editors didn't follow through on plans to revive her role properly), and wouldn't you know it, the writer who returned Drew to her role was the worst choice possible: Brian Michael Bendis, with all his pretensions, in the mid-2000s. Ever notice how no SJWs seem to take issue with the Avengers story he wrote where Jessica was stripped naked from 2010? Just goes to show that, when they believe a certain writer meets their political standards, they'll give him a free pass. Making Jessica a mother was decidedly not an improvement, seeing how it came about:
Like any other character in the Marvel lexicon that you can think, there are actually numerous alternate versions of Spider-Woman’s son. In the [MC2 Universe](https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/GeraldDrew(Earth-982), for instance, Gerald Drew (or “Gerry”) is given powers in a similar way to how Jessica Drew does, eventually taking over for his retired mother as the new Spider-Man. However, I would rather focus on Gerry from the Earth-616 continuity, not just because it is the primary timeline, but because I find the reinvention the character in that timeline to be much more interesting.

Born in an alien hospital inside a black hole in the midst of a Skull invasion, Gerald Drew first appeared in Spider-Woman Vol. 6 #4 in 2016 and [immediately exhibited abilities almost identical](https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/GeraldDrew(Earth-616) to his mother’s. He can climb walls and give people a good shock with his venom blasts, and even family friend Carol Danvers (yes, I mean Captain Marvel) once met her match with this unusually strong infant. That being said, he does not have much control over his powers at this time, but will surely be a force to be reckoned with and make his “spider-mom” proud when he comes of age.
Don't they mean Skrulls? Oh, who cares. While I think heroes bearing children can have its bright sides, the way it's been done in the past 2 decades has only posed the problem of all but writing the heroes into a corner. When Spider-Man's Sins Past did this, it was definitely a disaster. And if Gerald knocked Carol Danvers into the middle of next week, I'd say that was another insult to the original Ms. Marvel, no better than how she fared under writers as terrible as Kelly Sue deConnick. Speaking of which, they even had to bring up a pretty lazy moment from the CM film:
Jessica Drew does not have too many weaknesses to make special note of, outside her fear of rats, maybe. Yet, one fun bit of trivia about Spider-Woman worth mentioning is an unusual allergy of hers.

You may recall from the 2019 Captain Marvel movie a cat named Goose that appears normal until it reveals tentacles that protrude from its mouth, and Goose also turned out to be the reason for Nick Fury’s (Samuel L. Jackson) eye patch. This is an alien species known as Flerken, one of which Carol Danvers kept as a pet, but much to the chagrin of her friend Jessica Drew, due to the allergic reaction it causes her. I want to see a crossover with Spider-Woman and Captain Marvel more than ever now just for this reason.
Making an alien cat's attack on cinematic Nick the reason he had to wear a patch, instead of losing his eye in warfare, was quite a cop-out, yet the columnist's too politically correct to admit it, just like they won't admit the CM movie was overrated because of all the PC elements it was built on.

Like every other fictional character, whatever's done with Spider-Woman is the writer/artist/editor's responsibility, and I think it's a shame that Jessica Drew, just like Ms. Marvel, wasn't handled as well as she could've been in past decades, all because the people in charge had to make slapdash decisions how to deal with them, and by the time something better could've been done, all the wrong people like Bendis had made their way into comicdom, and otherwise ruined them. Just like, if recent indications of where Marvel's going with their movieverse says something, a film starring Spider-Woman could easily turn out to be dreadful. And it's equally a shame Cinema Blend won't comment on past decision making, to determine what was done right or wrong, and how it could be handled better today either. Which won't happen under Marvel's current management.

Labels: , ,

Nothing about the other Spider-Women here...

Post a Comment

About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
My profile

Archives

Links

  • avigreen2002@yahoo.com
  • Fansites I Created

  • Hawkfan
  • The Greatest Thing on Earth!
  • The Outer Observatory
  • Earth's Mightiest Heroines
  • The Co-Stars Primer
  • Realtime Website Traffic

    Comic book websites (open menu)

    Comic book weblogs (open menu)

    Writers and Artists (open menu)

    Video commentators (open menu)

    Miscellanous links (open menu)

  • W3 Counter stats
  • Click here to see website statistics
  • Bio Link page
  • blog directory Bloggeries Blog Directory View My Stats Blog Directory & Search engine eXTReMe Tracker Locations of visitors to this page  
    Flag Counter

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

    make money online blogger templates

Older Posts Newer Posts

The Four Color Media Monitor is powered by Blogspot and Gecko & Fly.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.
Join the Google Adsense program and learn how to make money online.