Mind Capsules – Spider-Woman #5 and Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1

Spider-Woman #5
Spider-Woman #5

Writer – Dennis Hopeless
Artist – Javier Rodriguez
Inker – Alvaro Lopez
Colours – Javier Rodriguez

A new era for Spider-Woman begins here and with her costume change comes a new attitude for our heroine and for the book. It was not that it was necessarily needed, but a new perspective is nice to have once in a while on an established property and thus it brings us to Jessica Drew and her new lot in life.  After having resigned from S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers, she now finds herself having a much easier life and one that sees her helping everyday people.  Sort of, sometimes.  Dennis Hopeless breathes new life into Spider-Woman and the result is nothing but positive.  The book has an entirely different feel from the previous issues and echoes the recent changes to books like Batgirl, Daredevil, She-Hulk and more.  Essentially, the book is a whole lot of fun, maybe more than it has any right to be, but as such, it has gone from being fairly standard to exceptional.  The costume, which only caused a minor stir, looks great though it does not really hold a candle to the classic design.  Javier Rodriguez does a magnificent job of illustrating our heroine in a completely different style than Greg Land did and while Land is no slouch at the drawing board, Rodriguez is a much better fit for the book, especially with where it is heading.  The dialogue is fun, the story is interesting and the inclusion of all the Z list villains is genius.  Additionally, bringing her back to her detective roots and including Ben Urich as a supporting cast member is a good move and can only open up endless storytelling opportunities.  It might not be a first issue, but this book is one of the best ‘reboots’ in current Marvel history.

4.5 out of 5

Project Superpowers Blackcross #1
Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1

Writer – Warren Ellis
Artist – Colton Worley
Colours – Morgan Hickman

The last time Dynamite had these heroes out to play was far too long ago, but when they did, it was in some very exciting adventures.  For the people that read those tales, it was good news to hear that these Nedor heroes, among others, would be making a return to the printed page courtesy of Warren Ellis and Colton Worley.  What is most different between this time and the last is before, it was your fairly standard, yet epic super-hero story and this go round it is a murder-mystery involving some sort of serial killer.  It was a little hard to judge by the preview just how good it would be, but after reading the full issue, it looks like we are going to be in for a treat.  So far there have been mentions of The American Spirit and appearances from Lady Satan and the Green Lama, though at this point in time, it is a little hard to discern whether they are alive or dead and if they are dead – how did they get that way?  The story is off to a great start and is quite entertaining as is the artwork by Colton Worley who forgoes his normal painted style and presents us with darker, rawer pencils.  This new look from Worley is perfect for a mystery tale, one that also contains elements of horror and noir in it and it is a story that Worley seems to have been born to draw.  One question that raises its head is who is this seemingly normal man named Rob Benton who works in a pharmacy yet is in witness protection?  As astute readers will know, Benton is the alter-ego of the Black Terror and yet the Black Terror is sending our protagonist some strange emails.  It makes you wonder just what Ellis has in mind with this little plotline.  All in all, the first issue of Blackcross delivers solidly with another question that lingers – when is issue two coming out?

4 out of 5

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