Mind Capsules – Spider-Woman #9 and Grayson #10

Spider-Woman #9
Spider-Woman #9

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

Ben Urich and Spider-Woman decide to go on a road-trip, stopping crime along the way wherever they might find it. Accompanying them is Porcupine who turns out to be more of a hindrance than anything else and while he might be a pain in the proverbial for our hero, it is an absolute joy for the reader. That brings us to Dennis Hopeless who has been working wonders with Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman. She has always been an interesting character, even from the first but this new change in tone and direction has been a real breath of fresh air and seeing her in a different light is something that needed to happen, even if we did not realize it at first. The humour that fills this book is both that which can make you laugh out loud and at times, also quite subtle and Hopeless does a great job of balancing it all amongst the drama and action that also tends to follow Jessica around. Hopeless is just one half of the equation though as Javier Rodriguez also brings the funny with his very dynamic pencils. Where most of the time Spider-Woman has been a somewhat serious superhero title, transforming it into a comedy was a stroke of genius and that meant it needed a change in visual style as well and Rodriguez accomplishes that perfectly. While this issue features our hero and Ben Urich quite prominently, this story is mainly about Porcupine and you do not even realize it until the end and the cliff-hanger that the creative team leaves us on. It is at that moment that you come to see that Porcupine, who has been a somewhat form of comic relief and part-time villain has been transformed into a valued supporting character and that you now care about him just as much as you do about Spider-Woman. For Hopeless and Rodriguez to turn a Z-list character into one that has worth is a great thing indeed and if you should like to see how it is done, then pick this book up.

4 out of 5

Grayson #10
Grayson #10

Writer – Tim Seeley, Tom King
Artist – Mikel Janin
Colours – Jeremy Cox

Agent 1, who Dick ambushed and left for the police, is out for revenge and he means to get it. Helena Bertinelli, the new director for Spyral is being tested and pushed to her limits and who would have thought that bureaucracy would be harder than being a field agent? Meanwhile, Dick cannot get a hold of Batman which is a little troubling and he has an unplanned/planned meeting with Lex Luthor who wants the object that Dick stole from the Duchess. All in all, just another day in the life of a busy spy organization as chronicled by Tim Seeley and Tom King with a little plot assist. Out of all the Bat-books that are being produced at the moment, this title stands apart just a bit further from the rest. It does not take place in Gotham, it features no capes or cowls and the lines between hero and villain are blurred at best. As a reader, you would not have it any other way either. There is a ton of action, intrigue and mystery in every issue and you never know just what is going to happen next. It is like James Bond mixed with Spooks mixed with every familiar spy trope that you have seen or read about and yet it always feels fresh and exciting. Mikel Janin’s pencils are as clean and as polished as ever and while you might have cried when he left Justice League Dark, you can see that with this title, he is a perfect fit for the action and adventure that take place within this book’s pages. The latest mission that Dick finds himself is providing a good challenge for the hero and while we have seen something like this before in other mediums, Seeley and Janin make this tale unique with other elements that could only be found within the pages of a comic book. Grayson is a book that never slows down and for those that like fast-paced action mixed with everything previously mentioned above, this book is a must.

4 out of 5

3 replies »

  1. Dennis Hopeless’s Spider-Woman series has been so much fun. Porcupine’s optimistic smile despite being a loser makes him such a delightful character, and Jessica’s reactions to him are always good for a laugh. it only makes me look forward to his upcoming All New X-Men run even more.

    Liked by 1 person

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