Mind Capsules – Spider-Woman #1 and Extraordinary X-Men #2

Spider-Woman #1
Spider-Woman #1

Writer – Dennis Hopeless
Artist – Javier Rodriguez
Inker – Alvaro Lopez
Colours – Javier Rodriguez
Letters – VC’s Travis Lanham

Though it has been teased for months, seeing Jessica Drew pregnant in the pages of Spider-Woman is something you thought you would never see. It makes Jessica more down-to-earth and more relatable because she was always akin to Black Widow – that super-spy, super-hero who seemed above it all. It has only been with Dennis Hopeless chronicling her adventures that she has seemed any different than how she has been portrayed over the years. Instead of being this elite heroine, she is now the everyman and it is a refreshing thing to see her so grounded, to see her as more of a person than some otherworldly goddess-type figure. So it is that Hopeless has Jessica take a step back from the heroing business so that she can focus on her soon-to-be child. But, just because she is no longer fighting crime does not mean that it has stopped and so stepping into her shoes is the best supporting character in comics – Porcupine. Yes, it seems ridiculous that he could become a hero, much less one that is any good at the job, but with some training from Jess and a little help from Ben Urich, he does just that. Porcupine also provides a lot of the comic relief, though the entire issue is quite humourous. Hopeless may have started off with a hero and a title that was a little grim in the previous series, but he has turned it into a light-hearted read that anyone is able to pick up and enjoy and every issue, including this new number one has been as such. The big question on everyone’s mind is the obvious one – who is the father of Jessica’s baby? For now, that remains a mystery as it should be, but the list of who it could be is endless. We know it is not Tony Stark or Peter Parker, but there are a whole lot of other Avengers, friends and even foes. How about Porcupine? Very doubtful, but it would make for an incredibly complex and hilarious book if it were true. For now, at least until the baby is born, Jessica is on the sidelines and forced to watch while others do what she loves. One question that remains is what or who will occupy her in the meantime? It will definitely be a lot of fun finding out.

4.5 out of 5

Extraordinary X-Men #2
Extraordinary X-Men #2

Writer – Jeff Lemire
Artist – Humberto Ramos
Inker – Victor Olazaba
Colours – Edgar Delgado
Letters – VC’s Joe Caramagna

Logan, a very much older Logan, wants nothing to do with the X-Men. He cannot get over the past, his past that is, and it holds him back because he is worried that it might be the current X-Men’s future if he does join them. So for now, Storm and her team must do without a Wolverine on the team and must concentrate on finding Nightcrawler and saving the school as we discover the location of X-Haven which as far as hidden locations go, could not be any more dangerous. The new direction for the X-books is not exactly a new one what with mutants being persecuted the world over, but Jeff Lemire is just starting out his run and for now, it remains to be seen just where it is heading, though you can be sure that it will end up somewhere unexpected. Introducing an older Wolverine to the mix is quite interesting as it will shake things up and create a very interesting dynamic between the very young Jean and himself, not to mention Storm who he also had a relationship with. A different Wolverine sure, but it will still be awkward nonetheless. Lemire also brings an old foe back to cause a little trouble for the team, one that will quite possibly also mean the end of X-Haven unless they can find a way to defeat him and racism and hatred against the mutant race is worse than it has ever been before under Lemire’s pen. Making this book as beautiful to look at as it is fun to read is Humberto Ramos and company and Ramos seems to be reinvigorated on this title after having drawn Spider-Man for so long. His pencils have always been good and he always seemed to be born to draw the wall-crawler, but his work on this title is exceptional and Marvel’s merry mutants have not looked this good in a long time. The book is left on a cliff-hanger, a big one and if the worst comes to pass, it could mean the end of most of the mutant race as we know it, so hopefully, our heroes find a way out of the mess they are in.

4 out of 5

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