Writers: Brian Michael Bendis, Brian Reed
Pencils, Ink and colors: Jonathan Luna
Layouts: Joshua Luna
Letterer: Cory Petit
Originally published: March 2006
This issue tells the story of Jessica’s awakening and training with Hydra, and continues to about halfway through the story in Spotlight 32. It ends with her attacking Nick Fury. For those of you keeping score, this means it’s in the wrong order for my chronology. In fact, I think it’s safe to assume that every Spider-Woman thing I’ve read up till now is in the wrong spot, both relative to the greater chronology and with one another.
There are definite problems with this issue, and things that have improved since the first issue of the series.
First, the dialogue is still terrible. Jessica ostensibly has the mind of a six or seven year old: even though her body is 17 years old, she’s been in a coma for about a decade and doesn’t seem to have matured mentally. This is often reflected in the dialogue, as it should be, but just as often she switches into speech that is far from typical for a seven year old. These lapses are very distracting.
Second, Jessica getting romantically involved with another Hydra agent – Jared Gold, who in other books is Jared Kurtz – is gross. I know it’s consistent with established chronology, and I believe it’s played to be gross, but it’s still gross. She’s basically still a child. I don’t like this.
One good/interesting thing is that Jessica’s mind is probed and, I will assume, messed up by Mentallo. This allows me to assume that almost everything up until this point in Origins has been a false memory with perhaps only some trace of reality involved. I’m also assuming, as I think I mentioned, that “General Wyndham” is actually Vermis, and that Mentallo’s mind-probe is responsible for this confusion.
During Jessica’s mind-probe we see Bova with a cow-head, an image of the High Evolutionary, and an image of the Man-Beast. These are all fairly consistent with established chronology, so it seems like these images are probably real, and the stuff we saw in the first issue is probably (mostly) fake. So far the archived thread at the Chronology Project agrees with this theory.
So far so good, and I’ll also assume there was some other sort of damage done to her mind in that whole probe thing, which may be able to account for inconsistencies that are still to come.
I liked this issue better than the first. Seeing the Lunas do characters I’m more familiar with (e.g. Jessica in-costume, Nick Fury) was pretty good; I like their take on that better than on supporting characters and extras. Also, finding ways to jam this into established chronology makes me happy. The thing still wasn’t great, but it was an improvement.