Spider-Woman #37-38 (1981)


It’s here that this book finally starts to get good, and part of the reason is motivation.  Until now, Jessica Drew has been a confused woman trying to understand her powers and her past, an aimless journalist/Spider-Man clone (without the Y chromosome), and a bounty hunter.  This issue starts with her seeking Nick Fury’s help in becoming a private eye, and in the process retelling her own origin story to him.  This makes for a nice way for Chris Claremont to redefine the character and give her some sense of purpose.

In just two pages, Claremont changes Jessica from a lab experiment to a product of High Evolutionary and his New Men, who kicked her out of Wundagore Mountain, where her venom blast activated and killed a child by accident.  Hydra found her, about to be lynched by the townspeople, and trained her for one big mission: To kill Nick Fury.  That’s pretty much where her Marvel Spotlight story focused, when she turns on Hydra and starts working for

Then, we get a quick scene with Morgan Le Fay, who appeared in the first several issues of this book.  It doesn’t go anywhere, but it does tie the character back to her mystical roots.  Claremont is building mythos here, which is why he quickly pops through a Jessica Drew scene in her new apartment, meeting her future lover interest David Ishima—her landlord.

And then we’re in a solid issue-and-a-half long X-Men story featuring Black Tom, Juggernaut, and Siryn—the daughter of Banshee.

It’s a good way to tie her to the X-men now, and that relationship will continue because, guess what?  She’s a mutant!  In the end, it’s time for a big brawl and I really liked this sequence with Angel, Colossus and Juggy…

Great, jam-packed story, terrific art.  Let’s hope this book can keep this level of quality going!
Creators: Chris Claremont and Stephen Leialoha
Grade: B

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

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