Monday, June 03, 2013

Memoirs of a Bronze Age Baby: Spider-Woman #4

I can't quite recall why I read so many Spider-Woman comics as a kid. I think my parents were trying to be fair and would often grab comics featuring females heroes featuring the likes of Wonder Woman and Spider-Woman. I don't think that I ever fully understood Jessica Drew's origin story (still not sure that I do today), but her little corner of the Marvel Universe turned out to be quite interesting, if a bit confusing. I've always liked her character design and also thought that Brother Grimm's costume was pretty cool in its simplicity. The Hangman character who shows up here is nothing new from a design perspective, but his deeds do seem a bit gruesome for a mainstream comic. I have to commend the Infantino/Dezuniga team here, as the artwork is quite compelling - especially their use of shadows in one noose-based panel. Marv Wolfman's script, on the other hand, continues to hurt my brain 30+ years later. It was not until recent years when I began to realize how large a role Infantino played in my young reading from Star Wars to Nova to Spider-Woman. Flash books were also some of the first Silver Age books I ever bought. I'm generally not a fan of his late 70s and early 80s work, as everything became less sleek and too wide as if faces and bodies were being stretched horizontally. That does not happen here, though, as his pencils are much tighter, perhaps added by DeZuniga. It's a good looking book, with a confusing, overly soapy storyline. Still, I get the rush of nostalgia as I flip through it and that's not a bad thing.

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