Spider-Woman # 7 (January 2000)
Writer – John Byrne
Artist – Bart Sears
My buddy Rimmey posted on Instagram asking for help finding Spider-Woman comics to fill holes in his collection. I was able to find the issues he needed to complete Volume 3.
I decided to read Spider-Woman #7 to check out the adventures of Mattie Franklin. Mattie Franklin took part in The Gathering of the Five and ended up with incredible powers. She was the new Spider-Man for a short time when Peter retired from web-slinging.
This issue finds Mattie Franklin and Jessica Drew traveling to Death Valley to fight evil foretold by Morris Maxwell, another participant in the Gathering of the Five, gifted with ultimate knowledge. The duo split up to cover the area and Mattie finds herself face to face with a golden mechanical monstrosity. Meanwhile, Jessica is attacked by a creature made of rock. As Jessica fights the creature, she realizes every offensive move she uses against it, a duplicate is created. Are these cluster of creatures connected to the mechanical monster and can these Spider-Women triumph over their adversaries or will Mattie’s career as a superhero ends before it begins?
I’m giving this issue two spiders out of five. Jessica Drew is the perfect choice as the mentor for Mattie as she begins her journey as a hero. Jess is doing what she can to help this new Spider-Woman find her way in the world of superheroes and villains. What makes Jessica’s role even more special is the fact that she continues to fight crime without the use of her powers, a development I was unaware about previously before reading this issue.
However, the plot of the story is average at best. It seems a bit simple and too paint by numbers for me. Also, the Spider-Woman costume that Mattie wears would not make Mr. Blackwell’s list of Best Dressed People. Whoever designed it should be ashamed of themselves and go back to the drawing board and think of something better. Do Bob Harras, John Byrne, or Bart Sears deserve the blame or did someone else have final say and approve it?
I wasn’t reading Spider-Man in the early 2000s so I am unfamiliar with the Gathering of the Five event. I will have to go back and do some research to get a better understanding at what transpired and how it ties into this run of Spider-Woman.
Sadly, Mattie’s adventures would be short-lived as this volume of Spider-Woman would end with issue eighteen. My plan is to read the rest of the issues I bought Rimmey before sending them to him, so I can judge and decide if Spider-Woman was cancelled too soon or if it was rightfully put out of its misery. I’ll be sure to share my findings in a future set of reviews or as a discussion in the Weekly Comics Thread.