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Spider-Woman

Spider-Man Legends
by yo go re

This review will primarily not be all about butts. Primarily.

Spider-Woman uses heightened senses and powerful venom blasts to strike down any enemies of justice.

So what you're saying is she's willing to fight - "to war," to use a different verb - to preserve, protect, and forward the cause of "justice"? And not just in a vague conceptual manner, but against actual individuals who would stand in its way? "Socially," you might say. So she's some sort of... Communally-involved Fairness Advocate? [There has to be a catchier way to phrase that --ed.] Anyway, Jessica Drew was born with spider DNA (at least, as of the current version of her origin), has been an agent of Hydra and a spy for SHIELD, as well as a member of the Avengers, but is most effective as a private detective - remember, Jessica Jones was created when Brian Michael Bendis decided the story idea he had for Jessica Drew would have changed the character too much.

Bendis began developing his Spider-Woman comic idea in the '90s, and in that she would have received a new costume designed by Rick Mays. When the comic was dropped, so was the costume change, meaning that this suit - which was introduced between Spider-Verse and Secret Wars - was the first time her outfit has changed since she was introduced in 1977. And as said before, this really looks terrific as a toy! The idea behind the design is that, as a detective rather than a superhero, this is something that could pass for normal street clothes when it needs to, but maintains her "adventure heroine" branding. So she wears a tight, form-fitting jacket (which confused manbaby Erik Larsen referred to as "a potato sack," which really makes us question where he buys his potatoes) that looks like it could have come from the same closet as Batgirl's new look.

Taking a cue from another SHIELD-Agent-turned-superhero, Jess has traded in her old mask for a new pair of glasses. In the comic, they can actually turn into a mask when it's time to hero up, though that's obviously beyond the scope of an action figure - we settle for them being molded from translucent orange plastic and being removable.

Spider-Woman's new costume retains the existing colorscheme, but makes it darker: after all, the coloring restrictions of a 1977 comicbook are technologically worlds apart from those of a 2015 comicbook. For the first time ever, the yellow symbol on her chest looks like a stylized spider, instead of an arrow pointing the way down to heaven. Her belt runs through sculpted loops, but they're left unpainted. Or not left unpainted. They're the same color as the belt, when they should be the same color as her pants, is the issue. Her boots should also have more of a point in the front, as well as black on the toes and heels.

The figure's articulation holds no surprises - her hands and torso are new, with sculpted details, while the rest is pre-existing, so it moves just the way you think it would. They probably could have gotten away with simply painting her costume details on, but perhaps the reasoning against it is that she would have ended up looking like she was wearing spandex, thus defeating the purpose of giving her a new costume at all?

She has no accessories, just a giant chunk of this series' Build-A-Figure, the Lizard. It's the complete torso and the lab coat. Make sure you take it off at least once before you plug the arms in, or you'll never get to see the sculpted details on the back.

Spider-Woman's new design is part of a larger trend in the industry of giving female characters costumes that would be comfortable to cosplay. It isn't part of some culture war dedicated to ruining comics, it isn't the result of a shadowy committee trying to eliminate camel toe, it's just an acknowledgement that someone other than teenage boys are reading comics. And as long as the new designs are as good as this, who cares? Put people in cool costumes and give us cool toys of them.

-- 01/28/19


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