Spider-Woman: Shifting Gears Volume 1: Baby Talk

Review:

Spider-Woman: Shifting Gears Vol. 1: Baby Talk - Dennis Hopeless,Javier RodriguezThis comic made my little feminist heart flutter in a whole new way. Female friendships! Kickass women! Truth about maternity and motherhood and being a new mom and just one embellishment about what is humanly possible immediately after a c-section.

Jessica Drew is a private investigator, a super hero and…a mom-to-be? Since we last saw her, Spider-Woman’s got a whole new responsibility -now she’s adventuring for two! Ben Urich and Porcupine are still along for the ride -in fact, half the time they won’t even let Jess leave the car! How’s a gal supposed to save the day when her friends are being all overprotective? Then, Spider-Woman will be in over her head when she gets trapped in an alien hospital. Jess is no stranger to unusual circumstances, but getting held captive by Skrulls in the center of a black hole with a bunch of extraterrestrial moms-to-be might take the cake! Expectations won’t be disappointed in the mother of all Spider-stories!

While it is part of my shtick to concentrate on women written books, I do make exceptions for women-led comics. It’s a representation thing. So I picked up this comic while perusing Barnes and Noble on one of my few kid-less ventures out. My husband and son stayed with family between Christmas and New Years while I went back to work for the few workdays that existed in between, so I had no one to rush out of the house and no one else’s timetable to consider while sitting in my favorite bookstore. I know, I know, I should love indie bookstores and mom and pop shops but this is my favorite. I move around a lot so those change but Barnes and Noble is everywhere in the US plus it has it’s own nostalgia for me since I worked in one in high school. In the cafe. It’s still one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. Anyway, getting back to Spider-Woman.

I picked it up because it’s a woman-led title and I thought it was semi-interesting that she was pregnant. And then I fell in love. As stated in the beginning, my little feminist heart fluttered.

She’s just so…… so…… every woman I’ve ever known who had a career she loved and wanted a kid and to be a good mom but wasn’t really nurturing. Yeah, that includes me. Of course, as a fictional character and Avenger there were lots of differences in the situation, but she’s just so….. representative of the mom-struggle. And it only gets better because I also read Spider-Women which was awesome and will be reviewed next week. Anywho, there is just all of that and then some more.

Aside from the mom-struggle, the volume also features an incredible support system. I don’t want to go into details and spoil anything but it seems to me that her friendship with Captain Marvel was fairly established already, so I won’t consider that a spoiler. And it’s a great friendship. Respect. Boundaries. Support. A helping hand.  Someone who knows you well enough to know when they’re needed and not butt in when they aren’t. Someone to vent to about even the good things. What more could a girl want in a BFF?

It’s a comic, so I feel compelled to bring up the art as well. It’s really well done. Nothing is particularly sexualized, which I love and appreciate. She’s old enough to want to be a mom and she’s not drawn like a teenager, which I also appreciate. Even in her not-pregnant frames, she’s drawn like a full grown woman, on who has a few years under her belt but isn’t old either. I love that. And her pregnant look is pretty awesome. Hero shirt is open with an undershirt and belly poking out. Pretty sure every woman who’s gotten to that stage of pregnancy has done that with some outfit that they just can’t cram that belly into anymore.

Getting back to the story-line part of it, she also acts like a grown up and is treated respectfully as an experienced person to not mess with. Well, unless the other person is an idiot minion of the villain who can’t see past a big, pregnant belly. But that’s their mistake. Do we all really get treated like little fragile dolls who couldn’t possibly have ever done anything other than be fragile when we’re pregnant? I guess it’s not just me. She’s expected to not fight crime while pregnant, I was barred from standing on a step stool. Seriously.

So, to sum it all up, Jessica Drew and Spider-Woman are among my new favorites and this is definitely a title that I plan to keep up with in the future. The next volume is due out from Amazon on January 10th! You can pre-order it if you want. This volume is already available at Amazon and the Book Depository too. I’d be a little cautious though, their cover is not for this volume and I’m not sure if the cover or the title is the mistake. As mentioned above, I read it sitting at Barnes and Noble, having a little dinner alone in the cafe, so here is a link to their edition as well.

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