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Hopeless Talks “Spider-Woman” and Balancing Crime Fighting with Motherhood

by  in Comic News Comment
Hopeless Talks “Spider-Woman” and Balancing Crime Fighting with Motherhood

Over the years, Spider-Woman has held a number of difficult jobs across the Marvel Universe. She’s been a spy, a private detective, and an alien hunter. As a member of the Avengers, saving the world was her day job, and currently she and her associates, journalist Ben Urich and the former super villain known as the Porcupine (AKA Roger Gocking), help everyday people who have been caught up in the weird phenoma and super crimes that are so prevalent in the Marvel U. Jessica Drew has a very impressive resume, but is she ready for the toughest job in any universe –motherhood? And what kind of impact will being a mom have on her current super heroic career?

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The October, writer Dennis Hopeless and artist Javier Rodriguez will answer those questions and more starting with “Spider-Woman” #1, part of the “All-New, All-Different Marvel” initiative. Jessica Drew appeared in a teaser image for the new series looking very pregnant, prompting all kinds of speculation from fans.. CBR News spoke with Hopeless about Jessica’s motivation for becoming a mother, his real-life inspiration for the story, and how the tone of this new volume will compare to Hopeless’ and Rodriguez’s work on the pre-“Secret Wars” volume of “Spider-Woman.”

CBR News: Let’s kick off with the big question about the teaser image for “Spider-Woman” #1, which features a very pregnant Jessica Drew. What exactly has Spider-Woman been up to in the eight-month gap that precedes this new volume? And is the father of her child in the picture?

Dennis Hopeless: Spider-Woman’s life during the eight-month gap has been pretty similar to what we’ve seen in the last few arcs of the current volume. She’s running around with Ben Urich, fighting street crime and the urge to smack Porcupine upside his head. Readers can expect more of the same fun comic Javier and I have been making. Other than the fact that Jessica Drew is now 8 months pregnant, not all that much has changed.

As for the father, I’ll tell you what Jess would. Your love life is none of her business, and hers is none of yours.

What can you tell us about Jess’ motivation for becoming a mother And what inspired you as a writer to tell this story?

That is a complicated question and the answer will play a big role in the series. Jess doesn’t particularly like children. She’s made that pretty clear in the past. She hasn’t been waiting around for the right guy to settle down and have a family. That’s never been part of her plan. All of this is new uncharted ground for her and a big life changing business. It’s not a trick or a gimmick. It’s a story.

My own life pretty clearly inspired this pitch. My wife and I had our first kids (twin boys) last year after ten years of marriage (we got married at 23). For nine of those 10 years, neither one of us planned on having children. I never wanted kids. The tenth year was a gonzo emotional rollercoaster that changed every single thing in our world.

I won’t get into it here but I very much relate to Jessica’s stance on children. There are big, strong, deep-rooted reasons why she never wanted to be a parent. I understand that. I lived that. Then one day everything changed. Jess seemed like the perfect character for this story.

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Can you talk about how Jess’ impending pregnancy will impact the book’s super heroics when your new story begins? Is she still operating as a street level hero helping everyday people alongside Ben Urich and the Porcupine?

Our first issue is all about Jess dealing with pregnancy and what that has meant for her job and relationships. She can’t do all of the things she used to do, not without risking the safety of her child. At the same time, she’s still Jessica Drew. She’s still the badass who wants to kick the door down and thump the villain. We had a lot of fun figuring out what a happy medium would look like for Jess. Ben and Roger definitely figure into it.

How would you describe the tone of this new volume of “Spider -Woman?” The last few issues of the previous volume have felt sort of similar to the types of stories readers are familiar with in books like Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s “Daredevil” run. Is that what you and Javier were aiming for, and will that continue in this new volume?

I think Mark and Chris’ “Daredevil” is pretty much perfect. I certainly hope that’s the kind of book we’re making. Fortunately Javier is a genius and makes us all look good issue to issue. I’m thrilled people have been responding to the book and credit all of that to Javier’s stunning work.

And yeah, if you’ve been digging the book so far, expect more of the same. The pregnancy is obviously a massive plot point that will change Jess’s life immeasurably, but Spider-Woman is still Spider-Woman. Javier, the rest of the team and I absolutely love this book just the way it is. We’ll just keep doing what we’ve been doing until someone makes us stop.

How does it feel to be kicking off this new volume of “Spider-Woman” with Javier? It feels like you guys are really starting to gel and he’s integral in providing the book’s grounded feel, and heart and humanity.

I’m thrilled Javier is coming back. I can’t say enough good things about his work. He makes every single panel better and adds an incredible amount of visual movement with his layouts. The book is so much fun to read. Your eyes just bounce around the page. That’s all Javier. He’s amazing.

And like you said, he grounds all of it with so much humanity. The acting and facial expressions in this book match the dialogue so perfectly, it feels like he yanked them out of my brain. We are so lucky to have Javier.

Finally, the other big change in Jessica Drew’s life is she’ll be patrolling a New York City that Peter Parker only occasionally operates in. Does that mean you’ll get a chance to play with some of Spidey’s great New York-based villains? Any chance you can tease which of his foes readers might seen Jessica encounter?

We have a big Spider-Man villain in the works but it looks like we won’t get there until the second arc. The first arc is full of more great C-list villains as well as some big bad news from Jess’s past.

“Spider-Woman” #1 is scheduled for release this fall from Marvel Comics.

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