WW Chicago: Bendis Talks "Spider-Woman"

Things have been rough for Spider-Woman fans as of late. In "New Avengers" #40, it was revealed that Spider-Woman AKA Jessica Drew had been replaced by none other than Empress Veranke, the leader of the Skrull invasion force currently targeting Earth in the "Secret Invasion" mini-series. This revelation caused many fans to worry that the long awaited "Spider-Woman" ongoing series, from writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev, was never going to happen. But have faith Spider-Woman fans! Hope is on the horizon because once "Secret Invasion" wraps up in December, the ongoing "Spider-Woman" series finally launches. CBR News spoke with Bendis about the book.

Spider-Woman fans shouldn't automatically assume this series stars Jessica Drew. All Bendis could confirm about the title character was that she would be clad in Spider-Woman's classic red and yellow costume. "That costume is one of the best in comics," Bendis told CBR News. "It's one of the things people like about her."

In Bendis and Maleev's previous collaboration, "Daredevil," their protagonist's exploits were limited to New York City but the action in "Spider-Woman" takes place on a global stage. "The supporting cast of the series is more the exotic and attractive locales of the Marvel Universe," Bendis explained. We'll be travelling to places like Wakanda and Madripoor, which I've never written before. It's a real globe spanning hootenanny."

Spider-Woman's trips to these exotic destinations will bring her into contact with friends and more often than not foes. "You'll see a mixture of old and new," Bendis said. "Like Gypsy Moth! And the Needle! She really did have some good villains. And her biggest villain is herself."

Bendis described the action in "Spider-Woman" as a blend of superheroics and espionage but not in a way that's been seen before. The writer compared the tone of the book to the most recent James Bond film, "Casino Royale." "I'm already writing the book and every time I'm writing it all you seem to think about is sex and death. I guess that's true when you think about 'Casino Royale' as well. In Bond, you've got this blunt instrument and he doesn't even know he's got a soul until it's been crushed," Bendis remarked. "But this is different, Spider-Woman's soul has already been crushed and now she has to decide if she still has one. Imagine that your face is synonymous with the worst thing that's happened to the Marvel Universe since Mark Millar [Laughs]."

The interior art on "Spider-Woman" will resemble some of Bendis and Maleev's most recent collaborations. "It's going to be a gorgeous book," Bendis said. "If you want to know what it's going to feel like look at the recent issue of 'Mighty Avengers' that Alex drew with Spider-Woman and Nick Fury."

The format of "Spider-Woman will differ from your standard superhero book. "We see 'Spider-Woman' in the same way we saw "Daredevil," Bendis explained. "'Daredevil' is kind of a high end creative book that people are going to expect a lot from both creatively and emotionally. It's something darker and different and that's the way we're treating 'Spider-Woman.'

"For people who were fans of me and Alex's work on Daredevil this is going to be a happy reunion. We haven't done a monthly since we left 'Daredevil years ago and we gave a lot of thought as to what would make this book a unique and special purchase," Bendis said. "Who Spider-Woman is, what she's doing in the world and what that will be like are all very unique. The book also has a very interesting perspective on the post-'Secret Invasion' Marvel Universe. I'm sorry to Spider-Woman fans for making her a Skrull but I think we're going to make it up to you big time early next year."

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