Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Who's that girl, who's that girl? It's Jess!

Welcome to another exciting installment of Who's That Girl? It's Jess! (I'm determined to get this feature in at least once every three years.) It's the fun-filled, spider-flavored focus that spotlights the romantic life and dating mishaps of our very own seventies diva Miss Jessica Drew! (I bet she looks good on the dance floor.) So let's join her on another typical romantic date with...I dunno, some guy, s'posed to be good for you.

Panels from Spider-Woman #8 (November 1978), script by Marv Wolfman, pencils by Carmine Infantino, inks by Al Gordon, colors by Francoise Mouly, letters by John Costanza

Judging from the way Jerry — oh, that's his name! — meanders in his "let's make out" speech, you would be mistaken in guessing this is one of the issues of Spider-Woman written by Chris Claremont. But it's Marv Wolfman! Instead, just picture these words are spoken by Terry Long. And we can at last see what relation Spider-Woman has to the original-recipe Spider-Man: it's not her powers or her mask or even her name; it's her inability to get through a date without having to duck out to fight or save somebody! Next time, Jess, date somebody whose hair isn't going grey, and who buys you cotton candy that isn't half-melted already!

Turns out the guy she saves from killing himself is from the Bicentennial. Geez, Marvel, it was two years ago, give it a rest, already! You've already proven that your Bicentennial Super Special Treasury was better than DC's. Also: way to suddenly try to date an even older guy, Jess.

Bicentennial Boy Samuel Davis is cursed by a witch (hey, why didn't they burn her?) to live forever. Holy Hob Gadling, Batman! Or, that is, live forever until he finds someone so in love with him she'll be willing to die with him. (Typical cisminded 18th century witch, assuming that Sam Davis is heterosexual, huh?) So, of course, Spider-Woman will be perfect to die along with him. HEY WAIT WHAT

Then suddenly, the greatest date interruption of them all: bear attack!

WAIT where was this amusement park or fun fair that is so close to bears, huh? That's mighty poor planning on behalf of the park operators. "Should we build it by the wild bear habitats?" "Eh, couldn't hurt."

As the signs say, bear left. Then Jessica Drew agrees to die along with Revolutionary War Dude and pushes him off a cliff. Then, she flies off, leaving him to be impaled on the conveniently sharp rocks below (seriously, where is this amusement park? Barsoom?). Nice brush-off, Jess. You coulda just given him a fake phone number. This guy will never ask her for a date or a death-pact again!



Smurfswacker said...

Jessica isn't "willing" to die with Sammy Davis Sr. She doesn't love him and she clearly intends all along to dump the poor schmuck in midair. It's a pretty cheap curse that can be broken on the word of a liar.

Jonathan Hendry said...

Where did those chains come from in the second-to-last panel? Two panels prior there are no chains, no manacles.

Bully said...

Jonathan: Sam Revolutionary War Guy chained Jessica up when she tried to rescue him. I left it out because I was eager to get to the Bear Attack!

Blam said...

I think Jonathan's questioning how/why they're suddenly both chained together as they leap to their supposed death. Which, I agree, shouldn't be the end of Davis since Jess actually had no intention of dying with him, meaning he may well be impaled on that rock for the next 200 years given how unlikely it is he could push himself up and off it. Also, I totally hope this was how Revenant went in the Marvel Universe.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering that too. Maybe it was one of those curses that require the victim to believe it in order for it to work? So if he believed she was dying with him, that would be enough?

Smurfswacker said...

Is anyone (other than me) old enough to remember the Limeliters song, "Oberlin River," which deals with this exact situation? A scholarly lad cannot marry his true love. He convinces her to join him in a ritual suicide by jumping into the Oberlin River. It turns out she knows how to swim but he--well, as the song says:

He was a master of English balladry,
But not the Australian crawl.

She waded ashore on the banks of the river,
Calling biddy-bye.
"If someone has to die for loving,
Far better you than I."