Appearing in "Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D., Part One"

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Synopsis for "Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D., Part One"

Jessica's in London. Though she's affiliated with the Avengers right now, she's apparently in between missions, leaving her with nothing to do but fly around the city, sit in her motel room, and reflect on how she has, in her estimation, surpassed Wolverine as "the most screwed-over person in the history of the universe." It's enough to make a woman contemplate suicide by venom blast.

Not enough to make her follow through, though. And good thing too, because if she had done away with herself she would have missed the mysterious letter slipped under her door, which invites her to a meeting the following day.

She's afraid she might be assassinated at this meeting (held on a deserted London trolley bus), but we readers aren't, because we recognize the other party as Abigail Brand, leader of SWORD. That agency – Sentient World Observation and Response Department, natch – is responsible for defending the Earth from alien threats, a job they colossally bungled during the Secret Invasion. (And yet Brand still has her old job...) Brand figures Jessica is in a place dark and angry enough where she'd be willing to kill any aliens Brand sics her on. In a quick sequence, the deal is made: Jess gets a fat salary, an iPhone that delivers missions specs, an alien detector, and a license to kill. Her job is to track down aliens and "stop them from doing whatever it is [she] finds them doing."

We can infer that Jessica takes the job, because next thing we readers know, she's in Madripoor. It's the "seedy corner of the world." "Everybody here is the worst of who we are," Jessica thinks, and then reflects that, yes, now she has come to Madripoor as well.

Resting in her hotel room (the second so far this issue!) she undergoes a montage of flashbacks from Spider-Woman: Origin and Secret Invasion that refresh our memory of the raw deal she's received. Her parents, HYDRA agents, are dead, one at the other's hands. Her mentor at S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury, took her on so she could be a weapon in his hands. Her career as a superhero was a middling success... and then the Skrulls came and took her life, and reputation, away. Now she's known and despised by the entire world, and understandably feeling a little self-pity about it all.

It's no surprise to Jessica or us that her first target is a Skrull, one of the Skrull Queen's direct subordinates. She barely has time to wonder what a Skrull might be doing in Madripoor before her alien detector goes off and Spider-Man bursts through the window!

In terms of storytelling, it's a misstep. Why not leave the readers briefly in doubt as to whether this Spider-Man is an impostor? He's an Avenger, after all, and it's just possible he came to warn or help a colleague. But no. He's a Skrull, and Jessica knows it, detector or no. She fires off a venom blast, "za-dak!" and all, and the fight is on. Not much of a fight: she knocks him out the window, smacks him right into a parked car four storeys below, and pounds him with venom-charged punches until he's unconscious... or dead, perhaps. His torn costume reveals a Skrull head. Don't they only revert back to their original shapes when killed?

In any case, the fight's over, but Jessica did just fall out of a building. If she faints at this point, who can blame her?

Solicit Synopsis

The team of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev return to a monthly Marvel comic for the first time since their Eisner award-winning run on Daredevil. ripped from the pages of SECRET INVASION and NEW AVENGERS, this explosive first chapter follows the new adventures of Jessica Drew aka Spider-Woman as she rediscovers her life in a world she did not make.


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Links and References


  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks

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