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My, what a tight ass you have… – Spider-Woman #12

July 26, 2011

Carmine Infantino’s Marvel tenure has had an ignominious past here. His work on Nova has been savaged, and a hastily written attempt on my part to be cute doomed a post on a Daredevil issue. Let’s start over, get rid of the Y chromosomes and try a female character. Maybe that’s what we need to shake things up. Shift our paradigms, you know? And this comic — as a bonus — has a nice stretch that throws the titular heroine into a Little Red Riding Hood dream sequence. In fact, why not skip the shocking, senses-shattering origin of the Brothers Grimm (since it’s a bit of a boondoggle), and focus on said dreamtime?

Before we get to that, though, it has to be said… Could the cover make Jessica Drew’s ass-cheeks any more prominent? Not since the Cat have a heroine’s buns of steel been displayed more lovingly. With the way everything is positioned, the only thing that’s lacking is a giant arrow pointing to them.

Anyway.

Infantino’s pencils here are guided by Mark Gruenwald’s script and amped by Al Gordon’s inks. The dream in question isn’t Spider-Woman’s, but is instead that of her man friend Jerry Hunt (they’re being held by the evil Brothers Grimm and their mother, Priscilla Dolly). Both are bound and put under, which is when Jerry’s neurons really start a firin’. This storyline detour had me, not at hello, but at the image of Spider-Woman skipping through the woods with what looks to be a genuine Yogi Bear pic-i-nic basket:

She makes the obligatory stop at grandmother’s house (where granny has been replaced by a wolfy representation of their aged captor):

This whole bit is Jerry’s subconscious struggling with his inadequacies in relation to his super-heroine gal. Freud would have a field day working with the boyfriends of superpowered chicks, don’t you think? He might even have to call in Jung for a consult, thus forming a World’s Finest psychiatry duo.

Whatever the name of Jerry’s complex might be, in his dream he gets to save the day:

There’s nothing like the swing of an axe to kill a foul beast and flush out some romantic angst:

So Jerry gets to be the champeen. At least in his dreams.

The comic that surrounds this sequence is a bit hard to decipher for one (like myself) not steeped in the Spider-Woman mythos. I’m tempted to label it a mess, but I have a too much respect for the late Gruenwald’s scripting talents to do so. The dream, though, is a delightful opportunity for Infantino’s unique abilities to shine. There’s something in his unconventional lines that’s suited to illustrating the product of a roaming sub-conscious. Not only that, the dream covers some interesting ground, with the internal turmoil of a macho man whose life is always saved by a woman and all the ego-related havoc that could wreak brought to the fore. It’s a topic that’s been mined other times with varying results, but weaving it in with the Big Bad Wolf makes this iteration a bit more memorable, at least to this reader. Plus Jerry dresses his axe-wielding dream-self like the Brawny paper towel man (or the 1970s Stan Lee, take your pick). It’s a veritable cornucopia of angles!

That’s all I’ve got. Sweet dreams, everybody.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2011 8:33 pm

    As one who savaged Carmine on your Nova post, I’m pleased to forewarn you that I am running a review of Spider-Woman #1 this Sunday. Show up sometime on the 31st to see just how Carmine fares this time ’round. You might be surprised…

    Doug
    BronzeAgeBabies

    • July 28, 2011 12:43 am

      I shall arrive with eyes covered, peeping nervously through trembling fingers.

  2. Edo Bosnar permalink
    July 28, 2011 5:56 am

    Although I’m looking forward to Doug’s review, I still have to maintain my stance that Infantino and Marvel just don’t mix for me. Spider-woman is a case of a series that I followed (pretty faithfully for about the first 30 or so issues) almost exclusively for the generally cool, eerie stories, although I could barely stand the art. I breathed a sigh of relief when Infantino left the series, but it was around that time that the stories started to become more mundane…

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