By Kiel Phegley
Sometimes good things really do come those who wait, and come 2009, those who have waited patiently for the long-promised SPIDER-WOMAN ongoing series by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev will be rewarded handsomely.
While the continuing adventures of the 70s' most stalwart Marvel heroine have been a priority for the superstar writer since he began at Marvel—early plans for a Spider-Woman series morphed into the award-winning ALIAS—Bendis' planning for SECRET INVASION sidetracked his ability to give readers the kind of Spider-Woman series he felt they deserved.
"Originally we were green lit to do SPIDER-WOMAN, and I had what I thought was a brilliant," explains the writer. "Spider-Woman has been a Skrull since her reintroduction in NEW AVENGERS, and I thought that it would just be fantastic to reveal that in SPIDER-WOMAN #1 last year. But then I thought about it for awhile, and I thought about that fine line between genius and obnoxious. I realized that if people actually wanted a Spider-Woman series, while a reveal like that would be a great end of the issue it actually might [also] be false advertising. Something like that works in the context of the Avengers as a group, but if you are buying SPIDER-WOMAN, you want Spider-Woman."
real, human Spider-Woman will headline her self-titled series next year, although Bendis won't admit whether or not the long missing Jessica Drew will be behind the mask.
"Who's in the costume? Is it Jessica Drew the survivor? Is it someone else?" teases the writer while adding that his desire to do right by Spider-Woman remains intensely strong…"so much so that I've actually turned down the job to solo write characters I've actually created in SECRET WARRIORS to do this book. I could only take on one new book after SECERET INVASION, and SPIDER-WOMAN was the one for me because I thought I had something every special to say."
Of course, the other exciting news about the series will be Bendis and longtime partner Maleev returning to the monthly comics grind.
"I think the people that followed us on DAREDEVIL are eager for us to get back to a monthly series," says Bendis. "We haven't done one in a few years and it's time to get back to that monthly thing where you can really do something special.
"[This book] is in an art style by Alex that I think is just scrumptious, and it's very in the vein of the two issue of NEW AVENGERS that he did this year. We're going even darker than we did in DAREDEVIL, which I'm thrilled about. We're trying some new storytelling techniques, and the whole format of the book is very different. This is a new format for Marvel that I'm very excited about."
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