By Jim Beard
Athletic, smart, quick with a quip and ready to roll with the punches—she's Marvel's newest super hero sensation Jackpot, and she's currently up to her eyeballs in Skrulls!
"She's headstrong, she's brave, she's not afraid to try and kick some ass," notes SECRET INVASION: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN writer Brian Reed. "Jackpot's a fun character to watch in action. And, as the reality of who she is comes to light, I think people will like her even more."
The rambunctious redhead known as Jackpot took AMAZING SPIDER-MAN readers by storm in the beginning weeks of "Brand New Day"; more recently, New York's curvy
good luck charm has been grabbing her own spotlight in the latest SECRET INVASION spin-off limited series. Though, as we'll see in SECRET INVASION: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #3, due October 22 and by Reed and artist Marco Santucci, that spotlight might just be Jackpot's make-or-break moment.
"She's realizing she's on her own [in the limited series], and she isn't going to have anybody else to pull her out of trouble," says Reed. "It's a really nice growth moment for her as she learns to really stand on her own."
One of the most tantalizing facets of Jackpot's character lies in her identity—it's a secret
, you see. Oh, there have been plenty of clues—the red hair, the code name, Jackpot's penchant for calling everyone "Tiger"—but Reed's enjoying helping to stretch out the mystery just a wee bit longer until Marc Guggenheim and Mike McKone spring the ultimate revelation in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1, out October 29.
"You have fun with it," explains the writer of the identity sweepstakes. "You drop hints and clues and red herrings and wait to see if anybody can figure out which is which."
Jackpot's abilities in terms of super heroing take center stage in SECRET INVASION: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. With the chips down and Super-Skrulls calling, New York need only watch for a flash of gleaming green and red.
"She's a celebrity," Reed says of Jackpot's status among New Yorkers. "They recognize her, and they get excited when she shows up. She stood up and registered when the SHRA passed, and the folks of the Marvel Universe see that as a good thing."
Possessed of unnatural strength, agility, and an unknown degree of invulnerability, Jackpot's current mission in SECRET INVASION: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN will stretch her to the limit and pose some serious questions as to her commitment to the Initiative—and the good people of the Big Apple.
"I think we've seen in the 'Brand New Day' stories that Jackpot takes the whole registered hero thing pretty seriously," muses Reed. "And this limited series sees her have a moment of doubt in #2—maybe she's not tough enough to hack this hero thing—before finding her resolve and doing her duty."
Place your bets on the battle of the century in SECRET INVASION: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #3: its Jackpot versus a Super-Skrull for all the marbles on October 22! Then one week later on October 29, learn the truth behind the radical redhead in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1! And for a taste of "Brand New Day", visit Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!