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DF Interview: Dennis gets Hopeless-ly caught in Spider-Woman’s web
By Byron Brewer
It is easier for long-time Marvelites to list the things Jessica Drew HASN’T been than vice versa. With that in mind, here is something she is once again: star of her own book!
In November, writer Dennis Hopeless (Avengers Arena) and artist Greg Land (Mighty Avengers) will be spinning Spider-Woman out of the mega-Spider-Verse event and into solo action alongside a very interesting co-star.
Dynamic Forces caught up with Hopeless in a shady corner of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier grill and wrenched this info out of the scribe.
Dynamic Forces: First, Dennis, this IS the REAL Spider-Woman starring in a new book, right? Not a Skrull? (laughs)
Dennis Hopeless: Ha. Yes, our star is absolutely the real Jessica Drew … at least for the first few issues.
DF: Hm … ooookay. Tell us about Jessica in the Spider-Verse event and how she spins out of that into this new book, if you would.
Dennis Hopeless: The way we’re approaching our first arc, Jessica is one of many soldiers in the big ugly Spider-Verse war. We’ll be following Spider-Woman and a few other spider soldiers as they embark on individual missions. The success or failure of these missions will have huge repercussions within the larger event, but you can read the Spider-Woman issues as stand alone character-driven war stories.
Jessica and her fellow spider-folk will be squeezing in and out of some pretty tight spots during the event. It’s hard to say too much about what the book will become after Spider-Verse because a lot depends on who wins/survives the war.
DF: Jess has been a secret agent, alien hunter, alien hostage, Avenger and even an agent of Hydra for a time. What is her role here?
Dennis Hopeless: She’s the experienced soldier who’s trusted with the more dangerous missions. Jess gets the call when they need someone behind enemy lines stealing secrets. She’s sort of a one-woman special forces.
All of this obviously refers to her role during the war. Afterward, everything changes. I just can’t say how.
DF: Since this sort of comes off Spider-Verse this fall, will we be seeing any spider-themed guest stars? Which ones?
Dennis Hopeless: Absolutely. The first issue alone features Silk, Spider-Man Noir, Anya Corazon and Spider-Gwen. We’re definitely embracing the multiversal setting. You’ll be seeing lots of different universes and the spider-folk who inhabit them.
DF: I hear Silk will have some role in this book. Explain.
Dennis Hopeless: Silk is extremely important to the larger Spider-Verse story and Jessica has been tasked with keeping her alive. When we meet up with the two women in issue #1, they’re on the run from the enemy and Jessica is doing everything in her power to keep Silk quiet and out of trouble. Unfortunately, after all those years locked in a bunker, Silk is worn out with quiet and safe. Jessica definitely has her work cut out for her.
DF: Dennis, how did you come to be attached to this new take on a venerable 1970s character?
Dennis Hopeless: I worked with editor Nick Lowe on Cable and X-Force last year and we had a blast. He was the first person I emailed when we found out Avengers Undercover was ending. Nick runs the Spider-Man office now and asked if I’d be interested in writing a Spider-Woman ongoing. I said yes before he even got the whole sentence out. Jessica Drew is one of my favorite characters. It’s a dream job.
DF: What makes Jessica Drew the type of character you enjoy writing? What is your take on Spider-Woman?
Dennis Hopeless: Jessica carries a lot of baggage around with her. She’s a character with a deep dark past and that history colors how she looks at the world. She’s a skeptic with trust issues but a hero through and through.
I’ve always loved writing world-worn characters who think before they jump. There’s a psychological weight to their decisions. They understand that no matter what you do, the world will take its toll.
DF: Will Spider-Woman remain active in any iteration of the Avengers?
Dennis Hopeless: She’s currently active in Secret Avengers, but our book will focus on Jessica’s life outside the Avengers.
DF: Finally, Dennis, how is it working with Greg Land? He really tore Mighty Avengers and Iron Man up with his crisp layouts and expert storytelling.
Dennis Hopeless: We’re kind of just now getting started but so far it has been great. Nick sent me Greg’s first few pages of issue #1 the other day and they’re gorgeous. We’re absolutely on the same page about the book’s look and feel. I can’t wait to see what he does with the rest.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Dennis Hopeless for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Spider-Woman #1 will swing (glide?) into stores in November!
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