The second annual Women of Marvel anthology is here, boasting a roster of talented ladies handling some of comics’ best and brightest stars. While you won’t see any marquee heroes like Captain Marvel or Black Widow, this year’s collection features a cast of fan-favorites teaming up to kick butt, take names, and, God willing, have a little bit of fun. And fun is certainly the operative word when describing this one-shot, as well as a certain green attorney who serves as a narrator of sorts.
Our first team-up centers on former partners-in-crime-turned-adversaries-turned-allies Black Cat and Silk as they enjoy a night on the town with that glorious Korean past-time, karaoke, until a certain globe-headed villain decides to crash the party. The story by Victoria Ying is silly, lighthearted, and irreverent in the best possible ways. For starters, both Felicia and Cindy (and Mysterio) are all inexplicably in their costumes for the story’s entirety. None of it makes sense but it doesn’t have to, it’s just fun. Artist Jodi Nishijima’s kinetic style matches the manic tone of the story perfectly. The fun continues in the next team-up featuring besties Kate Bishop and America Chavez in a story that is packed with both action and emotion. Writer Melissa Flores tackles a slightly heavier tale that manages to tie into America’s complicated continuity while perfectly capturing the dynamic between its leads in the span of ten pages. Flores even manages to include everyone’s favorite pizza-loving pooch and a special appearance by a certain wall-crawling web-head. Stacey Lee works her manga-inspired artistic magic, delivering the best-looking segment in the book.
Future stars of this fall’s “The Marvels”, Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan headline the final chapter, which also happens to be the weakest. Written by Shawnee and Shawnelle Gibbs, the story finds our two powerhouses nearly taken out by Kamala’s energy-sucking ex and his boss…master…I dunno, it’s never quite clear. The weirdness is punctuated by the impressively detailed but wildly inconsistent art by Giulia Gualazzi. The same level of weirdness is present during the courthouse-based segments that serve as chapter breaks and book-ends. Writer Rebecca Roanhores displays a great voice for Jen Walters, whose mean, green persona is largely absent and even lets Jen break the fourth wall, albeit briefly. The premise behind the court case narrative is almost too silly, if that’s even possible for a character who has hung out with Howard the Duck multiple times, but it’s all just a means-to-an-end. Don’t think too hard about it and just enjoy the ride.
Much like the previous anthologies, Women of Marvel includes a bevy of bonus materials, including a lovely introduction by Charlie Jane Anders and all-too short interviews with other women of Marvel, including Pilar Flynn, producer of the new hit animated series “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur”, and Isabel Robertson and Kara McGuirk-Allison, producers of the Women of Marvel podcast. For those who don’t mind defacing your beloved funny books, there is even a paper doll of Janet van Dyne, featuring several adorable outfits with art by Erica D’urso and Rachelle Rosenberg. Even with its weaker aspects, this one-shot is a celebration of Marvel’s female heroes and just a few of the talented women who work hard for their craft and deserve to be recognized.
Women of Marvel #15.99
- Story: Rebecca Roanhorse, Victoria Yang, Melissa Flores, Shawnee & Shawnelle Gibbs
- Pencils/Inks: Carola Borelli, Jodi Nishijima, Stacey Lee, Giulia Gualazzi, Erica D’Urso
- Colors: Ruth Redmond, Brittany Peer, Rachelle Rosenberg, Gilda Marchisio
- Letters: VC’s Ariana Maher
- Design: Stacie Zucker
- Editors: Sarah Brunstad, Anita Okoye
- Consulting Editor: Angelique Roche
- Publisher: Marvel Comics