By Brian Michael Bendis (Script) and Alex Maleev (Art) w/ voice work by Nicolette Reed (Spider-Woman/Jessica Drew/Madame Hydra) and Anthony MacKenzie (Detective Chong)
Some Thoughts Before The Review: I enjoyed the first Spider-Woman motion comic quite a bit. It was easily worth the cheap asking price, especially considering that it was something that actually felt pretty new.
The Story: Jessica Drew wakes up in a Madripoor prison and, after using one of her powers to secure a way out, she finds herself being rescued by Madame Hydra.
The Script: While Bendis’ script definitely scores points for effectively giving the new series a distinct tone and cool twists, it gets bogged down by the fact that it feels almost too friendly to new readers (well, viewers in this case). Because Jessica Drew’s recent (New Avengers, Secret Invasion, etc.) past has been pretty screwy, I understand the need to get people caught up on her powers and all that. That said, I’m fairly certain that those interested in Agent of S.W.O.R.D. already have a pretty good grasp on the character. Therefore, the script for the second Spider-Woman motion comic isn’t as satisfying as it could be because it largely feels as though the storytelling is still firmly in the “exposition” phase. Sure there’s some action and the plot (which seems to be covering some familiar territory) goes forward, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that everything is moving forward at a slightly slower pace than it should be.
The Artwork: Alex Maleev’s art is fantastic and really one of the big reasons to check out the whole motion comic thing. Gritty, violent, and perfect for the way the story is being told, I really don’t have any real complaints. Seeing his work in action is rather impressive and adds a lot to the overall presentation of Jessica Drew’s story.
The Voice Acting: Once again, the voice acting in Spider-Woman is uneven. While Nicolette Reed handles Jessica Drew well, her Madame Hydra nearly comes across as a mustache twirling cartoon villain. While that would totally work for a comic with a less gritty, serious tone, it feels really odd in Agent of S.W.O.R.D. #2. As for Anthony MacKenzie, his Detective Chong comes across a lot like Reed’s Hydra. The character would work, but the accent is really distracting.
The Motion-Comic Effect: The motion comic effects once again elevate Maleev’s artwork when they are being used in a subtle way. When they aren’t however, the “CG look” proves to be pretty bothersome and sticks out in a negative way. I’m all for chases and explosions, but they’d be a lot more effective if integrated into the artwork in a better way.
Conclusion: While it’s pretty entertaining as a whole, the Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D. #2 motion comic is held back from a higher score by a couple of major annoyances.