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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

Spider-Man Needs to Grow a Pair

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: November 2009

It seems like everyone is getting sick lately. I guess it’s that time of year, but still, what the hell people? I’m trying to take lots of vitamins and avoid taxing my immune system too much, but at a certain point it comes down to the luck of the draw. Our own Rene Stephens had the brilliant idea to only order beer in bottles as opposed to glasses, which seem more susceptible to germs. In any case, this week our fearless leader/editor Jake Sprecher has come down with whatever is going around, and has been forced to give up certain writing duties. Cue superhero entrance music, ta-da, Zooey to the rescue. What might this gibberish mean, you ask? Well good people, due to both the added work and being a little stumped as to what I should write about, I decided to fill out my word count with the intro you’ve just been tricked into reading. Now, if you’re not too irritated with the neither here-nor-there quality of my writing this week, let’s get on with it.

Nearly everyone in a certain age bracket can say that they have had, at some point in their lives, held an affinity for comics. Usually this happens around childhood, and dissipates when the individual reaches high school. Usually. In my case, I collected comic book cards from second grade up to sixth, and still possess my collection to this day.  There were a lot of cards that I coveted above any others, but my favorite was my Spider-Woman card. At the time I didn’t know a whole lot about her, just that she seemed mysterious and scandalous, and able to pull off the costumed-bug-eyed look better than her male counterpart. Spider-Man has always seemed a little… for lack of a better word, whiney. He is by far, the most angst-ridden and emo of the Marvel Universe characters. “Mary Jane doesn’t love me, oh no, Kingpin has captured Auntie May, boo hoo!” Seriously man, grow a pair.  And while we’re on the subject, what’s with Auntie May? Shouldn’t she be about 190 by now? Peter Parker also seems to have been cursed with a wicked case of permanent preteen body. So I suppose maybe he has a right to be caught up in a cycle of angst. Who knows. My point is, Spider-Woman is awesome.

Spider-Woman, a.k.a. Jessica Drew not only possesses superhuman strength, endurance and speed, but can also take down opponents with venom blasts. Her body’s metabolism produces pheromones which attract human males, and repulse females. In the past she could merely catch wind currents, but now has full flight abilities as well.

With the first few issues released, the Spider-Woman series is not to be missed. Writer Brian Michel Bendis, (Ultimate Spider-Man, Powers, New Avengers, Alias, Secret Invasion) and Bulgarian-born artist Alex Maleev, (Civil War, Daredevil, New Avengers) have teamed up to bring you this series.

Arielle Mullen