Today, Marvel released its first Motion Comic on iTunes. Written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Alex Maleev, “Spider-Woman: Agent of SWORD” is an intelligent, harsh look at the life of Jessica Drew after her ordeal with SHIELD, Hydra, and the Skrulls.
There has been a lot of talk about this Motion Comic for a few weeks now, since the trailer debut on the internet. Reactions to it have been greatly positive. The reactions are correct. Bendis does a great job with the writing. The story is well written in its noir style detective story. Internal thoughts give us most of the storyline as Jessica Drew tries to come to terms with the way her life turned out.
The art, courtesy of Alex Maleev, is simply gorgeous. His grim and gritty style blends well with the story-telling, and helps to make the viewer feel just what Jessica is going through. Another point I have to tip my hat to is the animation. Done by a company called Motherland, the movement is very fluid and well directed. I have seen a few animated comic book stories before, but nothing like this. Most of it works like a cut-and-paste style of animation, with each piece drawn by Maleev. But it’s done so well, with added touches like the raindrops on the city street that I almost got lost in it. There were quite a few times that I have to rewind the timeline because I was so engrossed in the art that I missed a line of dialogue.
Is the comic worth the purchase? Yes. For 99 cents, you get 10 minutes and 47 seconds worth of entertainment. The amount of story, the art, the animation; all of it is worth the price. In fact, I kinda feel like I’m ripping Marvel off.
Needless to say, I’m excited about future installments of the comic. I’m looking forward to see what other characters will get a motion treatment. Seeing Abigail Brand, the Director of SWORD, was a bit of a surprise (though I’ll admit, I should have expected it). Will Bendis write the Avengers into the story? Captain America? Wolverine? I really hope this new format takes off, and Marvel decides to create more Motion Comics. I, for one, would love to see a Cloak and Dagger comic in this style. Especially one written by Bendis. If he can make Spider-Woman this interesting, I’d love to see his take on Cloak and Dagger.