I’ve seen the first two episodes of Marvel’s new Spider-Woman Motion Comic on iTunes – they’re $1.99 each, but the first episode is free here for a limited time – and I’m not sure how to evaluate it. Let me list my impressions, and we’ll see what they add up to.
- The voice acting is terrific. The woman who plays Jessica, who has most of the dialogue, is really good. Also, the actress that plays Viper in episode 2 had a really great performance – she plays her as manic which was unexpected and fun. It turns out that these voices are both the same actress, which I never would have guessed before the credits rolled!
- Alex Maleev’s art, as you can see above, is amazing. He’s outdone himself again.
- The writing is typical Bendis, which is to say really good. I think he’s still figuring out how to adapt to spoken dialogue – there’s a lot of exposition in episode 1 – but he improved a lot in the second episode.
- Bendis has said repeatedly in interviews that, as the first motion comic not adapted from an existing print comic, this would be more than “pictures that wiggle”. They’re not quite there yet. The first episode is mostly wiggling pictures frankly, though you can tell Maleev drew the backgrounds separately so they can have different focus. However, it improves a lot in episode 2 -- there are a couple of chase sequences in that episode that give me hope for the medium.
That’s mostly positive, so why aren’t I more excited about this? I think partially it’s because the print version hasn’t come out yet, and so I don’t know how many episodes it takes to make up a single issue or how scenes will play differently. It’s a good start, though, the story is good and there are definitely aspects (like how to “act” Viper) that can’t be duplicated in print. I’m not convinced this is the future of comics yet, but it’s a successful experiment worth checking out – especially after they get a few more episodes done if they continue to improve at this rate.