Writer Dennis Hopeless has been guiding Jessica Drew through motherhood for 13 issues of the current volume of Spider-Woman, but her current arc might be her toughest challenge yet as she squares off with a classic Marvel villain - the Hobgoblin. And as bad as things get for Jessica, they're going to get much worse for her companion, the Porcupine.
Alongside artist Veronica Fish, Hopeless will put Spider-Woman and her friends through a ringer that he only partially jokingly calls a "pumpkin bomb bloodbath." Hopeless spoke to Newsarama about Spider-Woman's place in the Spider-Family, how motherhood changes a superhero, and what lies in store as Jessica Drew takes on Roderick Kingsley.
This article also contains never before seen art from December 7's Spider-Woman #14.
Newsarama, Dennis, this new arc of Spider-Woman brings Jessica Drew face to face (or mask to mask) with a classic Spider-Man villain, Hobgoblin. Is this a confrontation you’ve been waiting for?
Dennis Hopeless: Yes! I’ve been waiting to write this forever. In my original outline, Hobgoblin was the primary villain for our pregnancy arc. That story got completely reworked (for the better – so proud of those issues) and I’ve been itching to work Roderick in ever since. Super stoked to finally be writing him.
Nrama: So this is the original Hobgoblin, Roderick Kingsley?
Hopeless: Only the OG Hobgoblin will do. This is Roderick Kingsley. I’m a big fan of the Hobgoblin stories Dan Slott and company told during Superior Spider-Man and fell back in love with Roderick during that. This is very much that version of the character.
Nrama: What brings Spider-Woman and Hobgoblin into each others’ crosshairs for this arc?
Hopeless: Jess’s sidekick and sometimes nanny, Porcupine, has something going on with Hobgoblin. What that something is exactly will be revealed later in the story, but Roger is definitely the impetus.
Nrama: Hobgoblin is known as a particularly deranged and deadly foe, and the solicitation for Spider-Woman #14 says he’ll “do the unthinkable,” and #15 teases the end of the Porcupine. Will Hobgoblin really be cleaning out Spider-Woman’s supporting cast?
Hopeless: Everybody dies. It’s a pumpkin bomb bloodbath from page one. Just carnage all over the damned place. I’m the Avengers Arena guy, remember?
Nrama: In a world with numerous spider-characters, including multiple Spider-Woman and Spider-Men, how do you keep Jessica Drew standing out from the pack? What sets her apart from the rest of Marvel’s spider-heroes?
Hopeless: I love all of the other Spider-books, partially because they are so different. Each one has a different voice and tone. There’s something for everyone.
Spider-Woman a very grown up book. It’s about parenthood and stress and the overwhelming nature of juggling different parts of adult life. Super heroing is Jessica Drew’s day job. She turns it off when she’s at home. She delegates the day shifts to spend time with her son. I think it’s a pretty unique take and love the hell out of writing it.
Nrama: How has motherhood changed Jessica since the start of this volume of Spider-Woman?
Hopeless: She’s a different person. That’s what happens (in my experience). The old childless you dies and is painfully reborn as a parent. It’s a profound life changing metamorphosis that hits you like an ice bucket over the head. That’s me speaking as a father. Jess carried this kid. She’s different. She’s very, very different.
She’s also the same Jessica Drew we’ve always known. It’s fun walking that line and showing her new priorities and perspective.
Nrama: You’ve got Veronica Fish working with you on this Hobogblin arc. She’s known for working on titles like the recent Archie reboot. Are you pushing her with such a ferocious foe as Hobgoblin?
Hopeless: Veronica pushes me. Her acting and facial expressions kill me. I’m trying to write up to her level on every page. There are some Veronica action sequences coming up in this arc that will blow people away. She can do it all.
Nrama: After this, are there any other major Marvel villains you’d like to pit Jessica Drew against? Your options may be opening up as The Clone Conspiracy rolls on.
Hopeless: I want Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’ daughter, Danielle, to snap and become a tiny, world-eating super villain. Then we could reveal baby Gerry has super powers and pit the two of them against one another.
That started out as a joke, but I think I want to do it now
Nrama: Bottom line, if someone isn’t already onboard with Spider-Woman, what makes this Hobgoblin story the place to start?
Hopeless: This arc has everything this book does well, but cranked all the way up. It’s intense. We kick you in the gut with the arc’s first issue and then drag you behind Jess’s motorcycle all the way to the end. It’s a big, hairy, emotional ride. You’ll read it, love it and head immediately out the door to track down our earlier trades.