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My Favorite Comic Book Romance is Still a Thing!

The point is to show that somebody cares. My current favorite romance in all of comics is the little relationship that could that is Spider-Woman and the Porcupine. A couple years ago, comics writer Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum put out a quirky little Spider-Woman comic that I adored with every fiber of my soul. I was rewarded for this love by getting blurbed on one of the tpb covers! That’s one of the highlights of my blogging career. I still need to go meet Hallum at a comic convention to get him to sign it.

Anyway, the heart and soul of that series was the off-kilter companionship between stalwart superhero Spider-Woman and ne’er-do-well supervillain the Porcoupine. It was cute, it was well-crafted and it made the whole series something special!

Jess and Roger 05

That’s a crazy baby!

Then, as all good things must come to an end, Spider-Woman was cancelled and the characters were cast off into comic book limbo. Spider-Woman has made random appearances here and there since then, and I have kept my eyes peeled for any signs that she was still together with the Porcupine, real name Roger Gocking. He’s typically seen taking care of Jess’ baby Gerry. It’s cute.

Well I have good news for anyone else out there who is a fan of the Spider-Woman/Porcupine relationship: they’re still together!

Jess and Roger 06


Spider-Woman launched a new series this past week, written by Karla Pacheco. And sure enough, both Roger and Gerry show up in the comic, living a pretty happy (if stressful) life with Jess.

So yeah, that’s it. That alone is worthy of a blog post.

This is comics, people. At any moment, some new writer might come along and throw out my favorite character or status quo. I already wrote up a piece about how almost all of my favorite comic book characters have been killed in just the past couple of years. That’s bad luck. I’m a comic fan who likes his obscure favorites and hates to see them used as chopped liver!

So for the time being, I’m going to relish the idea that Jess and Roger are still a cute little couple having adventures, raising a baby and being in love. Allow me that little bit of happiness!

And I’ll keep doing my best to ignore what Pacheco said to Newsarama about the new series…

“yesss…we will see Roger and baby Gerry…though for how long…hmm.”

I am prepared to have my heart broken. These are trying times.


Every New Spider-Woman Beginning is Some Other Spider-Woman’s End

There’s going to be a new Spider-Woman comic coming out! That’s good! She’s going to revert to her old costume. That’s bad. It’s going to be written by Karla Pacheco and drawn by Pere Perez! That’s good! There’s no word in the initial announcement on Newsarama about her relationship with Roger. That’s bad.

Can I go now?

Spider Woman Cover Pacheco

So yeah, new Spider-Woman comic coming next year by some talented people and I’m sure I’ll check it out. The problem is that the last Spider-Woman comic was one of my favorite comics of the decade! So much so that Marvel used one of my reviews on the cover!

Once of the reasons I loved Dennis Hopeless’ Spider-Woman comic so much was the quality development of the relationship between Jessica Drew and Roger Gocking, the formerly villainous Procupine. This was one of the best-written comic book romances I’ve ever read.

Since the end of the series, I’ve been following the Spider-Woman character wherever I can to see if Marvel is going to keep the relationship going. I’m quite invested, you see. There’s no word on the relationship in the new comic announcement…so I’m just going to start worrying now.

But all good things must come to an end.


For Those That Care: Jessica and Roger Are Still a Couple!

In the world of comic books, any character or story can change at any time. New writers and creators come and go, putting characters into new and different circumstances. Happens all the time.

And it sucks when you’re a fan of a particular character or a particular status quo. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

Fortunately, a new comic this week revealed that one of my current favorite comic book relationships is still in tact! Spider-Woman and the Porcupine are still a couple!

Roger Still Alive 01

That’s Roger Gocking hanging out with Jessica Drew, helping her to raise her son. The Spider-Woman comic, written by Dennis Hopeless, ended in April 2017, and it was one of my favorite comics. The relationship between Jessica and Roger was adorable. But there was every reason to fear that a new writer or a new creative direction for Spider-Woman would ditch Roger in a heart beat. There’s absolutely no reason to keep them together, other than appreciation of what Hopeless wrote — and that’s not enough to keep characters together in today’s ruthless comic book world.

But the new issue of Spider-Force stars Jessica Drew, and we get that quick check-in with Roger. So awesome. I’m a happy comic book fan today.

Also, that panel features Kaine, who is also still alive. That’s fun too!


My 6 Favorite Villains Turned Heroes

I talk a lot on here about one of my favorite tropes in fiction: the Heel-to-Face Turn. Or, to drop the wrestling parlance, when a bad guy becomes a good guy. I just dig it for some reason. I like the idea that these villains, albeit bad people who do bad things, are still reasonable people who are capable of more than just playing their villainous role. When the chips are down, or when doing the right thing is on the line, these baddies turn out to be alright folk.

Heel Face List 01

The granddaddy of them all!

For counter example, I don’t particularly like the Joker. I know he’s probably the most popular super-villain in all of comics, and people adore this guy, but I just don’t really like him. I don’t like his straight crazy villainy. There’s little complexity to the character. He’s just crazy and he does crazy things; clever crazy things, sure, but still just crazy things. Count me out.

Give me a morally complex figure who can recognize the error of their ways or recognize the need to do the right thing in a given situation. Join me after the jump for my favorite Heel-to-Face Turns in all of fiction!


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The 6 Characters On My Defenders Team

Welcome to San Diego Comic-Con Week! It’s the biggest week in comics, and I’m excited for all the news and trailers and awesomeness bound to arrive this weekend! An expected highlight this year will be The Defenders from Marvel! They’ve got a new comic book, a new action figure line and their Netflix show arrives in one month! I can’t wait!

Defenders Team List 01

Only 50% of superheroes wear costumes anymore

As has become a tradition here at Henchman-4-Hire, I like to spend Comic-Con Week playing fantasy superhero draft. Superhero team rosters change all the time. Every new X-Men reboot results in several different team lineups. The Avengers or New Avengers or Champions are always changing! This year, I’m going to pitch you my Defenders lineup. If Marvel hired me to write a Defenders comic, these are the characters I’d put on the team!

In the past, I’ve dreamed up rosters for the Avengers, the Justice League, the Fantastic Four,  the Teen Titans, the X-Men, X-Force and the Sinister Six!

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