Bringing Jessica Drew back to basics in Spider-Woman #11 with writer Karla Pacheco

Spider-Woman #11
(Image credit: Pere Perez/Frank D'Armata/Travis Lanham (Marvel Comics))

While new clothes are always great, sometimes you just want an old favorite - one that fits in all the right ways, and makes you look good. 

In this week's Spider-Woman #11 from Marvel Comics, Jessica Crew is switching out of her new 2020 suit and back into her classic '70s duds designed by the late Marie Severin. But not without a few improvements, by series artist Pere Pérez.

(Image credit: Junggeun Yoon (Marvel Comics))

"The last ten issues pushed Jessica places she never wants to go again, but she survived," reads Marvel's description of the issue. "Now, it's time to show the world who Spider-Woman truly is!"

Spider-Woman series writer Karla Pacheco tells Newsarama to expect "explosions, swords, incredible new villains, some old faces, and lots of classic Karla™ heart-rippies!" beginning with this issue - which is described as a "great jumping-on point" for new readers as this run enters its second year.

Newsarama and Pacheco spoke about the decision behind returning Jessica to her old costume, if there's a chance to see the black suit again, and we even get into details about some new villains who are based on the writer's own family.

Newsarama: Karla, following an emotionally draining arc for Jessica, what can we expect from this new chapter that begins in this week's Spider-Woman #11?

Karla Pacheco: Our newest story begins with Jess excited to get 'back to normal,' but it's clearly still 'Spider-Woman Normal.' 

(Image credit: Pere Pérez/Frank D'Armata/Travis Lanham (Marvel Comics))

I wanted to give Jess a little emotional breathing room after everything that happened in the previous 10 issues - but it's still a Perez/Pacheco Spider-Woman series... so I immediately tossed that out the window. Explosions, swords, incredible new villains, some old faces, and lots of Classic Karla™ heart-rippies!

Nrama: Why do you think this was the perfect time for Jessica to go back to her old suit?

Pacheco: Obviously because we finally made everyone fall in love with the new suit, after being ticked off at us for changing it in the first place! (Just kidding...mayyybe??? #KarlaKackle)

Nrama: Speaking of, what made you want to start with a new costume to ultimately go back to the old costume?

Pacheco: In my opinion, both the Dave Johnson design (or as I call it, 'the Helicopter-Explodey Suit') and the 'old' costume are Spider-Woman characters in their own right - each outfit strongly illustrates where Jessica Drew's head is at, contributing to her story and her personality. 

And while Pere's take on the iconic costume may look familiar, it also has some special twists and tricks (courtesy of Big Ronnie's Custom Battle Spandex) that I'm excited for readers to discover - sometimes, quite literally at the same time Jess does, ha.

(Image credit: Pere Pérez/Frank D'Armata/Travis Lanham (Marvel Comics))

Nrama: Jessica doesn't throw out her new suit in the last arc, does that mean you're saving it for a rainy day?

Pacheco: We definitely left it open! 

I mean, Jess doesn't work at an electronics store or TGIFriday's where she has to wear the same polo shirt every day. It never hurts to add to the wardrobe, and like I said, I think each of her costumes has served a purpose in the stories we've been telling. I don't think we've seen the last of the darker suit, for sure!

Nrama: In the first 10 issues, Jessica was separated from her son and Roger. Will we be seeing more of them in this arc?

Pacheco: Mmmm...yep. #KarlaKackle

Nrama: You also introduced Jessica's brother and niece. Will they continue to play a role in the series moving forward?

Pacheco: MMMM YEPPPP!!!

(Image credit: Pere Pérez/Frank D'Armata/Travis Lanham (Marvel Comics))

Nrama: The Spider Woman #12 solicit teases the Brothers of the Sword. What can you tell us about them?

Pacheco: I'm pretty sure Pere Perez and I own the most edged weaponry between us of any Marvel creative team, and we decided the X-Men shouldn't get to have ALL the sword-loving fun. 

Enter, 'Los Espadas Gemelas de Toledo (not Ohio),' who make their first explosive (quite literally) appearance in Issue 11. They're Hispanic-Indigenous, sword-wielding brothers whose backgrounds are loosely based on - and named after - my father. I love getting to expand Spider-Woman's rogue's gallery, especially with characters that are very personal to me, and I had a ton of fun developing their design and history with Pere.

Nrama: I love Jessica's interaction with her other superhero friends like War Machine and Captain Marvel. Can we expect more team-ups?

(Image credit: Junggeun Yoon (Marvel Comics))

Pacheco: There are definitely some familiar faces making appearances in this next arc, some we've seen more recently, and a few special 'blasts from the pasts' that I think the old-school fans of Jess will be excited to see again.

Nrama: Jessica has also been making plenty of appearances in Captain Marvel. Do you ever see a potential crossover between the titles?

Pacheco: I love Jess and Carol's relationship, and I love what Kelly Thompson and Tini Howard have done with Jess in their respective books. 

As far as full-blown crossovers go, I can't exactly say what the future will hold, but I am extremely happy whenever we get to expand the relationships across all of our stories in the Marvel Universe. It really enriches the world, in my opinion.

Nrama: Are there any particular story beats you'd like to tease that you think Jessica Drew fans are going to really enjoy?

Pacheco: As I mentioned...New villains, familiar faces, and what we're referring to as 'The All Action Issue #13,' aka, 'Planes, Trains, and Monster Trucks.' 

Pere Perez is doing some of the best action scenes in comics right now, and he's absolutely taking things to the next level with each issue. I can't wait for people to see what we've got cooked up. We get pretty bonkers! And of course, so many Karla Heart Rippies™ and making everyone mad at me.

That's my favorite part, of course.

Jessica Drew is part of an expansive web of people in the Spider-family - but is she among the top 10? Check out Newsarama's list of the best Spider-Men of all time.

Kat Calamia

Kat has been working in the comic book industry as a critic for over a decade with her YouTube channel, Comic Uno. She’s been writing for Newsarama since 2017 and also currently writes for DC Comics’ DC Universe - bylines include IGN, Fandom, and TV Guide. She writes her own comics with her titles Like Father, Like Daughter and They Call Her…The Dancer. Calamia has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and minor in Journalism through Marymount Manhattan and a MFA in Writing and Producing Television from LIU Brooklyn.