Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spider-Woman's entitled to some mind control

Nowadays, Spider-Woman seems mostly linked to Brian Michael Bendis.

When he took over the reigns of the Avengers back in 2004, Bendis quickly made it a point to rebuild Jessica Drew into a flagship character. Whether or not Bendis' approach was the right one is besides the point, the first Spider-Woman has been firmly entrenched in the limelight...

But before there was Bendis, the Secret War, the Secret Invasion and the Secret/New/Sorta-new-Heroic Age Avengers... It was Chris Claremont that decided the dark angel's fate.

And of course, whenever Chris Claremont's writing your book, you'd best be prepared for some mind control.

Case in point, issue # 35, also known as the second issue Claremont wrote for the book. Spider-Woman faced a 60's inspired villain known as Angar the Screamer, whose very voice causes people to experience hallucinations that makes them do all sorts of stuff they normally wouldn't even consider.

Unfortunately, not even Jessica proves to be immune to Angar's vocal offensive. She's even subjected to a hallucination that proves frighteningly realistic.

Morgan Le Fay, the actual witch from the legends of King Arthur and Camelot days, had it in for our heroine. Not that she had time to consider the magnitude of this discovery, she had to finish off Angar the Screamer. A feat she accomplished by ripping open a few bags of cement that caused the Screamer to develop a rather large... lump... in his throat.

An interesting aspect of Spider-Woman's powers is her ability to acquire a natural immunity to any type poison she's been subjected to. Apparently, this also includes vocal powered mind control.

At least, that would explain what happens a few issues later when Jessica finds herself fighting Juggernaut, Black Tom Cassidy and Siryn, a young Irish girl whose super powered vocal cords were able to induce illusions.

Jessica was rescued by a team of X-men that had arrived in San Francisco to assist, unfortunately they didn't share her immunity to Siryn's screeching so the mind control trick could be used succesfully once more.

Angel dropped the dark angel like a ton of bricks, but fortunately she survived... long enough for Claremont to put her through the wringer  Morgan Le Fay decided to make good on her promise to exact her revenge on Jessica.

As all century hopping witches tend to do, Morgan took her merry time. After showing up as part of Angar's illusion, Morgan lay low for a while, only making her presence known when Jessica visited a medieval fair with her best friend Lindsay McCabe.

"The grand enchantment begins..."

With everyone else buying into the illusion, Jessica was quickly conned into believing she, in fact was Morgan Le Fay!

Jessica completely buys into her new identity, that is until she gets snapped back to reality when a plane flies over and rattles her back to her senses in a rather lovely sequence by artist Steve Leialoha.

"Its hard to remember... some kind of dream..."

Oh, no, its no dream... Something Jessica soon discovers when Morgan continues to attack her in real life... Le Fay holds Lindsay captive, trying to persuade the heroine to join Morgan.

"Thou art bound to him. As surely as the Earth is to the sun". 

Having a time hopping witch from the middle ages try and mind control you is bad enough, but when she explains you'd otherwise still be the unwitting servant of the Elder God Ch'ton... Just because that ancient demon lord was trapped in the mountain you spent your first 30 years on, wasting away in suspended animation? And you think you have problems...

As mind control goes, this one's a doozy. Doomed if you do, darned if you don't... 

Wonder how Spider-Woman handled that offer...

She could... And she survived.

Thank god for that natural immunity to mind control, eh?

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