Araña 1: The Heart of the Spider

arana volume 1 the heart of the spider cover trade paperback
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 6/10

Interesting character

Story and Marvel's backing feels underdeveloped

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Amazing Fantasy (Volume 2)

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Fiona Avery

Artist:  Mark Brooks/Roger Cruz

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2005

amazing fantasy #2 cover arana

Amazing Fantasy (2) #2

Reprints Amazing Fantasy (2) #1-6 (August 2004-January 2005).  Anya Sofia Corazon is a normal teenage girl trying to get by in Brooklyn with her father.  When she becomes entangled in a fight with the Spider Society and the Sisterhood of the Wasp, Anya “dies” and is reborn with the help of a mysterious man named Miguel.  Now Anya has powers and is the newest member o the Spider Society…and Araña is born!

Written by Fiona Avery, Araña Volume 1:  The Heart of the Spider is a six issue storyline that ran in the relaunch of Amazing Fantasy.  The story features art by Mark Brooks and Roger Cruz.

Araña got a lot of attention upon her debut.  Marvel has always been a rather diverse comic “universe”, but there had been lots of complaints about the limited minority heroes who were starring in comics.  As a Latina superhero, Araña even got media attention for the storyline…here, the character is introduced and you can really weigh if the exposure was worth it.

amazing fantasy #6 cover arana

Amazing Fantasy (2) #6

One of the biggest problems with trying to “create” minority heroes is that they are often created just to be a minority superheroes.  While Avery does a nice job trying to establish Anya as a rounded individual (something that Marvel generally excels upon), it does feel like she’s a little forced out by the system.  Being a Latina woman seems to define Araña instead being a piece of her life as a whole.  A great contrast would be the work being done with Ms. Marvel who feels much more rounded in her creation, but Araña feels like a good step (and a step up from characters like Luke Cage or Shang-Chi who while revolutionary were also stereotypes at the time…but they also were given more time to develop into their own characters).

The problem with this collection is that it is generally all origin.  There isn’t much “superheroing” occurring…for six issues.  Anya gets her powers and learns how to use them for most of the six issues.  There are a lot of characters and ideas introduced, but it all just feels like set-up instead of a complete story.

After this storyline, Araña got her own series, but with characters (especially concept characters), there needs to be a real plan and it is work to incorporate them into the bigger Marvel Universe and Marvel seemed to do the character of a bit disservice in that sense.  Araña was born and just kind of left out there to dangle.  When she failed, it is written off as “no one liked the character”.  I can’t say that is the case with Araña, but I feel like I barely got the chance to know her.  Araña 1:  Heart of the Spider is followed by Araña 2:  In the Beginning.

Related Links:

Araña 2:  In the Beginning

Spider-Girl:  Family Values

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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