Araña 2: In the Beginning

arana volume 2 in the beginning cover tpb digest
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Art: 7/10

Araña has a lot of potential

Some aspects of the story are confusing and rushed without really providing a good balance

Comic Info

Comic Name: Araña:  The Heart of the Spider

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Fiona Avery

Artist: Roger Cruz

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 2005

araña the heart of the spider #1 cover

Araña: The Heart of the Spider #1

Reprints Araña:  Heart of the Spider #1-6 (March 2005-August 2005).  As the hunter for the Spiders, Araña is starting to figure out she has her hands full.  The Wasps are determined to stop Araña and the Spiders, and they are willing to take no expense.  When an Egyptian teen assassin called Amun is hired to eliminated Araña, Anya finds her world as a superhero and her personal life colliding.  Amun knows her secret identity and everyone Anya cares about could be in danger…is Araña finished before she begins?

Written by Fiona Avery, Araña Volume 2:  In the Beginning is a Marvel Comics superhero comic book collection.  Following Araña Volume 1:  Heart of the Spider, the series features art by Roger Cruz.  Issues in this collection were also collected in Araña:  Here Comes the Spider-Girl.

Araña had a classic comic book introduction.  It was classic in that she appeared in an anthology book, had a storyline and spun-off into her own series.  The character also got a lot of publicity due to the bigger push for diversity in comics, and Araña has a lot of untapped potential…but the comic book falters.

Avery does her best to try to give Anya her own persona, her own world, and her own voice, but the story just plods.  Over the course of the story, Anya faces off against some of the Wasps (which she had done before) and fights a couple times with her new enemy “Amun” who is also set up as a potential romance.  The fact that everything feels like “potential” in the whole collection says that nothing much occurred…even the relationships that Avery is trying to develop feel undercooked.  I like Anya’s relationship with her father, but the characters in WebCorps really haven’t done much.

arana the heart of the spider #4 cover spider-man

Araña: The Heart of the Spider #4

Part of Araña problem is what makes Araña unique.  Unlike a character like She-Hulk, Araña is a “Spider-Man” character without having any ties to Spider-Man (it is good to see the two characters meeting in this volume however).  Much like Spider-Woman before her, Araña is her own person and has her own abilities and it doesn’t feel like they just stuck Spider-Man in a female’s body…but the whole Wasp-Spider battle and history isn’t compelling and in a sad way, Araña would have been better off fighting some of Marvel’s big wig villains to kick off her book…then segueing into the Wasp-Spider storyline might have been a bit more palpable.

It is this potential which makes Araña:  The Heart of the Spider a disappointing comic book.  I liked the character and felt she could become something great with some tweaking.  The attention the character received combined with so-so sales however meant that Araña could be used as an example of “no one wants to read this character because she’s a woman and a minority”…which is completely unfair.  If Araña had been given a few more guest appearances, some big appearances (like in Avengers or X-Men or even Spider-Man), it feels like she would have had a better shot in her own book.  It is more about exposure and cross-marketing than the inability of the character to stand on her own.  Araña 2:  In the Beginning is followed by Araña 3:  Night of the Hunter.

Related Links:

Araña 1:  The Heart of the Spider

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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