Spider-Woman Motion Comic – Episode #2 Preview

Last week, Jim took a look at the first episode of Marvel’s foray into original motion comics with original stories with Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D available via iTunes.

Today, episode 2 is released and available and Marvel has provided us with the exclusive trailer for episode 2 which we’re happy to share with you, loyal iFanboy readers:

Marvel also provided some lovely information about this episode as well:

Marvel is proud to unveil new footage from the critically acclaimed Spider-Woman motion comic! The New York Times Best-Selling team of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev (Halo Uprising) continue Marvel’s first ever original motion comic as Spider-Woman finds herself at odds with the law in Madripoor and that may spell the end of her mission as an Agent of S.W.O.R.D.! Spider-Woman Episode 2 hits iTunes on September 2nd and no True Believer can afford to miss it! Discover more at www.marvel.com/motioncomics!

I thought this would be a good time to weigh in on what I think about Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D. Jim’s review of it was pretty spot on in that it’s hard to separate the concept of motion comics from the content held within Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D. I do wrestle with the idea of motion comics, I mean isn’t it just animation? I get the motion aspect, it moves. Easy enough to understand. But what makes this a “Comic”? There are no word balloons, hardly any juxtaposition. It’s a comics existential head scratcher. But there I go – distracted by the medium away from the content.

In looking at the actual episodes, I have to admit, I like them. I like them a lot. I enjoyed watching the first episode. I watch a lot of video in my day to day activities and the mark of a good video is one that I do not press pause on to stop and look at something else, or one that I make full screen and dedicate time to watch. With the first episode, I did both. So it passed that test. Mainly it passed because of Alex Maleev’s art, which is downright beautiful. Man, ever since Daredevil, I’ve missed Maleev – it’s good to see his art again. I trust Bendis’ storytelling ability, so I’m sure the story will be compelling and enjoyable. My only problem with it was with the dialogue. I don’t care that Jessica Drew has an English accent (since when is that a bad thing?). What did bother me was the overproduction of the voiceovers and the effects laid on Agent Brand’s voice. That took me right out of the entire thing. But other than that, I’m on board. I’ll gladly pay the $1.99 for each episode as I found myself entertained and visually delighted by the look of it.

One week later and 2 episodes of in, what do you think? Were you against it last week and now you’re coming around to it?


  1. Waitaminnit, these are coming out weekly?

    I’m very dialed in to the biz. I’m an insider.

  2. Seems kinda pricey for what it is.

    And the preview was horribly awkward. 

  3. I’m not really down for the motion ‘comic’.  It’s frickin’ animation, and bad animation at that.  Maleev’s art IS beautiful, but, his technique seems a bit too short-cutty what with the photo-manipulation and digital painting.  And before anyone blows smoke up my keister, I realize it’s art, and everybody has a different way to do it, but, I used to love his art more before he unveiled his process.  That’s what I get for looking behind the curtain and I understand that.

    I really have a problem with the CGI.  That helicopter explosion looked kinda phoned in, and when you juxtapose that against the grainy and mood Maleev art, it takes me right out.  Why don’t they just call it Flash Animation, and make it an honest to goodness show?  Probably cost mostly.

    Yeah, not a big fan of the motion comic.  It’s animation. Period.  I think the Watchmen motion comic was a bit closer because they included word balloons, but, then even I found them distracting, reading along with the orator.  I really don’t see this medium as being the next thing. 

    It’s just a hiccup hopefully.

  4. I sincerely hope this isn’t the ‘wave of the future’ that some (namely my nemesis, KickAss) claim it to be. If so, the future’s looking pretty bleak… as well as jumpy, awkward, and poorly animated.

  5. So there’s already two installments of the motion comic and we still haven’t even seen the first issue of the actual comic book yet? And that’s on top of the already considerable delays?

    Fine. Forget it. You know what? I don’t care. I don’t even want the stupid comic anymore.

  6. There’s no way I’d pay for that. The only motion comic for me is the interactive one where I turn the pages. I’m no Luddite but who thought this was a good idea? 

  7. The Maleev art is gorgeous. Waiting for the comic.  

  8. I’d buy these episode/issues in a second…. if they were available in Canada! C’mon Marvel get on it! Once they get around to posting it on the Canadian iTunes store, i’ll probably buy the first issue and if it feels weird I may just wait until it comes out in issues

  9. Way too much animation. Not saying they are not entertaining, but the term "comic" is a bit disingenuous. There is nothing to read. You may as well call movies "Motion Literature."

  10. "Motion Comics" = Lazy Animation

  11. @Mustbedamned far better art than animation

  12. It’s in this middle ground between full blown animation and a comic. I don’t know if motion comic is the correct term, but isn’t it cool to see art by someone like Maleev this way than the tired animation of the Ultimate Avengers movies?

  13. I dunno, maybe a longer range look is needed here–Marvel is developing their own in-house animation that utilizes the creative teams on their books. If they have to call it ‘motion comics’ to cover and not step on animators toes, so be it. The Xmen motion comic already shows more animation than this one and I don’t doubt they are moving toward a fully animated series. I welcome the innovation. That being said, I won’t buy it and watch it because I don’t care about the character and I don’t like the voices.

  14. This preview has solidified my position against. The voices are so wrong. Spider-Woman, Viper, the police officers. Where are they supposed to be from?

    I disagree with the comments that motion comics are just a poor man’s animation though. I actually like the artwork, and I do think it’s a much different animal than cartoons. I wish they put 1/10th of the effort into the voice acting as they put into the art design.

  15.  @kenkneisel….that was exactly my reaction.  I checked the shipping info the other day and I’m sure that it’s already late again, and this is after all the second time this COMIC has been solicited.  Very disapointing!

  16. I would imagine the entire point of any delays was to let the motion comic come out first.

  17. I might be misremembering because it was so long ago now, but I’m pretty sure they said at one point that the motion comic and print comic book were meant to be released simultaneously.

  18. So you take some photos of a cute girl, run them through a photoshop filter. Then film the pictures, moving the camera about, get it out of focus, in focus, blow some cigarette smoke in front. This is getting boring let’s film a car actually moving and rotoscope it. Much quicker than making a real animation. I know an English woman who can almost do an American accent, we could use her, she’s cheap. We could call it Moving-a-Camera-Around-a-Comic, maybe they’ll swallow it?

  19. Not a fan of this one, but I did enjoy the Astonishing motion comic preview.  Maybe I would get this as a supplement to the comics that I have and enjoy, but as a primary source, not so much.

  20. From writing to art, to movement and intensity, this was perfection!  My friends were shocked by the ending! Voice acting was great too. Not over the top, subtle and SW really worked completely, as did the others and Spider-Man’s appearance.

    As for the story, I love seeing Agent Brand!! She was so great in Astonishing X-Men, I love her other appearances. The SW story I won’t spoil but I love what happened and where it’s headed.

    The perfect offering from writer/artist team Bendis & Maleev, and an outstanding follow up to their all time greatest run of Daredevil comics.

    I’ve got the season pass of this.  Beats $3.99, amiright?

  21. I feel like such a Luddite.  I tried to watch Spider-Woman, and I just bloody hated it.  The voices were so irritating.  A line like "Wolverine, you no longer have the most miserable life" (or however it went) would *read* fine on the page, but the melodramatic, overwrought delivery the actress gave was eye-roll worthy.

  22. @mikegraham6

    According to the panel at Fanexpo this weekend it’ll be on Canadian itunes before the end of the month.

    Also, they said the delays are partly due to the difficulty of making the translation from motion comic to regular comic, Maleev has had to re-do a bunch of the art to make it work. Interesting stuff.

    I like it.

  23. @CAM Thanks for the info, it’s nice to know even a Leafs fan can be useful sometimes 😉

  24. I subscribed for the season. I enjoyed the first episode. I really love the artwork that Maleev is doing. I agree that is more animation than a motion comic, but I thought it was a lot of fun.

    Are they releasing too as a comic? Also, I never knew Spider Woman was British? 

  25. @mikegraham6

    We’re thuggier than ever this year!

  26. I’ve really enjoyed both episodes so far. Sure motion comics have their drawbacks, but none of them are dealbreakers so far with SW so far. After seeing the Astonishing preview, I think I actually prefer more static images than having too much animated on the screen.

    I bought a season pass to it (wonder how many episodes that is) and plan on watching the motion comic instead of reading the issues.

  27. So far I’m not very impressed at all…….sorry to disagree with some of you….

    It just seems like someone is narrating the dialogue over high res shots of the artwork. Sure there is a little "camera work", but the only motion seems to be coming from some vehicles and the odd weapon.

    Overall extermley disapointing. Nothing wrong with the art or story….I think this is just a giant waste & I’d rather read the book then have someone recite dialogue over still images.

    Other motion comics I’ve seen were done alot better, ie Watchmen.

  28. I didnt realize they changed the price to 1.99. It was only 99 cents last week. Anyway, I really liked the first episode. The dialouge was a little off, but the art and tone of it was just great. I think that the series could really go places, so I’m probably gonna keep buying it.

    But I see that you can now buy a season pass for $8.99. How many episodes will this include? Does anyone know (or has Marvel said) how many episodes this series is gonna run for?

  29. I went to the Marvel page for this (out of morbid curiosity, I suppose) and they’ve got a trailer for an Astonishing X-Men ‘motion comic’… yeesh. It looks godawful. The one thing it has over Spider-Woman (unless they just haven’t shown it in the previews) is moving mouths, although I be that’d get annoying quickly.


  30. @captbastrd you’re right. The Astonishing X-men comic looks like crap. At least the SW comic had a good tone and look to it, but that just looked stupid. They put in way too much movement, and the moving mouths looked horrible.

  31. The Bendis board says that it’s only going to be 5 episodes so if you got episode 1 already it would be cheaper to buy the episodes individually.  Of course I bought the season then found this out:-

  32. I found the first Spider Woman motion comic to be utterly ridiculous.  It’s a comic book, I don’t need voice overs, howabout you wait a little between frames, what if some frames are supposed to have more impact according to size, i.e. splash page.  What about art that gets out of frame.

    Unlike Ron, I did feel like pausing the video but then found it useless as I couldn’t read anything, I still don’t know and now don’t care what S.W.O.R.D stands for.

    Motion comics are just poor cut and paste/ stop motion/ flash cartoons.  If I want that, I’ll go watch a South Park episode.

    Also look at how much is exiting your digital wallet, the first episode contained 67 original frames which approximates to just over 3 panels per page in a 22 page book.  But that sounds alright it was only $1 andyou pay $3 for the printed version.  No loss to Marvel.

    Next episode is $2, hey, hey, look who’s making money!

    Future books most likely are going to be ones that have already been sold in print form, so it’s just capitalising on prior profits.

  33. I have watched the first two episodes and liked them.  Don’t know if this is the future of comics, but I like this little experiment.  The story is ok and I have spent more than $1.99 for a worse story from Marvel. (I am looking at you, Ulitmatium)  The art was great and the story is interesting to me.  

  34. How do people continue to not understand that this is not animation, not a readable comic, it’s something different. End of whining, end of discussion, take it or leave it.

    This Spider-Woman motion comic is: quality. Maleev and crew putting extra effort into giving you something awesome, if you can just accept that it’s something different. If you can’t accept that, if you insist on not having anything to do with it, that’s fine. You’re just a dinosaur!

  35. Episode 1 of SW is free to watch for a limited time from Marvel here:


  36. I enjoyed it fine.

  37. anybody remember those he-man cartoons that weren’t actually cartoons but cameras panning across storybook pages?

     i actually really enjoyed this. except the voice actors need to tone it down. way too intense. one of the awesomest things about alias was the laid-back, eye-rolling way jessica would confront these crazy superhero situations. 

  38. I didn’t realize it, but this is available via Hulu.com.

    So far there are 5 episodes listed, and you can check it out for free at: