Kicking Ass While Pregnant

Psst! If you’re looking for the sneak preview of Spider-Woman #5, jump ahead here.

UPDATE 7.7.16: The full arc of Spider Woman becoming a mom is now available in this Baby Talk collection.

Jessie and Dennis Hopeless were 23 when they got married, and just launching their careers—her as a tattoo artist; him as a comic book writer. That’s their work below.


Neither one of them was into the idea of having kids. But then, a decade later they decided to try to get pregnant. And did. With twins.


Of course, taking care of two babies wasn’t always as easy as they make it look up above. Watching Jessie struggle through pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding made Dennis want to write a comic based on her early motherhood experiences. Soon after the boys were born, Dennis was asked to come up with a new story arc for Marvel’s Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman. The first thing he said was, “Can she be pregnant?” His editor kinda laughed it off. But weeks later, Dennis was writing Marvel’s first pregnant title character.

SWOMAN Jessica Averting Hostage Situation-1-detail

Early in this series, Spider-Woman takes a break from fighting crime as she prepares to become a mom. But she can’t stay off the job for long. While waiting for a check-up at the hospital, she is forced to do some major ass-kicking, saving humanity from evil Skrulls.

SWOMAN Jessica's Water Breaks Mid-Fight-2

Parts of the book are way more real than sci-fi. Like when she gets a c-section. (Granted, the doctors are aliens.)

SWOMAN C-Section and Immediately After-detail

Tune in to this episode to hear Dennis and Jessie Hopeless talking about their own alien-like hospital experience, and the times when they’ve felt most like parent-superheroes. Hint: you’ll find out why their babies wound up in only diapers, with trash bags tied around their necks, while going through customs.


Spider-Woman Issue #5: Debuting Here!
Yes, right here! At this time, you can’t see these pages anywhere else. Issue 5 covers Spider-Woman’s first couple of months with her baby. She’s on superhero maternity leave, trying to live a normal life as a single mom. Check out a five-page preview below. And find the rest of the Spider-Woman series here.

Click on images to view larger versions.




Spider-Woman-005Pg10 11


What parenting superpower do you wish YOU had? When have you felt like a superhero?
Kapow! Tell all. Below.

Spider-Woman comics: Dennis Hopeless & Javier Rodriguez/Marvel Entertainment; Jessie tattooing: Melissa Hines; Kids in cribs: Alea Lovely

Our sponsors for this episode are Squarespace, Audible, and Thirdlove. Use the promo code LONGSHORT at checkout for a special discount.

15 thoughts on “EPISODE #76: Kicking Ass While Pregnant

  1. The new #5 just came out today and I just ran out to buy new series (#1-#5). I am due with my first baby in 8 days and I am stowing them away as a special treat for my hubby in my hospital bag. I have never read a comic book in my life, but he loved them growing up. I am actually looking forward to reading these, and it will hopefully give him something fun to focus on while he rocks the baby during those first days. :-) This was such a fun change of pace and such a bad-ass presentation of super-hero moms!

  2. It’s always nice when two passions cross, in this case comics and parenting. Looking forward to picking up the new Spider-Woman and also more great episodes from you.

    “No, my doula is *not* oblongata.” That’s a keeper that I somehow need to work into real life.

  3. I specialise in buying graphic novels for over 200 libraries in Australia and I can’t wait to get these! As a mother of two (without super hero powers) I took refuge in reading comics through the hard days.
    I’m so glad I now know the origin of the “Hopeless” surname – I’ve often wondered, when buying titles for libraries, how someone could end up with such an “unusual” surname!

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