There will be spoilers for the new Spider-Woman series.
When Marvel relaunched their line last year, they jumped forward into continuity by eight months. The relaunched Spider-Woman, written by Dennis Hopeless and illustrated by Javier Rodriguez (note: my #1 reason for buying the book) had a simple hook for the new direction: she was pregnant.
Instantly, I as a reader who had been following Spider-Woman since the last series asked, "So who's the dad?" After all, in the entire previous series, Spider-Woman didn't have a love interest. And if it weren't going to be a big reveal, why would they hide the identity of the dad? They even make a point of hiding it early on at the expense of a certain Armored Avenger.
The story takes Jessica Drew into an intergalactic hospital, where she's sitting with a bunch of alien soon-to-be moms. And I, for one, considered the possibility that the dad was an alien character we've met before.
And yet, when Spider-Woman gives birth in the story, the baby is perfectly human.
And at the end of the story, Jessica finally comes clean to Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel). There is no dad.
She was dating someone and was disappointed at a negative pregnancy test. So she got a donor.
Motherhood wasn't something that happened to Jessica Drew. She chose it.
And Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez made us dwell on the identity of the dad, thinking the dad was the point of the story. But they did the most mundane payoff possible, and I wouldn't have it any other way. The story was never about who the father was. The story was always about Jessica Drew, a woman who chose to have a child. And if we paid attention to the story, that was always the point. But we focused too much on what wasn't there — the dad — to see it.