Spider-Gwen, Spider-Gwen, does whatever a spider can
I’ve been anticipating the kickoff of Spider-Gwen ever since the series was announced, and it all happened because we comic book fans are passionate. Yes, we can get angry and lash out a lot, but when something comes along that speaks to us, we take it in with open arms and every creative outlet we can. And Spider-Gwen spoke to a hell of a lot of people.
Story: Jason Latour
Art: Robbi Rodriguez
Variant Cover: Skottie Young
Publisher: Marvel Comics
SPIDER-GWEN SPINS INTO HER OWN SERIES! BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT!
The breakout hit of the biggest Spider-Event of the century is taking comic shops by storm this winter with her own new ongoing series – SPIDER-GWEN! Gwen Stacy is Spider-Woman, but you knew that already. What you DON’T know is what friends and foes are waiting for her in the aftermath of Spider-Verse! From the fan-favorite creative team that brought you Spider-Gwen’s origin story in EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE, Jason Latour and Robbie Rodriguez!
A book this heavily anticipated and hyped has a lot to live up to, and I think the dynamite team of Latour and Rodriguez pulls it off. Spinning out the Edge of Spider-Verse event, Spider-Gwen refreshingly jumps in during the height of Gwen’s life as a hero/menace, with no ponderous origin story in sight. We’ve seen the same beats played over and over, no matter which alternate universe Spider story is being told, so I liked that the story picks up right after Edge of Spider-Verse #2.
First off, I really, really love the art. Rodriguez has a style that is all his own, at times stylistic but not so much so that the art is confused or rushed. The color work really sells it for me; it’s at times vibrant, at times muted, but always working to enhance the art, not overpowering it. I still love Gwen’s costume design, the white working as a stark contrast against the color surrounding it, setting Gwen apart from the world at a single glance.
A few pieces of the story are set in this issue, introducing the Vulture as the main villain. Not too much to go on there, but it does provide some delightful puns. I’m more interested in how Gwen and her father’s relationship will be worked out, as well as her relationship with The Mary Janes. This verse’s MJ isn’t quite the girl we all know and love, but it’s fun seeing her in such a state – is it because she was in love with Peter before he died, perhaps? I’m so curious to learn more about her.
As with any alternate universe stories, the fun is in picking up on new versions of old characters we’re used to seeing. Frank Castle as a cop/interrogator! The Thing as a beat cop (Yancey Street shout out!)! Foggy Nelson working as at the D.A.’s office… eh, not much difference there, I think.
I’m also choosing to believe the Bodega Bandit is this universe’s version of Paste Pot Pete. DON’T TRY TO CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE.
The final shot of the issue was another scene that was familiar but didn’t quite hit me right away. Different villain, different circumstances and certainly will have a different outcome, but I was still unsettled by the image of Gwen falling in that particular pose.
Overall, Spider-Gwen #1 mixes up old favorites with new ideas and takes on the Spidey story, and I enjoyed it a lot. It’s hard to tell where the story will go and if it will keep up this pace, but I’m hooked and I’m here for the long run. I highly recommend picking it up if you haven’t already, and reading along with Face It, Tiger playing.
(We’ve been celebrating Spider-Gwen all week! Be sure to check out our interview with the real life band behind The Mary Janes, Married with Sea Monsters.)