“Spider Gwen #1” does more than a Spider-Man can! REVIEW
Written by: Jason Latour
Art by: Robbi Rodriguez
Colors by: Rico Renzi
We are truly in the progressive age of comics with titles being led by Sam Wilson as Captain America, a Muslim Ms. Marvel in Kamala Kahn, and a female Thor. While all these books have been great and an integral part for the push comic’s forward movement, I never thought the crowing Jewel of this moment in comics history would be the return of Gwen Stacy. Much less as an alternate take on Spider-Woman, even if it’s not in the 616 Marvel Universe! Gwen has always been my favorite female in comics created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1965, Gwen was intelligent, sweet, witty, clever, and stunningly beautiful in an era in comics when most women where seen only as love objects. The love shared by Peter and Gwen is as pure as only first young loves can be and was taken away from readers in 1973 by Norman Osborn. Now after nearly 40 years Gwen Stacy is back in the comic zeitgeist in a big way with Spider Gwen #1.
Spider-Gwen was introduced in the now extremely valuable Edge of Spider-Verse #2 in the fall of 2014. Finally landing in her own book Spider Gwen may be described by some as a hipster book due the stories focus on underground music and the popping colors of Rico Renzi. Gwen is the drummer for a band called the Mary Janes, I will let you guess who the lead singer is! In her universe Peter died as the Lizard, Matt Murdock is corrupt, and Frank Castle is a prison guard. Jason Latour’s approach to this book drops you right into a World where Gwen Stacy has been Spider-Woman for a bit rather than getting bogged down in origin story territory. This approach keeps the flow of the book smooth, and focused on her main encounter with the Vulture who Spider Gwen antagonizes through graffiti art.
While Latour makes Spider Gwen her own character for this book he never loses the core components of the Gwen Stacy character. Her relationship with her father Captain George Stacy who is alive and well here in this universe plays a key part in this story, and her intelligence is used for the purpose of detective work that we don’t see Peter Parker utilize much these days. The dynamic set up by this book between Captain Stacy and Gwen would be best described as what if Jim Gordon was Batman’s dad and knew Bruce Wayne was Batman. This unique premise should set up many Amazing Spider Gwen stories to come over the course of 2015.
The big question now is what happens to Spider Gwen after Secret Wars? Marvel now faces the challenge of one of their most popular characters existing in an alternate Universe, something that the Secret Wars event has promised to squash. While Speaking to Jason Latour at a signing at Heroes Aren’t Hard to find in Charlotte, NC this past weekend the writer claimed that the current plan isn’t to bring Spider-Gwen in the post Secret Wars Marvel Universe. He then went on to say but you never know. So there is a chance that after nearly 40 years a main Marvel Universe with Peter and Gwen could happen.
This comic book came out February 25th, 2015!