In a world somewhat like the Marvel Universe, it was Gwendolyn Stacy, not Peter Parker who was bitten by a radioactive insect during a science exhibition.  Never before has the phrased “because you demanded it” been greeted with quite so much instant gratification…  Your Major Spoilers review of Spider-Gwen #1 awaits!

Spider-Gwen1CoverSPIDER-GWEN #1
Writer: Jason LaTour
Artist: Robbie Rodriguez
Colorist: Rico Renzi
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Spider-Gwen: The Spider-Verse crossover brought a lot of alternate Spider-totems (I call the “Parallel Parkers”) out of the woodwork, but the one that has gotten the most attention is young Gwen Stacy, the Spider-Woman of another world.  Now, she returns to her home world to find out what has transpired in her absence and to try and pick up her life where it left off, before she traveled through time and space and nearly got eaten by a jerk in a cravat…

I think the thing that I love most is that the book starts with a “Previously” section, showing us a little bit of Gwen’s life, pre-Spider-Verse.

IN A WORLD NOT QUITE LIKE OUR OWN

This issue opens with a group of taggers defacing a billboard, only to get interrupted by “Officer Grimm”, who reminds them that he used to be a part of the Yancy Street Gang, as well, but that their shenanigans won’t be tolerated.  Immediately, I was reminded of the Weapon X series from around the turn of the century, where Havok was teleported into an alternate world to meet various and sundry versions of the characters we know.  Spider-Woman (I just can’t bring myself to call her Spider-Gwen all the time) has returned home to her New York, and finds that things are pretty much the same:  Mayor Jameson hates her, there’s a new villain on the loose called The Vulture, her friends are mad at her, Mary Jane still wants her out of the band, and she gets no respect even from the man whose cash register she retrieves from a robber.  In short, it’s a classic Spider-Man story with a new protagonist, and a few twists.  We do meet Officer Frank Castle, as well as some other familiar faces, but the basis of the story is to put us smack in the life of Spider-Woman and let her be heroic and awesome…

HOME LIFE IS STILL A MESS, TOO

Of course, her dad isn’t happy with her, having discovered that his daughter is the Spider-Woman.  And, of course, the last couple of pages don’t bode well, either.  But all in all, it’s an exciting first issue, and the art is first-rate stuff.  Even the drama-filled lives of the members of the Mary Janes (who are all, I think, Spider-Man’s exes in the mainstream reality) is compelling stuff, and even with some familiar plot points in place, it doesn’t feel like an exact clone of a classic Parker tale.  Gwen’s dialogue is snappy throughout the issue, especially in her sparring with The Vulture, and there’s a certain satisfaction in knowing that this book might be free of some of the massive crossover madness that permeates Marvel.  That strength is also the weakest part of this issue for me, though, because while it’s nice to see Foggy Nelson, Ben Grimm and others in new roles, it may become difficult to differentiate them in the long run.  (See: The Ultimate Universe, and some of the inconsistencies that happened when characters suddenly reverted to a state just like their 616 counterpart.)

THE BOTTOM LINE: A GOOD START

Even with that caveat in place, though, this is a kinetic, clever fun adventure that makes good use of its alternate-universe setting.  The costume is amazing, but more importantly, the woman inside it is worth reading about and is well-used within these pages, even if she has no use for the likes of the Bodega Bandit and The Vulture.  All in all, Spider-Gwen #1 is an impressive start to a book that fans clamored to see, with excellent art and an amazing cover, making for a darn fine premiere and 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.  Fingers crossed that somehow Mary Jane becomes a Green Goblin…

In a world somewhat like the Marvel Universe, it was Gwendolyn Stacy, not Peter Parker who was bitten by a radioactive insect during a science exhibition.  Never before has the phrased "because you demanded it" been greeted with quite so much instant gratification...  Your Major Spoilers review of Spider-Gwen #1 awaits! SPIDER-GWEN #1 Writer: Jason LaTour Artist: Robbie Rodriguez Colorist: Rico Renzi Letterer: VC's Clayton Cowles Editor: Nick Lowe Publisher: Marvel Comics Cover Price: $3.99 Previously in Spider-Gwen: The Spider-Verse crossover brought a lot of alternate Spider-totems (I call the "Parallel Parkers") out of the woodwork, but the one that has…
An energetic start for the character the fans went nuts for...

SPIDER-GWEN #1

Writing
Art
Coloring

An energetic start for the character the fans went nuts for...

User Rating: 3.57 ( 5 votes)
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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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3 Comments

  1. Chris
    February 26, 2015 at 1:06 pm — Reply

    This is the Spider-Woman book we should have gotten months ago. Great opening issue that has little to no ties to other books/events.

  2. Alisha
    February 26, 2015 at 3:26 pm — Reply

    Despite being somewhat interested in this title, I wasn’t in any hurry to get my hands on it. Now after the review, though, I’m a bit more motivated to get my own copy sooner rather than waiting for a collected TPB or just hoping an issue comes into my possession.

    I’m honestly surprised I wasn’t a little more hyped to begin with considering I do like alternate reality stories (such as “What If?”, DC’s “Elseworlds” and even the TV show “Sliders”).

  3. February 26, 2015 at 3:32 pm — Reply

    Wasn’t the alternate universe series with Havok called Mutant X?

    Been looking forward to this one, hoping to pick it up tonight!

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