In an alternate reality, Gwendolyn Stacy, rather than Peter Parker, was bitten by that fateful spider.  Now, we once again return to that world and the adventures of the Amazing Spider-Woman!  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: “As a teenager, Gwen Stacy went to a demonstration on radioactivity and was bitten by a mutated spiders.  The bite transformed her, granting her amazing powers: A precognitive awareness of danger, adhesive fingertips and toes, and the proportional speed and strength of a spider.  To the residents New York, she is the dangerous vigilante called Spider-Woman, but you know her as…

Spider-Gwen!”

IN A WORLD VERY LIKE OUR OWN

This issue opens back in the alternate New York City that Gwen calls home, as recurring villain The Bodega Bandit once again targets a local grocery in the hopes of getting his payoff: Corndogs.  This minor larceny is interrupted by something much worse, as a strange, red-eyed shadow comes up out of the sewers at the scent of the dogs.  Meanwhile, Gwen Stacy wakes up late for work, and though her web-slinging powers should allow her to get their in no time, she quickly find that the nozzles are clogged with old fluid, making it impossible for her to use them.  (Interestingly, she makes a reference to “Ms. Van Dyne” who has something to do with the shooters, probably a reference to an alternate Wasp.)  In other alternate duplicate news, George Stacy (having learned that his daughter is the web-head) tries to stop the Spider-Woman task force from taking her out with extreme prejudice, thanks to the group’s new ramrods, Jean De Wolff and Captain Frank Castle.  The universe-building is in full force here (which makes sense, given that this is Gwen’s third #1 issue in the space of a year-and-a-half) and LaTour seems to take great joy in subtly teasing us with things that are different in this world’s history…

BASICALLY A CLASSIC SPIDER-MAN STORY

Still, for all those changes (including a shocking riff on the identity of The Lizard), this book reads like a good old-fashioned Spidey book from cover to cover, including a little hard-luck, conflict with authority figures and parents, as well as some angst about her lost love.  The art is once again excellent, as Robbie Rodriguez gives us great city-scapes, some monstery monsters and a lovely, claustrophobic sequence in the subways of New York that leads to both creepiness and a surprising (and wonderful) last page reveal.  If that *is* who I think it is (in both senses of the “who”), then this series may finally be opening up Gwen’s world to a larger reality, which I’m really sort of fine with.  There’s an old tradition of “alternate universe” stories at Marvel (featuring the likes of Squadron Supreme, Mutant X, and this book’s spiritual successor, Spider-Girl), and while sometimes they outgrow their britches, it’s always fascinating to see what twists and turns these worlds have in store…

THE BOTTOM LINE: STILL GOOD STUFF

Spider-Gwen is one of those ‘lighting-in-a-bottle’ things that happen occasionally in comics, initially catching the fans imaginations with the elevator pitch (and the great costume), but LaTour’s story and Rodriguez’ art are showing us that Spider-Gwen is more than just a flash in the pan.  Wait, no, Flash is with the other guys…  Bygones.  Either way, Spider-Gwen #1 is effective as a first issue reintroduction, but builds on the strengths of what has come before, earning a very impressive 4 out of 5 stars overall.  I don’t know if this book is going to be as long-term a prospect as Spider-Girl turned out to be, but if it stays this creatively successful, I’m willing to stick around and find out…

[taq_review][signoff predefined=”PayPal Donation” icon=”icon-cog”][/signoff]
Share.

About Author

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.

3 Comments

  1. One of the best costumes, I´ve seen in long, long time but the first run didnt catch my interest for some reason. Well, nothing is everyone´s cup of tea.

  2. This was a great issue #6 but no so great #1. I’m glad the creative team is the same and it feels like nothing has changed since the hiatus, which for once is a good thing.

    • Well, yeah. Marvel´s numbering is basically just a marketing gimmick now and they keep doing it as long as #1´s sell.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.