Kaitlyn Booth

Spider-Gwen #1 Continues Gwen Stacy’s Revival From Dead Love Interest To Hero

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Spider-Gwen #1, written by Jason Latour and drawn by Robbi Rodriguez, is the second spin off to come from the Spider-Verse event and continues the story of Gwen Stacy: Spider-Woman in a new ongoing series.

Spider-Gwen #1 cover by Robbi Rodriguez from Marvel.com

Spider-Gwen #1

WRITER: Jason Latour
ARTIST: Robbi Rodriguez
COLORIST: Rico Renzi
LETTERER: VC’s Clayton Cowles
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE DATE: February 25, 2014
Have a copy of Spider-Gwen #1 (2nd Printing) sent to your doorstep! It’ll probably be attached to the actual door with some web on it.

The first comic review I wrote for WatchPlayRead was a review of Edge of the Spider-Verse #2 where I said that Gwen Stacy is going to be Marvel’s new leading lady. I was a little wrong if only in the sense that I didn’t know she would be sharing this title with Cindy Moon, AKA Silk. I was very pleased with Edge of the Spider-Verse #2 because it read like an entire arc worth of backstory in the midst of about half an issue. I would recommend picking up that issue to fully understand Gwen’s story thus far, though writer Jason Latour does give us a brief induction in the first pages.

Gwen Stacy has returned to her own world after dealing with the events of the Spider-Verse. Her police captain father knows who she is now, but Gwen is reluctant to contact him. She’s frustrated because the police are keen on hunting her down, still convinced she murdered Peter, but while she was gone fighting in the war the tabloids were asking where she was. Gwen just wants to be accepted by her city but her absence hasn’t put a lot of faith in the people or the friends that she left behind. When a villain attacks a police officer, Gwen sees the perfect opportunity to prove to her city that she’s one of the good guys.

I spoke very highly of Edge of the Spider-Verse #2, and not just because I’m desperately wanting some new faces in the Marvel universe. Spider-Gwen #1 isn’t really a number one as I said, since this isn’t really her introduction. In some ways this helps the issue to avoid the slow pace that so many #1’s seem to the suffer from. This is something that Spider-Gwen and Silk both have to their advantage; they get to hit the ground running since this is a spin off from an event that just so happens to feature a new character. I love the concept of Spider-Gwen because it subverts so many of the typical archetypes. It’s her boyfriend that is killed and that event is her motivation to continue, and she is blamed for his death. Despite that she continues to try and fight back. To try and a deal with that pain and guilt.

Gwen has been one of the defining characters for the “women in refrigerator” trope, and it’s lovely to see her come into her own as a character. Unless you’re a Spider-Man fan over the age of 40, Gwen has been dead in the main Marvel universe your entire life. She only became famous because she died, and she never had an existence aside from being Peter Parker’s girlfriend who dies. This Gwen very much has a voice as she taunts this universe’s version of the Vulture out of hiding by spray painting “death by butts” on a building. Gwen is snarky but unlike Peter who can sometimes be too quippy, her attitude is a welcome change that feels very modern.

As I said writer Jason Latour steps into the shoes of Spider-Gwen with such ease you’d think he’s been writing this character for years. The only thing that this first issue is lacking is any indication as to where the arc of the story is going, but he adds enough to the background that I’m very interested. There are a few fan favorites from the Marvel universe sprinkled throughout the book including Matt Murdock and Frank Castle. Gwen also makes a comment in reference to Peter Porker: Spider-Ham which is just amazing. Artist Robbi Rodriguez and colorist Rico Renzi give the book a very interesting look. Spray paint seems to be a running theme, and it makes bright colors stand against a dark background. Gwen’s costume is also beautiful with its bright white colors against the dark city and eye catching hood. The entire look is very striking as excellent design and color scheme blend together.

Aside from not really being a #1 issue and there not being a very clear indication as to where the story is going, I would recommend picking up Spider-Gwen #1. Once the Secret Wars event this summer smashes all of the Marvel universe into one, Spider-Gwen could become a major player. As it is now Spider-Gwen is a fun, edgy new look at a re-imagining of one the most famous dead characters in the Marvel universe as her own character and a hero.

Spider-Gwen #1 variant cover by Adam Hughes from Marvel.com

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