Kaitlyn Booth

Spider-Gwen #4 Is Gwen Stacy Confronting Her Guilt

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Spider-Gwen #4, written by Jason Latour and drawn by Robbi Rodriguez, is the story of Gwen seeking forgiveness for Peter’s death and realizing that maybe she can be Spider-Woman and Gwen at the same time.

Spider-Gwen #4
Spider-Gwen #4 cover by Robbi Rodriguez from Marvel.com

Spider-Gwen #4

WRITER: Jason Latour
ARTIST: Robbi Rodriguez
COLORIST: Rico Renzi
LETTERER: VC’s Clayton Cowles
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics

RELEASE DATE: May 6, 2015
Order a copy of Spider-Gwen #4 to be sent to your house, or else.

Gwen has spent the last three issues struggling with her new identity; she can’t do the right thing and be Spider-Woman. After the vulture attack on her family leaves Captain Stacy in need of somewhere to stay, Gwen has her first real face to face conversation with Peter’s family. She is dealing with the immense guilt from failing to protect Peter and she doesn’t know how to deal with it. She blames herself entirely, but Uncle Ben and Aunt May surprise her.

The driving force behind the Marvel 616 version of Peter Parker is guilt. When the character first started off he was dealing with a child’s guilt of failing to protect his loved one, Uncle Ben. In 1978 the Marvel universe moved forward in time as Peter entered college and Gwen Stacy died, thus becoming an adult’s guilt for failing to protect the woman he loved. This version of Gwen seems to falling somewhere in between since she is an adult, and while she cared deeply about Peter they haven’t outright said whether or not they were together. This issue was mostly about Gwen realizing that Uncle Ben and Aunt May don’t blame Spider-Woman for what happened to Peter. This is a step toward Gwen moving past her guilt which seems like it’s been holding her back.

We also got to see the damage inflicted on Captain Castle during his fight with Gwen in the previous issue and it’s getting people’s attention. Despite his injuries Castle comes back to work and orders everyone to get back to what they were doing. We don’t get to see more of Matt Murdock as the Kingpin but I hope it’s coming soon. In the letters section it was confirmed that Gwen will remain separate from the events of Secret Wars for now, which is a good thing; I want to see more of this world.

Jason Latour continues to write a great book as we watch Gwen slowly start to realize that maybe she can have a life and wear a mask at the same time. She needs her family and her friends despite how much she thinks she doesn’t which is such a common thing for young adults to do. There is the “I’m a grown up and I should be able to handle my life on my own” mentality that anyone in their early twenties can relate to. It’s not until we mature that we realize that just because we’re grown ups doesn’t mean we have to carry the weight of the world alone. I’m still very much enjoying the art by Robbi Rodriguez and the colors by Rico Renzi. They complement each other well as Renzi’s colors bring out Rodriguez’s design to give the book a very retro style. The theme of spray paint continues to pop up throughout the series adding splashes of colors to dark backgrounds.

Spider-Gwen #4 is the first issue that we’re seeing Gwen Stacy learn how to move past the guilt that made her pick up a mask in the first place. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes now that some of the guilt has been alleviated. This creative team continues to turn one of the most famous “fridgid” girlfriends into a new and interesting hero, and I love it.

Spider-Gwen #4

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