Kit is taking over the weekly comic book review because Adam is in the unenviable position of attempting to finish off his PhD.
“Heeeere, Lizzy, Lizzy, Lizzzzy–” – Spider-Gwen
Warning: minor spoilers.
I’ll be carrying on covering the Weekly Comic Book Reviews by picking up another of the All New All Different Marvel initiative. This time it’ll be Spider-Gwen #1! Adam reviewed the previous Spider-Gwen first issue, which came out earlier this year (you can find that review here). It proved to be quite the success, fans taking to the new take on a Spider-Hero well. We have the same creative team behind the relaunch post-Secret Wars, with Jason Latour writing, Robbi Rodriguez on art, Rico Renzi providing colours and letters from Clayton Cowles, so we should expect the same quality as before.
In case you missed it before the idea behind Spider-Gwen is in her world, Earth 65, it was Gwen Stacey who was bitten by a spider, not Peter Parker. In her world her friend Peter became jealous of her powers and, with the help of Dr Conners, became Earth 65’s equivalent of the Lizard. This comic starts with, and actually runs throughout, a recap of Spider-Gwen’s past. Needless to say things didn’t end well for Lizard-Parker.
In the present a convenience store owner is ‘robbed’ and whilst the villain’s sidekick is making his… getaway… the store is attacked by the Lizard. When the morning comes around, Gwen wakes up late for work. We get a feel for her as a person while she panics and tries to beat the rush hour. Which she does by dressing up as Spider-Gwen and riding on the side of a bus. Whilst catching up with her dad of course. Her father works in the NYPD as a detective and knows his daughter’s secret identity. We also pick up in this world that Frank Castle gets to shoot people legally! Well, not as the Punisher, he’s a cop working alongside Captain Stacey in charge of the Spider-Woman case. Once Gwen gets to her first day of work we find that she was due to work in that very convenience store. She tries to hunt down Dr Conners, but finds him missing. We get a lot of flashback now, getting to see what life used to be like for Gwen and her relationship with Peter.
The comic ends with her making her way down to the sewers to confront the Lizard. However, she gets more than she bargained for, not just in the enemy she’s up against, but it seems a certain Avenger is out trying to track her down. Although they are a little different in this world too!
The art itself of course looks great, in line with the style of the previous Spider-Gwen run. The flashbacks all have a slight tinge to the colour scheme in the panels, showing them as non-current events. I would criticise this choice slightly, it took me a moment the first time to realise it was a flashback!
Overall it’s a decent first book. It’s been set up as a jumping on point for new readers, as expected from an issue 1 reboot. Although I think it does this a little too heavy-handedly. I hadn’t read any of the first Spider-Gwen series, but did have a rough idea of the concept behind it. As a new comer it felt like there were a couple too many flash backs, I’d have rather had a bit more current content and getting to know Gwen and her world in the present day. I’d also have liked to see a new villain, once we know she’s already dealt with the Lizard once.
Still, it’s well worth a read if you like the Spider-Heroes and want to see where they’re going with her character.
Final Score – 7.5 Busted Web Shooters out of 10!