Review: Spider-Gwen #1

If there was one comic this week that everyone was looking forward to, it was Spider-Gwen #1. With Spiderverse over, the breakout star of it was a Spider-Woman from a parallel universe named Gwen Stacy. Her debut in Edge of Spiderverse #2 remains one of my favorite comics of all time. Did the first issue of her new series hold up?

STK663185Spider-Gwen #1

(W) Jason Latour
(A/CA) Robbi Rodriguez

Solicitation:

SPIDER-GWEN SPINS INTO HER OWN SERIES!

• BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT! The breakout hit of the biggest Spider-Event of the century is taking comic shops by storm this winter with her own new ongoing series – SPIDER-GWEN!
• Gwen Stacy is Spider-Woman, but you knew that already. What you DON’T know is what friends and foes are waiting for her in the aftermath of Spider-Verse!
• From the fan-favorite creative team that brought you Spider-Gwen’s origin story in EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE, Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez!
Rated T+

Spider-Gwen-001-015Review:

This really has the feel that I’ve missed for so long from Spider-Man. Gwen is distrusted, and her life seems to be falling apart. It almost is too depressing to see how much her world is coming unglued, but still she keeps going along because she’s seen what her world could be like. It seems like her model for the type of Spider-Woman she could be comes from none other than Peter Porker, which is impressive. The fact that her motivation for taking on the Vulture is not altogether altruistic is true to her character, but disappointing to see, as are her methods for luring him out.

Her villain for this issue is the Vulture and I must say that I found him to be a little too vicious, but seeing that his motivations come from sheer ego works and returns the Vulture to his roots. I liked him and the fact that Gwen is in over her head works here. Her line that “it’s all about ego, doesn’t just apply to the Vulture but to herself. Having seen what her world could be like, she’s acting like she believes that her world should be like that.It’s great when a comic book isn’t about what’s happening, but about why it’s happening. When I realized that was the story here, I gained a new respect for Jason Latour as a writer.

Robbi Rodriguez’s art is amazing and the Yancy Street Gang’s colors makes you wonder if there is a link between them and Gwen. I loved the little details slipped in, whether it was the nod to Spider-Man creator Steve Ditko, or the constant motion that Gwen seems to be in. He choreographs her moves here like he’s storyboarding a film. Even when her ever-present phone is out she’s drawn completely relatable, face down and focused on the 7 inch screen.

Rico Renzi’s colors are darker than usual here, which amplifies the darker tone of this story, but he still finds ways to lighten it up, and never lets the colors drag down or distract from the art.It’s hard to imagine how this book would look with any other colorist, because his touch is such an integral part of the comic.

We do get to see where some of the other familiar faces ended up in this universe, with Officer Grimm being the Vulture’s victim and the Spider-Woman case being given to Captain Frank Castle, but I was really wondering about how Matt Murdock ended up on the Kingpin’s payroll. I don’t think I expected Latour to tie up all the loose ends (see what I did there?) from the first comic, but what we got seemed somewhat lacking

Is there anything about it I didn’t like? I would have liked a little more going right for her. I want to root for Gwen Stacy, as I think most comic fans do. Even though this is an excellent comic that you should keep reading. Gwen’s motivations are distorted, but in that aspect she still reminds me of the Peter Parker I was introduced to, that was down on his luck and never quite getting it right, but always trying. I think that the first appearance was what it was, possibly the only shot we had of seeing this world, but this is the first step into it, where we get to see more facets of it, including how wonderfully flawed our hero is.