Review: Edge of Spiderverse #2: Spider-Woman
Written by JASON LATOUR
Art and Cover by ROBBI RODRIGUEZ
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
GWEN STACY: SPIDER-WOMAN! In one universe, it wasn’t Peter Parker bitten by the radioactive Spider, but Gwen Stacy! She’s smart, charming and can lift a car– Just don’t tell her Police Chief father! How is she involved in Spider-Verse? Seeds of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9 are planted here!
I’ve been looking forward to this ever since the solicitation came out. The costume design is so striking and the first previews of Robbi Rodriguez’s artwork was astounding and almost completely unlike what we’ve begun to expect from a Spider-Man comic. Jason Latour is already a great writer, not to mention a great artist, and I went in expecting a damn fine comic. I certainly wasn’t disappointed. When the weakest part of the story is the recap of the protagonist’s origin, and that has you wanting to read those stories, then we have something special.
Gwen gets fleshed out as a character in these twenty pages better than she ever did in 90 issues of comics she first appeared in. She became a legend, and Latour makes her a real person that we almost instantly care about. Her relationship to her father becomes the focal point for the story, even though much more conflict comes into play. She’s defined by her relationship to Peter Parker not as his girlfriend, but as the person he wanted to emulate, which led to his death. Gwen carries the responsibility for that in the same way that our Spider-Man carries the death of his Uncle Ben. It defines her, without her constantly brooding over it.
I liked the inclusion of Matt Murdock but suspect that if this were a continuing series, we’d see something more complex than his role here. Gwen’s band, the Mary Janes, contains some of the best female characters ever associated with Spider-Man, and I suspect that if this were a continuing title, we’d see Gwen’s relationships with them be as important as Spider-Man’s is with his supporting cast. Latour captures everything that makes for a great Spider-Man comic that so many writers forget to focus on action and one-sided conversations with a love interest.
Robbi Rodriguez is amazing, and the colors by Rico Renzi make this comic a thrill to look at. I’m now going out to find more of Rodriguez’s work to admire, and one of these days, the industry and fans at large will recognize what Rico and colorists like him add to books.
That brings me to my one criticism of this book. Why the hell is this a one-shot? I want to at least see a mini-series with this character by this creative team! I think Jason Latour is essential this character at this point, just because so many writers don’t see Gwen as a person but as a legend. Latour made her real, and someone that we care about. We feel the angst and responsibility that she has. A choice of artists has to be carefully made if Marvel follows this up with more stories, but doesn’t include Rodriguez. Greg Land’s variant cover is not capturing the quality that is captured here, as his take on the character is completely wrong. I want more of this character, but I’m perfectly happy not getting it if Marvel can’t get it as right as Latour, Rodriguez, and Renzi did here, and that is rare in comics.