Hello interweb, Nate here. So since this is the last Friday before Non-Comic Month starts I decided I wanted to review the recently released Spider-Gwen #1 (see that review here), but I know that some of you guys probably haven’t read Edge of Spider-Verse #2 which is the first comic to introduce the Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman character and if I would review Spider-Gwen #1 without reviewing Edge of Spider-Verse #2 then you guys would probably be lost. No just as an FYI, I haven’t actually bought these comics (even though I probably will next time I go to my local comic store) and I actually read them free on YouTube thanks to the channel House of RM. You can check out the channel here, you can read Edge of Spider-verse #2 here, and you can read Spider-Gwen #1 here, all for free. So I’m posting both reviews today for your enjoyment. Now let the review begin!
What You Need to Know
Spider-Verse was a Marvel crossover event that involved all the Spider-Men and Spider-Women from all the different universes to come together and save all of reality. I actually have not read much of Spider-Verse as between Spider-Verse, Original Sins, and Axis I kinda felt overwhelmed by all the events Marvel has been doing (which is actually a common annoyance amongst Marvel fans) to read them. In fact, Edge of Spider-Verse #2 was the only Spider-Verse story that I read. All of the Edge of Spider-Verse comics are their individual stories that lead up to the Spider-Verse event by showing you the different Spider-People of the Marvel Multiverse. So if you haven’t read Edge of Spider-Verse #1 then don’t worry about it as you’ll still be able to understand the story here.
Writer: Jason Latour
Artist: Robbi Rodriguez
Colorist: Rico Renz
Characters Introduced In This Issue
Spider-Woman (Gwen Stacy): So in the main Marvel Universe, or Earth-616, Peter Parker got bitten by the spider and gained spider powers and Gwen Stacy (who was his original love interest) died later. Well in this universe, Earth-65, Gwen gets bitten by the spider instead and Lizard/Peter dies (look at The Story section for more info on that). So in this universe, Peter Parker is basically Gwen’s Uncle Ben as her best friend dying due to her irresponsibility causes her to become Spider-Woman.
-Powers and Abilities: This universe and Earth-616 is basically the same universe until the point in time where Peter got bitten as Gwen got bitten instead. As a result, she has all the powers of the original Spider-man: superhuman strength, superhuman speed, superhuman reflexes, superhuman agility, Spider-sense to warn her of incoming danger, wall crawling, and webbing. In fact I think the webbing is organic in this version as they never indicated that she or Peter made the web-shooters in this universe.
Captain George Stacy: Captain Stacy is Gwen’s father and police officer. Throughout the story it’s made perfectly clear that Captain Stacy not only distrusts Spider-Woman but wants her arrested for the murder of Peter.
-Powers and Abilities: Due to being a normal human, he has no superhuman powers. But he is a cop so it’s safe to assume that he is knowledgeable of the law and has police training.
Mary Jane Watson: Called by her friends as Em Jay, Mary Jane is one of Gwen’s close friends and is the lead singer of their band The Mary Janes.
-Powers and Abilities: Since she’s a normal human she has no superhuman abilities and she has not shown any combat skills. But she does have musical talent as she’s the lead singer of the band.
Matt Murdock (Daredevil): We only see him for a page or two but I though he may play an important role in the future.
-Powers and Abilities: If he’s the same in this universe as Earth-616 then he’s a blind lawyer. Due to being blind, Matt Murdock has enhanced senses (with the obvious exception of sight) and is highly knowledgeable of martial arts. Also due to being a lawyer he is knowledgeable of the law.
Aleksei Sytsevich: Aleksei is a mercenary who seems to be acquaintances with Matt Murdock.
-Powers and Abilities: He seems to have some degree of strength but not to the degree as Spider-Woman.
The issue starts with Mary Jane, Gwen Stacy, and two of their friends as they’re practicing for their band: The Mary Janes, with Gwen on the drums. As they’re practicing we see a flashback of what has happened in this universe leading up to now. In said flashback, we can see that Gwen got bitten by the radioactive spider and became Spider-Woman, due to being bullied Peter Parker took the Lizard serum and Gwen was forced to kill him, and now Spider-Woman is a wanted criminal. While Gwen is thinking about the past events her friends are trying to get her attention as she was continuing to play the drums despite them stopping. They ask her what’s up but she’s refusing to say anything.
We then see Gwen sitting on the roof of a tall building thinking about all the secrets she’s keeping as she calls her dad and put ear-buds in. She then gets into her Spider-Woman costume and swings around the city while talking to her dad (won’t all he hear is a bunch of wind?). Her dad tells her that she should leave the band and focus on her college work now that she’s out of High School only for her to tell him that she loves the band.
They hang up and the next thing we see is a cop pointing a gun straight at Spider-Woman and telling her to freeze. She tries to get the cop to calm down but he begins shooting at her. Of course Gwen’s now fast enough to evade every bullet. She then webs up both his hands to a wall and uses his walkie-talkie to call someone to get him. As she leaves him behind a helicopter shows up and threatens to shoot her. She then proceeds to run away, evading every bullet.
We then cut to two people at a restaurant: one revealed to be Aleksei Sytsevich and the other one is revealed to be Matt Murdock. Matt is asking Aleksei to take out Captain Stacy as it would not only help out Spider-Woman but also get Captain Stacy off the streets.
Back at the concert, the Mary Janes are ready to go on stage but they’re missing Gwen. Well the show must go on so they decide to try going without her. We then see Gwen as she’s trying to change out of her Spider-Woman suite as fast as she can. Captain Stacy is disappointment that Gwen didn’t make it but just then Aleksei shows up and punches him in the head. He’s about to hit him again but Gwen, now back in her Spider-Woman uniform, webs up his hand and makes him miss. The Aleksei is confused on why she’s stopping him as he’s supposibly helping her, but they proceed to fight each other until Gwen knocks him out (and through a brick wall).
Next we see Captain Stacy, with blood trickling down the side of his head, pointing a gun at Spider-Woman. Spider-Woman tries to reason with him but he’s intent on arresting her right then and there, and even if he doesn’t arrest her there he vows to lock her up eventually. She then takes off her mask and reveals that Spider-Woman is his very own daughter. She then explains to him that she was irresponsible with her powers and that caused her best friend to get killed. Now she wants to use her powers to protect people but she can’t do that in a prison cell. Captain Stacy then tells her to leave before more cops get there and the issue ends with Spider-Woman swinging away.
“You’re a good cop, dad. You put on that badge and carry that gun because you know if you don’t someone who shouldn’t will. When I put on this mask, I only did it– –because it freed me from responsibility. I thought I was special. And Peter Parker died because he tried to follow my example. I have to take responsibility for that. To make his death mean something. But I can’t do it in a jail cell. This mask is my badge now. If I don’t define what it means… monsters like this will. This is where I’m needed most.”
-Spider-Woman (Gwen Stacy)
I really like the art in this comic. It’s full of bright colors but there done in a way that makes it nice to look at rather than uncomfortable. I also like how whenever the Mary Janes are playing, the lyrics and music isn’t in a speech bubble but is in pink as it’s made very clear in this comic that music is an important part of Gwen’s life and I think that’s where they where going for.
And the character designs are all done well. If you’ve already have seen My Top 10 Favorite Spider-man Suites then you know that her costume in this is probably my favorite Spider-man costume I have seen. First off, I love the hoodie. Not only do I think the hoodie is a cool idea for a superhero costume it it also fits her Gwen’s personality in this book as she has this punk-girl thing going on. And the color scheme is also really nicely done as it’s mostly white and black with little bit of pink for the webbing pattern.
Even if you haven’t read Spider-Verse and not interested in reading it, I’d highly suggest you check this comic out if your a Spider-man fan or you just like Gwen Stacy. The best way to describe this comic is probably: “fun”. It’s a fun little “what if” story in what if Gwen got bitten instead of Peter. I also really like how they integrated the musical aspect into the comic. It’s serves not only as a way to get to know our main character more but it also gets the characters we need to know together so we can learn about them as well.
If I would to rate this issue on a scale of 1-5: 1=it’s terrible, 2=it’s not good, 3=it’s ok, 4=its pretty good, and 5=awesome.
Characters: 5 – All the characters where likable and their goals and motivations where explained very nicely. We have a likable main character that I could definitely read more of and an interesting supporting cast. What else could you want?
Story: 4 – The story was a very interesting “What if” scenario where Gwen Stacy got bitten instead of Peter. Definitely a story I would like to continue reading just to see where it goes.
Art: 5 – Love the art, love the designs, love the artist.
Comic: 4.5 – Definitely a must buy for any Spidey fan