Cover by: Robbi Rodriguez
Writer: Jason Latour
Artist: Robbi Rodriguez
Colorist: Rico Renzi
Reviewed by Slewo
Second issues can be an easy and difficult proposition in an ongoing comic book. Now that you’re free of setting up the world of the comic, you can now finally get to the meat and explore the world you’ve created. But you also still have to leave enough rope for someone just coming in to hang on. On both of these counts, the 2nd issue of Spider-Gwen succeeds magnificently. The story picks up immediately where the previous one’s cliffhanger left off. Without getting into spoilers, Jason Latour continues to let the lessons and experiences of Spider-Verse stick with Gwen, even now that she no longer has an army of Spider-Men to talk to, and in doing so continues to establish how different she is from other Spider-Men like Peter Parker, Miles Morales, and Miguel O’Hara.
While it’s well-trodden ground at this point in Spider-Man mythology, Latour uses the issue to reexamine how the guilt and burden Gwen carries as Spider-Woman has reshaped her life, and in effect just how much her actions have caused it to fall into disrepair. That being said, so much of the story wouldn’t work without Robbi Rodriguez’s art. While big action is a hallmark of a superhero comic, the comic’s best moments hinge on the superb acting and body language that Rodriguez provides for the characters.
That being said, the world building that goes into the comic is fantastic. A large part of problem with alternate universe comics in Marvel and DC is sufficiently distinguishing the new continuity of the original, keeping some overlap in character traits, but not also creating a rehash. In this the creative team of Spider-Gwen succeeds. While there are plenty of familiar names from the Marvel Universe to be found all of them are different in ways large and small from their original counterparts. It helps for Spider-Gwen to claim its own identity in all aspects of the comic, and affords it to spring its own surprises with characters people know bottom and up by now like Captain Stacy, Matt Murdock, or Frank Castle.
While this is a comic that a lot of people have hitched their wagon to, its happened for well-deserved reasons. This comic may be the next big thing, but this is one of those rare times where popularity and quality are in synchronization. This is a creative team that could simply have done Emma Stone in a Spider-Woman costume and left it at that, but instead it revamped her from the bottom up into a character that channels the spirit of the Spider-Man mythos but redefines it for the 21st century. Definitely go out and get it, even if you’ve missed the first issue.
5 out of 5 cane taps