From the pages of Spider-Verse comes Gwen Stacy as Spider-Woman, set off in her own unique universe (at least until Secret Wars potentially screws that up). Her solo debut issue was huge and garnered a lot of praise and love from critics and comic fans alike. (And Marvel was more than ready to cash in.) Thus, Gwen’s new comic! Let’s see what it has in store for us.
Is it good?
Spider-Gwen #1 (Marvel Comics)
Following the events of Spider-Verse, Gwen has been trying to get back into the swing of things (pun)… of trying to be Spider-Woman again. She’s taking down petty thieves, sure — but it’s nothing that’ll likely change the public’s less than favorable perception of her anytime soon. Meanwhile, the Mary Janes, the band Gwen was formally a part of, is running into some internal problems while her father Captain Stacy is being relieved of his command. Also, the Vulture is on the loose in New York City, so life is going to get a bit rocky for our heroine.
This was a good first issue, but there’s one problem: You really need to read Gwen’s debut issue back in “>Edge of Spider-Verse to get the most out of it. Sure, we get a very brief recap at the beginning, but you really don’t get the same effect you’d have with some of the seeds planted in Edge of Spider-Verse #2, which features all of the current troubles our characters are facing and features plenty of important characterization and backstory to boot. As such, you can jump on now, but be warned — the issue needs supplementation.
Hey, it could be worse considering the track record with Spider-Man villains.
The storylines and subplots so far are nothing too groundbreaking for a Spider-Verse story (city hates the character and she wants to win their trust), but its good stuff to start off with and should do a good job of getting us inside Gwen’s head. Hopefully writer Jason LaTour is ready to throw us a few twists after the introductory phase. That being said, LaTour’s characterization is solid and everyone still feels in character, even displaying some of their personality traits from the regular universe. The pacing is good for the most part and the story structure is solid as well; every scene in the book serves a purpose. The dialogue and narration is fine for the most part, but does occasionally slip into the points where it feels a bit unnatural and silly. It’s when the characters start talking with that more “hip and modern” lingo in an attempt to sound more real that it gets bad. Thankfully it never reaches the levels that The Wicked + The Divine gets, but it does show up on occasion.
The artwork is very nice and a visual treat overall. Robbi Rodriguez is a fantastic artist who really dishes out some eye-catching visuals. The characters look great and show a decent range of expression, though some of the female characters’ faces tend to look alike. The layouts are solid and easy to read, while action is nice looking (if a bit static admittedly). Probably the best part of the comic though is the color (handled by Rico Renzi), which is absolutely incredible. Vibrant and beautiful looking, Renzi’s coloring is a huge factor in bringing this comic to life.
Is It Good?
Spider-Gwen #1 is an enjoyable start to the new series. You do need to read the one-shot where our title character debuted, but it still works. The story and writing are a lot of fun, while the artwork is vibrant. If you are looking for a good new Spider-Verse esque book, but without all the pesky and heavy continuity, Spider-Gwen #1 would be a great choice.