In an effort to free her father and clear his name, Spider-Gwen has made a deal with the (Dare)devil. This week, we get our first glimpse at how Matt Murdock will affect Gwen’s life going forward—and her plans for Thanksgiving.
Is it good?
Spider-Gwen #14 (Marvel Comics)
- I know we’re supposed to hate him, but evil Matt Murdock is kind of awesome.
- Never thought about how terrifying it is for a villain to be able to tell when you’re lying.
- Earth-65 Flash Thompson needs to shave.
- President Duck might be a better option than what we’ll have starting in January.
- Huh? How did that reveal anything?
- Am I having a stroke?
- Nope. Mid-issue artist change.
- I feel like we’ve seen Jessica Drew and Gwen have almost this exact same conversation before.
- Everyone loves a parade.
Is It Good?
This issue started off brilliantly, but took a sharp nosedive after the opening credits. We go from a gripping encounter between Matt Murdock and Gwen/George Stacy into a sad and sappy narrative about Gwen’s relationship with the Parkers…which was still okay. But then came the mid-issue art switch, which was so jarring that I thought at first there was some type of mistake.
Whatever your preference, there is a HUGE difference in style between Robbi Rodriguez and Chris Visions. Maybe some folks will like both, but I just couldn’t get past the way Visions drew the characters’ faces (particularly Jessica Drew’s). The difference is even more apparent when you take into account what a wonderful job Rodriguez did portraying a great deal of emotion without the benefit of a lot of action.
But art issues aside, the story suffers from a couple of major issues. First off, it downshifts severely from the thrilling opening chapter and never recovers the momentum. The narrative gradually devolves into a conversation between Jessica Drew and Gwen Stacey that feels like a variation of the same one they always have. Also, there’s a big reveal in the middle of the book that totally confused me. Maybe I just wasn’t smart enough to get it (totally possible), so maybe someone can clue me in to how the phrase “your father” clued Gwen in on things.
Without or without the revelation, however, calling Spider-Gwen #14 “uneven” would be a gross understatement. The shifts in narrative tone and (especially) the art end up sinking what began as an exceptionally promising issue.