The “Spider-Verse” event that rocked the “Amazing Spider-Man” series for the past few months was a fountain of great new characters all of whom are based off of the original Spider-Man. “Spider-Verse” came with the tagline line, “Every Spider-Man Ever.” This should have been, “Every Spider-Man and Every Spider-Woman Ever” because all the Spider-Women were there including a new one, Spider-Gwen.
The new spin on Spider-Woman starts with Gwen Stacy who in our world was Peter Parker’s girlfriend who was tragically killed by the Green Goblin. Through the lens of “Spider-Verse” we discover an infinite number of Earths each with their own story and on the Earth of “Spider-Gwen,” Gwen Stacy was bitten by the radioactive spider, instead of Peter Parker, and became Spider-Woman.
Spider-Gwen got her debut in the second issue of “Edge of the Spider-Verse” which showcased different spider-themed heroes that were to be featured in the “Spider-Verse” event. Spider-Gwen was only supposed to get a little bit of exposure before she headed to “Spider-Verse,” but that little exposure created a sensation.
“Edge of the Spider-Verse” #2 featured stunning art from Robbi Rodgriuez with a cool and inspired new look that mixed elements of Spider-Man and Spider-Woman to create a distinct and fresh design that caught everyone’s eye.
Marvel Comics was bombarded with requests for more Spider-Gwen. The single story by writer Jason Latour and artist Rodriguez generated a huge following where fans were sending the publisher their drawings of the hero as well as photos of the costumes they made that look like this all-new Spider-Woman. Marvel had a surprise hit on their hands. So what do they do? They get the band together and start monthly series featuring Spider-Gwen.
The debut issue of “Spider-Gwen” is available now featuring the work of Latour and Rodriguez. The story picks up right after the events of the “Spider-Verse” with Gwen Stacy arriving back in her home dimension. “Spider-Gwen” #1 picks up much of its content from the story in the “Edge of the Spider-Verse” one-shot and expects readers to know a lot of the Spider-Man mythology going in. There are a lot of new versions of long established characters in “Spider-Gwen” #1 and this supporting cast takes away some of the attention that Spider-Gwen needed.
Latour and Rodriguez provide a lot of action as Spider-Gwen must deal with the Vulture who is on a murder spree in New York City. But there is no time to get to know Gwen. The story shows off Gwen’s friends and how she fits in with a band called the Mary Janes, named after another of Peter Parker’s old flames, but she never interacts with them instead she spies on them.
“Spider-Gwen” #1 is a part of a longer narrative where the entire story will play out over multiple issues, but with the buzz this character has generated and the possibility of people checking in on Spider-Gwen for the first time this was a missed opportunity, because you don’t know anything about Spider-Gwen after reading the issue.
Fans looking to jump on the Spider-Gwen bandwagon should find “Edge of Spider-Verse” #2 which is now in its fourth printing to get a better read on this new character. Then jump into “Spider-Gwen” #1 to continue the story of the Spider-Man mythos turned sideways. Those that already know Spider-Gwen will be eagerly waiting on the next issue of “Spider-Gwen” for more of this cult-hero.