Spider-Gwen #1 Review
By Bryan Scheidler
Today Marvel comics released on the world a brand new series fresh from the pages of their Spider-Verse story arc. Spider-Gwen #1 is the first book in a series that was demanded by marvel fans after the character’s introduction in the pages of Spider-Verse. One important thing to note before jumping into the first issue is that this story does not take place in the main story line or as marvel aficionados know it as, the 616 universe. Don’t let this little detail fool you though. Just because it is in a different universe does not mean the character and her stories are not cannon. Marvel has a long history of embracing their multiverse and intertwining it with their main universe and stories, and this is no different. With that little clarification out of the way we can get onto the first issue.
Spider-Gwen as the name implies is Gwen Stacy after she has received a bite from the radio-active spider that gave 616 Peter Parker his spider abilities. She doesn’t actually go by the name Spider-Gwen, that would be the worst super hero name ever, she goes by the name Spider-Woman (Marvel already has a book called Spider-Woman so they needed to have a different title). Something I really like about this book is that Gwen seems to feel the same burden of responsibility that is such an important part of Spider-Man. With Gwen however it feels like a much heavier burden since she seems to be the first super hero in her world. Not only does she have the burden of using her powers responsibly, she is also paving the way for future heroes in this universe. This is a burden that 616 Spider-Man never had to experience and how Gwen handles it will be key to her growth as a character.
The book does a really good job of showing us what kind of world Gwen lives in. Since it is a world that is parallel to the 616 world familiar characters pop up, but not in the roles you would expect. Frank Castle isn’t the punisher, but rather a brutal police enforcer; Matt Murdock isn’t a defender of the poor and downtrodden by day and Daredevil by night but instead seems to be a lawyer for the mob. These little differences make the world that Gwen lives in that much more interesting. The fact that this world seems familiar but just a little darker is what makes this story so compelling. The very fact that Gwen’s costume literally comes across like a light in this dark place is a visual representation of this if ever there was one.
If you are at all thinking of checking this book out you need to jump on it. It is only book 1 and it has the tough job of setting up this universe, but what it promises looks great. This is a series that you should be picking up each and every week.