As with a bunch of Marvel titles that began earlier this year, the first volume of Spider-Gwen didn’t last all that long. Secret Wars got in the way and put this, Angela: Asgard’s Assassin and others on hold. So now, for the second time in 2015, we have Spider-Gwen 1.
This issue starts off an unspecified amount of time after Spider-Gwen 5. Gwen wakes up late for work, and in classic Spider-man fashion, she rushes there in her superhero uniform, only to find out that her job no longer exists thanks to a Lizard attack. The rest of this comic helps catch up readers to what’s going on and touches on loose plot threads from the first volume. The lizard story also ties everything together quite well. There are also several nice flashbacks from before Peter Parker’s death, and a cliffhanger ending that introduces Spider-Gwen’s version of a well-known superhero.
For the most part this comic is good. Jason Latour’s writing captures the same hip feel that the makes the previous volume enjoyable. That said, this comic doesn’t really explain any of the ongoing plot threads from the previous volume. It seems to be written just for people who have read Spider-Gwen volume 1, and new readers might feel a bit lost. The recap page might not help much either; it only gives a brief recap on Spider-Gwen’s origin and rushes through everything.
The art by Robbi Rodriguez is good. It captures the hip, almost music video feel of the comic well. When the new lizard shows up, he looks downright scary. Facial expression and body language do a good job at conveying emotions. He also makes good use of creative angles in different panels, and there are a lot of references in the backgrounds to alternate versions of 616 characters and businesses. The colouring by Rico Renzi is vibrant and well varied, making the comic appealing to the eye.
This comic won’t be for everyone, but it’s a fun alternate look at Gwen Stacey and the Marvel Universe as a whole. Those who are interested in Gwen being bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker should give this series a chance, but if you’re new, it’s probably best for you to read the previous volume first.