We’re just over half-way through the Spider-Women crossover, and this is the issue that reveals at least part of the villain’s plan. Earth-65’s Cindy Moon reveals herself to be a very formidable opponent, and one who may have more influence in Spider-Gwen’s life than she would like. Although this is an exposition and reveal heavy issue, it works.
Jason Latour’s writing here is good. As Spider-Gwen and Silk work together in this issue, they start to get along better than they have before. While it didn’t bother me, there have been times when Gwen didn’t treat Cindy all that well. Here, she’s genuinely trying to be helpful. Their interactions are still amusing of course, as Gwen clearly has more knowledge with how normal people act and figures out Earth-65’s plan much faster than Silk does. Silk learning what her evil alternate universe counterpart is doing to her reputation is tragic, and it hits Gwen pretty hard too. It’s the moment they start to connect, realizing that very few people in the public trust either of them. The ending cliffhanger is really intense too, leaving us wondering how either of them will come out unscathed. Unfortunately Jessica Drew doesn’t show up in this issue, but it makes total sense from a storytelling standpoint.
Bengal’s art is great. There’s a smooth appearance to everything, whether it’s the mechanical tentacles when the Spider-Women enter the Baxter Building, the well detailed backgrounds or the characters themselves. J.J. Jameson’s Fact News Channel office is complete with screens, cubicles filled with post-it notes and even Cindy’s desk with Disney toys on display and the original Game Boy. Nice touch. The flashback to Cindy-65’s origin story tells her origin story quite effectively, to the point where it doesn’t really need dialogue to explain it. Rico Renzi’s colouring is also good. The comic is colourful in the Fact News Channel offices, even in the low light, while the flashbacks are browned out with the occasional touch of blue.
The heavy exposition dumped in the second half of this comic does slow the pacing down a bit, but it’s well written enough that it’s not necessarily a problem. It just holds the issue back a little bit when compared to the very dramatic opening and the intense cliffhanger ending. As it stands, this is easily the most dramatic entry in the Spider-Women crossover so far, but it’s still fun when it tries to be. If you’re a fan of any of the Spider-Woman characters, you should be reading this crossover.