On the Panel – Spider-Gwen
Spider-Verse is over -more over less- and fan favourite Spider-Gwen is given her own ongoing series. Something about this character has had her resonate with readers and it’s great that she’s managed to stick around with her own title.
If you haven’t read her first appearance or any of her subsequent appearances in the Spider-Verse arc then you’ll probably be lost here. This issue picks up right after Spider-Verse leaves off and assumes you know what’s all going on. This does mean that it’s not a slow start but it’s also not the best way for new readers to access the character.
Part of what makes Spider-Gwen so successful is that Gwen is a very distinct character in her own right. She’s not a simple female version of Peter Parker and she’s also not the same Gwen that readers will have come to know prior to her death in the main series continuity. She’s her own person and there’s no attempt to pander to any perceived expectations that people might have about a superpowered Gwen. Given that Gwen is a drummer -or a former drummer at this point- there’s a certain rebellious tone to the issue and her character in general which works as being a lot more than simple teen angst. She is a fun character to follow and has a dose of realism to her that I find really refreshing. She’s a lot like Ms. Marvel in the sense that she seems like she could be a real person living in today’s world.
I had a major issue with how the villain was portrayed here. For every great moment that Gwen had the Vulture had an equally terrible one. There was something about him that seemed campy and over the top which completely contrasts with the sophisticated storytelling in the other pages of the issue.
One of the central conflicts definitely seems to be Gwen’s changed relationship with her father after revealing her identity but there wasn’t really enough done to establish this more than at surface level. I dare say this will feature more prominently as the series continues but for now it seems a little uninteresting.
A promising start to the first ongoing series from this fan favourite character.
Gwen is established as being a distinct character with her own quirks and personality traits that make her completely unique. Far from being a copy of the Gwen Stacy from the main series comics or a female version of Peter Parker she is definitely distinctive. I really liked exploring her personality and seeing how the world she inhabits works.
In contrast to that the Vulture seemed overly campy and over the top. Any pages featuring him seemed at odds with the rest of the comics and nothing about the Vulture really worked here.
Her changed relationship with her father following the reveal of her identity is something that isn’t being handled very well so far. It’s fine but a bit obvious so far. I dare say it’ll become more prominent as things continue but for now it’s not all that impressive.
If you liked her previous appearances then absolutely check this out. She’s a good character and this series has all sorts of potential.