Edge of Spider-Verse #2 (of 5)
Review Spoilers: Moderate
As much as the internet loves to tell us about weird old superheroes, I’m honestly surprised no one has ever really told me about Gwen Stacy. For a character that is so iconic to the Spider-Man mythos, Gwen is never described by her personality or her characteristics as a person besides that she was blonde and that she died after Peter accidentally broke her back trying to save her. I know there’s a joke about how no one ever really dies in comics except Uncle Ben, but Marvel seems fairly determined to keep Gwen Stacy the permanent girl in the fridge.
I really hope Gwen Stacy: Spider-Woman can change that.
First of all, this story is part of the lead up to the Spider-Verse event. I don’t have the money to keep up with all these event comics, but it’s basically Morlun causing a crisis of infinite Spideys.
Enter Gwen Stacy: Spider-Woman!
As we enter this Gwen’s reality, we find out that we’re in the middle of her story. Instead of Peter being bitten by the spider, she was. She became the Amazing (and drumming) Spider-Woman while her version of Peter Parker was driven by his bullies to become the Lizard. Peter dies while Gwen lives with the consequences and blame for his death.
I don’t know how accurate this Gwen is to the original personality of Gwen Stacy of 616, but screw it, I LOVE HER. She’s sassy, but still deals with the weight of the world on her shoulders. She refuses to back down from a fight and even stands up for herself when the time comes for it. Did I also mention that she’s a drummer for an all-girl group lead by Mary Jane Watson called The Mary Janes and all that she wants to do with her life outside of being Spidey is play music? Love. Her.
The team of Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi did an amazing job on this story. Latour managed to perfectly craft the typical Spidey story structure while letting Gwen have a voice of her own for once. She’s not the fridged girl here. She’s a young adult learning to stand on her own two feet, which is weirdly not a story in media that often features women. Rodriguez and Renzi also manage to give such life and color to Gwen’s story. It moves like New York at night: fast paced and full of bright lights and color.
IT’S JUST TOO DAMN SHORT.
Seriously, there was enough story here to make an entire mini-series out of it. A mini-series I would have gladly paid for in single issues and trade paperback. Instead, we have one story that feels over in a New York Minute. A good one, but still over just before it really gets good.
Luckily, this will not be the last of Spider-Gwen. She’s advertised to return in Amazing Spider-Man #9, which I will definitely be reading because not only will it feature Gwen again, but it will also have Kamala Khan teaming up with 616!Peter Parker. It’s like that issue was made for me, you guys.
Final Thoughts: Even though it’s over way too quickly, Gwen Stacy: Spider-Woman is definitely worth the read. Centering around a sassy and determined heroine, it brings us a version of Gwen Stacy ready to define her own fate and be her own hero.