Writer: Jason Latour / Artist: Robbi Rodriguez / Marvel Comics
This issue moves. Spider-Gwen #20 is one of the faster-paced issues of the series where every dialogue seems to take place during a chase, fight, or the lead up to one of them, and it makes for the type of read that reminds you why you love comics. The dialogue lives behind a vail of beautifully frenetic artwork that makes this issue flow from one conflict to the next, webbing together story elements simultaneously as Gwen and Harry recount the mess they’re in as the mess gets a little deeper in real time. Even the creative team introductions come in an ornate package with the introduction of Earth-65’s Wolverine:
Wolverine’s cameo ties in well and adds a bit of humor to the drama – his name in Earth-65 is “Mr. Murderhands,” which Gwen quickly rebukes for the more familiar “Wolverine” – and his position as a bounty hunter is largely what contributes to the fun pace of this issue as he hawks down Harry (with Gwen chasing along, trying to protect him) and then turns to fight a competing would-be captor also out for Harry for the virus in his blood. The wild card, of course, is Matt Murdock and everything he has told them that might be true, but also might not be, so Gwen and Harry must unpack their predicament carefully as they swing, fight, and jump through deciding what to trust. And somewhere amid it all Gwen gets to say, “the ninjas are with me,” which is now added to my top-5 list of things I want to say in a natural setting before I die, right along with someone asking me how strong I am and me responding “I’m too strong,” a lá Remember the Titans.
Overall, Spider-Gwen #20 is a leap in the current arc that refocuses on Gwen’s powers, what they mean for her identity, the implications her decisions will have on her as a person and hero, and her dynamic with Harry Osborne. It’s a lot, but doesn’t feel like it. Because it was fucking fun.
Reading Spider-Gwen? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.