Writer: Jason Latour / Artist: Robbi Rodriguez, Jorge Coelho / Marvel Comics
When Spider-Gwen finds its groove in an arc it can be one of the most fun series on shelves. Here in “Predators,” Spider-Gwen has found one of those grooves as Gwen dances with violence between Wolverine, Shadowcat, and Lizard, in what makes 3 action-packed issues in a row. Much like the last, Spider-Gwen #22 volleys action and dialogue, making it a fast-paced issue while the emotional plot relies on Gwen’s ongoing struggle with decision making.
Reaching out for help and coming up empty, Gwen is left to trust the voice within like she just heard track 18 from Stripped and with some clever mutant tag teaming with Kitty she changes the trajectory of this arc in a cool way. Gwenom is something we have been looking forward to for a long time. For me personally, it walks the line of a hackneyed, obvious Spider-plot, but it’s also a fun, creative opportunity to explore Gwen Stacy and the symbiote and I ain’t the least bit mad. For those keeping track of fan reactions at home: Gwen and Miles romance plot? Frustrating gimmick. Gwen merging with the symbiote to become Gwenom? Exciting opportunity, especially artistically. Where one felt forced and ham fisted, this one feels like it fits well into the story as it has been built for some time.
Where it goes from here, I am excited to find out. On the artwork side, an awkward artist change mid-issue never fails to detract, so such is the case here as Robbi Rodriguez hands the reins to Jorge Coelho mid fight. That is where the issue stumbles most, as it naturally throws off the flow of your reading.
Overall, Spider-Gwen #22 continues the pace of what has been a fun, interesting, and exciting arc. It must slow down eventually, but with Gwen and the symbiote merging it’s not likely to come from Gwen’s end. I hope for – and look forward to – Spider-Gwen’s supporting cast to step up and develop deeper identities of their own within the book as we see Gwen through this adventure. Harry, Richards, Kitty, Captain America, the Mary Janes (who know more than ever before)… there are a lot of toys to play with.
Reading Spider-Gwen? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.