Writer: Jason Latour / Artists: Veronica Fish, Olivia Margraf / Marvel Comics
Rotating artists always bears the risk of a more fragmented read, and there are several significant changes as we open Spider-Gwen #27 – first changing from the familiar Robbi Rodriguez to Veronica Fish’s artwork, then to Olivia Margraf’s work in the second act of the issue, then back to Fish. To their credit though, they do as well as could be expected and pull off a few strong, dramatic scenes as we wonder just how far the symbiote will pull Gwen into darkness. That’s where the force of this issue lives, in the question of how far Gwen will spiral into ruthless revenge to ease a bit of the pain she feels, and the fear – or hope, to be honest – that she will go further than what can be redeemed. I say hope because Gwen going too far is one of the ways this arc can be most potent in its stakes, having Gwen actually do something truly terrible that will affect her the rest of her life. The odds are low that it will amount to murder, but wouldn’t it be something if it did?
As Gwenom continues her reign of terror it’s Frank Castle who steps in, hoping to redirect her anger to its more proper target: the long-term enemy, Matt Murdock. The confrontation between Gwen and Punisher is a great scene, the two former enemies being forced to evolve into frenemies, or at least work together to the extent their objectives align. Gwen is hardly happy though, her displeasure playing out in increasingly visceral ways as they two begin to square off.
Overall, Spider-Gwen #27 is effective to two areas: redirecting the narrative target to a long-awaited confrontation with Matt Murdock and asking readers to predict how far Gwen will ultimately go in her marriage to darkness. Both are important, necessary, and have been a long time coming, so here’s hoping the payoff is satisfying for the time spent building up to it.
Reading Spider-Gwen? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.