writer: Jason Latour / artist: Robbi Rodriguez / Marvel Comics
If Spider-Gwen isn’t one of your favorite new series of 2015 I need to know what else you’re reading. As we await the convergence of the Ultimates characters into the primary Marvel universe, Gwen Stacy is an amazing character who’s bound to stay popular and relevant. With her complicated hero life and well-crafted inner dialogue, this series has turned from “promising” to “good” in as few as 3 issues.
Jason Latour must be congratulated for creating a Spider-character evocative of everything we love about Peter Parker – smart, witty, yet outcast – while giving her a personality all her own. In trying to figure out why she’s so likeable, I realized a few things: first, she makes her own decisions. She may not always make the right ones, but they’re hers, and she leads the story without always being reactionary and woe-is-me to negative events around her. In that sense, she’s the anti-Katniss Everdeen. Second, she’s a mess. We’ve seen her exhausted, vulnerable, and full of self-doubt, and those are all areas readers can relate to. Which brings me to the third, and most important reason: she stays funny. Latour follows the best rule of character writing that if you want someone to be likable, a surefire approach is to make them funny. Despite any chaos around her you can trust Gwen to add humor wherever appropriate, and that’s something we all wish we could do.
Rico Renzi’s color work is downright astounding. The bright colors have become signature, and work well to highlight Gwen in the darkness of night. Rodriguez’s art is notable as well, using multiple angles and perspective that accentuate the trademark acrobatics of Spider-people. Rodriguez does just as well emphasizing reactions and facial expressions with extreme close-ups.
The series still needs a major story plot, which has to come rather soon, as well as a great supporting character to play off of, but this is still an A+ comic during the wait. Spider-Gwen continues to have fun writing, great pacing, and be visually appealing. If you haven’t started this series, start now.
You can read reviews of previous Spider-Gwen issues here.
Score: 9 out of 10