writer: Jason Latour / artist: Robbi Rodriguez / Marvel Comics
We’re back! Except only this time, we can’t look forward to the future. As a solo title, it looks like this Spider-Gwen is done, y’all. A shame, really, that Marvel would pull this book with the stingy consolation prize of her continued character presence in Secret Wars, but I’m glad her character will remain.
How was the finale itself? Well, it hardly was one. Issue #5 didn’t feel like a conclusion as much as a middling issue in a book that’s gearing up for an actual climax… what we fans were naïve enough to expect. Instead we have an issue that’s just good enough to remind us how much story potential we’ll never see filled.
The strangest part of this finale was its most interesting, as the issue seemed to focus more on Earth-65’s version of Felicia Hardy than Spider-Gwen herself. But while the spotlight shone on Felicia, I was happy with her reimagining as a Black French thief with a grudge against Matt Murdock and wanted to know more about her. In fact, being given a brief glimpse into her character only to have it snatched away so fast is a microcosm of what the Spider-Gwen series has now become – an unfortunately short-lived tease Marvel is taking away.
While Gwen Stacy will technically continue in the greater Marvel universe, she won’t be written by Latour, drawn by Rodriguez, or colored by Renzi, and these 5 issues weren’t enough time for them to finish a complete story. Instead, it’ll always read like a great movie you found, couldn’t finish, and never caught the ending of.
Rico Renzi’s colors are as brilliant as we’ve come to expect, although I personally felt the pacing of this issue felt more messy than usual. The bright stage made for a frantic background and I found the panels hard to follow at times; this was perhaps the first time Rodriguez’s artwork was too busy and, coupled with the neon colors, felt like sensory-overstimulation.
As the final issue of Spider-Gwen, this one’s a rather low point of conclusion to what has been otherwise a really fun book to read. While Spider-Gwen #5 felt messy and unfocused at times, and feels prematurely ended, our heroine will continue to be around for Secret Wars — and fortunately that’s already proving to be a great book.
All things considered, Marvel has done wonders with the unexpectedly popular Gwen Stacy by giving her a solo book and merging her into the larger Earth-616 universe. And, of course, much credit should be given to Jason Latour for his writing a clever and complicated Gwen who stayed likable and entertaining the entire life of the series. Fans were left wanting more – and that’s about the best you can do as a writer.
You can read reviews of previous Spider-Gwen issues here.