Spider-Gwen #1 – “The Lizard is Back!”

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Spider-Gwen #1

Written By: Jason Latour

Art By: Robbi Rodriguez

Release Date: 10/14/15

The second week of All New All Different Marvel has begun and one of my most anticipated series for this event was released, Spider-Gwen #1.

I have been a fan of Spider-Gwen since her first appearance in Edge of Spider-Verse #2, and I thought the first volume of Spider-Gwen was really enjoyable. Now I don’t believe they really had to relaunch this series because the first volume only lasted five issues, but I get that Marvel had to relaunch all of their series for the All New All Different Marvel event.

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Story

Spider-Gwen volume 2 picks up where volume 1 left off. Gwen has taken some time off from being Spider Woman, but has found herself putting on the costume once again because the Lizard has been making appearances around town. Gwen doesn’t understand who the Lizard could be because Peter Parker was the original Lizard and he died. As Gwen tries to figure out who this new Lizard is she thinks about her high school days with Peter Parker, which allows readers to get a peek at the beginning years of Spider-Gwen.

I thought this was a very solid start for the first issue of Spider-Gwen. The opening scene with Gwen being late to work and jumping around New York City’s streets reminds me of why I fell in love with this series in the first place. Spider-Gwen is a grounded story about a young adult trying to find her place in the world. Gwen is trying to take up normal adult responsibilities and, of course, she messes up along the way because she is just getting use to being an adult just like any college aged girl.

During her hiatus as Spider Woman she is also trying to build a stronger relationship with her father, which has been strained since he found out that she was Spider Woman in Edge of Spider-Verse #2. Now Captain Stacy still has problems because the police task force wants to arrest Spider Woman, and he knows his daughter isn’t guilty. But how does he tell the people he works for Spider Woman is innocent without telling them that his daughter is Spider Woman.

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The main villain for this arc is the Lizard and this also allows for the creative team to tell a story from Gwen’s past. Peter Parker died because he was the original Lizard. This is a story I have been really excited to see this creative team tell. In Edge of Spider-Verse #2 they did a great job at explaining Gwen’s origins in only 2 pages, but from those two pages I also wanted more. Now this actually leads me into the negatives for this issue. There are a few flashbacks in this issue, but they all seem kind of scattered. I wanted them to be more linear and I hope they will be as this arc continues. You only really see glimpses of Gwen’s experience in high school. I think it would be cool to see an issue or two dedicated to Gwen’s high school days because there is so much to explore. Gwen’s first reaction to her powers, her relationship with Peter, and even her relationship with the Mary Janes.

Another negative towards this issue is that the story is not really new reader friendly. You had to have read Edge of Spider-Verse #2 and the last volume of Spider-Gwen to get the full extent of the story. People may be mislead by this being an issue 1.

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Art

The artwork for this issue was beautiful as always. I loved the exaggerated colors especially during the corn dog scene in the last part of the issue. You can visually see the scent of the hot dogs, which becomes important to the story. I thought the art in the flashbacks was really cool also because they payed attention to detail. I liked the small touch that Gwen had longer hair in high school, and the flashback panels were lightly tainted to distinguish the difference from the present.

Verdict 

Spider-Gwen #1 was a solid start to what I know is going to be a really cool series. I just hope in the next issue we will focus more on Gwen’s past.

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