Spider-Gwen #2: Most Wanted Part 2
Writer: Jason Latour
Artist: Robbie Rodriguez
Colorist: Rico Renzi
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Idette Winecoor & Jessica Pizarro
Editors: Devin Lewis & Nick Lowe
Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso
Sometimes You Got To Face Real Life: After hastily forming spider-wings to glide to safety from her free fall at the end of issue one, Gwen Stacy crashes into a trash barge. The collision causes some head trauma and she begins to hallucinate Spider-Ham, who plays the role of her guilty conscience and berates her for her numerous mess-ups.
Captain George Stacy finds Gwen’s phone at the scene where Spider-Woman and Vulture were last seen fighting. He gets dragged along with Captain Frank Castle and Detective Jean DeWolff to an interrogation of Wilson Fisk, where Castle threatens the Kingpin’s life. Matt Murdock calls in and reprimands Castle, while doing the same to Vulture in person. Murdock tasks the Vulture with bringing Spider-Woman to him, warning him against killing her.
Gwen wakes up on Em Jay’s couch, where Randy Robertson brought her after he found her at a bar. Em Jay tries to recruit her back into the band, while Gloria Grant tries to help her. Gwen walks out on both of them, to clear her head with Spider-Ham. He explains to her that she needs to stop running away from her real life and that going out to avenge Peter as Spider-Woman won’t fix the past. The issue ends with Gwen finding her father, ready to talk to him.
Thoughts: This new take on Gwen Stacy is sending ripples through her fan base. Some hate this new take on her, others love it, and many are on the fence, waiting to see where things go. If this issue is any indication, things are only going to get better from here on out. This issue, while also moving several plot lines along, is largely a reflection on Gwen Stacy’s character. This is done through a wonderfully fun plot device known as the Sporktacular Spider-Ham, who serves as Gwen’s conscience. Seriously, Spider-Ham is probably the best thing to happen in this series so far, he’s just full of great advice and jokes and Robbi Rodriguez draws him with a passion. I would buy a Spider-Ham book solely on the fact Robbi Rodriguez is attached to it.
But like I said, he is a means to an end and that end is characterizing the very different Gwen Stacy. He points out her immaturity at running from her problems and while we see her avoid it with the Mary Janes, by issue’s end she is confronting possibly the biggest source of stress in her life; her relationship with her father. He also reveals to the audience the guilt that drives Gwen to impulsive actions, like the ones she took against Vulture last issue. It humanizes her and while I didn’t have an issue with the vandalism she used last issue, this has to soften that blow for those who did.
Perhaps the most likable character in this series so far, at least that isn’t an imaginary pig, is Captain Stacy. His concern for Gwen is very endearing this issue and he even tries to use it as a way to form a connection with Captain Castle (Captain Castle sounds pretty cool) who has no desire to be friendly with Stacy. He’s also shown to have a bit of a temper, which adds a nice shade of complexity to the character. I’m really looking forward to the chat between Stacys next issue.
There’s also some fun world building. We see Felicia Hardy and the Black Cats advertised next to the Mary Janes and fan-favorite, Jean DeWolff is revealed as Castle’s partner. Also, totally calling it now; Daredevil, not Kingpin, is the big bad. We see a nice take on his cane here and a hint that he already has his radar sense.
I don’t know what I can say about the art team that I didn’t last review. They continue to blow me away with their very unique and very fantastic art style. One of my favorite little things in the issue is the fact that Gwen ends up with a sweater that she very clearly stole from the garbage barge at the beginning of the issue. You seen different colored stains all over it, and it stands out in the scene with the Mary Janes, where they wear solid colors and she’s got on this stained shirt. Also, the way her hood moves all over the place, falling on and off of her head while she travels is another little nice detail.
Verdict: Spider-Gwen #2 is a great first step in characterizing a new Gwen Stacy, using Spider-Ham to show both how she’s different and similar not to 616 Gwen Stacy but Peter Parker. This is a character who has a lot of growing left to do, but she’s immersed in a strong world, with a strong style, and a great supporting cast; she’s going to do just fine. The issue didn’t blow me away completely, but it sure as hell impressed after a slightly underwhelming first issue.
- Spider-Ham is the character Rodriguez was born to drawn
- Solid characterization
- Continued World-Building