Spider-Gwen (Vol. 2) #16 Review


“Yeah, we’re Spider-Folks, and we have to rep what that stands for…but that doesn’t mean we don’t get to be scared.”

Miles and Gwen share some sodas, then head off to Club Scorpion on the trail of Miles’ dad!

WRITER: Jason Latour

ARTIST: Robbi Rodriguez

COLOR ARTIST: Rico Renzi

LETTERERS: VC’s Clayton Cowles & Travis Lanham

COVER ARTIST: Robbi Rodriguez

HANDBOOK ENTRY PRODUCTION: Joe Frontirre

ASSISTANT EDITOR: Allison Stock

ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Devin Lewis

EDITOR: Nick Lowe

STORY: Gwen and Miles share some sodas until they are interrupted by The Hand and their master, Murdock. The Kingpin has a mission for them-find Jefferson Davis and bring him his head. He grants them a pass to Club Scorpion and Gwen retreats to find a disguise and blend in under the alias, Tigra La Muerteface. Miles is perturbed that Gwen has him wait outside the club in his Spidey costume as he is underage, but goes along with the plan, keeping in touch with Gwen via text until the bouncers make her ditch her phone. Once inside, Gwen infiltrates a secret auction of all the equipment Cindy-65 stole during the Spider-Women crossover. Gwen starts to have a spot of trouble with Ock and Miles intervenes to save the day, running into Jefferson Davis…but which one?

THOUGHTS: Crossover fun continues with a stellar cover by Rodriguez. I love how the buildings’ lights glow and the title placement enhances the illusion of depth as our heroes flip through the skyline. Dave Johnson also provides a cover spotlighting the budding romance amidst a daylight cityscape, but still with the Spidery perspective, reveling in the height.

Latour gives the opening a Tarantino-esque flavor as Miles and Gwen bloviate over the merits of “real sugar” soda. As the talk blends into Miles’ purpose on Earth-65 an immediate bond begins to form as the two discuss their respective father issues. The parallels are built up well, with both their fathers in trouble because they were trying to protect their kids. Renzi offers up his usual palate to make the city the character it is, something Miles commented on in part one of this tale.

Crossovers can often be a bane to a title. I certainly was not thrilled when Spider-Women was announced as it would increase the amount of books I had to buy to stay current. However, I’m very glad that I did as the ramifications have continued to be felt in Spider-Gwen, even up to this issue. That it still has impact gives me faith that “Sitting In A Tree” will be relevant after it concludes as well.

This issue really focuses on the characterizations of Miles and Gwen as they build their relationship. Not only do we see what they have in common, but where their realities differ. Rodriguez does a neat little trick as Gwen ruffles through storage boxes, changing perspectives on who is perceived to be upside down. Keeping with his style, Miles is rendered in a more cartoony fashion compared to Pichelli, but I still enjoyed the change of pace.

Miles gets a definitive age as Gwen enters the club, 16. He states he’ll be 17 in a month and I’ll be curious to see if Bendis makes a point of him celebrating his birthday at some point later this year. One can never figure out the passage of time, especially with decompressed storytelling!

As one would expect, Renzi excels at all the coloring in the club scene. I was hoping with a name like Club Scorpion that Mac Gargan would be revealed as the proprietor, but no dice. Still, I’ve always enjoyed how Latour and Co. spin old favorites and will hold out hope that we see an Earth-65 version of the Scorpion soon.

THIS is how you draw Gwen’s shoes!

Going back to an earlier point, Doc Ock and the goods Cindy-65 pilfered make their return from the Spider-Women crossover. Of course Ock would recognize Gwen, even with her trying her best James Bond impression as she introduces herself as “La Muerteface. Tigra La Muerteface.” How’s that for a reference combo-007, the Avenger Tigra, and Betty’s cat? I had to feel bad for Ock’s pet though as it psychically screamed out for salvation, only to get zapped by Miles.

The club scene climaxes with a reveal of A Jefferson Davis, but is this Miles’ dad or the one Murdock wants assassinated? Could they be one and the same? Again, I really liked how they tie in Gwen and Miles’ worlds with this story. It feels very well thought out and builds superbly off both their respective continuities. Speaking of, props to Latour for condensing and making sense of Miles’ history in his profile page. That’s no easy feat!

Spider-Gwen’s creative team picked up the baton well from Spider-Man’s, crafting a fun chapter that pushed the story along and looked dazzling whilst doing it. Latour gets more of an opportunity than Bendis so far in building Gwen and Miles’ relationship, making it feel more organic and less of a sensational stunt. What more can I say about the art and coloring that I haven’t already in past reviews? It’s always fun to look at and I enjoyed their interpretation of Miles. I’d be pretty curious to see what they change if this tale takes them back to Earth-616. Here’s hoping they get the opportunity!

MY GRADE: A

JAVI’S HUH?: Did anyone else get reminded of DC’s Starro The Conqueror when Ock’s little friend latched onto Gwen’s face?

Can someone explain to me what these guards’ outfits are in reference to? Please? 

(4) Comments

  1. Mark Alford

    Great review, Javi! I haven't been picking up Spider-Gwen, but maybe I'll at least start grabbing it on Marvel Unlimited.

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