Spider-Gwen (Vol. 2) #18 Review


“Kids…a space-time-displaced version of your mother is home. >sigh<…again.”

Sittin’ In A Tree comes to its EARTHS shattering conclusion as Gwen sees the future and Miles finds his dad. Will everyone make it home and what kind of relationship will Gwen and Miles have after if they survive?

WRITER: Jason Latour

ARTIST: Robbi Rodriguez

COLOR ARTIST: Rico Renzi

LETTERER: VC’s Clayton Cowles

COVER ARTIST: Robbi Rodriguez

HANDBOOK ENTRY PRODUCTION: Joe Frontirre

ASSISTANT EDITOR: Allison Stock

ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Devin Lewis

EDITOR: Nick Lowe

STORY: Spider-Gwen arrives at a future Earth-8, finding an older Spider-Ham who is babysitting the children of Miles and Gwen, who are away on their second honeymoon as they celebrate their twentieth anniversary. Back on Earth-65, Miles has finally found his dad and they go off to fight Scorpion-65. Gwen convinces Ham and Co. to join the battle. Evil is defeated and Gwen and Miles share a kiss, deciding whatever the future brings, they’re just friends…for now.

THOUGHTS: Spider-Gwen has had some pretty awesome covers, but the three for this storyline have been pretty vanilla to me. It’s not that the art is bad, or that the coloring doesn’t pop. If you were to take all the type off and just display the plain image I’d be hard pressed to say which cover goes with what issue. All three are Gwen and Miles spidering around a cityscape, in comparison to Pichelli’s work, who has them kissing, Miles webbed up, and the Spider-Wedding. I liked the other two covers, but when I saw this one I was overcome with a feeling of been there, done that. Our heroes look great, but Rodriguez has been more innovative before. Maybe featuring some of the other spiders from this issue would’ve made it stand apart and therefore be more memorable.

The opening is classic Latour/Rodriguez. The attitude, the sarcasm, the artistic renderings of aromas-it’s a fun intro and Earth 8 feels like a different world than Earths-65 and 616. How long until we get hologram tv? The weariness in Spider-Ham’s face is priceless as he sees a time displaced Gwen, and not for the first time in his career.

Finally, Miles finds his dad. Based on future solicits, I was kind of doubting that he would. We finally get the answer as to who was behind the “talking” portal watch Miles and Gwen had-Jefferson himself! In addition to this revelation, we also get a mention of how insane the soda on Earth-65 is yet again. Didn’t know Miles and his dad were such connoisseurs! Miles is content to grab some more on their way home, but for Jefferson, the job’s not finished.

I really appreciated the sense of responsibility Jefferson felt for the situation. Sure, they may look the same, but Jefferson isn’t enabling or condoning The Scorpion’s actions. After a few knocks he’s taken over in Spider-Man, it’s nice to see proof that even without powers, he’s a hero, too,  and really is someone for Miles to look up to, despite maybe having a shady past with good intentions.

Switching back to Earth-8, I got such a kick out of all the Easter eggs the creative team included. Gwen’s drums, pictures of her family, Harry’s glider, the Bodega Bandit’s costume, and even a cereal called Groot Loops! Not to be left out, their computer A.I. is even named “M.A.Y.”! Even Future-Alternate-Gwen’s son’s name is one giant, long nod to their families! In addition to “Mad Max” being named in honor of his grandfathers, I’m going to assume the “Maximilian” is in homage to his mom’s middle name.

I thought it was interesting that Ham said “Gwens are rare.” It’s like they’re cursed across the Marvel Multiverse. So, it’s hopeful to see that there’s a reality somewhere that has her presumably happy and thriving. Despite all her hardships, being on Earth-8 really gives Gwen a light at the end of her tunnel because lest we forget, she’s got some serious issues when she gets back home.

Tying in to that idea of hope, is all the speechifying done by Gwen and her alternate-future-self’s daughter. Whilst her not-so-rousing plea falls on deaf pig ears, Charlotte knows what heartstrings to pull when it comes to her babysitter. I was surprised that Porker was reticent to lend a hand, but really enjoyed how Charlotte dubbed her family as the ultimate crossover. Not only is it punny, but it’s true! Spider-Man may be diluted as a brand at this point, but at least all the characters have a strong sense of unity!

Speaking of dilution, just when I thought that maybe, MAYBE, Spider-Gwen could win over our buddy, Spidey Dude, Gwen comes out against clones. ALL. THOSE. STUPID. CLONES. After seeing MJ dress up as Scarlet Spider in the Halloween issue, I thought this was a Clone Saga friendly comic, so maybe this is in protest to The Clone Conspiracy? Regardless, sorry, Zach!

When we finally get to the big brawl, the creative team throws everything but The Scorpion’s cane at it, which is sadly still missing. I loved Spider-Ham’s frustration when the S.I.L.K. agents called him “Spider-Pig”, especially when one of them began to sing it! I really got excited when the Spider-Team showed up, particularly Penni from Edge of Spider-Verse #5 in her SP//dr suit. Outside of the already established Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Gwen, I haven’t been aware of any of the Edge characters being used in anything else, so I was happy to see one reappear. Of course, for all I know, she’s a main character in Web-Warriors! Being a big fan of Kraven’s Last Hunt, I’d love to find out more about the Kraven Spider-Person, too.

After seeing Metropolis as an alternate Earth, the denouement finds Scorpion on a world alluding to the Judge Dredd series, except in this case, Arbiter Rio is the law! I’d love to see either creative team pick up on this in a later story, especially as Gwen and Miles continue to grow closer. There’s a great setup there for Gwen fighting the evil version of her friend’s father.

When the big kiss happens, it’s actually done in silhouette and from a bit of a distance, not in your face like it was in the first chapter. The usual awkwardness ensues, but both characters have a good head on their shoulders about it and understand the obstacles that are in front of them. I appreciated that they understood their limitations, that they do barely know each other and recognize that if they want to be in a relationship, it has to be earned and theirs, not mandated by their fates on an alternate earth (or editorial?). The story ends sweetly, with Gwen resting her head on Miles, agreeing that for now to be just friends.

The requisite profile page features our friendly, neighborhood Spider-Pig, er, Ham in all his porcine glory. What caught my attention was that his marital status was listed as single,  with a “Thanks a lot, Mephistork!” Sadly, even Peter Porker hasn’t escaped editorial mandate! No word on whether or not it was to Mary Jane Water-Buffalo!

This, like Spider-Women, was another fun crossover, rooted in character. It may be too soon to know what the consequences will be, but as we are still dealing with ramifications from Spider-Women, I’m sure the story won’t be forgotten. Latour crams in too many pop culture references to count and Rodriguez once again brings his A game depicting all the various worlds. Renzi’s coloring is top notch, making each environment feel distinct. I wasn’t as keen on the last issue of Spider-Gwen, but they finished strong!

MY GRADE: A

JAVI’S HUH?: Who is this Peggy that Spider-Ham gets married to? 

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