“It used to be FUN. But lately, it’s so–angsty! Clenched fists and gritted teeth and–ANOTHER Wolverine? Really?”
With Gwen out of the country, who will play drums at The Mary Janes’ next gig?
WRITERS: Hannah Blumenreich & Jason Latour
ARTISTS: Hannah Blumenreich & Jordan Gibson, Robbi Rodriguez
COLOR ARTIST: Rico Renzi
LETTERER: VC’s Clayton Cowles
COVER ARTISTS: Kris Anka & Rico Renzi
ASSISTANT EDITORS: Allison Stock & Kathleen Wisneski
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Devin Lewis
EDITOR: Nick Lowe
GWEN STACY created by STAN LEE & STEVE DITKO
STORY: Utau, the Watcher of Earth-65 is channel surfing, bored with recent events on his assigned Earth. He gets chastised and tunes back in, following The Mary Janes as they attempt to get to a gig. Drama ensues.
THOUGHTS: With its bold colors, the cover really stood out in my pile this week. I appreciated the individual band members getting bathed in a different colored key light to bring focus to them. Using The Mary Janes on the cover effectively lets the reader in on what this issue is focusing on.
I enjoyed the opening provided by the usual creative team, setting the tone for the off-beat story to come. Not only is it steeped in the zaniness of the Spider-Gwen world, but it provided a meta-commentary, courtesy of Utau, who is not Uatu. In addition to bringing up the title’s current tone, Utau also implies just how challenging the upcoming “Gwenom” arc will be for our hero, an arc we won’t get any closer to this issue.
I mentioned in my last review how jarring it was to switch artists mid scene. This issue sidesteps that with a clever transition, as we enter the tv to the Earth-65 channel, changing our perspective from the Watcher World pencils of Rodriguez, to The Mary Janes rendered by the Blumenreich/Gibson combo. It worked a lot better for me and made you a part of the experience as you switched viewpoints.
The world of The Mary Janes isn’t as off-kiltered as Spider-Woman’s, offering more traditional panels and less energetic art. There is a simplicity in the style, but also an indy-comic cartoonishness that perfectly fits this mostly lighthearted tale. The most dynamic the art gets is when Mary Jane decks a hostile man as she defends Betty and then later at their concert, when the more conservative framing briefly gets cast aside to showcase the band.
Ignoring the cliff hanger of last issue completely, the story tellers work on developing the little seen supporting cast, giving some dimension to the group dynamics of The Mary Janes and letting MJ have a bit of an arc as she learns it’s not always about her as she has to consider the feelings of others. It cracks me up that everyone writes MJ off as she tries to convince them Gwen is leading a double life and is a nice parallel to her learning Peter’s secret early on in another universe.
Spider-Gwen #24 is a fun comic that serves as diversion. Despite interrupting the momentum that was built last issue, I enjoyed reading it. Taking a less is more approach, the art focuses on the characters’ cartoony expressions in lieu of detailed backgrounds, but fits the vibe of the story very well. It’s the kind of story that seems more at place in an annual then towards the end of a major storyline’s climax, but if you can put aside the interruption, there’s something there to enjoy, a solid done-in-one story.
MY GRADE: A-
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