Title: Edge of Spider-verse #2 / Gwen Stacy: Spider-woman
Writer: Jason Latour
Artist: Robbi Rodriguez
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Rating: 5/ 5
I will begin by admitting it was the hype train that drove me to read this comic. I really only had a passing interest in the overall upcoming Spider-Verse arc, but this comic has decidedly cranked my interest up a notch.
Gwen Stacy is, more or less, the perennially dead character across the Marvel spectrum of comic titles. Including all of the major characters, not just Spider-man’s, Gwen Stacy is one of the few personalities who has managed to die and stay dead. Speaking from a lifelong comic-fan’s point of view, that really is a staggering tidbit of information. Of course, the legacy of the character still stretches on so many years after her shocking death, but the greatest part about Peter Parker’s first love is that there are so many aspects to her that were left untold. Enter Edge of the Spider-Verse #2.
Writer Jason Latour and artist Robbi Rodriguez are able to take the landmark character, only this time presented from a different universe, and give her a totally new and different spin. They don’t stay pigeonholed to other common Spider-tales that just rearrange the past of Spider-man 616 and tell a story of what-could-have-been. They take Gwen in a whole new direction, with a whole new back-story, in just a single issue.
You don’t need to have kept up with Spider-man in recent years to pick up this comic and enjoy the story for what it is: a great stand-alone What-If? about a historic Spidey character. Reminiscent of Bullet Holes and other great stories that tweak origins, the subtle differences to characters in this Gwen’s universe are refreshingly cool and engaging. Latour’s dialogue is right up there with the best Spidey writers in recent years, nailing the wise-cracking wit synonymous with Spider-(wo)man and putting it parallel to the seriousness of the “with great power comes great responsibility.” Rodriguez’s art is flashy yet structured, giving off every sense of a new but somehow familiar world.
I would love to see this character stick around, but in her own world, not in the 616. I want to know how Murdock got under Kingpin’s thumb, I want to know how long Captain Stacy will let Gwen do what she’s doing and of course I want to know what really happened between Gwen and Peter.
Gwen Stacy is Spider-woman. Now bring on the on-going, Marvel. My pull list needs it.
Review by: Brent W. Gladney