Published by Marvel on May 24th 2016
Genres: Comics and Graphic Novels
Source: Prime Reading
GWEN STACY IS BACK IN THE WEBS AND HAS AN ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT MYSTERY TO SOLVE!
THE SPIDER-WOMAN of Earth-65 was convinced that the Lizard's threat died in her arms along with Peter Parker. But a new reptilian rampage leaves her with doubts not only about Peter's life, but also his death. While her father, Captain George Stacy, struggles with Gwen's double life, troubles mount as the Osborns make their debut — and Gwen finds herself on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s most-wanted list! Perhaps Jessica Drew, the Spider-Woman of Earth-616, can offer some wise lessons about power and responsibility that might come in handy when Gwen battles the Goblins! Plus: Discover who wields the shield as Earth-65's Captain America joins the fray — but will she be on Gwen's side?
COLLECTING: SPIDER-GWEN (2015B) #1-6.
I’ve recently discovered the Kindle Prime Reading feature, and have been pleasantly surprised to find it has quite a lot of options for comics and graphic novels. I’ve no shortage of books I want to read on my shelves, but I never buy comics or graphic novels, although I am curious about them. When I was working as a bookseller Spider-Gwen was always a reasonably popular title so when I saw this was on Prime Reading I decided to give it a go.
In this parallel universe storyline Gwen Stacey was bitten by a radioactive spider and became Spider-Gwen, while Peter Parker is dead.
So the first and probably most important thing to realise is that although this is volume 1, it isn’t actually the best starting place for Spider-Gwen. Turns out there’s a Volume 0 (Most Wanted), which I didn’t realise. As a result, I found the storyline a little disjointed and complicated at times, which I’m sure could have been avoided if I’d actually started in the right place! I didn’t find it too bad though; when something came along I didn’t know about I basically just accepted it and moved on – I didn’t have to go googling backstory or anything to keep up.
Probably my favourite thing about Spider-Gwen v1 is the artwork; more than anything I loved the vibrant colours and Gwen’s costume which is so different. What let the book down, for me, was the character depth; Gwen has plenty of guilt (from events in v0!) but not a huge amount else going for her. She tries to be funny but while some of it was amusing some of it fell really flat, and aside from her interactions with her Dad her connections with other characters were a bit underwhelming. Ultimately, at this stage, I want Gwen to succeed more so that her dad doesn’t get hurt than because I actually care about Gwen herself. I wanted to see more of her as a person – we get almost nothing in terms of her as a friend, as a person with any kind of hobbies or life outside of being a superhero. Obviously I realise this is a comic about superheroes, but no one cares about a hero they don’t like or who seems completely two-dimensional.
I’m intrigued by the concept, and if Volume 2 appeared on Prime Reading or at the library I’d give it a go, but I won’t be rushing out to buy it. In the meantime, I may well go back and read volume 0 and see if that gives me more reasons to emotionally connect with Gwen!