Sunday, 20 December 2015

Spider-Gwen Vol 0: Most Wanted? by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez

Spider-Gwen Vol 0: Most Wanted? by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez is the first collected volume centring on the relatively new character of Spider-Gwen. It collects the first five issues of Spider-Gwen, which are neatly all one arc and come to a close before Secret Wars. (The series restarts after Secret Wars, although Spider-Gwen herself makes an appearance in A-Force.) It also includes Edge of Spider-Verse #2, which is the issue in which Spider-Gwen came into existence, more or less. I have previously reviewed it, so this review will mostly focus on the rest of the volume. There's a time jump between that issue and the rest, while Spider-Gwen is off doing Spider-Verse things, but only a few days pass on her Earth while she's gone (not the same Earth as most of the rest of the Marvel Universe). And I think we can thank Spider-Verse for the lack of Secret Wars nonsense; two events in such a short period of time would really have been too much.

The breakout hit of the biggest Spider-Event of the century is taking the comics world by storm with her own series! Gwen Stacy is Spider-Woman, but you knew that already. What you DON'T know is what friends and foes are waiting for her in the aftermath of Spider-Verse! From the fan-favorite creative team that brought you Spider-Gwen's origin story in EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE, Jason Latour and Robbie Rodriguez!

The plot of Most Wanted? mostly focuses on the fact that people are suspicious of Spider-Gwen and don't trust her to be a hero. The press goes so far as to call her a supervillain and she's wanted by the police. Gwen is particularly disheartened since she's just come back from being a proper superhero during the Spider-Verse event (and that's basically all you need to know about Spider-Verse to read this comic). She does the classic teenager thing of withdrawing and not talking to anyone, making her father and, to a lesser extent, her friends worried about her. Her friends being her all-girl band, The Mary Janes. (And separately, wow, MJ is a drama queen.)

Of course there are also real villains for her to fight and an intriguing back story involving the parallel universe manifestations of characters we know from the main Marvel Universe. I have to admit my main knowledge of Matt Murdock and Fisk/Kingpin is from the Netflix series, but seeing their very different parallel selves was fascinating. It suffices to say that Matt Murdock is even more morally questionable in this universe than he is as Dare Devil. (Whether or not he is also Dare Devil in the Spider-Gwen universe remains to be seen.)

I enjoyed reading about Spider-Gwen although I wouldn't have minded seeing her be a bit more confident, especially after all the Spider-Verse arse-kicking I know happened. Also, while I found the Matt Murdock side plot interesting, I am a little wary of the fact that this female-centred comic had two male-centred subplots (the other featuring Gwen's father) and zero female ones. The stuff with the band is more about Gwen than it is about the other girls so I wouldn't call it a subplot per se. But it all made for interesting reading and Spider-Gwen is pretty cool and has a good costume (and I have a hoodie of her costume, so whoo) so I will definitely keep reading. I believe the rebooted series is called Radioactive Spider-Gwen, although it comes up on the Marvel website as just Spider-Gwen despite what the covers say.

4.5 / 5 stars

First published: December 2015, Marvel
Series: Spider-Gwen Vol 0 containing issues #1-5 and Edge of Spider-Verse #2
Format read: Trade paperback
Source: Purchased from a non-Amazon online book shop

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