Spider-Gwen

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Spider-Gwen
Spider-Gwen #1 (Feb. 2015). Cover art by Robbi Rodriguez.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre
Publication date (Vol. 1)
Feb.–June 2015
(Vol. 2)
Oct. 2015 – present
No. of issues (Vol. 1)
5
(Vol. 2)
34
Creative team
Created by Jason Latour
Robbi Rodriguez
Written by Jason Latour
Artist(s) Robbi Rodriguez
Colorist(s) Rico Renzi
Collected editions
Volume 0: Most Wanted? ISBN 978-0785197737

Spider-Gwen is an ongoing comic book series published by Marvel Comics that began February 2015. The series revolves around the Gwen Stacy of Earth-65, an alternate Earth that debuted in Edge of Spider-Verse #2 as part of the 2014–2015 Spider-Man storyline "Spider-Verse". Spider-Gwen explores a universe where Gwen Stacy was bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker, forcing her into a career as the Spider-Woman of her world, Earth 65.

Publication history[edit]

A spider-powered Gwen Stacy was first conceptualized by long-time Spider-Man writer Dan Slott for the 2014–2015 "Spider-Verse" storyline. However, his initial concept was very different from what was published, which was mainly the work of Spider-Gwen creators Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez.[1][2] Rodriguez's design for Gwen's Spider-Woman uniform was cited as a main reason for the character's popularity, and before the issue even hit the stands, Edge of Spider-Verse #2 was an enormous hit.[citation needed]

In October, Nick Lowe announced at New York Comic-Con 2014 that the fan-favorite Spider-Gwen that was introduced in "Spider-Verse" would be getting her own ongoing series after much demand.[3]

The first volume ended after the fifth issue with the character carrying over into the second volume of Spider-Verse as part of the "Secret Wars" storyline.[4] After the conclusion of that storyline, a second volume by the same creative team began with issue #1 as a part of Marvel's All-New, All-Different Marvel imprint.[5]

Story[edit]

Before Spider-Gwen[edit]

Prior to the beginning of Spider-Gwen, high school student Gwen Stacy was bitten by a radioactive spider. This granted her all of the quintessential Spider-Man powers, and Stacy began her career as Spider-Woman. In her regular life, she began a relationship with Peter Parker and formed a friend group with Parker and ostracized new student Harry Osborn, who is later revealed to have had a crush on her. Meanwhile, Peter began his infatuation with Spider-Woman — without knowing that she is secretly his best friend Gwen Stacy. The bullying Peter suffered worsens, and eventually he creates a formula that turns him into a lizard mutant.

On prom night, after he is being bullied yet again, he injects himself with the formula and transforms, going crazy. Gwen Stacy then dons her Spider-Woman costume and fights Peter, defeating him, but she accidentally pushes him too hard and kills him. Peter regresses to his human form in Gwen's arms, telling her he just wanted to "be special" like her and prompting her to realize what she has done. She then runs from the scene, creating the public misconception that Spider-Woman has murdered Peter Parker and is a menace to society and setting up the scene for the Spider-Gwen series.

Vol 0[edit]

Issue 0[edit]

Prior to the Spider-Verse event (in which Spider-Gwen was introduced), Gwen Stacy's father, George Stacy, was ordered as captain of the NYPD to hunt down and detain Spider-Woman, as she is considered a public menace. At the start of Spider-Gwen, Captain Stacy- currently unaware of Spider-Gwen's secret identity as his daughter- is more than happy to do so. Upon hearing about this, Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin, one of New York's most prominent crime bosses, decides to ally himself with Spider-Gwen- for reasons unexplained- and sends Matt Murdock (better known as Daredevil on Earth-616, the main comic book universe) a corrupt lawyer, to send the assassin Aleksei Sytsevich to kill Captain Stacy. During all of this, Gwen's band, the Mary Janes, is about to play a concert- the first major one of their career as a band. Gwen arrives late just in time to see her father being attacked by the assassin and quickly dispatches him, but ends up being cornered at gunpoint by him. To avoid getting shot, she reveals to her father that she is Spider-Woman.

After the Spider-verse event Gwen goes back to her ordinary life of bumming around by day and Spider-Woman-ing by night. Since Gwen revealed herself to her father he left the Spider-Woman case and the investigation was passed on to detective Frank Castle. Gwen is also failing to meet the expectations of her friends and is living life one moment at a time. Suddenly the villain Vulture appears, secretly working for the Kingpin (Matt Murdock), and causes trouble for Gwen (Spider Ham appears for a short time as a hallucination because of an attack). Gwen defeats Vulture and in the end he is put away, Murdock continuing to influence him from behind bars. Frank Castle increases his efforts against Spider-Woman, becoming more and more ruthless. Castle eventually makes the connection with Spider-Woman's identity and enlists the help of Kraven the Hunter to perform a siege on the Stacy house. Castle and Kraven brutally beat down Gwen after she gets her father to safety. The volume concludes when Gwen decides to take a stand against Castle and not run any longer, blindsiding him as he unmasks her while trying to get away.

Vol 1[edit]

Radioactive arc[edit]

Gwen is now unsure of how secure her secret identity is as she hides from her father and awaits the recollection of Frank Castle. Her problems are put to the side when a Lizard appears on the streets, seemingly having taken something like Peter Parker's formula. The dog of Spider-Gwen's "arch-nemesis", Bodega Bandit, is eaten by the Lizard. Tracking the Lizard into the sewer, Spider-Woman encounters a pack of Lizard men and uses all her strength to fend them off. Finally Earth 65's Captain America, Samantha Wilson, shows up to capture the Lizards and surprisingly Spider Gwen as well. Gwen battles CA furiously while avoiding the Lizards as well. Gwen saves CA from the Lizards and they part ways on good terms. (Gwen gifts Bodega Bandit a hamster named Pine Cone at this point as a replacement for his dog, Bandito.) After a quick chat with Jessica Drew of Earth 616, Gwen and The Mary Janes go on a camping trip where Harry Osborn makes a surprise appearance. He explains his connection with S.H.I.E.L.D. and his motive to go after Spider-Woman. He appears nights later in a green mechanical suit accompanied by an army of orange robots to kill Spider-Woman. After an issue-long battle, Harry sets off an explosion to even the playing field. As Gwen lies on the floor, Harry drinks a vial of the Lizard formula and unmasks her to his surprise. After an issue break from the fight, involving a storyline of George Stacy conversing with Matt Murdock, Gwen resumes her fight with a now mutated Harry Osborn with the assistance of Captain America. Gwen eventually convinces Harry that he is in the wrong and allows him to run from S.H.I.E.L.D. Gwen reconciles with her father in the end and he quits his job.

Characters[edit]

Villains[edit]

  • A.I.M. - A criminal organization.
    • M.O.D.A.A.K. – Short for Mental Organism Designed As America's King, M.O.D.A.A.K. is a variation of MODOK created by A.I.M. and whose true identity is Earth-65's version of Donald Trump.[7]
  • Bodega Bandit – Bodega Bandit is a petty criminal who was stopped many times by Spider-Woman. He had a dog named Bandito who was later eaten by a Lizard. Spider-Woman made it up to him by giving him a hamster named Pine Cone.[8]
  • Frank Castle – The Captain of the NYPD's Special Crimes Task Force who succeeds George Stacy after he was relieved of duty by Mayor Jameson. Castle seems to be a crazy maniac.[8]
  • Doctorangutan – An intelligent orangutan.[9]
  • Hand - A ninja organization.
    • Matt Murdock / Kingpin II – In this reality, Matt Murdock is Wilson Fisk's lawyer who was trained by Stick and later the Hand, serving as the Kingpin of crime. The cause of his blindness is the same as his Earth-616 counterpart.[6]
    • Rhino – In this reality, Aleksei Sytsevich is a mercenary with gray skin and blue hair who Kingpin once hired to kill George Stacy.[6] He later became Rhino upon joining the Hand. After Rhino beat up George Stacy, Spider-Woman wanted revenge only to find that Captain Frank Castle had beaten her to it when he killed Rhino.
  • Koala Kommander – The masked koala bear-weaponizing menace of New York. In hindsight, this character exercised poor judgment in creating living weapons.[7]
  • Kraven the Hunter – A hunter enlisted by Frank Castle.[9]
  • Peter Parker / The Lizard – A classmate of Gwen Stacy who turned into a lizard creature and died from his fatal wounds during the resulting battle.[6]
  • Harry Osborn / Green Goblin / Lizard – In this reality, Harry watched his best friend Peter Parker get beaten to death by Spider-Woman. His intense feeling of guilt drives him to join and subsequently betray S.H.I.E.L.D. on his quest to kill Spider-Woman. During the Radioactive arc in the comics, Harry comes back into Gwen's life, and later battles Spider-Woman with a super suit and glider. After Harry injects himself with the Lizard formula, he discovers Spider-Woman is Gwen Stacy and is consumed by anger. Finally, he escapes and is now on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Kingpin – A mobster who was arrested by George Stacy years ago and is still in prison.[10]
  • S.I.L.K. – An organization that splintered from S.H.I.E.L.D.[11]
  • Adrian Toomes / Vulture – An ex-Oscorp Employee who targeted police officers. This version secretes a green cloud of gas wherever he goes.[8]

Other characters[edit]

  • Ben Grimm – In this reality, Ben Grimm is a police officer for the NYPD.[8]
  • Ben Parker – The uncle of Peter Parker who is still alive in this reality and is a neighbor of the Stacy family.[12]
  • Samantha Wilson / Captain America – In this reality, Captain America is a female pilot who went through Project Rebirth after Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes, and Isaiah Bradley were badly injured by Nazi double agents.[13]
    • Sam 13 / Falcon – In this reality, Falcon is a male clone of Captain America, who has a robotic bird companion named Redwing.[14]
  • Felicia Hardy – In this reality, Felicia Hardy was a musician who planned revenge on Matt Murdock for killing her father after he stole some of Kingpin's money.[4]
  • Foggy Nelson – Foggy Nelson is a District Attorney.[8]
  • Isaiah Bradley – He was one of the candidates for Project Rebirth until he was injured by Nazi double agents.[14]
  • J. Jonah Jameson – The Mayor of New York City.[6]
  • James Barnes – He was one of the candidates for Project Rebirth until he was injured by Nazi double agents. After retiring later on, James Barnes had a medical center named after him.[14]
  • Jean DeWolff – A detective in the NYPD's Special Crimes Task Force who is partnered up with Frank Castle.[8]
  • The Mary Janes – A rock band that Gwen Stacy played the drums in.[6]
  • May Parker – The aunt of Peter Parker who is a neighbor of the Stacy family.[15]
  • Peggy Carter – In this reality, Peggy Carter is an operative for the Strategic Scientific Reserve who oversaw Project Rebirth. In a later life, Peggy Carter became the director of S.H.I.E.L.D.[14]
  • Randy Robertson – In this reality, Randy Robertson is a rock and roll reporter.[8]
  • Steve Rogers – He was one of the candidates for Project Rebirth until he was injured by Nazi double-agents. In a later life, he illustrated the "Captain America" comics.[13]
  • Yancy Street Gang – The Yancy Street Gang are shown to root for Spider-Woman.[8]

Reception[edit]

Spider-Gwen has received positive reviews from critics. IGN said "Spider-Gwen's new comic gets off to a solid start thanks to a hip tone, strong characterization, and vibrant artwork."[16] Comic Book Resources said that the first issue was "fun, familiar, energetic and invigorating, the art is engaging and the character has nothing but potential to offer. "Spider-Gwen" #1 is more than just a comic with something for everyone; it's a comic with everything for everyone."[17]

The first issue of Spider-Gwen was the third-best selling comic of February 2015, selling over 250,000 copies.[18][19]

Collected editions[edit]

The first series is being collected into a trade paperback:

Title Material collected Pages Publication Date ISBN
Spider-Gwen: Volume 0: Most Wanted? Edge of Spider-Verse #2 and Spider-Gwen (vol. 1) #1–5 112 November 2015 978-0785197737
Spider-Gwen Vol. 1: Greater Power Spider-Gwen (Vol 2) #1–6 136 May 2016 978-0785199595
Spider-Women Spider-Gwen (Vol 2) #7-8, Silk #7-8, Spider-Woman (Vol 6) #6-7 200 July 2016 978-1302900939
Spider-Gwen Vol. 2: Weapon of Choice Spider-Gwen (Vol 2) #9–13 112 January 2017 978-0785199601
Spider-Gwen Vol. 3: Long Distance Spider-Gwen (Vol 2) #14-15, Spider-Gwen Annual #1, All-New Wolverine Annual #1 112 July 2017 978-1302903107
Spider-Man/Spider-Gwen: Sitting in a Tree Spider-Gwen (Vol 2) #16-18, Spider-Man (2016) #12-14 136 May 2017 978-1302907624
Spider-Gwen Vol. 4: Predators Spider-Gwen (Vol 2) #19–23 112 October 2017 978-1302905965
Spider-Gwen Vol. 5: Gwenom Spider-Gwen (Vol 2) #24–28 112 May 2018 978-1302907648

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ching, Albert (11 March 2015). "Slott Details the Unexpected Origins of Spider-Gwen and Spider-Punk". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Rodriguez, Robbi. "Meet Gwen Stacy, Spider-Woman, in Edge of Spider-Verse #2". Marvel.com. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  3. ^ Ching, Albert (12 October 2014). "NYCC: Marvel's 'Spider-Verse' Panel, 'Spider-Gwen' and 'Silk' Ongoings Announced". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Spider-Gwen #5. Marvel Comics.
  5. ^ Damore, Meagan. "Latour, Rodriguez to Stick with "Spider-Gwen" Following "Secret Wars"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Edge of Spider-Verse #2
  7. ^ a b Spider-Gwen Annual #1
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Spider-Gwen #1
  9. ^ a b Spider-Gwen Vol. 2 #10
  10. ^ Spider-Gwen #2
  11. ^ a b c d e Spider-Women Alpha #1
  12. ^ Spider-Gwen #3
  13. ^ a b Spider-Gwen Vol. 2 #1
  14. ^ a b c d Spider-Gwen Vol. 2 #2
  15. ^ Spider-Gwen #4
  16. ^ "Spider-Gwen #1 Review". IGN. 
  17. ^ "Spider-Gwen #1 Review". Comic Book Resources. 
  18. ^ "Top Selling Comics & Publisher Market Share: February 2015". News.yahoo.com. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  19. ^ Johnston, Rich (24 April 2015). "Spider-Gwen #1 Has Now Sold Over 300,000 Copies". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]