There have been so many variations on Spider-Man over the years: everything from Spider-Man 2099 to having Mary Jane be Spider-Man in one universe, to clones. It’s all so impossible to keep up with everything, but there has never been a Spider like Spider-Gwen.
In the summer of 2014 Marvel teased out a new Spider title by releasing a few images of ‘Spider Gwen’, hinting that they might be bringing back a long dead character of the Spider-verse (see what I did there?). They did in fact bring back Gwen Stacy, but not in the way you might think. Or, maybe in exactly the way you might think.
By now every Marvel fan that has been around a while knows that there is a multiverse and that the Earth typically portrayed in the comics is designated Earth-616. This Gwen is from another Earth, only having been revealed when this Earth’s Spider-Man (Doc Ock, not Peter) began assembling an interdimensional crew of Spider Heros, all of whom are their dimension’s representative Spider Totem.
We don’t really get a lot of back story in this first issue – for that you have to hunt down a copy of Edge of Spider-Verse #2, where in various flashbacks we get to see how Gwen got her powers (it’s a familiar tale), what happened to her world’s Peter Parker, and what many of the most famous and popular characters are doing. Instead, in this first issue of Spider-Gwen we get a fight with one of the original Spider-Man villains, Vulture, or at least this dimension’s version of him (which ties in nicely with the original Amazing Spider-Man series). It’s a decent story with a typical cliff hanger, and we get to play in an entirely new world.
All in all it’s a good start with a lot of potential. The title needs to find its legs and Gwen needs to establish herself as a character and hero in her own right before a decision can be made about the title as a whole, but it’s a very good beginning and I will most assuredly be picking up the next few issues.
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