Greetings fellow humans and Skrulls! Your awesome buddy Deadpool, here! It's been a while since I've done one of these super-special-awesome-spectacular reviews (which you can thank Justin for with all that freaking "stream this" and "let's play" that bee ess. What a dick... stein. Dickstein.). Anyways, now that I've got him tied up in the corner, we can finally get back to the things you REALLY love to see, like my awesome-tastic reviews of course! And what better way to kick things off than to review a freaking comic!!? I know, I'm excited about this s@#t too!!!
(Justin made me promise not to say all of the sexist things that come into my head while I write this, so I won't... But oh MAN, there's so many things! I mean look at her... wow! Okay, okay, I'll stop... Maybe...)
How did Spider-Gwen come to be? Well, during the interesting Edge of the Spider-Verse storyline (issue #2 for you NERDS), one of the alternate universes we visited was one where Gwen Stacy had been bitten by the spider instead of Peter. An even bigger twist resulted in Peter being her first major villain, leading up to his DEATH! No, this is not a spoiler; this is in the very INTRO of the first issue, so don't go judging meh. Gwen proceeded to dawning an awesome costume, complete with some really confusing blue shoes that still kind of work somehow. This issue quickly became uber popular, to the point where it went into its fourth freaking printing in no time at all! That popularity rode it over to this new spin-off series we now have in front of us. Ahhhh, origin stories...
But we're here to talk about issue #1 now! It's all about #1 for the Gwen, baby! Leaving out that origin story I listed above, we dive right into the first story arc with the world already being completely established (take notes comic book movie makers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Gwen is a spunky teenage girl, being the drummer in a band and being an expert with smartphones. Her personality is really genuine, and it's a nice take away from all of the "perfectly good" and "perfectly evil" people we see in so many superhero comics. Props! We also get introduced to the first major villain we'll be seeing Gwen take on: The Vulture! We don't get to see the two of them clash web-to-wing much just yet, but this is only a single issue, and for what it is, we still get a surprisingly meaty chunk of story up in here!
The artwork is also nice. It's stylish and artsy, without being TOO artsy as to make you find it unrealistic or outlandish. Great comic art can do both in my opinion, and this one actually fits the bill quite nicely (which is good, because comics are getting freaking expensive! $3.99 to $4.99? Bitch, I got bills to pay!!!). The coloring is also really nice, as you see all kinds of different shades flying about, no matter what time of the day it is. It's not the greatest thing I've ever seen, but as a murderous sociopath with too many guns in the closet (and bedroom, and dining room, and living room, and bathroom...), who the hell am I to judge!?
Without even saying anything else, I have to point out that even for a first issue, this was just plain FUN to read! I don't think I remember getting this type of atmosphere in a comic since the days of Scott Pilgrim. It could be the fact that Gwen is in a band, while getting into cartoony superhero battles on subsequent pages, but it's definitely got a lot of heart and feeling put into it. I can only imagine bigger things to come out of this as the series continues, even if it doesn't follow with a battle against Matthew Patel.
I have also heard some complaints from... that side of the internet, saying ignorant crap like: 1. "Why would they replace Peter Parker like that? Peter is the ONLY Spider-Man!", 2. "They're shoehorning too many female superheroes at us. I will not be forced into this direction!", and my personal favorite 3. "Stop changing these established characters and universes. Create a new series with new people if you're going to do this!" Oye, where to begin? I'll do my points with numbers, since you people (yes, YOU people!) seem to read them better that way:
1. As stated above, this is in an ALTERNATE universe! No matter how many people you tell this to, it's like there's absolutely no way to get it into their heads. By all means, keep wasting our time complaining about things that aren't even happening! Yeeeeeesh!!!
2. Creating new female superheroes is not a sign of shoehorning. Forcing them in might be, but this (as well as just about any of the other female superheros Marvel has added to the mix like Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel and Kamala Khan as the new Ms. Marvel) is definitely NOT in that camp! Oh, you don't like that there's a female Thor now either? Guess what? The original Thor is still JUST fine, and will likely be back under the main Thor title before you know it! Gah, you're like the idiots who thought Superior Spider-Man was going to be the permanent status quo. Get a grip!!!
3. Aside from what I stated above in that this does NOT affect continuity in the main (or as the nerds now refer to it, 616) Marvel universe..., at least until the new Secret Wars story... maybe, creating an all-new series completely from scratch simply isn't going to sell for any character; whether male, female, or skrull. This works well for independent properties like Image, but in Marvel and DC's case, it does close to absolutely nothing. The only ones that succeed here, are the ones spinning off of other established worlds and stories. Go ahead and look at the top 10 best-selling comic books of 2014 and show me how many titles in that list don't have "Spider-Man" or "Wolverine" in them somewhere. Not a whole lot, is it? That's why you have to break out using those established worlds and do more with them.
There's only one simple way to say this, because no matter how many times people utter it, it never seems to click: WOMEN. READ. COMICS. TOO. In fact, almost 50% of comic readers these days are women. That female Thor we were talking about? Well, guess what? HER first issue IS in that top 10 list I was talking about. Winner of most of the "Best New Comic of 2014" lists? Ms. Marvel, baby! Am I saying all the people who read these titles are female? Of course not, but we are finally seeing some necessary changes. Years back, guys used to complain that women weren't into the same things as them. Now, it's finally happening and it seems like a bunch of guys are complaining about that too. Seriously, what do you guys want!? If I can get more women into the same things as me, then hell yes I'm going to do it. Who wouldn't want that? I can now schmooze with a lady, AND talk about Uncanny X-Men with her in the process! That's a WIN WIN! <3 <3
But I digress... This is about Gwen's big day, so let's give it to her! This series is off to an awesome start, and I can't wait to read the whole story arc in completion once it's done! This is THE big thing right now, and for good reason, so you may want to get in on this awesome if you haven't already. Also, "Death from a butt" may be my new favorite phrase ever.
9 Peter Parker Death Jokes Out Of 10
So I guess I do have one minor complaint with all of this, besides just wanting to read more asap... "Spider-Gwen?" Really? I know that was a name the fans came up with, but could we really not give her anything better to work with? No, I don't have anything better in mind at the moment, but surely someone within the fine minds at Marvel could take 20 minutes to figure it out! Ergh. Anyways, enough about my little rants. Awesome first issue! Read it! Rawr!