By Seanan McGuire, Takeshi Miyazawa, Ian Herring
With Spider-Gwen’s new identity out in the open, she has sacrificed her anonymity but is now regarded as a hero to the city of New York. Keeping her feet on the ground as your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Woman, Spider-Gwen’s helping out the everyday people of New York, going as so far as to put up her own promotional flyers as advertisements for employment. But this works two ways – not only can criminals use it as bait to lure her in to traps, it also risks putting herself and people close to her in harms way from potential targets. It’s a fun issue that makes the most out of this new status quo in an effective manner.
The storyline is fairly original with there being comparatively few superheroes with their identity known to the public, and it makes for a nice change of pace seeing how Gwen manages her identity being known in a different approach to say, Tony Stark as Iron Man. The character-driven narrative makes the most out of the witty script that explores the benefits of Gwen having symbiote powers in a fascinating twist on the normal Spider-people stories. The book also puts Gwen in a unique ability of her father being an important player in the police force – not just a normal officer but a police captain. With this comes a degree of relative safety, as the bad guys won’t harm Gwen in her own home without the risk of drawing the attention of the police, but they know that as long as one of their own isn’t put in harms way, they can go for Spider-Gwen without as much risk of retaliation from the law.
Seanan McGuire’s script is well crafted hitting some solid character beats in a back-to-basics tone which was needed after the chaotic Spider-Geddon. The dialogue is on point and it continues to depict Gwen as a quirky, relatable and likeable protagonist, reminding the reader to care about her beyond just her activities as a superhero and putting her personal life first (which is in part why the current Miles Morales book also works so well). This dialogue is one of the many things that helps give this book a sense of uniqueness compared to other Spider-titles on shelves and is a compelling reason to read it, beyond its overall excellence.
Takeshi Miyazawa’s pencils are distinctive too, with both him and colourist Ian Herring fleshing out Gwen and further emphasising the importance of character first. Gwen is given depth and fleshed out with her emotions coming through in the script, and the action scenes are vibrant and fun. Miyazawa’s style is crisp and confident, and it’s hard not to like the artwork in this book.
The new status quo for Gwen may have had its perks so far but with it comes danger and it’s not going to be long before the villains in her world take advantage of that. She’s been more than able to handle her new life so far but there’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong. As evidenced by the ending of this issue, it’s going to happen sooner rather than later.