Vol 0: Most Wanted? illustrated by Robbi Rodriguez, colored by Rico Renzi
In this alternate universe, Gwen Stacy was bitten by the radioactive spider, not Peter Parker. Presently, she’s dealing with the guilt and aftermath of Peter’s death. Peter tried to emulate Gwen's Spider-Woman, his hero, but was met with a tragic end, for which Gwen feels responsible. Meanwhile, Spider-Woman the prime suspect for Peter's death, and the lead detective is George Stacy, a.k.a. her dad! After Spider-Woman saves Detective Stacy from a would-be assassin, the police force fears collusion and replaces him with Frank Castle (a.k.a. The Punisher!). To top all of this off, Gwen is supposed to be the drummer for a break-out band, The Mary Janes, but her double life keeps her from showing up to gigs on time.
In 2015, Spider-Gwen had a relaunch because of The Secret Wars, so for more continuity sake, it’s easier to pick up with the 2015B storyline, which is this volume.
Gwen's past is shown in flashbacks, which may lead readers to believe there's more before this, but there isn't. There is a lot of prerequisite knowledge needed to fully enjoy the storyline, as characters who have shown up in other universes are used here with no introduction. It might take a second to realize Matt Murdock is not a nice guy in Gwen's universe, and that The Punisher plays a very different role as well. Mary Jane is also present, but she serves in a much smaller capacity as she's not the main love interest. Since Gwen is still in high school, there is a little bit of the teeny-bopper angst that Spider comics tend to have when their main character isn't in college, so societal pressures to be conforming and the importance of The Mary Janes to Gwen is a common thread that will resonate with teen readers.
Rodriguez' illustrations can be soft at times but also sharp and full of movement when Gwen gets going. The coloring is vibrant and also full of life. The artistic team has definitely cued in on some tenets of modern cartooning that readers gravitate towards - things like vivid backgrounds and crisp, clear character outlines and features.
There is some violence in this volume and a little bit of blood during fight scenes. This comic would be best suited for teen readers.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 8-12
Publication Date: November 17, 2015
ISBN: 9780785197737 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Action Adventure, Superheroes, Marvel
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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