This is the Spider-Verse hero made to speak to the heart of Gwen Stacy fans. In Edge of Spider-Verse #2, Jason Latour weaves a rock and roll tapestry of heartbreak and honesty. Robbi Rodriguez helps you feel the rhythm of the music through his art. It’s a powerful combination that tells a fast moving story, with just the right amount of head nods to the original Marvel-616 universe story.
This story works perfectly as a one and done tale. The origins of Peter Parker are so well known. Many of these touchstone points are references in Gwen’s own origin, keeping it from being a painful rehash if it had been decompressed anymore.
In this way Latour has done the smart thing, not being condescending to the reader. Instead, he packs in an immediate punch to your heart with the death that has impacted Gwen’s feeling of responsibility. The traditional story is also turned on it’s head with how Latour plays with the relationship between Gwen and her father, Captain Stacy. She takes a bold and dynamic mood that Peter Parker would never take and it allows this Gwen Stacy to stand apart from many variations of the Spider-man story who sacrifices familial-relationships to keep his secret.
Robbi Rodriguez’s art embraces the rock aesthetic, then kicks it up a level. With punches of neon and slashes of lyrics across the page, the book opens with lots of energy. Action sequences, with multiple views of Spider-Woman (please, can we just name her Spider-Gwen?! It’s too fun!) the movement becomes so fluid. When the anxiety level for Gwen rises, the panel layout ever so slightly skews. It’s a small touch the helps to translate the emotional intensity of a scene. This, along with a more artistic sense of the characters instead of slaving the story to a more traditional superhero house style, helps this book to really get your blood pumping.
There are reveals, large and small in this issue. Latour reveals unpredictable cameos and creates major revelations that have plenty of story to explore in a full series. Fans of Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Storm and She-Hulk may find a kindred spirit of justice and perseverance in this Gwen Stacy. Of course, at the very end we are reminded of the larger story that will bring this Spider-Woman into the larger battle to protect the heroes across the Spider-verse. Of course, more Spider-Gwen is always going to be a great thing. Everyone, be they a Spider-Man fan or not, should try and enjoy the empowerment of this book.
The Verdict: 10/10