RADIOACTIVE SPIDER-GWEN #6 brings the “Greater Power” arc to its conclusion. While the storyline has been building to a final confrontation between Gwen and Harry “Green Goblin” Osborne since the series’ second volume began, writer Jason Latour and returning artist Robbi Rodriguez take things in an unexpected direction.

READ: Feeling behind? Catch up with our review of SPIDER-GWEN #5!

The issue begins where number five left off, with Captain America locked in battle with the Goblin and Gwen unconscious. She comes to just in time to be caught in a pumpkin bomb explosion that knocks Cap out and allows Osborne to flee. Instructed by S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Carter on how to use the Lizard Serum cure that Cap was going to use on Green Goblin, Gwen arms herself with Captain America’s shield and takes off looking for Harry.

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She quickly finds a wounded Osborne in the sewers and initially prepares to battle. However, instead of fighting the two engage in a heart to heart talk with Gwen eventually convincing Harry to inject the cure himself, then allowing him to go free. After a brief conversation with Captain America, Gwen returns home for another heart to heart, this time with her father George.

RADIOACTIVE SPIDER-GWEN #6 is a perfect example of how to play with reader expectations well. Everything in the “Greater Power” arc had been pointing toward Harry and Gwen engaging in a duel to the death by the story’s conclusion. Instead, Latour brilliantly has the two discuss their insecurities and guilt over Peter’s death, leading to a resolved conflict with nary a punch thrown. It gives me hope that the Spider-Gwen Universe version of Harry Osborne might be redeemable after all.

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If last month’s issue showed that the series’ secondary characters were weak in the characterization department, this month’s made it clear just how strong the title character is in that same area. Gwen has had some great moments throughout her short comic book lifespan, but two of the best were in this issue. The aforementioned conversation with Harry was one of the best moments I’ve read in comics this year, and the various emotions displayed by Gwen rang true. The conversation with George was also a highlight. Latour really nails a beautiful father/daughter dynamic between the two characters. I also liked how said scenes seemed to indicate that the relationship between the Stacys might be moving in a less confrontational direction.

While the art in last month’s issue wasn’t bad, it’s great to have regular series artist Robbi Rodriguez back on board. He deftly handles both the early action scenes between Cap and the Goblin and the serious, character driven scenes later on. I’d also like to commend Rico Renzi’s use of color, particularly in Gwen’s dream on the book’s opening page.

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RADIOACTIVE SPIDER-GWEN #6 is a really strong issue. It gives the “Greater Power” a very satisfactory, yet unexpected conclusion. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who dropped the title after it’s slow All New, All Different Marvel beginning.

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