SPIDER-GWEN #19 by Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez, and Rico Renzi
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
SPIDER-GWEN #19 is a fine read. It starts a new arc for the series and introduces several plot points & characters that are sure to rock the foundations of Earth-65 Gwen Stacy's life.
77 %
Intriguing & dramatic
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SPIDER-GWEN #19

Calling all webheads! SPIDER-GWEN #19 by Jason Latour is finally here, and it doesn’t disappoint. Picking up from where we left off last month, Gwen Stacy of Earth-65 is still juggling her duties as Gwen Stacy and Spider-Woman. On one hand, she made a deal with the devil (the daredevil from our Earth) Matt Murdock in order to get her dad legal help. On the other hand, she must work as Spider-Woman for Murdock in his guise as the Kingpin of Crime. All this and Gwen doesn’t even have her superpowers.

For those spider-fans familiar with the larger Marvel universe, SPIDER-GWEN #19 brings a lot of juicy info and potential for future issues. First and foremost, it officially introduces the Venom symbiote! Gwen hasn’t bonded with it yet, but seriously, Gwenom is coming! Plus, Gwen’s roommates are now all but sure that she’s Spider-Woman. That’s going to create a ton of drama for the four bandmates of the Mary Janes. As if that wasn’t enough, Gwen and Harry Osborn are headed for an epic collision with none other than Earth-65’s version of Wolverine!

Spider-Gwen #19
SPIDER-GWEN #19 page 6. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Art

SPIDER-GWEN #19 is a decent, but not particularly exceptional, read. The art is stylized and very abstract. Photorealism is most definitely not the style employed by artist Robbi Rodriguez. This biases me against his drawing, as I love photorealism in art, video games, and comics. It depends on the individual, but I’m sort of ambivalent towards more abstract visual forms. Rodriguez does a fine job for his style, but I’m not a big fan. I like things that look like they’re from a movie or a photo, not something so cartoonish. Overall, the art is fine and does its job, but isn’t my personal cup of tea.

READ: Want more Spider-Gwen coverage? Then take a look at this review of SPIDER-GWEN ANNUAL #1!

Characterization

Characterization overall is acceptable, but not perfect. I’ve never really liked the idea of Matt Murdock as the Kingpin. It’s plausible that, if raised by the Hand, Murdock would turn out evil. In this world, therefore, Murdock is characterized to perfection. Just because it’s plausible and believable, however, doesn’t mean it’s enjoyable. I’m not partial towards turning heroes evil, so this is annoying. My personal preferences notwithstanding, they do an excellent job of portraying Earth-65’s versions of familiar characters. For example, Latour writes Gwen Stacy perfectly. Her being Spider-Woman is totally believable and a lot of fun. I’ve found myself preferring her to both Peter Parker and Miles Morales. She’s also my favorite Spider-Woman.

Spider-Gwen #19
SPIDER-GWEN #19 page 7. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

READ: Want more info on alternate reality spider-heroes? If so, then take a look at ComicsVerse’s review of EDGE OF SPIDERVERSE #4!

Plot

The strongest facet of SPIDER-GWEN #19 has to be the plot. Not only does it drop some bombshells, but it uses foreshadowing beautifully. The cliffhanger at the end is particularly poignant. Revealing alternate reality versions of familiar heroes is always exciting. I personally can’t wait until June when Logan finally sinks his claws into the story. Plus, it’ll be super cool to see how Gwen Stacy deals with the Venom symbiote. Peter Parker and Eddie Brock’s experiences with the alien parasite are well known. Peter’s struggles with his dark side are classic reading and I cannot recommend them highly enough for every spider-fan. To round it all out, how will the Mary Janes deal with the confirmation that their drummer is also Spider-Woman? These are all exciting new developments that will impact Ms. Stacy’s life in both small and large ways. I’m excited to see what’s next for Spider-Woman.

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