Welcome to Earth 65. Things are a little different here.
Bitten by a radioactive spider, Gwen Stacy becomes Spider-Woman. The story picks up following the fallout of the death of Gwen’s best friend Peter Parker, who had become the monstrous Lizard – a result of a science experiment gone wrong. Convinced that the threat of the Lizard died alongside Peter, Lizard creatures emerge to prowl through the streets of New York. Enlisting the help of Jessica Drew – this universe’s Captain America – can Gwen defeat the green-skinned giants?
I love me some whacky mix-em-ups! Gwen Stacy is Spider-Woman! The police captain is Frank Castle (The Punisher)! Daredevil is a villain that works for The Kingpin! The only question with concepts like this is can the story rise above the gimmicky nature of the presentation? In the case of Volume One, I’m going to say.. maybe? I don’t know. It’s still too early to tell if the series will have legs, but this volume mostly worked for me.
I liked that they kept the snarky-spirit of the Spider-Man character and allowed Gwen to spout off a few one-liners while beating down baddies. The relationship with her father mirrors that of Peter’s relationship with Aunt May from the original Spidey series but with some added conflict due to her father’s career as a police officer. I’m not big on seemingly everyone knowing that Gwen is Spider-Woman, but I will wait and see where the series is headed before passing immediate judgment.
I’m deducting points for whomever made the bonehead decision to change up the art-style more than halfway through the collection. It was so drastically different from the majority of the story that it took me out of the natural flow of the book. It didn’t help that I wasn’t a fan of it either.
I have high hopes that the series can find its feet and get running with this now established universe.
Side note: I used my Marvel Unlimited subscription on my tablet and absolutely love the guided technology they use here. I’ll always love trade paperbacks, but it’s hard to beat the almost cinematic-like experience they use.