Spider-Gwen #19 Review

The crossover with Miles Morales’ Spider-Man ongoing improved as each issue past. While the crossover did not win me over on a romantic relationship between Miles and Spider-Gwen, I did like the friendship that was formed between the two. Now that the crossover is over Spider-Gwen is back to her reality and ready to deal with the threats around her. That includes the fact that Gwen is now in the pocket of Kingpin Matt Murdock while her father is still in prison. With this status quo still being active there are plenty of ways Jason Latour can take this series moving forward. Let’s see where things go with Spider-Gwen #19.

Writer: Jason Latour

Artist: Robbi Rodriguez

Colorist: Rico Renzi

Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: On the island of Madripoor, Harry Osborn tries to contact Gwen Stacy but only gets her voicemail. Harry leaves Gwen a message about stopping his dad before he makes things worse. After hanging up the phone Harry is surrounded by Hand ninja.

In New York City, Spider-Woman sees that she has a voicemail but is unable to listen to it at the moment as a cop tells her to get off the food cart she is on. The server says Spider-Woman was just buying some cashews but the cop has no patience as he believes Spider-Woman is a dangerous fugitive.

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A news crew appears to get footage on what is going on. Spider-Woman says she was just getting some street snacks.

At their apartment, Em Jay Watson can’t believe Gwen is on TV, though Betty Brant and Glory Grant still don’t believe Gwen and Spider-Woman are one and the same. Em Jay tells Betty to text Gwen to see if she answers. Betty does so and they notice Spider-Woman’s phone goes of like it just got a message.

The news crew try to get answers about the upcoming trial from Spider-Woman. As Spider-Woman decides to make a break for it as she notices more cops showing up she does say she wants George Stacy free and that the tabloids are nonsense.

Sometime later Spider-Woman makes it to the roof of the prison. Gwen goes inside to visit her father and meets with him and Matt Murdock. Matt reminds Gwen that his sole compensation is to see George finds justice. Gwen remembers her agreement with Matt is she would work with him.

Matt reveals George’s trial has been moved up as his surrender and refusal to admit anything makes him look guilty. George says he won’t say anything other than that Spider-Woman is innocent. Gwen tries to remind her dad on what is at stake.

Matt speaks up on how this trial is actually what George wants in order to have a soapbox to speak to the world. Matt asks what happens if the world doesn’t care what George has to say. Matt then says if George listens to him then to honor the deal or rot in prison.

George does not take kindly to the threat but Matt reminds George how Gwen still believes in him and what the consequences are for their deal being broken. Gwen tells her dad to stand down  and that she is doing everything in her power to save him.

Gwen walks outside and hears the cops that tried to arrest her as Spider-Woman earlier talking and how lucky they are Spider-Woman wasn’t in a bad mood.

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Matt pulls Gwen aside and reminds her how he told her to make sure her father cooperated and to bring him Scorpion’s head. He continues ranting that Gwen is not honoring their deal. One the cops sees what is going on but the other one reminds him who Matt is and they walk away.

Gwen says she isn’t scared of Matt and that he also owes her in their deal. Matt orders Gwen to suit up and go to Oscorp Towers, something he isn’t asking but telling her to do now.

A little later, Norman Osborn freaks out that Spider-Woman is with Matt at Oscorp Tower. Matt reveals that he knows all about what happened with Harry running into Spider-Woman and SHIELD and how Harry ran away after an argument with Norman.

Matt goes on to mention he also knows about Norman’s deal with Frank Castle to unlock the secrets of a radioactive isotope.Norman thinks Matt wants him to re-create Spider-Woman’s powers but Matt already knows that Cindy Moon is responsible for Spider-Woman’s powers.

Matt then calls in Dr. Brock who bring in what will help bring back Harry. Spider-Woman wonders what Dr. Brock brought in. Dr. Brock reveals that Cindy’s work help create Spider-Woman and Lizard. She then reveals she used Cindy’s work to create Venom to amplifies the wearer’s mutant isotope but also kills it’s host. Dr. Brock says that they need Spider-Woman’s immunity to radiation to allow Venom to make her whole again.

Spider-Woman thinks Matt has lost his mind if he thinks she let him infect her with the Venom parasite. Matt says they aren’t doing that yet as they plan to use Venom to draw out the parasite out of Harry when they find him. Spider-Woman wonders if that means they want to turn her into the Lizard. Dr. Brock and Matt says that since Spider-Woman is immune to radiation she won’t turn into the Lizard but will get her powers back while they get to give Venom a new home.

Spider-Woman questions Matt on what he gets. Norman speaks up and pleads with Spider-Woman to just go with the plan to save Harry. Spider-Woman begrudgingly agrees.

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Sometime later Spider-Woman arrives in Madripoor with some Hand ninja at her command. Spider-Woman tells the Hand ninjas to wait until she gives them a command.

As Spider-Woman swings through Madripoor, Wolverine spots her and comments on how Osborn doesn’t need enemies with the type of friends he has. End of issue.

The Good: Jason Latour does not waste anytime getting back on track with Spider-Gwen #15. In doing so we quickly get reminded of how deep Spider-Gwen’s partnership with Matt Murdock goes. Though the info dump may turn off some it is something that was needed as a new plot element is introduced and Harry Osborn’s current predicament is brought back to the forefront.

Right away Latour reminds us that Earth-65 is not a nice place for Spider-Gwen. One of the elements that has made Peter Parker’s adventures as Spider-Man interesting, especially early on in his career, is the fact he has had a contentious relationship with the NYPD and SHIELD. That is something that Latour has taken to the next level by having Spider-Gwen’s relationship with the police be something that affects her on multiple levels.

That is something we see play out throughout Spider-Gwen #19 as she has to deal with the police both in and out of her costume. The sense that no matter where Gwen goes she can’t escape listening to what people think of Spider-Woman makes you feel claustrophobic for her. It truly felt that with each interaction between Gwen has with Matt Murdock that things only close in on her tighter.

The business relationship between Spider-Gwen and Kingpin continues to get more intriguing. With each interaction between the two we are seeing how desperate things have become for Gwen with each passing day. Even when Gwen tries to speak her mind Matt is the one that holds all the cards in their partnership. That fact makes you wonder how Gwen can even hope to overcome the threat Matt poses to her life in and out of her Spider-Woman costume.

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Now that we are seeing the Osborns brought into Matt’s plans to increase his power as Kingpin, Latour is using this as opportunity to bring more Spider-Man elements to the world. Introducing the Venom symbiote as something that could cure Harry’s Lizard problem also gave Latour time to explain how it relates to Spider-Gwen’s powers. Explaining how Spider-Gwen’s immunity to radiation makes her the perfect host for the Venom symbiote is a good way to ground this classic Spider-Man element in Earth-65’s world. The fact that Latour is giving the Venom symbiote a personal connection with Harry’s problem helps make it harder for Spider-Gwen to go against Matt’s orders.

Taking things to Madripoor is also an interesting way to introduce Earth-65’s version of Wolverine. With how we have seen Latour give classic Marvel characters a unique flair that matches Earth-65’s tone there is no telling what direction Latour goes with Wolverine. Given that Wolverine only references an “Osborn” after spotting Spider-Woman I’m very interested to see if he is working for Harry or Norman.

Latour also does a solid job continuing to develop Spider-Gwen’s supporting cast. George Stacy continuing to not admit his innocence or guilt is a good way to show us how prideful he is. Latour adds an extra layer to George’s current stance by having Matt reveal George’s real intentions are to give himself a stage to promote Spider-Woman as hero. Given that the trial has been fast tracked things should only get more interesting in this series moving forward.

Even though they were only in one short scene, Latour maximized how much time we got to see the Mary Janes. Seeing has Em Jay is the only one that believes Gwen is Spider-Woman and that they were given proof that is the case there are plenty of ways for Latour to go with developing them as supporting characters. With Latour introducing the Venom symbiote they may end up playing a role in the future if Gwen becomes completely overtaken by the symbiote.

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Robbi Rodriguez once again delivered his own brand of energetic artwork that gives continues to give Earth-65 its own unique look. Even though there weren’t action sequences for Rodriguez to show off, we get to see how he is able to draw emotions out of what the characters are saying. This is best scene in the scenes between Gwen, Matt and George. These are emotionally powered scenes with Rodriguez perfectly showing how evil of a character Matt is as he has complete control over the current situation.

The Bad: Nothing.

Overall: Spider-Gwen #19 does not waste anytime getting the series back on track. The interactions between Spider-Gwen and Matt Murdock elevated all the events going on at the moment. The introduction of the Venom symbiote and Wolverine provide Latour with interesting wild cards that add to the unpredictability that surrounds Spider-Gwen’s current direction.