Spider-Gwen has quietly been one of Marvel’s more consistent comic books. Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez have done a good job expanding on the Marvel Universe that Spider-Gwen exists in. The introduction of Wolverine, Shadowcat and Venom Symbiote have all been a welcome addition to what we already have seen of SHIELD, Kingpin and the Hand. Now just as Gwen was forced to make a tough decision in order to save her friend, Harry Osborn, from his fate as the Lizard. Gwen’s decision looks to have had serious consequences as she has unleashed the Venom Symbiote into the world. Let’s see how things go from here with Spider-Gwen #24
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: The symbiote takes over Wolverine much to Spider-Woman’s horror. Venom-Wolverine attacks the police that just arrived on scene.
Elsewhere Jean DeWolff looks over George Stacy, who has been placed into a coma.
Foggy Nelson calls Matt Murdock to let him know that George is still alive and that if he wakes up it could be bad for them. Matt tells Foggy to calm down and everything will be fine, just as he arrives at where Spider-Woman was fighting the Hand.
Elsewhere Shadowcat tries to stop Venom-Wolverine from killing the cops with a sonic device but Spider-Woman stops her before she kills them both. Spider-Woman says they have to save Wolverine from the symbiote not kill him.
Spider-Woman and Shadowcat team-up to corner Venom-Wolverine and quickly get him separated from the symbiote.
Spider-Woman uses the device to force the symbiote to come after her while Wolverine and Shadowcat escape.
The symbiote consumes Spider-Woman just as Matt arrives on the scene. Matt tells Spider-Woman that she blew her one chance to be in control. Spider-Woman uses the last of her strength to get Matt’s phone and turn on some music. This gives Spider-Woman enough of an opening to gain control of the symbiote.
Spider-Woman starts choking out Matt. Matt congratulates Spider-Woman for gaining control but reminds her that he is still in control with her father, who is now in a coma.
Spider-Woman rushes to her father’s hospital room and breaks down when she sees him in a coma. As she becomes emotional the symbiote overtakes Spider-Woman and becomes the dominate one.
Jean and some cops show up. Venom-Spider-Woman attacks the cops and starts choking Jean. Venom-Spider-Woman throws Jean aside before killing her and leaves the hospital. End of issue.
The Good: The world expansion continues with Spider-Gwen #24 successfully introducing Venom. The journey to fully introduce the Venom symbiote has been a long one but Jason Latour makes the full reveal of this force worth all the lead up to what happens in Spider-Gwen #24.
Due to how much the Symbiote-based characters like Venom and Carnage have been driven into the ground with their exposure stories around these type of characters have been more miss than hit. Latour is able to avoid all the the Symbiote characters dull by building up how menacing of a force they are. The build up to how dangerous of a force they are made the moment when Spider-Gwen was consumed by it even more intriguing to see where the series goes from here.
The reason the interest around Earth-65’s Venom Symbiote is much higher is due to how Latour went about characterizing how it works. Rather than just making it a thing that will turn everyone into a villain the Symbiote is treated more as something that takes away someone’s inhibitions. As we saw with when the Symbiote took over Wolverine, it completely feed into his lack of caring and bloodthirst to take him over. In feeding off that emotion Latour was also able to establish how the Symbiote could both be controlled and not be at the same time.
Spider-Gwen finding a way around it by using music to control the Symbiote was a nice twist. This was a good way to show how Spider-Gwen is able to thinking quickly on the fly. It also finally gave her a small win against Matt Murdock, something that she rarely gets.
At the same time Matt, as has been the case since he was introduced, is always at least one step ahead of Spider-Gwen. Seeing how Matt, even when Spider-Gwen has him cornered, still finds a way to take advantage of any situation makes him an even more dangerous villain. Him using George Stacy’s coma-state, something he originally did not plan as he intended to kill George, to emotionally break Gwen was a devious move.
That devious move by Matt made the moment with the Symbiote completely taking Gwen over even more impactful. Even though it is not her fault, Gwen has gone through so much because of her life as Spider-Woman that has caused pain in her personal life. That moment when she breaks down after seeing her father in a coma made it an even harder see that the Venom Symbiote used that emotional state to fully take her over.
While they are pushed aside in the second half of the issue I hope this isn’t the last we see of Wolverine and Shadowcat. Latour did a great job integrating these two characters into the universe, giving each one a unique edge that is different from their main 616-counterparts. Given how Latour did establish some form of partnership between Spider-Gwen and Shadowcat it wouldn’t be surprising if they return. It would definitely add to this upcoming Venom arc if they got involved in hunting the Venom controlled Spider-Gwen down.
Robbi Rodriguez once again turns in some great work with Spider-Gwen #24. Rodriguez’ art style continues to give this series a unique look. With the Venom Symbiote’s introduction Rodriguez was able to do a good job showing off the horror movie tendencies it has. He also did a good job making Venom-Wolverine and Venom-Spider-Woman have different designs rather than one-type of monstrous design, which we see in the 616-Universe. That help add to how this version of the Symbiote feeds into the emotions of the character it takes over as a host.
The Bad: It was a bit odd to see how Harry Osborn was thrown aside in the conclusion of the “Predators” story arc. After being the main focal point in the entire issue it definitely felt as though something was missing. It did not get in the overall impact of Spider-Gwen #24’s ending but Harry’s lack of presence was noticeable.
Overall: Spider-Gwen #24 did an excellent job ending the “Predators” and transitioning into the upcoming Venom arc. Jason Latour made this version of the Venom Symbiote into an intriguing wild card element for this series and how it impacts the rest of this series will be fun to see. Latour’s story is made stronger thanks to Rodriguez delivering strong artwork that made each moment in Spider-Gwen #24 even more impactful.