Spider-Gwen #5 Review

Spider-Gwen #5

Since making her introduction as a new alternate version of Spider-Woman Gwen Stacy has become of one Marvel’s more prominent characters. That’s thanks to the success of Jason Latour’s Spider-Gwen ongoing series, which spun out of Spider-Verse. Seeing a world where Gwen was bitten by the spider and not Peter has brought a breath of fresh air to the whole idea of Spider-Man. With all that said let’s see what Latour has next for Ms. Stacy with Spider-Gwen #5.

Creative Team

Writer: Jason Latour

Artist: Robbi Rodriguez

Colorist: Rico Renzi

Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: Inside Kingpin’s tower Matt Murdock is handed an envelope that was left by the person broke into the building. Matt smiles when he sees that the envelope has a ticket to Felicia Hardy and The Black Cats concert.

Spider-Gwen #5
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Outside the venue of Felicia Hardy and The Black Cats concert Glory Grant is complaining how Felicia only gave the Mary Janes the opening act gig to throw how successful she is at their faces. Mary Jane tells Glory that she understands and shares Glory’s opinion but that they have to use this opportunity to keep doing what they love to do.

As the Mary Janes begins their performance Felicia is watching the concert from the raptors. She is able to spot Matt from where she is and remembers why she hates him.

Flashing back to her childhood, Felicia thinks back to the time she spent with her dad. During their time living in Paris Felicia’s dad showed her how to become a thief. Unfortunately during their time together they got the attention of the Kingpin, who had Matt kill Felicia’s dad in front of her (in a similar way that Bullseye killed Electra in front of Daredevil in the Marvel-616 Universe). From there Felicia used her pain to launch a singing career.

Back in the present, the Mary Janes’ performance is interrupted by Felicia and The Black Cats, which pisses everyone in the Mary Janes off. Felicia ignores them and gets the crowd pumped by telling them it’s time to dance. Matt gets to the front and tells Felicia that it is indeed time to dance.

Spider-Gwen #5
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Ninjas suddenly jump out of the crowd and attack the Mary Janes and Felicia and the Black Cats. Gwen quickly saves Betty from getting attack and takes off to change into her Spider-Woman costume while Felicia fights Matt’s ninjas. Felicia tells Matt that she will finally get her revenge after all these years of bidding her time.

Spider-Woman is able to fight off all of Matt’s ninjas, which gives Gwen’s bandmates a chance to escape. As Spider-Woman is fighting the ninjas Felicia tries to attack Matt but all her attacks fail to connect. Spider-Woman stops Felicia from continuing her attack. Spider-Woman tells Felicia she can’t let Matt get to her but Felicia doesn’t want to hear it and begins to attack Spider-Woman. Spider-Woman gets frustrated and quickly knocks Felicia out with one punch.

Matt congratulates Spider-Woman on taking out Felicia in one punch and the clever “Murderdock” name she’s given him. Spider-Woman wants to know what Matt is doing by attacking Felicia and the recent hit he put on George Stacy. As Matt’s ninjas attack Spider-Woman he tells the young hero that Felicia did this to herself because she couldn’t get over the past. He also mentions that he did send the Vulture after George Stacy but he also sent her after Spider-Woman, saying he knows who she really is.

Spider-Gwen #5
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As Spider-Woman knocks out the remaining ninjas Matt warns her that if she continues doing then he will leave her with nothing in the end. Spider-Woman takes that as a threat but Matt tells her that she should see it as an offer to shake hands.

At George Stacy’ house, George is cleaning up his place from Vulture’s attack. Jean DeWolff walks in to check in on George. Jean says she came over to talk about the Spider-Woman case and how he has now been seen interacting with Spider-Woman in some way for a second time. George wonders if she is trying to accuse him of working with Spider-Woman. Jean says it’s not because she believes he is a good cop and that she has her back. End of issue.

The Good: As soon as you open Spider-Gwen #5 you know that you’re presented with something that does not look or read like other Marvel comic books. Even as we see familiar names pop up throughout Spider-Gwen #5 nothing about their involvement feels ordinary. In presenting familiar names in a new light you can see how Spider-Gwen almost becomes a celebration of how adaptable these characters are.

Spider-Gwen #5
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Spider-Gwen #5 is comic that fully embraces its rockstar attitude. From the writing to the art, this series has not been shy about painting iconic characters in a way that you did not expect to ever see them in. Even seeing Felicia Hardy in her own rock group feels right in the world of Spider-Gwen. Jason Latour is able to make alterations to Felicia’s origins that make her feel right at home in this universe while maintaining the core of the character. The connection Latour builds for Felicia with Matt Murdock and Gwen makes her involvement in the conflict come off as natural to the story.

Speaking of Felicia’s connection to Gwen, I loved how Felicia’s appearance affected Gwen’s bandmates in the Mary Janes. Seeing the back and forth between Mary Jane and Glory Grant added more of a personal touch to how close they are as friends. The fact that Felicia’s defection and “offer” to be her opening act allowed us to see how the Mary Janes feel about music. It was also a good way to spotlight Mary Jane as the leader of the band as she is able to rally the other three around their goal to continue to perform because they love music.

It’s in these unexpected ways that make how Gwen Stacy interacts in her world that feels unique. Even when Gwen doesn’t get a line of dialogue until the 10th page you are still paying attention to how she reacts to what is going around her. Her lack of dialogue puts a greater importance on the inner monologue that Latour does give Gwen because it gives us a better idea of her own attitude to what is going on.

Spider-Gwen #5
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With the way Latour built up Felicia and how the Mary Janes perceived her it added to Matt Murdock’s own aura. I absolutely love how Matt is acting like a completely asshole that is supremely confident in his abilities. Seeing how Matt was able to get to both Felicia and Spider-Woman made the character come across as even more dangerous that he was already shown to be. And even though Spider-Woman was able to defeat Matt’s ninjas it did not feel like she won. This lack of true win makes the next confrontation between Spider-Woman, Felicia and Matt something you want to see as soon as possible.

While Latour’s writing was at the top of its game like always it was Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi artwork that continues to be the star of the show. His unique artwork provides this issue a personality that does not exist in other comics. There is a rockstar edge to the art that adds to how everyone reacts to the developments in the story. From Spider-Woman’s witty dialogue to Matt’s arrogant personality, it is all given a greater spotlight because of how Rodriguez and Renzi are able to draw and color each panel.

The Bad: Nothing.

Overall: Spider-Gwen #5 knows exactly what it is and in embracing that you are able to feel why this is a comic book unlike anything that Marvel is publishing. The addition of Felicia Hardy gave another layer Gwen Stacy’s world both in and out of her superhero adventures. Felicia’s involvement also added to the threat that Matt Murdock poses to Spider-Woman and New York as a whole. If you haven’t picked up an issue of Spider-Gwen yet I highly recommend fixing that by going out and buying every issue of this series.