Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Reader's Diary #1282- Jason Latour (writer), Robbi Rodriguez (artist): Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted?

You've got to hand it to Marvel (and I suppose DC to some extent) for building up such a roster of characters and then playing the "What If?" game with them. Imagine if Disney itself started to doing that with all of their characters. What if Pinocchio was set in Japan? What if Cinderella was black? What if the Little Mermaid was a gay male? It would be so much fun! Marvel, however, writes fan fiction for itself!

Spider-Gwen imagines a world where Peter Parker isn't bitten by a radioactive spider, but his girlfriend Gwen.

I'll be honest, until the Andrew Garfield movies, I didn't know a whole lot about Gwen Stacy. I grew up with reruns of the cheesy 60s cartoon and Mary Jane was Spider-Man's only true love. Mary Jane's also in this book— she's in a band with Gwen. But that's not where the weird alternate universe ends. Frank Castle, a.k.a. the Punisher becomes a police lieutenant and Matt Murdock, a.k.a. Daredevil, is a villain working for Kingpin.

So for sheer fan playfulness Spider-Gwen's got it in spades. It's also quick, funny, and along with the art, youthful, and hip. In that regard it reminded me of Cameron Stewart's Batgirl.

Yet while I enjoyed this a lot, I do question how well it will stand the test of time. I don't want to suggest that Latour and Rodriguez tried too hard, but there's something about it that reminds of those Totally Slammin'! soft drink and cereal commercial of the early 90s.

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