Edge of Spider-Verse #2
Goodness knows there’ve been plenty of women who’ve taken on the mantle of Spider-Man over the years. There’ve been multiple Spider-Women and Spider-Girls and the occasional Araña — but this particular character has really seemed to grab a lot of attention, and though I haven’t been all that interested in the upcoming Spider-Verse crossover, this definitely looked like something worth checking out.
We’re visiting an alternate universe in this story, with an alternate spider-powered superhero. In this case, the person who got bitten by that radioactive spider was Gwen Stacy. She becomes the hoodie-wearing heroine Spider-Woman. Peter Parker, obsessed with getting back at bullies, turns himself into the Lizard, but dies when Gwen subdues him. As a result, she’s wanted by the police, including her father, Police Captain George Stacy. And Gwen tries to work out the frustrations of her life by drumming in Mary Jane Watson’s all-girl rock band, the Mary Janes.
Anyway, while Gwen is busy flaking out on her band, the Kingpin has hired the Rhino (through Matt Murdock — for shame, Daredevil!) to kill Captain Stacy. Can Gwen make it to her gig, save her father, and keep him from blowing her own head off?
Verdict: Thumbs up. There aren’t many characters who’ve gotten as bum a rap as Gwen Stacy — she’s still best known as the original Woman in a Refrigerator, killed primarily to motivate a male superhero. So this issue — giving her some real agency, giving her the real powers, giving her an awesome costume, even giving her an actual hobby, because her only previous hobby was being Peter Parker’s doomed pretty girlfriend — this is something that’s really kinda glorious.
I’d love to see her — and her entire supporting cast and universe — in an ongoing series. And frankly, if that’s not already in Marvel’s plans, they’re completely out of their minds. Buzz for this single issue has been incredible, and no smart publisher lets that much positive attention fade away.
The Multiversity: Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors from the Counter World #1
Alright, that’s gotta be the grand prize winner in the over-long title contest, don’t it?
On Earth-20, a great world war has just ended, and the planet’s greatest heroes — two-fisted spellslinger Doc Fate, roving adventurer Immortal Man, the barnstorming pilots of the all-girl Blackhawk Squadron, the sweater-vest-wearing Mighty Atom, and demonic-in-appearance Abin Sur — join together as the Society of Super-Heroes. But terrible challenges are on the horizon — there’s an invasion coming from an alternate universe, with supervillains who are near-perfect opposites of the heroes. Soon, Vandal Savage, Felix Faust, Lady Shiva, Count Sinestro, Blockbuster, and their armies of zombies are on a rampage across the planet. Can anything save them all from the unstoppable threat?
Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s grand pulp adventure, the kind of thing no one publishes anymore. Loved the characters (well, other than Count Sinestro, who we meet for just a single panel when he’s already unconscious, but I bet he woulda been fun), loved the dialogue and story, and of course, Chris Sprouse’s art was wonderfully pulptastic.
Kate Kristopher and her surprise baby brother Chris are on the run. Ekland and Shaw are assigned to capture them alive — but that doesn’t turn out real well for them. Kate forces Ekland to tell her who hired her — and in answer, she hands over her phone and tells her if she calls the only number on the phone, the client will be able to track her. Kate decides to bargain with the client — and discovers that the client is very, very, very bad news.
Verdict: Thumbs up. Wildly weird and violentastic. And the cliffhanger is a real jaw-dropper. It sucks that we’re going to have to wait ’til December to find out how this turns out.
Today’s Cool Links:
- Our friend SpaceBooger has had a hectic life lately — but it sounds like things are going great right now.
- A great long-read on the history of Wonder Woman and her original creators.
- Writers who get mad at tropes are as nutty as people who get mad about breathing air.
- Twitter users help track down a bunch of gay-bashing preppies.
- Zoe Quinn writes for Cracked about what it’s like to be the target of the #GamerGate douchebags.
- And speaking of #GamerGate, those guys are so nice and wholesome, they went and called in bomb threats on an award presentation that wasn’t being douchebaggy enough for them. You can always trust terrorists, right?