Writer: Christos N. Gage
Artist: Todd Nauck
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: February 12, 2020
I don’t know many people who don’t like Gwen Stacy. A lot of comic fans I talk to tell me she was their first crush and were devastated when she died way back in 1973. As a newer Marvel reader, I don’t have a connection to Gwen some have, but I was excited about this new book to get some new history of the character. Plus, I like Christos Gage’s writing to follow him to any new #1. So, am I falling in love with Gwen and this book? Let’s find out…
This series is a prequel of sorts as it follows Gwen during her days at Standard High, before heading off to Empire State University. That doesn’t mean we get Gwen all by herself, though. Harry Osborn is in the house, and there are little mentions and cameos of some very familiar faces throughout the issue.
The story itself starts with Gwen running for Class President. Harry is her best friend and campaign manager and is so enthusiastic about both that you have to love him. Gwen herself is kick-ass with a full dose of Girl Power that shines right away as she defends herself with the old cupcake in the face routine that rivals Tanner’s burrito to the face in the original Bad News Bears! Gage introduces the characters naturally through conversation and even hints at the seedier side of things early on.
The book quickly shifts gears and shows this will be at least a two-headed story when Gwen goes to have dinner and study with her father, Captain Stacy. He is working on a case, and I liked seeing Gwen help out, though it does lead to trouble later. Trouble may be Gwen’s middle name, but smart and likable just might beat it out.
Gage jumps from one nice scene to another, but it’s all just set up for a dark turn at the end. I won’t spoil it, but it has a cool Nancy Drew feel to it, but if you are a Gwen Stacy fan, the cliffhanger is sure to have you very worried!
I liked what Christos Gage gave us here. He introduces the characters in a natural, “day in the life” kind of way and sets up the plot from there. I expected more wow moments in this first issue, but there is a big enough one as the cliffhanger to get people excited at the end. That’s not to say that the rest of the issue isn’t engaging because it is. Gwen shines just being Gwen and the easter eggs are cool to see as well. Overall, this is the type of book I enjoy at Marvel. Is it required reading? Not really, but it’s a fun little niche title I can enjoy reading, and that’s what I am all about!
Todd Nauck’s art is very good throughout and fits in the style of the current Amazing Spider-Man book. Rachelle Rosenberg’s colors help make it all look so vibrant, and this is all done in an issue with barely any costumed heroes or villains.
Christos Gage kicks off his Gwen Stacy run with an issue that shows how great Gwen is and then throws her headfirst into a bit of mystery and trouble. The art and story combine to give it a fast and fresh feel and while I can’t say it’s a must-read, it’s a fun one that
I can recommend to those sick of the same old same old cluttering up the shelves these days.