Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? answers the Marvel “What If?” question you never even knew you had: What would the Marvel Universe look like if Gwen Stacy had become Spider-Woman and Peter Parker had died?
Most Wanted? follows Gwen’s struggle to be Spider-Woman and resolve the guilt she feels over Peter Parker’s death. Because Spider-Gwen was not originally designed to carry her own book, but to be a supporting character in the Spider-Man: Spider-Verse crossover event, the first issue drops the reader into her story with little to no background information. Her transformation and origin, from the radioactive bite that gave her the spider powers of her namesake to Peter Parker’s death after a tragic experiment changed him into the Lizard, is given in a single page of the comic. .
From her introduction in Edge of Spider-Verse to the opening chapter of Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? it is clear that her character has matured and emerged better-rounded. She has been changed by the events of Spider-Verse as seen by her guilt over Peter’s death and her need to atone for what she sees as her early mistakes as Spider-Woman. Throughout this volume she struggles with many of the same problems that you see the regular Spider-Man struggle with: friends, family, career/school, and the pull of the costume. But in true Gwen Stacy style she does it with flair, dropping out of her band “The Mary Janes”, dodging her Dad, Captain Stacy, and running afoul of the sinister Vulture, Matt “Murderdock”, and the Kingpin.
What makes this book so incredibly special, however, is that Gwen is a character firmly rooted in this decade. The very fact that Gwen Stacy was resurrected by Marvel for what was ostensibly a supporting role in a miniseries, given an incredibly eye catching costume and moniker that refused to be ignored, and then ignited her own fan base to the point Marvel gave her her own series, is an event that could only happen in today’s world of fan driven social media. With this book Jason Latour has given us a hero to root for with his timely story work and Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi knocked Gwen’s story out of the park with their amazing pencils and electrifying colors.
This volume is just a stop off for our intrepid hero. Her book was put on hold during Marvel’s Secret Wars event and returned in October of 2015 with the new ongoing title Radioactive Spider-Gwen, the opening arc of which is due to be collected as Spider-Gwen vol. 1: Greater Power in May.
Spider-Gwen, vol. 0: Most Wanted?
by Jason Latour
Art by Robbi Rodriguez
Marvel Comics, 2015
Publisher Age Rating: T+ (older teens)