Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spider-Gwen #2 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

OMG, Spider-Ham serving as Gwen's Jiminy Cricket?  Possibly the greatest effing thing to happen to comic  Matt Murdoch serving as the Kingpin's lawyer?  Possibly the second greatest effing thing to happen to comic  All in one issue, to boot!

I really have no idea how Latour covers so much ground so seamlessly in this issue.  First, Spider-Ham appears as a result of Gwen suffering from some sort of brain injury when the Vulture dropped her at the end of last issue.  (Actually, it wasn't the dropping that caused the injury; it was her smashing into a garbage barge after she was dropped.)  In his role as Gwen's concussion-induced conscience, Spider-Ham pushes her not only to get her personal life in order by reconciling with the Mary Janes, but also to accept that her "professional life" isn't going to bring back Peter, encouraging her not to be out there alone.  Latour really uses him to great effect to show us how isolated and lonely Gwen is at this point.

Meanwhile, Captain Stacy has to cover for Gwen when a cop finds her bag and phone at the crime scene, forcing him to confront how far he's willing to go to protect her.  But, he comes to realize why he would need to protect her after he sees Frank Castle, the new lead of the Spider-Woman task force, threaten to kill Kingpin in prison when he refuses to divulge information about the hit on Stacy.  Moreover, we have a stone-cold Murdoch beating the Vulture for "stealing" the Kingpin's kill, since Spider-Woman refused his offer of help in "Edge of Spider-Verse" #2, and Jean DeWolff returning from some sort of mysterious absence.  Honestly, these characters are much more interesting here than they ever were in the prime Marvel Universe.

Finally, we have fun.  Spider-Ham is generally just awesome; the conversation about his form of cannibalism involving him eating not a corn dog but Porky Pig because he's a cartoon was really a highlight of the month for me.  Plus, you have the postersI mean, how could you not be happy here?  Again, Latour manages to run us through this gauntlet without missing a beat.  In fact, he does a great job of showing how dizzying it all is for Gwen.  At some point, sure, we're going to need a quiet moment to get a better sense of our setting, but, right now, I'm willing to ride the ride that Latour has built. 

***** (five of five stars)

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