REVIEW: Spider-Gwen #32

SPIDER-GWEN #32 / Writer: Jason Latour / Artist: Robbi Rodriguez / Color Artist: Rico Renzi / Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles / Cover: Robbi Rodriguez / May 30th, 2018

Gwen Stacy has revealed herself to be Spider-Gwen, a.k.a. the Spider-Woman and is now ready to deal with the consequences of that action with her friends and her band and to finally confront the Kingpin, Matt Murdock.

Matt Murdock and Gwen Stacy are two halves of the same coin. He hides his powers behind an unassuming blind lawyer facade when, in actuality, he is the Kingpin of crime and the leader of the murderous ninja clan, the Hand. Gwen hides her powers and pretends to be just a normal young woman, but she is the heroic Spider-Woman wrongly accused of being a criminal and murderer. In Spider-Gwen #32, we finally get to see Gwen take the upper hand and fight back against Murdock, using and controlling the power that he gave her with the Venom symbiote.

Spider-Gwen #32 opens much the same as the previous issue #31–inside Captain Stacy’s hospital room where he lies unconscious. This time it’s Gwen sitting with him, five silent panels tell us so much about her and her emotional state. Later, Gwen’s friends respond to the news that she has come out as the Spider-Woman. She explains how her connection to Venom has changed her and about her plans for dealing with Matt Murdock. Again we see the contrasts between Gwen and Matt. She is loved and embraced by those around her; he literally kills anyone who gets near him.

Jason Latour’s script is well-written, rife with genuine emotion here–the silent moment in Captain Stacy’s hospital room, Gwen admitting everything to her friends, the very satisfying confrontation between Matt Murdock and Spider-Gwen. The focus is more on the characters–their relationships and emotions–than on the action. In contrast, the Hand’s ninjas attacking Murdock get just three panels on a single page–the same amount as two characters talking over corn dogs.

Robbi Rodriguez’s art and Rico Renzi’s colors have defined the look of Spider-Gwen since the beginning. The saturated colors and frenetic layouts continue to give us a great looking book. I like how they show the Venom crawling on her fingers like little insects. Between Gwen’s music and Murdock’s heightened senses, sound plays a big part of Spider-Gwen #32, and the artistic visualization of sound manages to capture it in an otherwise a silent and static medium.

This incarnation of Spider-Gwen is ending at issue #34, and you can feel the different story threads pulling together and connecting. Spider-Gwen #32 gives us a sense of closure to the ongoing stories of Matt Murdock’s and Gwen’s struggle with the Venom symbiote, but it still ends in such a way that makes me excited for the next issue.

VERDICT 4.5 out of 5

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Opinionated geek and writer born in the desert, raised on the beach, and now living in the mountains, Paul is a lifelong nerd who loves Star Wars, costuming, comic books, and all manner of geeky things.

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