Last week, images of a brand new Spider-Woman design hit the internet, compliments of Robbi Rodriguez.
Calling the fan response anything less than excited would be the comics understatement of 2014. It had people like me, who are currently only reading Hawkeye, pause and take note. It had artists like Ramon Villalobos knocking out a full-colored sketch of the costume design (with the switch from Chuck Taylors to Jordans).
As you can probably tell from the initial design, which was revealed to be a cover of Edge of Spider-Verse #2, this new Spider-Woman is a young Gwen Stacy. Spider-Verse is all about doing crazy crossover alternate universe shenanigans with any and every Spider-being – man, woman, or pig – for what will likely be reality-shaking consequences. Well, reality-shaking for at least the duration of the event, and at most until Marvel decides to undo them.
From the interview with Jason Latour and Rodriguez at Marvel.com, it’s clear that they are going in a wildly different direction from the typical Peter Parker story. If nothing else, it looks as though the inspirational father figure in Gwen’s life is still alive and still a police captain. The setup feels quite a bit like the Barbara Gordon/Jim Gordon dynamic from old Batgirl stories, and it will be fun to see how it all unfolds.
What’s more, Rodriguez and Latour both seem excited to be working on the character:
“We get to interpret the character of Gwen in this new light,” adds Rodriguez. “We get to punk her out a bit, and make her a kind of heroine that even more female readers can relate with. Not just a female version of Spider-Man in a different costume, but a stronger character in her own right. A real individual who could, if the opportunity ever arose, take up Spider-Man’s role someday.”
So, we have a cool costume design, a potentially progressive female superhero whose creators want more for her than just a gender-flipped alternate universe Spider-man, and a crossover that potentially brings Gwen Stacy, Spider-Woman into the mainstream 616 universe. I hope you see where I’m going with this.
This is the chance for Marvel to add to their slowly growing cadre of higher-profile heroines with a familiar yet unfamiliar character bearing a kickass design. Of course, we won’t be seeing Gwen Stacy, Spider Girl #1 on the stands anytime soon, and we all know why.
David Fairbanks is a freelance writer, poet, and artist. You can find him on Twitter at @bairfanx.