This week we take another trip back into Edge of Spider-Verse to meet Gwen Stacy, Spider-Woman, and see what Lewis and Clark are up to in Manifest Destiny!
Edge of Spider-Verse #2 (of 5) (Marvel Comics)
What’s that? I already did a review of an issue of Edge of Spider-verse? And I did it last week?
That’s true. But Edge of Spider-Verse #2 features the debut of an alternate Spider-Man that’s so awesome that I fell in love with it from the moment I saw the preview images: Gwen Stacy, Spider-Woman.
Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez’s Edge of Spider-Verse #2 is an absolute blast from start from finish. As you can probably guess, in this universe Gwen Stacy was bitten by a radioactive spider, and must now juggle high school, drumming in The Mary Janes (take a guess at who’s the lead singer) being a superhero, and trying to prove to her Police Captain Father that Spider-Woman wasn’t to blame for the death of Peter Parker. Oh yeah, the tables don’t stop turning with just Gwen being bitten instead of Peter. In this universe, Peter Parker becomes the Lizard, but is accidentally killed in battle against Spider-Woman. Of course, the general public believes that Ms. Stacy is to blame.
By the way, all of what I just told you? It happens in a glorious two-page spread that catches you up to speed with Ms. Stacy’s life. Jason Latour takes a break from drawing Southern Bastards to pen easily one of my favorite comics of the year. Latour absolutely nails everything that makes a good Spidey story great: there’s heartbreak, teenage angst, action, and a whole lot of fun in this story, and somehow it’s all crammed into one single issue.
Adding to the fun of this issue is Robbi Rodriguez’ artwork, which is an absolute showstopper. From the already mentioned recap page to the panels of Gwen smashing the drum kit, Rodriguez delivers on a ton of dynamic and kinetic panels that are sure to stick with you long after the book is over.
If you can’t already tell, I loved this issue. And I love Spider-Gwen even more. This idea is so much fun that I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll get to see more of her in her own ongoing series as well. Make it happen Marvel!!!!!
Manifest Destiny #10 (Image Comics)
Manifest Destiny is an awesome Image title that’s not getting the recognition it deserves. Chris Dingess and Matthew Roberts’ comic about the real reason Lewis and Clark explored the western territories of the United States is chock full of awesome action and super creepy monsters. Manifest Destiny #10 finds their ship still trapped in a river, and Lewis stuck on land with half of their crew. Oh, there also happens to be a large river monster in the waters, and giant mosquitoes that have been laying eggs in people. No big deal.
Much of this issue follows Lewis and his half of the crew as they attempt to fight back against the giant blood-sucking insects. Even though Clark is stuck on the ship, he’s able to dissect and experiment on a larvae mosquito and come up with an insecticide thanks to their new pulley system. Lewis and Clark are an excellent team, and once again, Dingess’ characterization of both explorers is the star of the show, and he even peppers in some pretty badass moments for Sacagawea as well.
Matthew Roberts’ pencils artwork is excellent this issue, and delivers some really creepy moments involving the giant mosquitoes. Roberts has created some really messed up creatures over the course of Manifest Destiny’s ten issues, but these mosquitoes, and they way they lay their eggs, are truly horrifying. Thanks to him, I’ll never look at mosquitoes the same way again.
Fans of Historical Fiction, Alternate History, or just plain awesome comics should 100% pick up Manifest Destiny. A second collection should be out soon, but right now you can get the trade for a measly $10, and it’s well worth it. This is one of the coolest, most original books on the stands right now, and deserves your money. Do it!
CAPE CRISIS RECOMMENDS: