I've discussed why I like this character here.  We'll start with her first appearance:

Edge of Spider-Verse #2 (November 2014):

OK, as I've noted before, I've never read any Silver or Bronze Age Gwen Stacy stories, so I don't have the connection to the character that a comics just a few years older than I am might have. An older reader might say, "This isn't my Gwen Stacy!", but I won't have that.

The writer is Jason Latour. By and large, I have no beef with the writing. His dialogue occasionally smacks of "the way these kids talk today".

The art is by Robbi Rodriguez, with colors by Rico Renzi. The art is basically OK. Rodriguez does tend to draw George Stacy with a huge forehead, as though he were about to mutate into the Leader. I like Gwen's costume, similar to Pete's, but different enough that it has some originality to the look.

We're shown that Gwen is drummer for a rock band called the Mary Janes.  MJ is the diva-ish lead singer/lead guitarist,  an African-American girl called Glory (Grant?) is the keyboardist, and a dark-haired girl who is not named is the rhythm guitarist. They are seen practicing a song called "Face It, Tiger".

We get a flashback explaining some of Gwen's history:  She was bitten by a radioactive spider, gained spider-powers, and became the entertainer "Spider-Woman".  Peter Parker, wanting to become special like her, becomes the Lizard, and ends up dying in her arms. J. Jonah Jameson starts a campaign against Spider-Woman, accusing her of murdering Peter. Gwen feels responsible for Pete's death, but not in the way that Jonah means it.

Meanwhile, Captain Stacy is in charge of the police effort to catch her. The police are hot on her trail. We cut to Matt Murdock - who on this Earth is a crooked lawyer working for the Kingpin, which I thought was an interesting twist - having lunch with a muscular, grey-skinned comedy Russian called Aleksei (This world's version of the Rhino?), and sending him knock off George Stacy, in hopes of winning over Spider-Woman.

Aleksei attacks George at a Mary Janes concert, which Gwen is late for.  She beats up the somewhat confused Aleksei, but George gets the drop on her.  She unmasks, and explains to him why she became Spider-Woman.  He weakens, and lets her go. All this is observed by the British Spider-Man, leading into the Spider-Verse storyline.

Overall:  An interesting first look at the character. She would play a fair part in the Spider-Verse story, but I'm not going to get into that here, as I hope to give that story its own thread at some point.

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Time to get caught up on the Spider-Women storyline.  In Silk #8 (July 2016), Cindy and Gwen are arrested by Mockingbird, and Gwen is convinced that Cindy is ready to turn bad. The Black Cat springs them (Cindy had been undercover as a member of her gang). Gwen bails, and Cindy does seem to turn bad as she prepares to help Felicia raid the Avengers' vault.

Overall: Not bad, interesting "middle chapter" stuff.

Next was Spider-Woman #7 (July 2016), in which Jessica confronts Jesse, who is in her home. The two fight and then talk. Gwen returns, and reveals that Cindy-65 has been lying to Jesse to control him.  Jesse gives Gwen a device which will temporarily return her powers, although it will only work a few times.  Jessica and Gwen prepare to fight.

Overall: Still holding my interest, I enjoyed the interaction between Jessica and Jesse.

The storyline wraps up in Spider-Women Omega #1 (August 2016). Back on Earth-65, Jesse escapes from Cindy-65, who has attacked his home  using technology she stole from the Prime Earth. Jessica confronts Cindy-65 in her HQ. She holds off Cindy-65 while waiting for Gwen's powers to kick back in.  Cindy-Prime comes to the rescue, having stolen the Super-Adaptoid from the Avengers' vault and had Reed Richards-65 turn it into battle armor for her.  Cindy-65 shorts it out and starts beating up on Gwen, whose powers kick in just in the proverbial nick of time.  Later, our heroines discuss how SHIELD-65 has Cindy-65 under lock and key.  

Overall:  I'm glad I picked this storyline up - the characters go well together, and it set up any number of possible future stories. I'm not wild about the whole business of Gwen having to rely on chemicals to sustain her powers, but we'll see where they go with that.

One thing I'll note, in this story Gwen says that "Jess has been rocking this Spider-Woman thing for like 20 years." Really?  Is that new?

Anyway, next, we'll get back to the next issue of Spider-Gwen.

Wouldn't that put Jessica in her late 40's?  If so the art really doesn't reflect that.

Spider-Gwen #9 (August 2016) "weapon of Choice" Part 1

By Latour and Rodriguez

DA Foggy tells frank to lay off of Spider-Woman - between Cap's endorsement and George's whistle-blowing, he feels the case against Spidey is not going to hold up.   Frank, of course, is not going to back off.   The other Mary Janes persuade Gwen to go out dancing. They then take her to the newly-rebuilt Dollar Dog, which has become a hip spot to be because of its association with Gwen She discovers that her old boos had to sell it and is now working for the new bosses, making her feel guilty. She contemplates flushing the remaining chemicals, but at that moment, the Dollar Dog is held up. Frank shows up and breaks the robber's arm, and then confronts Gwen,  having worked out that she is Spider-Woman.  The Mary Janes confront Frank, and he tosses Gwen across the room. She powers up and then punches him through a window, right in front of her bandmates. She then takes off.

Earth-65 Notes: Max Dillon seems to be using his electrical powers to do parlor tricks on the street.

This issue's guidebook page covers Cindy-65.

Overall: Still a very interesting storyline. It seems impossible that Gwen's ID won't become public, now.  Frank knows it, Murdock knows it, and the Mary Janes ought to be able to figure it out, too.

Looks like Annihilus.
 
The Baron said:

Radioactive Spider-Gwen #4 (March 2016) "Greater Power" - Part Four

This issue is pretty all taken up with a battle between Spidey and the Green goblin Harry Osborn. Much of it is Gwen alternating between her own internal monologue in which she comes to the understanding that however much she may have erred in dealing with Peter, he made himself the Lizard, and thus must bear a least some responsibility for what happened to him, and trying to reason with Harry to stop him from ending up like Peter. During the fight, Harry takes the Lizard formula, believing that he can control it better than Peter did. He also reveals that he was the one who gave the formula to S.I.L.K.  Getting the better of Spidey, Harry unmasks her, reacting in disbelief when he sees that Spider-Woman is Gwen.

The handbook page this issue of for Captain Stacy.  It describes him a shaving been "born during a socioeconomic downturn".  Not sure when that was supposed to have been.  The original version of the character first appeared in 1968. Not sure how old that version was supposed to have been. If he was. say, 55, then he would have been born in 1913. The Earth-65 version looks to be at least that age - if so, then he would have been in 1961. Guess Earth-65 had a downturn around then.

Overall:  I'm interested to see where they go with this. They certainly seem to be going in a direction of Gwen's secret ID becoming public knowledge.

Liz Allen?
 
The Baron said:



Richard Willis said:

Spider-Gwen #1 (April 2015) "Most Wanted?" Part 1
We start with a couple of members of the Yancy Street Gang defacing an anti-Spider-Woman billboard.

One calls the other Hobie, a probable reference to Hobie Brown aka The Prowler from the original Spider-Man stories.

 

The other one - the blonde girl - seems to be called "Izzy". Not sure if that's a reference to an existing character or not.

Spider-Gwen Annual #1 (August 2016)

By  Jason Latour with various artists

Several short stories in this one, including:

"Spider-Gwen Week One", with art by Chris Brunner.  A  tale from before Gwen became a super-hero, in which she teamed with the Earth-65 She-Hulk, who is a pro wrestler.  An interesting variation on the Crusher Hogan story.

"The Terrifying Origin of Koala Commander", with art by Emi Lenox.  A not especially amusing one-page gag bit.

A Captain America story with art by Chris Visions. Gwen asks the Earth-65 Cap about her comic book adventures/  Later, Cap visits Steve Rogers, the artist who drew them , in a VA hospital.  There are two villains in this. One is obviously based on Prince, in what seems an unfortunate bit of timing. The other is MODAAK*, a fairly heavy-handed parody of Donald Trump.

"Who Watches the Watcher?!", with art by Olivia Margraf. A comedy bit in which the Watcher attempts to get the Mary Janes to so something interesting, but ends up getting pepper-sprayed.  Meh.

"Eight Days A Week", with various artists.  We follow Gwen though a busy week, seeing all the sorts of things she gets up to.  Not bad.

Overall;  A so-so collection of stories. None especially great, none especially bad.

*Stands for "Mental Organism  Designed As America's King"

Spider-Gwen #10 (September 2016) "Weapon of Choice", Part 2

By Latour and Rodriguez

Frank has hired Kraven the Hunter to go after Gwen. The Earth-65 Kraven is kind of scrawny-looking, as though he hadn't been eating properly. Gwen is powerless - the device that she now relies on for her powers is smashed.  Elsewhere, George gets the drop on Frank, and smashes his camera.  Gwen escapes Kraven with a timely assist from Aunt May, but as we end the issue, we see thst Kravne has one of her power capsules, which he intends to give to Frank.

The guidebook page in this issue is  for Kraven.

Overall: An OK issue. Frankly, I'll be happy to see the confrontation with frank finish up, as I'm starting to find it a bit wearisome.

Spider-Gwen #11 (October 2016) "Weapon of Choice", Part 3

By Latour and Rodriguez

Gwen hides with George in Reed's basement, and Frank brings the stolen capsule to Norman Osborn, pressuring him to link it to Gwen, and promising to get Harry cleared. Jean tires to get Frank to stop. Jesse Drew advises Gwen not to fight Frank. Reed fixes Gwen's power-up device and Gwen heads out to find Frank.

The guidebook page in this issue is for Jean DeWolff

Overall; Another OK issue. I still like this character, but this storyline is really starting to weary me. I almost wish they'd give a different creative team a crack at the character.

Spider-Gwen #12 (November 2016)  "Weapon of Choice", Part 4: Conclusion

By Latour and Rodriguez

George complains to Jean about Frank, while Spider battles Frank, who's using Stark tech. George shows up and pulls a gun on Frank. Frank goes after George, but Jean and Ben show up to stop him, and Frank runs,  George turns himself in to Jean.  We end with Gwen cutting a deal with Matt - who definitely knows she's Spidey - to help George.

This issue's guidebook page is for Reed Richards of Earth-65

Overall; I was hoping they'd avoid the cliched "hero cuts a deal with a villain" bit, but, on the other hand, it is the kind of dumb thing a kid would do.  Still not sure how they'll go forward on this when both Castle and Murdock know her secret ID. We shall wait and see.

Spider-Gwen #13 (December 2016)  "Night of the Living Dread"

By Latour and Rodriguez

Looking for something to do on Halloween, the Mary Janes go to an abandoned amusement park that is said to be haunted.  Gwen is despondent over the loss of her powers and the fact that George may go to prison for protecting her secret ID. Mary Jane is convinced that Gwen is Spider-Woman.  They are confronted by their own fears by Mysterio, who is the former owner on the park.  Betty, because of her unusual personality, ignores all this, overcomes Mysterio and saves the day.

This issue's guidebook  page covers the Mary Janes.

Overall:  Sort of a breather issue between major story lines, but still enjoyable stuff.

Spider-Gwen #14 (January 2017) "Cold Turkey"

Written by Jason Latour, Art by Robbi Rodriguez and Chris Visions (I've never been a big fan of Rodriguez' art, but Visions' stuff is truly atrocious, real amateur hour stuff. He makes Rodriguez look brilliant by comparison.)

Matt and Gwen visit George in prison, trying to convince him to accept Matt' help. Outside, Matt orders Gwen not to act as Spider-Woman until he gives the word.  I have to say that I find Matt Murdock much more interesting as a heel in this book than I ever found him as a hero in his own book.

Later, Gwen has a heart-to-heart with Aunt May, and comes to believe that May knows that Gwen is Spider-Woman. May warns her not to discuss this kind of thing with Uncle Ben. 

In the second part of the book, Jessica Drew shows up to visit, with her baby and the Porcupine in tow. This part is mainly lighthearted, with Jessica encouraging Gwen to get a life.  I like the relationship of Jessica  and Gwen in this book, it's interesting seeing Jess as a good-natured mentor.

This issue's guidebook pages covers May and Ben Parker.

Overall:  An OK issue. This book is going in an interesting direction - I don't recal la book going into how hard it would be for a kid to maintain a secret identity for any length of time in quite this way before. 

Spider-Gwen #15 (February 2017): "I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight! {With Yooouu!]"

By Latour and Rodrifguez

A thief robs a Mary Janes concert,. Gwen  purusues, only to encounter a Hand ninja, who tells her that Murdock wants to meet with her. At the meeting place, she is beset by ninjas, and declares her intention to stop cooperating with Murdock.  Murdock tells her that he has cut a deal with Cindy Moon (the Earth-65 one) and can provide Gwen with unlimited power-ups, so that her only chance to continue being Spider-Woman is to continue doing what he says.

The issue's guidebook page covers S.I.L.K.

Overall: Another OK issue.  Murdock's starting to get on my nerves -  I'm impatient for him to get over his comeuppance.  It still fascinates me how this book manages to make him so much more interesting to me as a villain than he ever was as a hero.

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