Monday, May 8, 2017

Spider-Gwen #19 Review - Marvel Monday

Did Somebody Say Venom?

Writer: Jason Latour
Art Team: Robbi Rodriguez, Rico Renzi and VC's Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 3, 2017
Review by: Christopher Hyden

Last issue saw the end of an over-extended crossover arc with the Miles Morales Spider-Man book and now it seems we're finally about to get on track with Gwen's story. Can Spider-Gwen regain her momentum after a  3 month long sabbatical? Will there be jokes about cashews? Lets dive in and find out.

The issue opens on the half lizard form of Harry Osborn desperately trying to get a hold of Gwen from a pay phone. He is so locked in on his phone call that he never notices the Kingpin's men surrounding him. Elsewhere Gwen is too preoccupied to answer Harry's call and she deletes the voice mail in agitation. What started out as a harmless stop to buy cashews from a street vendor has now turned into a standoff with the police. Gwen's roommates are home and see the standoff on TV, Mary Jane says to the others that Gwen is on the news but the others are unconvinced that Spider Woman is Gwen. MJ tells Glory to text her and see what happens. Gwen's phone begins to go off immediately much to her roommates astonishment.

After Gwen escapes, cashews in hand, she meets her dad and Matt Murdock at NYPD lockup to discuss his case going to trial. The meeting quickly goes sour as Murdock expresses that Gwen has not held up her end of the bargain in the arrangement she made with him and the Kingpin for her father's freedom. Outside the station Murdock orders her to go to the top of Oscorp tower and meet him there in ten minutes or life for her and her father will become gravely complicated. Gwen complies and together they confront Norman Osborn. Murdock seems to know everything about Norman's son Harry,  and the attempts Norman made to cure him of his Lizard transformation.

Murdock calls in Dr. Brock who brings in two glass containers, one containing a lab mouse and the other a black substance. Norman is shocked to learn that Dr. Brock has been working for Murdock all this time, to which Dr. Brock states that all she has done has been to help Harry. She and Murdock believe that the cure to Harry lies in the black substance. Brock pours the black goo into the container with the mouse and within moments the symbiotic form takes control of the mouse. However after a few moments the host is extinguished and nothing is left but the venom. Dr. Brock tells Gwen that accepting the parasite will return her powers and she is immune to the symbiote's lethal radiation because the isotopes from the spiders DNA match that of the parasite. Gwen is given no choice in the matter, she will have to accept the symbiote. The issue closes on man with unmistakable claws watching Spider-Gwen from a distance.

Bits & Pieces:

This issue is pure setup for what I hope will turn into a great arc. While there is little action to speak of it is book-ended by solid pages of humor and intrigue. I have to admit, any Spider book that brings venom into the conversation immediately grabs my interest. It will also be interesting to see how Wolverine plays a role in this down the line as well. Overall while there isn’t much in this issue to speak of, it did make me eager to see what's in store for issue 20. Hopefully Marvel can avoid another crossover event before then.


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