NYCC 2014: Spider-Gwen

From Marvel Comics

Debuting in the second issue of EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE, Gwen Stacy: Spider-Woman immediately developed a passionate cult following. Those fans will be rewarded in February 2015 with the exciting new SPIDER-GWEN ongoing series! caught up with writer Jason Latour, artist Robbi Rodriguez, and colorist Rico Renzi who revealed some of what they love about Spider-Gwen as well as what they have percolating for the book. Were you surprised how much the EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE issue and Spider-Gwen resonated with readers? What is it you think hooked people?

Jason Latour: Well, there just seemed to be this groundswell from day one, and that was certainly a little surprising. It changed my expectations a little, but as a writer you learn pretty quickly that you can’t really control how things are going to be received. All you can really do is focus on creating a story that speaks to you and your collaborators and just hope that you’re all excited about that. If you it turns out you’re in tune with the larger world, that’s amazing. But it’s also always a little lucky.

I know for me, when I sit back and think about the response I try to step back and look at the bigger picture as much as possible. So I do think a lot it just has to do with Gwen Stacy herself. I’ve been reading Spider-Man off and on since I was a small kid, but by the time I came around Gwen Stacy really only mattered by virtue of the fact that she’d impacted Peter so much. But even so that impact had been severely diminished, he’d kind of seemed to get over it and moved on to Mary Jane in a way he’d never have been able to do with Uncle Ben. She’d just become kind of a watered down plot point, and not a character. In the worst hands she was just a lost possession.

But you jump forward to today and fortunately you’ve got Gwen sort of re-emerging in other media, finding a very real voice again, [and] even bringing new readers into the books. So suddenly that death has meaning again and for a lot of people it’s pretty hard to swallow. Maybe in part because we’ve slogged through the decades of copycat “fridgings” that’ve followed “The Death of Gwen Stacy”; maybe there’s just that much demand for diversity in these books. I can’t say for sure—but the idea of what she represents and who she is has kind of burst free of the borders of the page.

So I think there’s clearly a lot of catharsis in seeing her get to be Spider-Woman. And it was important that she get that chance earnestly and with the same sense of impetus that Peter had when he first put on the suit. It couldn’t be treated like a lark or a cheap novelty; it’s not “I’ll give you your powers back later, honey.” So that was where Robbi and Rico and I really tried to make hay and make it our own. Approach it like it’s new and make it all matter. Fortunately the audience seems to agree with us so far.



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