All Hail Spider-Gwen, Marvel Comic's New Spidey Superhero
In a parallel universe to the Spider-Man world we know, the radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker instead gave its powers to Gwen Stacy, Peter’s girlfriend. We met Spider-Gwen in a crossover story (Edge of Spider-Verse No. 2) last year and learned she drums for an all-girl band The Mary Janes. In that story, she also watched Peter die in her arms after he tried to become the Lizard to gain superpowers like her.
Today, Marvel Comics premieres the first issue of Spider-Gwen. She’s a modern character, using a smart phone as she battles her nemesis the Vulture and deals with her relationship with her father, Capt. George Stacy. She’s being blamed for the death of Peter Parker, so she has to contend with managing her reputation while avoiding cops who are after her.
"The fact that it's a woman does change the meaning and subtext of everything that's going on,” writer Jason Latour explained to USA Today. “As a creator, that's really enjoyable and it opens up the story to go in a lot of directions it wouldn't have gone before." Latour is creating the series along with artists Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi.
The rise of Spider-Gwen continues comic book’s increasing attention on female-centered stories. Over the summer, Marvel announced a female Thor, while Wonder Woman will soon be getting her big screen debut. In November, Marvel introduced a female Captain Marvel inspired by Gloria Steinem. She’s slated to get her own movie in 2017.
2014 was the second year running that a movie with a female lead topped the box office, showing that women protagonists produce great returns. Make those women multifaceted super heroes, and they might just save the world.