Gwen Stacy #1 - Marvel Comics
Written by Christos Gage
Art by Todd Nauck
Colors by Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters by VC's Joe Caramagna
Cover by Adam Hughes
If recent comics have told us anything, it's that Gwen Stacy is far more than a girl that Peter Parker met and had a relationship with. She's also far more than one of the more shocking deaths in comic book history. What we've never really seen is how things all started for her. That's what her new solo series from Marvel Comics is aiming to do. Let's see how it all started in Gwen Stacy #1.
It shouldn't be much of a surprise that Gwen was a star student in high school with big aspirations. Immediately we see how things are about to get more complicated for her, just based on name recognition alone. Even outside of the school halls, there's a lot going on with her life. We know that her dad is a police captain, and that is where the story moves forward. Something is about to happen that will shift her focus in a very big way. If that's not enough, there appears to be a major mastermind that will clearly shake things up in future issues.
While this issue has it's charm, there really isn't a whole lot to it in the early going. Odds are, if you're reading this issue, you're already a fan of the character and have an appreciation for her. If you're not, this will probably drag for you early on. There are some interesting plot points, especially as it relates to her dad's case, but you have to want to get there first. There is really nothing wrong with the story, but personally, I just couldn't find the book. I'm willing to concede that this book might not have been written for me or that I'm certainly not the "target audience". At the same time, I've certainly been surprised by books outside of my comfort zone before. Aside from all that, the art is incredible. That's absolutely no surprise with Todd Nauck at the controls. The already charming Gwen Stacy is elevated even more by the great detail in the facial expressions by Nauck. There aren't a ton of opportunities for wow moments, but the end reveal certainly gets elevated thanks to such a great artist. While it's very clear what's going on, and where the story is going, you'll likely need to decide if you're invested or not after this first issue. If you're already interested in Gwen Stacy, and learning more about her, this might be the niche you're looking for.
(The art is strong, and the story has a strong foundation, but is that enough? Only time will tell.)