Previously in Spider-Women Alpha #1
Writer: Jason Latour | Artist: Bengal | Cover Artist: Yasmine Putri
This week Spider-Gwen picks up right where we left off. Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman, and Cindy Moon/Silk, are stuck on Earth-65 and Gwen is trying to get them home. The story, surprisingly, doesn’t focus on Gwen herself. After a bit of bickering between Gwen and Cindy, who’s feeling a little superior since this particular mess isn’t her fault, Jessica takes the lead for most of this issue. After all she is a mom desperate to get home to her child.
The issue has lots of little tidbits that highlight the differences between Earth-616 and Earth-65, both in the story and in Easter eggs scattered in the background. Artistically, the style is very different from Del Ray’s painterly quality in last week’s installment. Bengal’s smooth, curved lines also distinguishes themselves from regular Spider-Gwen artist Robbie Rodriguez and his angular style. The lack of artistic cohesion may be jarring for readers, despite the tight storytelling.
In this issue we meet Earth-65’s Reed Richards, who is a young, black little boy with plenty of intelligence and a great fade. This makes a lot of sense given that Spider-Gwen’s version of Captain America is also a Black woman. Jessica enlists young Reed to help her build another inter-dimensional wristband. It’s ironic that Jessica used to balk at being a mentor and now her world has done a 180 and she’s a mom and keeps encountering these young people who need guidance and protecting. Fortunately, she finds a friend and confidante in Gwen’s dad.
So far, this story is really good at balancing the characters and also using this crossover to exploit the strengths and weaknesses each of these characters have been struggling with in their individual stories. While Cindy is struggling to find her family on any universe and Gwen is trying to finally find her balance between being a Spider-Woman and a young woman, Jessica has kind of found her purpose as a mom and that shows in her focus and how she deals with the younger girls.
Like all Spider-Gwen issues, there’s a detailed character biography in the back pages and this issue features Jessica Drew which is a great primer for readers who are new to the character. The next installment of Spider-Women will focus on Cindy Moon in Silk #7.
Spider-Gwen #7 = 9/10