Radioactive Spider-Gwen #8 Writer: Jason Latour Pencils: Bengal Colors: Rico Renzi Letters: Clayton Cowles and Travis Lanham Publisher: Marvel
The fifth installment of Marvel’s Spider-Women event of 2016 comes to us with Jason Latour’s Radioactive Spider-Gwen #8.
A simple brunch date in Gwen Stacy’s(Spider-Gwen) Earth-65 along with Jessica Drew(Spider-Woman) and Cindy Moon(Silk) turned into super-heroics. Inevitably stranding Jessica and Cindy in the universe when their inter-dementional travel watch was stolen by Jessica’s Earth-65 doppelgänger, Jesse Drew under the orders of this universes Cindy Moon. Who just happens to be the leader of a criminal network called S.I.L.K. The three work together and eventually found a way back to the Marvel Prime Universe, with the help of Earth-65’s Reed Richards. However not before Cindy-65 made the trip and started to ruin Silk’s reputation.
To start, the comic did come back to it’s proper title, as the previous issue was for some reason adjective-less. There is also the added bonus of a simply great cover, paying homage to the iconic image from the classic Spider-Man story, “Spider-Man No More”. Which can be found in The Amazing Spider-Man #50.
In case you didn’t know, J. Jonah Jameson is a big fan of Silk in the Marvel Prime Earth and when he sees reports of Silk(being impersonated by Cindy-65) committing crimes, he’s dishearten. It’s a humorous moment and we get to see a side of Jameson that is rarely shown.
Soon after discovering that Cindy-65 is a step ahead of them, Gwen and Cindy follow her to Parker Industries at the Baxter Building. We get some great action scenes along with Cindy-65’s origin as well as to why Jesse Drew follows her. There is also the reveal that…spoilers…she is tied to the origin of Spider-Gwen. Latour throws in some cliched villain exposition where Cindy-65 explains her evil plan to our heroes but they poke fun at it. It’s nicely balanced, providing humor but still packing a dramatic punch.
This is just a fun issue, along with the action there are some great interactions between Gwen and Cindy as we see them go off an adventure. There are some great inner-monologues with Gwen as well. We see that while she may not like Cindy’s company, she certainly sympathizes with her and the tragic life that she had endured. It’s an essential element because it allows Spider-Gwen to grow and increases the likability of this ever so popular character. Latour does a solid job of providing the readers with these enjoyable moments while moving the plot forward at a nice pace. Thankfully this is done, as the last couple of issues in this story have had the overall narrative moving at too slow a pace or come to an abrupt halt. This issue was definitely needed and succeeded to getting us to the meat of the story.
Bengal returns for pencil duties in this issue, replacing Robbi Rodriguez. Once again, Bengal produces some superb images but in this issue he’s able to envision a fast paced action scene. All the characters are distinct from one another and the facial features are expressive and full of emotion. However those positives comes with one nagging caveat, there’s a panel where Gwen is missing her eyes. At first I thought it was a style choice based on her distance from the forefront but it’s never done again. It’s rather distracting and I don’t know why this decision was made.
Jason Latour provides us with a strong issue that gave the much needed act of moving this Spider-Women event forward. Not only does he help the cross-over find its narrative footing but also portrays some great character interactions as well some nice insight into the titled characters inner-thoughts. Bengal visualizes some terrific eye candy, while there is that one nagging flaw, the positives overwhelmingly outweighs it. Radioactive Spider-Gwen #8 is a solid installment to this cross-over event and adds to the lure of the character.
Score: 4 out of 5
Review by Eric Bradach