Comics THORsday comes with one day of delay reading Spider-Gwen Volume 0: Most Wanted?. We are exploring an alternate Universe where Peter Parker wasn’t the one bitten by a radioactive spider, but Gwen Stacy. She becomes Spider-Woman. She’s smart, charming and has super strength. However, as happens with Peter, she has a trauma: with great power comes great responsibility indeed. What she fears the most is to lose the people she loves. Gwen is a teenager with great power, someone with a special relationship with her Dad, a police officer. And she lives in a Universe where Daredevil, Matt Murdock, is evil!
Gwen is a very active teen: she plays the drums for The Mary Janes, is super smart and cute. The group is successful. At high-school she defends Peter from bullies and is pretty amazing. But when the spider bites her, things go astray. Peter falls in love with Spider-Gwen, and in wanting to be like her, he becomes the lizard. And when Peter dies, she takes all the blame. To make things worse, a journalist takes it against her in a crusade to make her pay (you know who I’m talking about).
Pursued by the police, she finally confronts her father, and she reveals who Spider-Gwen is. And so, her dad takes her side. In this comic book, we’ll see how the relationship of Gwen with her father develops further. We also see how she feels guilty about what happened to Peter, the thing that haunts her the most, and how being Spider-Gwen is affecting her private life. Plus, the Vulture isn’t making things easy for her!
In this trade, we are confronted with a very familiar dance: how teens manage their personal lives with their ever-growing responsibilities. Growing up also means to know how to handle duties with fun. It’s also a time when we need to discover, maybe in the hard way as Gwen does, that not all in life is responsibility. Just work can break us. Thus, we need a balance between work and entertainment, duties and friends, work and family.
We’re at the mercy of the strongest emotions when we’re young. Thus, whatever trauma happens during our young age will haunt us forever. Growing up also means to know how to deal with those traumas.
And as it tends to happen with teens: they always know better, till things go astray. We also, as adults, have the tendency to know better, and we stop listening to other people’s advice. For some reason, the teen in us emerges to make us proud and know more than the rest. When we do that, things tend to go astray and then we have no other choice but to lower our heads and admit that we were wrong.
This trade has powerful messages in it: how to balance work and family/friends, how burying ourselves in work won’t make things better, how we need to face reality sooner or later, how it’s better to listen to some advice since it’s obvious that we don’t know everything, and how hiding won’t solve problems. We can hide in our work, under a mask, or in video games, but ultimately reality will catch up with us.
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