Marvelous May – Spider-Gwen vs Mayday Parker
Welcome back to Marvelous May! I’d just like to point out that I set up this tournament using a generator I found online, and I didn’t know which seeds would face each other, so this is actually completely random. Nonetheless, we do in fact have a battle between alternate universe Spider-Women: Gwen Stacy of Earth-65 vs Mayday Parker of Earth-982!
In the mainstream universe, Gwen Stacy is probably best remembered as one of Peter Parker’s most prominent love interests (which is saying something, considering how many of them there are, and that even Captain Marvel can be counted among them), whose life tragically came to an end the day Green Goblin threw her off a bridge. However, in an alternate universe, things happened very differently. Gwendolyne Maxine Stacy of Earth-65 was once an ordinary girl with a love for music, acting as the drummer for a band called The Mary Janes. But her life was changed the day she was bitten by a radioactive spider and was granted superpowers. She can cling to and crawl along walls, she has superhuman speed, strength, agility, and balance, but most amazing of all is the Spider Sense, a sixth sense that warns her of danger and can grant her omnipresent detection of her surroundings, though it’s up to Gwen to react appropriately to it. She was also given a costume and web-shooters from her world’s Janet van Dyne, allowing her to web-swing across town or ensnare targets in webbing. At first, Gwen saw being Spider-Woman as a thrill only, loving her newfound fame, until the day her best friend, Peter Parker, depressed from a life of everything constantly going wrong for him (so I guess that’s one thing that’s universal no matter which Peter Parker it is) and in awe of Spider-Woman, decided to make a change. He was transformed into the Lizard, but lost control and ended up in a fight with Gwen, which resulted in his accidental death. Through this event, Gwen realized the lesson that all those with the Spider name must inevitably learn: With great power comes great responsibility. With that lesson in mind, Gwen opted to become a better hero, one that her city deserved. Having learned a lot about detective work from her policeman father, and possessing an analytical mind, she put these to use with her new gifts to make herself a better Spider-Woman, one who would protect her city from any threat that came its way.
May ‘Mayday’ Parker is the daughter of her world’s Peter and Mary Jane. Yeah, remember back when Mary Jane was pregnant during the Clone Saga? Well, in this universe, she actually had the baby, though she was abducted as part of a plan by Green Goblin. Eventually, a fight broke out between Spider-Man and Green Goblin, which resulted in the Goblin’s death and Peter losing his leg. With a new bionic leg given to him by Mr. Fantastic, Peter decided to quit being Spider-Man and keep his life as a hero a secret from his daughter. As it turned out, though, Mayday began developing spider powers as well, genetically passed down through Peter’s DNA. One day, she was attacked by a new Green Goblin, Norman Osborn’s grandson, as a message for Peter. Overhearing her parents talk about it and learning that her father was Spider-Man, Mayday began experimenting with her powers, and seeing that her parents were going to confront this new Green Goblin, she took up Ben Riley’s old costume and became Spider-Girl, saving her parents and beginning a new life as a superheroine, whether her parents liked it or not. Eventually, though, they did come around and helped their daughter, who eventually became a reserve member for A-Next, the new team of Avengers. Unfortunately, one day, an inter-dimensional life sucker named Daemos, who had been hunting down Spider-Men across the Multiverse, attacked and killed her father, sending May on a journey with all the remaining Spiders throughout the Multiverse to stop this new threat. After they succeeded, May was given her father’s old costume, and re-branded herself as the Amazing Spider-Woman.
And let the voting begin! You have until May 10th to get your votes in, at which point, we’ll find out which of these two Spider-Women will take on the winner of Scarlet Witch vs Ms. Marvel. Until then, check out the links below to learn more about these other-dimensional Spiders, and be sure to check in next time as Storm battles Gamora. Ja né!
The Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman Book Needs Its Own Series
You’ll notice that, on this past Wednesday, I did not review Edge of Spider-Verse #2. For those that don’t follow the current Spider-Man comics, Spider-Verse is an upcoming event where Spider-Men from alternate realities are being hunted down and killed, and so a large group of them are being gathered to fight this threat to them and figure out why they specifically are being targeted. And, I’ll admit, it’s an interesting story. The problem is, while there are limited side-stories that tell more of what’s happening from other perspectives, the majority of it seems to be told in Amazing Spider-Man (PASS), and a resurrected Superior Spider-Man (ULTRA PASS). However, one issue of the prologue to the event, Edge of Spider-Verse, got everyone’s attention, as it focused on an alternate reality version of Gwen Stacy (whose tragic death in the comics was recently relived in the movie Amazing Spider-Man 2) being the one the spider bit in that version of events.
Now, why didn’t I review it? Well, before you ask, of COURSE I bought it. Gwen Stacy is awesome, and seemingly even more-so in this book, as she’s shown to be highly skilled in parkour (which goes GREAT with spider powers) and has a love of music (which is seen when she uses her drumming on some poor bastard, lol). Also, I love the twist on the classic Spider-Man mythos, where her acting irresponsibly with her powers leads often-bullied Peter Parker to become that universe’s version of The Lizard before dying, thus being the death that teaches Gwen the “With great power comes great responsibility” lesson (and these aren’t technically spoilers, since all that is in the first few pages as told in an interestingly done montage). So, why didn’t I review it? Because going in, I KNEW this was gonna be a book that I’d have NOTHING unique to say about, and looking at some of the other reviews, I was right. This isn’t even me slapping myself down, either. This is just a fact, on account of everyone and their dog having something to say about this book. Yeah, it’s one of THOSE ones, that’s so good or so unique or just comes out at the right time that everyone’s talking about it. And what’s the one thing that’s being agreed upon the most? That this character NEEDS her own book when Spider-Verse is over.
Of course, if you’ll allow me a moment to play devil’s advocate, on the one hand, I can understand where Marvel might be concerned that the presence of multiple ongoing books (not events, but ongoing) focused on alternate reality versions of Spider-Man might make the stories seem less interesting, as part of the novelty of Miles Morales (and the Ultimate Peter Parker before him) is that he’s a Spider-Man from another universe. And yeah, I know her name is Spider-Woman, but there’s a very clear difference between Spider-Man and Spider-Woman of the mainstream universe, and Gwen in this book clearly has more in common with the former. So, if she had her own book, we would then have 616 Peter Parker, 1610 Miles Morales, and whatever number this version of Gwen Stacy gets. Still, I feel that there is enough uniqueness to each of them that they can all have their own books and not feel like retellings of each other.
And frankly, I would LOVE to see what they did with the rest of the supporting cast. Like, we see in this book that Gwen’s dad is still a Captain on the force, and I already mentioned what happens with Peter Parker, but in addition to that, Mary Jane is the lead of her own band with Gwen as the drummer, J. Jonah Jameson is leading this rally against Spider-Woman (don’t know if he’s still the head of the Bugle or not), and Matt Murdock is actually WORKING for the Kingpin. But what about the rest? Maybe Aunt May and Uncle Ben could be supporting characters that help Gwen out, with her feeling conflicting guilt over that due to Peter’s death, and they could possibly set up certain male characters (or female, if they feel like doing that) as love interests.
And then there’s the villains, and oh man, what they could do with the villains. Since it’s an alternate universe, they could pretty much get away with anything. Like, Doc Ock’s tentacles could be actual octopus tentacles, or Rhino could be an actual mutated rhinoceros, or Matt Murdock could be a villainous Daredevil that pushes Spider-Woman’s skills to their limit, or Electro could get his powers by being bitten by a lightning bug while drinking Red Bull. lol Okay, maybe not that last one, but really, alternate universe, they can pretty much do as they please.
But yeah, those are my thoughts on Edge of Spider-Verse #2 and the Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman in general. So, if you wanted a review, in short, I thought the book was great, and it left me with a craving for MUCH more, which is always a good thing. Big ups to Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez (who I swear to God has a name that makes me think he’s a superhero, lol), Rico Renzi (him too), and everyone else who helped work on this, and let’s hope that, if enough people say the same thing, that Marvel gives us what we want. Ja né!