REVIEW: ‘Spider-Gwen: Shadow Clones,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Spider-Gwen: Shadow Clones #1

Having survived her last adventure across the multiverse, Gwen Stacey had settled back into her routine of band practices, working at the Smoothie Shack, and fighting crime. But a random scuffle with some Earth-616 villains may lead Gwen into a new fight with a new batch of look-a-likes in Spider-Gwen: Shadow Clones #1, published by Marvel Comics, written by Emily Kim, art by Kei Zama, colors by Triona Farrell, and letters by Ariana Maher.

Superhero comics have been around for a long time. Over the years, many moments, plot points, and narrative events have become ingrained in the fabric of the medium. Often, these elements can feel worn out as they see overuse. But, delivered with the right finesse, these moments can be handled to make them feel fun again. Spider-Gwen: Shadow Clones #1 plays with its well-trodden moments with such a touch.

As this book opens, we find Gwen in a heated battle with several iconic Spider-Man villains. How they got to her Earth is unknown, but it doesn’t matter. As the battle tears its way across New York City, we see a lab get caught in the crossfire, leaving a painful scene in the battle’s wake. This moment lays the groundwork for the future storyline as we see one of those all too familiar comic book moments plays out with wonderful execution.

The middle portion of Spider-Gwen: Shadow Clones #1 delivers a bit of charm as we see Gwen going through some of the more mundane aspects of her life. Friends, work, and social obligations collide with Gwen’s hero life as Kim takes a moment to allow the star to be more than just a mask that beats up villains and quips about it.

The personality written in this book is wonderfully enhanced by the artwork. While Zama’s lines and Farrell’s colors deliver each narrative step in a fun, vibrant way, this book’s layout truly makes the visuals pop. Panels within panels, elements popping out of panels, and images not bound by hard boxes all combine with unique layouts to give the book a striking appeal that helps breathe as much fun into its familiar tropes as possible. Layering on some excellent sound effects design by Maher, the visual package delivers everything I could ask of it.

As the title indicates, Gwen soon finds herself confronted by a new threat that bears a striking resemblance to our hero. The ensuing scuffle provides a clever battle that sees Gwen utilizing her wits and creativity to overcome her opponent and not going to lie. I loved this sequence. The writing, filled with snappy dialogue, combined with the excellently presented visuals, brought me back to why I initially fell in love with comics. While I’ve stayed in the medium for deep character explorations and difficult moral conundrums, it was the fun and wonder of super beings knocking around bad guys in entertaining and inventive ways that drew me in.

With the issue wrapping up with some investigation into the cause of this new character’s appearance, Spider-Gwen: Shadow Clones #1 closes its tale with more well-crafted storytelling by Kim. Ending on a cliffhanger, it lands its final note, hooking the reader to help make sure they return for the next issue. But given how many other classic moments this book revels in, I can’t imagine it could have ended any other way but with the iconic threatening cliffhanger.

Spider-Gwen: Shadow Clones #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Spider-Gwen: Shadow Clones #1


With the issue wrapping up with some investigation into the cause of this new character’s appearance, Spider-Gwenn: Shadow Clones #1 closes its tale with more well-crafted storytelling by Kim

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