Released: July 26th 2016
Received: Marvel Unlimited
Issues: Spider-Women Alpha #1, Silk 7-8, Spider-Gwen 7-8, Spider-Woman 6-7, Spider-Woman Omega #1
It’s time for another cross over! This time it’s Spider-Women, Silk, and Spider-Gwen teaming up to save their combined worlds from a greater enemy. This plot bounces around from two annuals/single issues to the three dedicated spider-women series (Silk, Spider-Gwen, and Spider-Woman), so it’s a bit difficult to follow, especially if you’re not actively reading them all.
For those of you that are using Marvel Unlimited (or any other site that won’t compile them into one nice volume for you to read through the comics (like myself) the reading order is as follows: Spider-Women Alpha, Spider-Gwen 7, Silk 7, Spider-Woman 6, Spider-Gwen 8, Silk 8, Spider-Woman 7, Spider-Women Omega
For the sake of honestly I have to say that I’m not a big fan of crossovers designed like this (I prefer the ones that occur entirely inside one series, as opposed to hoping around so). If you’re not comic savvy it can blindside you and utterly confuse you (speaking from experience here). Even if you are comic savvy, if you’re hoping to only follow one series it completely derails the plot for at least a couple of issues, still resulting in confusion. In short, it’s messy and needlessly confusing.
I’ll confess that I had once upon a time been following Spider-Gwen on an issue by issue basis, and it was this chaos that turned me off from the series for a while. Here I was just happily reading the series, when suddenly there are two issues that make no sense in the context of everything else. Immediately followed by (spoiler warning) a dramatic change to how Gwen can access her powers. I was able to put enough of the pieces together to get the gist of it, but when other series opened up I opted to follow them instead.
Alright, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, it’s time to talk about the actual story. Spider-Women wraps up Cindy and Jess (from Earth 616) and Gwen (Earth 65) as well as a few surprises into a pretty fast paced story. Our three spider ladies find themselves trapped in Earth 65 (not a fun prospect to Jess, who’s now trapped away from her baby) while they try and figure out who the bad guy is behind all of this.
There are a lot of fun/silly Earth 65 alternate character cameos and references in this series. There’s a hat tip to Richard Reed, and sort of one to Tony Stark (in Earth 65 he owns Starkbucks – a coffee company). Plus there’s a version of Cindy and Jess from this universe as well, and they become shockingly relevant to the plot.
On the bright side I finally understand all of the S.I.L.K. references I’ve been seeing in other corners of the comic ‘verse, so that’s pretty great. Every time I looked at Silk’s character I was wondering why it wasn’t being spelled S.I.L.K., but now that finally makes sense to me.
This was an interesting plot, but not the best. Admittedly I’d probably think more kindly of it had it been a little more neatly arranged, but it is what it is. I still think Jess/Spider-Woman is my favorite of the three, with Gwen/Spider-Woman coming in second (sorry Cindy/Silk). I’d be okay with future crossovers with them, but again would prefer it was done in a slightly different manner.