Released: July 3rd 2017
Received: Marvel Unlimited
Issues: Spider-Gwen 14-15, Spider-Gwen Annual #1, All-New Wolverine Annual #1
Spider-Gwen: Long Distance is a bit odd for how it’s made up. It consists of two issues in the main Spider-Gwen series, as well as an annual for it, and then oddly enough an All-New Wolverine annual. Had I just been reading along (either on Marvel Unlimited, or reading it issue by issue as it came out), without looking into it at all, I would have entirely missed this fact. The issues are as follows: Spider-Gwen 14 and 15, followed by Spider-Gwen Annual #1, and then finally All-New Wolverine Annual #1.
This volume read as more of a collection of short stories than anything else. The first two issues are more connected to the main plot that’s been going on (with Daredevil and her father), while the two annuals really are more standalone. It’s worth reading, but also completely skippable should you prefer to just stick to the meatier plots.
Gwen is still struggling to deal with her power loss, and needless to say it isn’t going well. Matt Murdock has figured out her secret…well actually he seems to have figured out all of her secrets. He knows she’s Gwen Stacy (duh), and he knows she’s completely reliant on the power-ups. Upon proving his theory correctly (can we even call it a theory when he absolutely knows it’s the truth?) he sets his trap and essentially ensures that Gwen will continue to be his puppet. Not good.
That’s pretty much the gist of the main plot that occurs in the first two issues. Everything else is one shot stories, so while cute at times they’re not really needed? There’s a Thanksgiving special, a Christmas moment (at least I’m assuming Christmas – otherwise why is her band wearing elf suits?), etc. The highlight out of this novel actually surprised me – it was the Wolverine annual. For sake of honesty, I haven’t actually read any of the Wolverine series. And that includes the X-23 series (though I’m getting the impression that I should really give that one a shot), so I don’t know the whole backstory here.
However, it was a really interesting and at times funny issue. Okay, the core concept for how these two character meet is a little silly and too far into the scifi world, but otherwise the issue is pure gold. It had me cracking up at multiple points (something I was not expecting), and left me sad when it finished (not because the ending is sad, I just didn’t want to see it go).
On the whole I’d have to say that while I’m happy to have read this volume, it could be easily skipped. My favorite part (the Wolverine crossover) isn’t vital to the main plot at all, so if you’re not terribly concerned about humorous side quests it really isn’t a big deal. Hopefully the next volume picks up the pace – and if I’m correct I believe that one will be a crossover with Spider-Man (the Miles Morales Spider-Man, that is), which should be interesting.