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If you didn’t already know, on Wednesdays (Aka New Comicbook Day) I work at Richmond Comix on Richmond’s South Side, where they are nice enough to give me a Pick of the Week! I post that pick on Instagram and Twitter, and then review that book/series here on Thursdays! Nick’s Pick this week was Low by Image Comics, but I decided to make it a double since I had some extra time and reviewed Spider-Gwen #1 from Marvel Comics too!
So let me start with Low. This is a really interesting story written by Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force, Uncanny Avengers, Axis, Black Science) and drawn by Greg Tocchini (Uncanny X-Force, Hinterkind). These two bring to life a world where the sun is dying, air is in rare supply, and everyone lives in a domed city under the ocean where everyone in power seems to know they’re all doomed. The book follows a family initially as they keep hopeful of finding a new planet that humankind can move to and gain a new lease on life. Their bloodline can pilot a rare artifact, a mech suit, that seems to be very powerful.
I could tell the story is for mature audiences almost immediately between the violence, cursing, and sexual content! That being said, I don’t think it hurts the book, let me be very clear about that. You see the fall of some characters, some reaching absolute low points, and then some that never lose hope. This story has tragedy, corruption, redemption, battles, and just some breathtaking scenes! This issue was the sixth and the last before a brief break, so if you want to get into this book, now is the time to catch up! I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Black Science, post apocalyptic worlds, or just great art!
Now on to the bonus, and a real joy for me personally! (I’ll tell you why in a bit) Spider-Gwen #1 comes hot on the heels of the Spider-verse event that recently took place. If you haven’t checked that out at all, I HIGHLY recommend it! Some of Dan Slott’s best work to date! In the second of the Edge of Spider-verse one-shot stories, we were introduced to a world where Gwen Stacey, not Peter Parker, had been bitten by a radioactive spider and acquired great power that needed great responsibility to control it. That book is now in its FOURTH printing. The buzz around the character has reached levels not seen very often.
The character was taken in by the fans and became the subject of fan art and cosplay on a mania level BEFORE the book even came out!!! The costume design by Robbi Rodriguez was beautiful. It was Modern. It was vibrant. It was unique. Before anyone even read the story it was cemented as the best new thing in the Spider-Man bible. Then we read the story.
Gwen Stacey took on the Spider-Woman mantle after gaining her powers. She struggled with the death of Peter Parker who had taken the role of Kurt Conners and turned himself into the Lizard to be more like Gwen, and had then died in her arms. She was a drummer in the band ‘The Mary Janes’ led by the band’s name sake. Her father, Captain Stacey, was alive and leading the task force chasing Spider-Woman. She was deemed a menace and the murder of poor Peter Parker. Our minds were collectively blown by the awesomeness of what we read.
We craved more. We NEEDED more! And when the Marvel Fans call in such large numbers, they are most often answered. We got an ongoing series for her before we even saw her again in the pages of Spider-verse! Most of us were already combing every page of the Spider-verse titles trying to get our fix, and then they name the series Spider-Gwen!?! This book only got more awesome. Could they do it though? Could they recapture the great storytelling we expected after that first issue?
Having read Spider-Gwen #1 I can tell you with all certainty, they nailed it. Keeping the formula intact with writer Jason Latour and artist Robbi Rodriguez, they picked up right where they left off. We see Gwen with all the personal life drama Peter ever had, the Vulture and Jameson deeming her a menace just like any Spidey, and a need to do the right thing and be the best Spider she can be. This book has every opportunity to become historic in its run. The fans embrace it with open arms, and it’s added to the lore of Spiderdom as much, if not more, than other fan favorites like Spider-man 2099 and Manga Spider-Man. After checking this title out, which you better do, you’ll likely become a fan of Robbi Rodriguez, but you’re already five years behind me.
Five years ago, I went to my first Comic Convention in Charlotte North Carolina called Heroes Con. There I was wide-eyed and amazed at all the comics I’d never even seen, and all the artists in Artist Alley that were so unique! One of which was Robbi Rodriguez. He had done a book called Maintance, which incidently was written by Stephen Colbert. What really caught my eye were his awesome prints though. There was one he had dubbed ‘Go Go Gaget Flow that particularly drew me in. He only had 1 print left, and my good buddy Billy got it. I’ve been a fan ever since, and was one of the first to pick up his Image book Collider. (Later re-named FBP) Do yourself a favor and check out some of his old stuff still on his Deviantart page Here! But below are some of my personal favorites.
Come back next week for more reviews, or check out some of the other stuff here at Blackhole-Comics.com!
The World is Ours to Make!