The original Gwen Stacy is an interesting character in that to most people she’s mostly known for being the love interest for Peter Parker before Mary Jane and her infamous death.
Now Gwen Stacy being a friend/love interest of Peter Parker has been adapted for both the small and big screen. Take for example the great take on Gwen from Spectular Spider-Man and of course, there’s Emma Stone as Gwen in the Andrew Garfield movies.
However, we are not here to look at these versions of Gwen Stacy but rather versions of my favorite superhero.
Spider-Gwen/Spider-Woman/Ghost-Spider debuted in Edge of Spider-Verse before getting her ongoing series in 2015. Her popularity quickly soared to the point that there were toys, she was appearing in video games and she quickly gained traction when she appeared in Into The Spider-Verse voiced by Hailee Steinfeld (Yep, MCU’s Kate Bishop) and will be seen again in that movie’s sequel.
Now, since this is a Disney blog, we will be looking at her appearances in Marvel cartoons that have aired on Disney networks, and what’s funny is that for most of her appearances, there are only four voice actors, Dove Cameron, Laura Bailey, and Lily Sanfelippo, and Emily Tennant
Laura Bailey is interesting as she has also played MJ in Insomniac’s Spider-Man game.
Today’s episode features Dove Cameron playing Gwen for the first time. And she’s fine if not given a whole lot to do.
Having said all this, this will not be a traditional review but rather I want to look at how Gwen is handled in this episode. It is important to understand that this is the final episode for a four-part arc where Peter and Miles travel through different dimensions in the hopes of grabbing shards that need to be put back together before all realities collapse onto themselves. In that time, we see them go to a realm where everyone but Spider-Man is a vampire, one where Spidey is a pirate captain of a crew including Howard The Duck, Rocket Racoon, and Cosmo. An old west reality where Doc Ock has taken over the town, and the world of Spider-Man Noir and then finally back to Miles’s dimension.
Yeah, that’s one change that I’m a bit iffy on. When Miles went missing earlier on in the series and ended up in Peter’s dimension, Gwen became Spider-Woman in his absence. I’m not too sure how I feel about that change. It’s minor to be sure but other elements work that are true to her character that will pop up again. Captain Stacy hating Spider-Woman until Gwen reveals herself to her father. But there’s also how he came around because of Miles’s mom. Gwen’s reveal is nice and I do like the idea of another parent helping him to see the truth but I dunno. The Captain Stacy/Gwen/Spider-Woman relationship is one of the most interesting parts of the relationship with her father as she doesn’t want to disappoint her dad as they are all they have but at the same time, Gwen can’t tell her father of her secret identity.
Another aspect I liked is how Aunt May works with Gwen as she patrols the city.
In many respects, it seems as though they went the Gwen from the world that Miles was from because in both his and Ghost-Spider’s origin Peter dies before they become heroes.
As most know, in Miles’s universe Peter had been Spider-Man for a while when he died whereas in the comics when Gwen’s Peter died, he was trying to give himself powers and he became that version of The Lizard. Part of it came from he was tired of Gwen sticking up to his bullies for him. He wanted to take things into his own hands but they got out of control and Peter’s death weighs heavily on Gwen as she believes for a while that she as Spider-Woman was responsible for the death of Peter. Combining these two universes in of itself isn’t a bad idea but I feel as though having Gwen become the third Spider after the death of Peter and the disappearance of Miles does somewhat rob her of an important part of her character. I know I am perhaps overthinking things but that’s important to me as a fan.
Now I do apologize that I haven’t brought up the villain but he’s just an evil Peter Parker that wants to drain the energy of every other Spider.
He’s nothing too special really and there isn’t too much else. Dove’s first outing as Gwen isn’t there just yet. Now, to be fair this wasn’t her first time doing voice work as she also voiced Mal in the Descendants: Wicked World shorts but I feel like there’s a difference voicing a character you’ve played before compared to your first time voicing a new character but by the time she returns for Marvel Rising, the role of Gwen fits her like a glove.
My Final Thoughts
This isn’t a bad first outing for Gwen but things will only get better in her future appearances. As will Dove Cameron playing her, I don’t fault her for not having a lot to do but this was a fine first outing. Join me next time as we see how the 2017 series handled Spider-Gwen.