The Marvel Rising franchise is interesting in many ways, it seems like Marvel responding to the success of DC Superhero Girls.
Not so much in style but rather the big two noticing that young girls also like superheroes and wanted to find a way to market to this audience that hadn’t been tapped into before. I say that as both franchises featured animated specials, toys, and even some comics to tie into these franchises.
It’s interesting to see this, while DC Superhero Girls follows the popular trope that’s seen in things such as Equestria Girls or Monster high, Rising avoids the popular trope for these franchises of focusing on these characters in a high school setting. Also even compared to those, Rising has a bit more of an edge to it. I’m not saying that it’s grimdark but rather it doesn’t sugarcoat part of these people’s pasts. That is seen with this series of six-minute shorts that introduce Gwen into this world.
The entire premise of these shorts is Gwen clearing her name as everyone from Sheild to the NYPD are after her because they all believe she killed her best friend, Kevin.
Yes, they do change the character who dies as it is not Peter and while in some aspects, that’d bug me, I think it works here as the emotional weight remains the same. You can feel how much Gwen cared for Kevin and truly wants to take down the person that killed her friend. Now, this series debuted when Marvel was trying to push the Inhumans as a thing. That didn’t exactly pan out as they had hoped. I say this as Kevin was an Inhuman as was the person who killed him.
Another aspect that is carried over and works quite well is as I mentioned is how the whole world is against Ghost-Spider. Including her father.
So, the shorts are fun and you do get to see Gwen team up with other heroes such as Miss Marvel and Squirrel Girl.
So, that is fun and this does a good job of setting up these characters and there is at least one character on Gwen’s side at the end that believes her. Daisy Johnson aka Quake.
When they are about to turn Gwen into the cops, she can sense that she’s innocent and realizes that she is Captain Stacy’s daughter and lets her go.
I’m only going to focus on one character being Gwen here as while everyone else had a role, these shorts truly centered around her and she is the only one that mattered.
Gwen Stacy/Ghost-Spider voiced by Dove Cameron
It’s so nice hearing Dove get to play this character again as she is able to bring so much more life to this take on Gwen compared to when she was in Ultimate Spider-Man. I believe part of that comes from Gwen being the main character this time around. You truly feel for her and want to see her succeed in her mission of finding the person that killed her friend. One of the biggest moments of sincerity and vulnerability she has is when she reveals to Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl, that she’s wearing a friendship bracelet with her’s and Kevin’s initials on it. It’s such a small moment but it speaks to how much Kevin meant to her.
That does bring up another interesting aspect, eventually, Captain Stacy finds out he’s been chasing his daughter but Marvel Rising never got to the point and the franchise seems dormant at this point. So, while he’s chasing his daughter without knowing it, he fully believes she killed the best friend of his daughter. That adds another aspect that we will discuss in the next review where after everything that has happened Gwen doesn’t feel like she can go back home.
My Final Thoughts
These shorts are very good and do a great job of getting you to feel for Gwen. You want to see her succeed even while the whole world is against her and no one will believe her. It shows the sadder side of a superhero’s life in a way that is digestible for the intended audience. Now, these shorts are technically a lead-in for a movie and we will be looking at that next time as I look at…