As popular as Spider-Gwen became, especially after the release of the movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, you would expect all the story arcs in the comic book series to be pretty good. And to be fair, most of them were. Or at least until the Gwenom story, which spanned from Spider-Gwen issues 25 to 29 of volume 2. At first, the idea of Gwen Stacy being combined with the venom symbiote popularized from other Spider-Man comics and media seemed like a good idea. But as the story progressed, problems started to emerge in the plot.
If we back up to Spider-Gwen issue 19, we see that, after losing her powers, Gwen Stacy tries to gain them back permanently. Up to this point, she was at the mercy of Matt Murdock, who was providing her with radioactive isotopes that would allow her to temporarily regain her abilities. Long story short, the Lizard Serum that transformed her friend Harry Osborn into a reptilian monster was combined with Cindy Moon’s research, the person who originally created the “power up” isotopes. This combination inadvertently created the Venom symbiote.
Now if we jump to issue 24, the symbiote bonds with Wolverine. Gwen manages to remove it from him and have the symbiote combine with her instead by playing a song on her phone. She says that when it comes to music, her and Venom march to the same beat. When the Gwenom story arc begins in issue 25, we see that Spider-Gwen is not happy with her father’s physical condition and wants revenge.
By the end of the story arc though, she decides to let go of her rage. At first she thought that it was the effect of the symbiote, but Cindy Moon explains that it is in fact her own emotions. Despite knowing that Matt Murdock was responsible for her father’s bad condition, she decides not to kill him. Near the end of the Gwenom story arc, she finally tells her friends that she is Spider-Woman, which they suspected all along.
So what’s the problem with this story? It is all over the place. Captain America and The Punisher make appearances, but neither play a major role. Matt Murdock’s backstory is inserted into issue 28, and many parts of the story feels like filler, which unnecessarily prolongs the story. Something also has to be said about the art work, which is flat shaded. With too many solid colors combined with sharp angles and exaggeration, it is hard to tell what is going on in some panels.
Although the Gwenom arc starts in issue 25, you really want to get Spider-Gwen issue 24 if you are into collecting comics with cool covers. It has Gwen Stacy in her outfit, while the symbiote in the form of black spiders crawl upward and covers her body. Plus owning this issue will bring clarity to the following ones, if you wish to read the complete story yourself.