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Absorbing Man Week!
Marvel Legends Spider-Gwen Review

“As Spider-Woman I’ve traveled the Multiverse. I’ve stared down psychic vampires and psycho cops. Kicked in all the scary yellow teeth. And no, being caught or killed or found never truly scared me. No, what scares me is losing what I have in my hand now… what scares me is losing the people I love.” – Gwen Stacy, Spider-Woman Earth-65.

It never fails that if you try a theme week, something stressful & unrelated to the stress of a theme week happens. I got through all but two of the reviews this time. That’s something. So I’m going to try and focus here and get this done. There already aren’t any really funny pictures, so there’s that. It’s a shame because Spider-Gwen sorta deserves better.

The first thing about Spider-Gwen is that she’s barely a year old and *boom* here’s her figure. That’s impressive. And it’s not just that she has a figure that quick, but it’s that she’s everywhere. I have to admit that I’ve not personally read anything she’s been in (I want to), but I see her all over social media with images taken from the books, fan art, cosplay, etc. Spider-Gwen caught on. She caught on so well, that she didn’t even get to keep her name – she’s Spider-Woman. And after all the dust up over calling the new Thor, well, Thor. It amazes me that we just accept calling her Spider-Gwen with little no problem. It just seems to be kitschy along with the rest of her and its good. It’s the actual name of this figure. It’s the title of her solo book. It’s for clarity and no one cares. Sorry, Thor… & Thor. I still think we need a Spider-Peter book, but maybe that’s just me.

As any Spider-Man fan knows, when Peter had started to maybe accept Uncle Ben’s and wasn’t feeling particularly tortured anymore, they decided to ice his girlfriend (comics really don’t like wives & girlfriends) by throwing her off a bridge. I pick on it, but it’s a great story. Some folks have gone back to it and identify it as her being “fridged”, even in Spider-Gwen’s own dialogue, but it really did having a lasting impact on the character & the fans. It wasn’t cheap. You can’t just not kill supporting cast to avoid fridging, it’s more about how you do it and Amazing Spider-Man #121 did it pretty well.

In the Spiderverse crossover, which I really want to read, Spider-Man from all across Marvel’s multiple realities had to get together to stop a multi-world threat. And the idea of a universe where Gwen got bit and Peter died really is kind of obvious. DC actually did something similar with Kyle Rayner’s girlfriend Alex – the original girl in the fridge, where she had become Green Lantern and Kyle was dead, but it was brief. The obviousness though isn’t a bad thing – it’s more like simple genius followed up with what I assume is flawless execution. Spider-Gwen is, “so hot right now”.

And so we have her clearly fast-tracked figure. It was a must by for me because I’m a total sucker for something culturally popular and for new characters getting their due in toy lines. I want plenty of old characters – I waited my entire life for a Hellcat and still don’t have a 6” Firestar, but I like the lines mixing it up. When I see the concept that certain older characters “deserve” toys first, it makes me want to jump in the computer and punch people in the face. It’s such a flawed, dumb argument because it’s always the characters that that person wants that “deserve” to be made first. It’s asinine.

So fans of Spider-Gwen, seemingly many & vociferous, should rejoice because she’s here and she’s pretty good. I’ll get the one knock out of the way – I’m not totally a fan of this buck. I love Hasbro for making a shorter girl buck. Mattel screwed the pooch on that for DCUC royally. I have trouble posing it and getting it to stand on a few of the uses, but it’s not bad. What’s weird to me though is that it’s a teenage girl buck. Mayday Parker? Teenager. Ultimate Spider-Woman? Teenager. Arana? Teenager. White Tiger? Teenager. Spider-Gwen?

Well, technically, she’s 19, and honestly I can’t complain because when she’s talking to our Peter Parker, the height shown is about the same as what’s been done. It’s just weird though, okay? Continue to Page 2…

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13 comments to Absorbing Man Week!
Marvel Legends Spider-Gwen Review

  • Brainlock

    For me, the Spider-Women could have their own line and it will go a few waves at this point. We really need a redo on that Julia Carpenter, and Jessica’s new duds! (I’m sure they’re waiting on hers right now until AFTER the baby, but…which Barbie had the hideous removable/pop out belly with a baby INSIDE???!! yeah.

    Or just a She-Force ML sub-line? they could even market it the “the pink aisle”, like Mattel is doing with the new DC cartoon set at an all girls school or whatever that is.

    Anywho…great result on a fast tracked character. I mostly bought her to custom the classic Gwen with the unmasked head, as I’m not too familiar with this version. Most of the decos were on the upper half of the figure and the feet and they came off well. I’m still not sure about the purple/reddish highlights around her head, then the teal footpads, but I didn’t design her.

    The hood has been noted as being too thick and shallow in back, so only the “bald” heads can fit into it. I popped mine on a Wasp, and Janet’s face is sticking absurdly far out.

    I do have to wonder about Spider-Gwen’s sudden “success”, as many are clamoring for her, but I recall there were many vocal opponents to X-23’s similar rush into the line. Then again, that figure was gangly and fugly, and that was just the better looking version! Yet she has found her fanbase and I haven’t seen any objections to her taking over the role of Wolverine. Many are even expecting that “Wolverine” slot to be her in the upcoming X-men wave, over front runners like Old Man Logan or even another all-silver version to represent Logan’s current status as an adamantium statue.

    • There’s “A-Force” in the comics, which I think could make a pretty good sub-line to introduce updated versions of characters that might need it. She-Hulk could use a refresh, Medusa was only ever available as a SDCC exclusive, Nico’s never gotten a figure (nor have any of the Runaways). I’d like a figure of Captain Marvel’s updated costume, but it would require a lot of new tooling that I’m sure Hasbro wouldn’t pay for. Painting on all the detailing would not look good.

      I’d be down for a new Julia Caprenter, in either her Spider-Woman outfit or her Arachne duds. I grew up in the 80s and 90s, so Julia was “my” Spider-Woman for many years. It took me a while to warm up to Jessica when they brought her back and sidelined Julia.

      On the subject of Jessica’s new “costume,” however, I’d be fine if they never made a figure of that. And did away with it in the comics. I am not at all a fan.

      • Brainlock

        I’ve heard about “A-Force”, but most casual fans/parents would have no clue what that is. “She-Force tells you it’s an all girl team, and it was used by ToyBiz for an exclusive wave of 5” repaints/redecoes back in the 90s.

  • Carsten

    Ok, that last pic is perfection – well done, sir 🙂
    And I have the sneaking suspicion, it’s part of why I somehow just stopped being a huge Spidey fan …

  • Freefire

    Face sculpts are something Hasbro seems to very wildly on. Movie Cap and Star Lord look nothing like Chris’ Evans and Pratt but Iron Man, War Machine and Black Widow are pretty dead on in their likenesses. Han Solo, Rey and Finn look pretty good but Poe looks like mud. There are times when they do a pretty good job and others like they aren’t even trying. Its weird. That is a pretty good Emma Stone likeness, I think I like the figure even more now.

    Im glad they made a Spider-Gwen now lets do Squirrel Girl!

  • ero

    “I … still don’t have a 6” Forester.”

    I am hoping beyond hope that the next Target 3-pack with be Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends.

  • I really like the teenage girl buck. I wish there were mroe than one, because every teenage girl Hasbro’s put out in the last few years has the exact same body, but I’m just really glad they put the effort into creating a representation for a human female with even slightly realistic proportions.

    I also really like Spider-Gwen (she is called Spider-Woman in-story, but since Jessica Jones has been kind of big the last few years, I guess they didn’t want to call the book that), but I lament what could have been. When she was introduced, it seemed like right out of a “What-If” type of scenario: What if Gwen Stacy had been bitten by the spider instead of Peter Parker?” But once they gave her an ongoing, they started to make other broad, sweeping changes to other characters in her version of the Marvel U. Frank Castle is an NYPD detective in good standing. Matt Murdock is an enforcer for the Kingpin. There’s a Captain America who isn’t Steve Rogers, and Rogers was never Cap (if I recall, he was killed before the experiment and another soldier took the serum to fight off the Nazi agent). Harry Osborne is a SHIELD agent, and on and on. I liked the idea of “change this one thing and see where things go,” but it’s a vastly different world in almost every respect. Even Gwen herself really only resembles the classic character in name and appearance (physical, not even fashion-wise). Instead of an uptight popular preppy girl, she’s the drummer for an all-girl punk band called the Mary James (MJ is a punk singer in this world, so she’s not too similar to her 616 counterpart, either).

  • J. Lee

    Well picked of the Edge of Spiderverse book and it hooked me. Peter became the Lizard and “died”, Matt Murdock works with Kingpin (thats a big twist) and Gwen and MJ are in band called the Maryjanes. Its quirky yet fun. Now.Spiderverse won’t spoil but Peter FLIPPED when she was alone with a couple other spidergirls and Silk I wanna say fighting a flock of Goblins.

    On the hunt for her, I only wish some extra hands would come with her.

  • Knew I wanted this one from the moment I saw it! Just had to…look up who she was. But I didn’t need info to love that beautiful design! I’m a toy fan, first and foremost, and that’s a DANG find lookin’ toy! You don’t see those colors together normally, outside of the Negative Zone.

    *Ahem* Now, to find the figure.

  • Joe

    I actually love that the unmasked head looks like Emma Stone.