Good news, everyone! Spider-Gwen — the alt-verse Gwen Stacey who becomes Spider-Woman — will get a new series after Marvel stops shaking up its current comics with Secret Wars. The weird news? It also confirms that the Marvel universe we’re getting later this year may not be as “All-New, All Different” as we thought.
First off, the good news: Spider-Gwen will still be a part of Marvel’s big publishing lineup in September, after the currently ongoing Secret Wars tears the Marvel comics ‘verse apart and stitches an entirely new one. This is unsurprising — after all, Gwen’s previous series, sparked by fan demand after her wildly successful debut in the Spider-Verse comic event — only lasted a mere five issues earlier this year before the start of Secret Wars ground all ongoing comics to a halt. Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez, who wrote and drew the short-lived series, will also be returning. So far, so similar.
The interesting part of this reveal actually comes not from the news, but an interview Jason Latour conducted with IGN — which reveals that Spider-Gwen will still largely be set on Earth-65, the alternate world this version of Gwen Stacey originated from:
The main focus of our first arc is on Gwen Stacy’s continuing adventures within her own universe (Earth 65), it’s pretty essential to who this Gwen Stacy is to have her own supporting cast and villains and problems. But Spider-Gwen was born out of a multiversal crossover event so the opportunity to hop around has always been present and honestly is just too fun to resist. So yeah, bouncing over to the 616 now and then is something we’re eager to explore too.
So, that big event that’s happening that’s meant to do away with the vast Marvel multiverse? It looks like it’ll be leaving behind a multiverse of its own. Many fans assumed that, like fellow Spider-Hero Miles Morales, Gwen would survive the destruction of her own reality and carry on her spider-adventures in the new “main” Marvel reality that will be created by Secret Wars and form the basis for the new wave of comics that Marvel will release. Because so far, every indication has been that the multiverse as readers knew it was going to be completely destroyed.
If that’s not the case... what’s the point of destroying the multiverse in Secret Wars again? Part of the expressed desire to chop-and-change the current comics slate was to try and reduce the vast swathe of parallel worlds and alternative lineups in Marvel’s comics. But it seems like, even after the changes it’s making, Secret Wars will leave a very similar structure in its place, one that we were assuming would be gone altogether. If there’s still going to be an Earth-65, how many alternate universes will still be a part of the Marvel comics universe (the answer, presumably, at least 65)?
Ah, comic books. The more things change, the more they stay the same.