Spider-Gwen isn’t her name. It’s Spider-Woman. Well, really it’s Gwen Stacy. In an alternate universe where Peter Parker doesn’t get bitten, Gwen does. She starts fighting crime as the Amazing Spider-Woman until a tragedy strikes. On her prom night, her friend Peter, wanting to be a superhero, turns himself into the Lizard and dies while fighting Spider-Woman. She has to go on with her life, living next to the Parkers without ever telling them the truth of how their nephew died. It’s a great story, but started as a tiny part of a big crossover where all the Spider-Men (and Women and Hams) fight some multidimensional jerks trying to kill them all.
No one predicted that people would fall in love with her.
The costume was amazing. It was modern and fresh and not just another girl wearing Spider-Man’s blue and red get up. The character became so popular so fast that Marvel produced 20 Gwen-themed variant covers for their current books. One of those covers became so popular that it was then spun off into Gwenpool. When they eventually gave Gwen her own series, they made at least 25 variant covers.
The comic has a fresh feel and made up a whole backstory that incorporated characters people knew with enough of a twist to make it fresh. Mary Jane was the lead guitarist and singer of a band, the Mary Janes, and Gwen was her drummer. She had the familiar backstory and powers of the Spider-Man we loved without the baggage of Peter Parker. In her own series, they have developed a world that has a rich backstory and hidden history that is fun to uncover. It’s great to see Ben Grimm as a beat cop and Samantha Wilson is Captain America, who stepped up when Steve Rogers was killed before he could be transformed. Gwen also crosses over with the main Marvel Universe regularly. She is dating Miles Morales, and they are adorable. She has brunch with the main Marvel 616 Spider-Woman and Silk in her universe because the food is better there. This is the coolest exploration of the multiverse. She also sometimes hallucinates Spider-Ham as her moral conscious if she’s been hit on the head.
Spider-Gwen was a phenomena embraced by a new generation of readers, artists, and especially cosplayers. She was part of a revival of female characters in a modern vein designed with fashion and utility in mind like the current Spider Woman and Batgirl. Marvel’s marketing department has not lagged and now you can buy hoodies, face wraps, leggings, and costumes from Thinkgeek, Hot Topic, and even Walmart. The first appearance of Spider-Gwen has gone into multiple printing and a first printing goes for an almost crazy price on Ebay. The best part is that on top of all of the hype, the character has substance to back it up. Any story with her is better because she is there. I highly recommend it for readers of all ages.
Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Spider-Gwen pattern here. Instructions and charts for both knit and crochet are listed in the pattern. When you’re finished making it, don’t forget to Instagram your squares at us @lattesandllamasyarn with the hashtag #geekalong!
If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and a tutorial on crochet here. Want to hang out with other people making the blanket? You can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here.
I’m still bitter no one got me a Spider-Gwen hoodie for Christmas last year.
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