Spider-Gwen Is Coming Back (And So Is The Marvel Multiverse)
Marvel's steady stream of announcements ahead of next week's Previews reveal continued today, first with the surprising reveal of the new team on Captain Marvel, and then with news of Spider-Gwen's return. The latter announcement is less groundbreaking, but still very welcome, and it comes with a twist. The original Spider-Gwen creative team of writer Jason Latour and artist Robbi Rodriguez will continue to be the Spider-Gwen creative team after Secret Wars --- and Gwen's adventures will continue to take place in a separate reality from the main Marvel Universe.
In an interview for IGN to announce the book's return, Latour said, "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." He also said that Gwen will continue to criss-cross between worlds, noting, "bouncing over to the 616 now and then is something we’re eager to explore too."
Latour won't have said anything that Marvel hasn't signed off on, so this confirms that the outcome of Secret Wars will be a multiverse much like the one that died coming in to Secret Wars --- it just won't have an Ultimate Universe anymore. Latour's comments also confirm that the new Marvel Universe is still Earth 616 --- a naming convention that Marvel editors haven't always been fond of, and might have tried to shrug off through this event.
If you'll indulge a crackpot theory, there's another possible outcome of Secret Wars that Latour could be directing us away from; a continued patchwork status quo in the model of Battleworld, in which the worlds of Gwen, Miles Morales, and Peter Parker all co-exist on the same map. That would account for how characters from the Old Man Logan and 1872 realities could hang around after the event. But such an unfamiliar map of Marvel Earth might be an unsatisfying outcome for readers.
We'll know the truth of the new Marvel Universe soon enough, probably long before Secret Wars ends. In the meantime, it's good to know that Gwen's adventures will continue, and hopefully the interruption and relaunch won't cost the book any momentum.
It's not clear from the IGN interview whether colorist Rico Renzi will also return for the relaunch, but we'll keep our fingers crossed. Spider-Gwen wouldn't be the same without him.