|GWEN STACY No. 2, May 2020|
Foremost of these threats comes in the form of the head of Oscorp, Norman Osborn, whose presence throughout this comic seems to persistently promise an appearance by his utterly murderous alter-ego. Whether it be the “amoral industrialist” suddenly catching Harry and his friends in the human mutate’s private office tinkering with his company’s “forensic computer modelling system for the FBI”, or fully believing that Captain George Stacy’s daughter is about to unmask him as Spider-Man’s “Halloween-themed” arch-nemesis on the upper gallery of his Park Avenue residence, the physical menace of the man is truly palpable.
Equally as intimidating is the all-too real danger that Gwen faces once her hospitalised father reveals that the Lucky Lobo Gang bribery ledgers he’s recently seen contain “a lot of entries”, including “payoffs to cops”. The wounded parent’s fears for the safety of “everything I have” is emotionally penned by Gage, and the elderly law enforcement officer’s challenge to his two well-meaning subordinates that they can’t promise him that they will protect his child “when, for all we know, the guards watching her might be in someone’s pocket” is a chilling condemnation as to the corruptibility of the local police force.
Lending this book plenty of additional gravitas are Todd Nauck and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg’s layouts, which impressively provide plenty of energetic pace to a decidedly dialogue-driven plot. The American artist’s pencilling of Osborn during his aforementioned confrontations with “Miss Stacy” prove particularly impactive, with the evidently powerful man positively glowering at the blond-haired student during their first meeting, and then nervously crunching some finger-marks into his balcony’s brickwork when he believes his secret identity is about to be revealed.
|The regular cover art of "GWEN STACY" No. 21 by Adam Hughes|