You may be aware that the big event of Marvel Comics at the moment is that the Avengers, X-Men, and Eternals accidentally created a god with the power to destroy all life on Earth, and the mandate to do so if humanity is not judged favorably enough. “You will be judged individually. You will be judged as a collective,” said the Progenitor Celestial. Last week, it came for Hawkeye in the form of Black Widow, and this week, its roving eye finally arrived on our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
And naturally, it took the form of Gwen Stacy, his worst failure. So, how did the luckless, flawed, eternally struggling Peter Parker measure up?
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)
The Progenitor didn’t just pardon Peter, it gave him a gift: one last conversation with a temporarily resurrected Gwen. A few years ago, I think this would have struck me as old hat, but in our modern times Gwen is her own internationally known Spider-Person in film and comics (not to mention her own Deadpool). Peter even knows Spider-Gwen! He mentors her!
It’s keeping the old-school tragedy of Gwen Stacy alive and meaningful, without the erasure of a female character from the mythos, which freed me up to enjoy this scene for the comic-booky high drama moment it is.
The issue also has a fantastic button, revealing that Gwen’s murderer, Norman Osborn — currently trying to go straight and not do murder all the time — is also being judged by a much meaner-looking Gwen Stacy Progenitor.
Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s Action Comics has been ambitious from the start, and I’m still not sure whether it all paid off. But I can tell you this: Riccardo Federici — with colorist Lee Loughridge — draws the hell out of it. The old trope of Superman and Lois Lane having a heart-to-heart chat while floating effortlessly in the air is only improved by him giving up his secret identity and being able to do it in sweatpants.
As a bisexual who loves puns I must begrudgingly accept that this one is pretty good, which is how all the best puns should be accepted.
Not one but two Gotham City characters started living in big boats this week, and who did it better is a toss up. On the one hand, Tim Drake’s boat gets a cross section, and I love a cross section…
…but on the other hand, followers of New York City weird news will recognize the joke here: Harley bought that decommissioned Staten Island ferry out from under Pete Davidson. She deserves it.