Skip to content

What If…? Dark: Spider-Gwen #1

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 8 critic ratings.

• Spider-Legend Gerry Conway returns to his most famous Spider-Story for this WHAT IF along with co-writer Jody Houser!

• WHAT IF Gwen Stacy didn’t die on the bridge that day, but Spider-Man DID?!

• ‘Nuff said, I presume!

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Length
38 pages
Amazon ASIN

8 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    Marvel’s What If…? series continues this week with one of its most poignant questions yet. What do you do when you are stuck in the shadow of your darkest day? We know how Peter Parker reacted when he was faced with Gwen’s death, but in Dark: Spider-Gwen, the series asks how things would have gone if Peter had been the one to die rather than Gwen against the Green Goblin. Faced with untold grief, this What If…? series asks us to step into a new world where Queens had lost Peter’s protection, but it doesn’t take long for Gwen to find footing as a hero in her own right.

  • 100

    Un Cómic Más

    This chapter moves in the pain of a loss but has a hopeful ending.

    Art manages to recreate the original atmosphere that Gerry Conway created with his plot and Gil Kane embodied in some unforgettable artistic sequences.

  • 100

    Spider Man Crawlspace

    As I mentioned earlier in this review, my love story with Spider-Man, and comic books in general, started on a dark note when I was a young boy. Seeing Peter Parker become a murderer fascinated me and grabbed my attention right away, making me a fan for life. And this special one-shot also has the same effect, reigniting in me a new, different kind of flame that makes me want to read more Spider-Man, and even more Gwen. It will be interesting to see what other dark stories the ‘What If’ line of comic books has in store for us, and I am eager to see additional tales of this version of Gwen.

  • 81

    Graphic Policy

    Despite the title, What If? Dark Spider-Gwen isn’t a piece of edgelord superheroics. It’s actually a comics legend getting to revisit one of his classic storylines and with the help of co-writer Houser and artists Bachs and Cunniffe, Gerry Conway gets to give Gwen Stacy agency and a robust character arc even if the inciting incident of the story (Spider-Man drowning) is a little flimsy.

  • 80

    First Comics News

    This issue answers the question, “What would happen if Spider-Man died instead of Gwen Stacy?” while showing Gwen come into her own as a hero even with the amount of grief that she’s going through. Most of the issue feels rushed to where he doesn’t get any character development nor do we get to see more of Gwen take on Peter’s mantle but it’s almost as if both Gerry Conway and Jody Houser did their best to get from Point A to Point B which in turn really hurts this installment of “What If…?” to where it feels like they took one of the all-time classic Spider-Man stories and reimaged it to no thrills which indeed is sad but I will say this, Ramon Bachs did not try to copy Gil Kane’s art which is the bright spot for this special. Spider-Gwen fans will love this “What If…?” while Spider-Man fans will go find solace by turning to their Marvel Masterworks after reading this. This could have been Amazing…. no pun intended.

  • 70

    Comic Book Revolution

    What If…? Dark Spider-Gwen delivers exactly on the potential these What If…? one-shots have. Jody Houser and Ramon Bachs did a very good job at utilizing Gerry Conway and Gil Kane’s iconic “The Night Gwen Stacy Died” to tell a different Spider-Gwen origin story. The way this story ended was a bit disappointing that this was simply a one-shot as the end isn’t as definitive as fans may hope.

  • 60

    Geek'd Out

    Anyone familiar with the Spider-Man mythos probably has an idea of where things ultimately go for her, but like I mentioned above, this issue doesn’t feel any “darker” than some other What If stories have gotten. It feels harsh to describe What If? Dark: Spider-Gwen #1 as redundant, but Spider-Gwen has become such a fandom in her own right now —not to mention the many Gwen variants that have since sprung into existence because of that— that it has the unfortunate effect of making this story feel a little rote. It’s nice to have Conway back on plotting with Houser, whose script is very competently written, but part of the reason why Spider-Gwen became such a smash hit was the many unexpected, big swings it takes from the source material by comparison, which I don’t think an original writer would be able to make from their own work. I do quite like Ramón F. Bachs’ art here though, which emulates the look of comics of that era without feeling cheesy or straight copying, and the inclusion of pages from the original issue up to the divergence point of this story is a nice touch I don’t think I’ve seen in other What If?s before, but on the whole I don’t know if there’s much for Spider-Gwen fans to latch onto with this take.

  • 60

    Haunting Hypatia

    Despite these flaws, What If…? Dark: Spider-Gwen #1 is a serviceable What If? story. Spider-Gwen fans will appreciate it as a new take on the idea of Gwen Stacy as a hero. Classic Spider-Man fans may have trouble with the details, but should enjoy it as a light read.

More From What If…? Dark: Spider-Gwen (2023)