Updated July 31, 2015 at 1:40 p.m. EST: Since the original publication of this story, Newsarama spoke with Spider-Gwen artist Robbi Rodriguez about what he called a "big rule" about not creating new characters in Spider-Gwen. According to Rodriguez there is no such rule and his earlier commnts can be chalked to a misunderstanding by him.
"There is no rule. The subject wasn't explained to me very well when I asked before at the time, but its all cleared now when I asked again not too long ago," Rodriguez told Newsarama. "I forgot I mentioned that on the podcast, so I asked them to edit it to clear up any future confusion. I meant to do the earlier and its my mistake for not jumping quicker thus causing this misunderstanding."
Rodriguez went to claim that he and Spider-Gwen writer Jason Latour are free to introduce new characters despite his original comments on the podcast.
"We can make anything we want for Spider-Gwen," Rodriguez added.
Original Story: According to Spider-Gwen artist Robbi Rodriguez, he and series writer Jason Latour are under strict rules from Marvel not to create any new characters in the Spider-title. In a podcast interview published earlier this month with Ultimate Spin, Rodriguez described the "big rule" as one put in place due to Sony owning the movie rights to Spider-Man and any associated titles and characters.
"There’s like a big rule […] we can’t really create new characters in Spider-Gwen because the movie rights aren’t officially fully licensed by Marvel," Rodriguez claimed. "Whatever we create in Spider-Gwen, Sony gets first crack at those characters. So that’s why we start doing what we call ‘sampling.’ We’ll sample ideas that we have and slap them on to a new character. Say, we have Luke Cage, which I think we are planning on using, it has to be Luke Cage in name only. He is a new idea that we’ve had, for a new character."
Superior Spider-Talk, which hosts the Ultimate Spin podcast, brought attention to the quote on July 30, but that post has since been taken down and the podcasted edited to remove Rodriguez' specific comments. A Google cache version of the post, however, remains available here.
Rodriguez comments mirror something former Uncanny X-Men writer Chris Claremont claimed back in June 2014, saying that all of the X-titles are "forbidden" from creating new characters.
"I have to say quite honestly as I understand it now, the X department is forbidden to create new characters," Claremont said during a panel at Phoenix Comic-Con and recorded by Nerdist. "Well… who owns them? “All because all new characters become the film property of Fox. There will be no X-Men merchandising for the foreseeable future because, why promote Fox material?”
At the time, Claremont was writing the Nightcrawler series -- which contrary to Claremont's statements, featured a new mutant character created by Claremont named Rico. Around the same time, several new characters were also debuting in both Uncanny X-Men and All-New X-Men. Likewise, other Spider-titles outside of Spider-Gwen have introduced new characters.
Both Marvel and the Ultimate Spin podcast declined to comment on the new claims. Rodriguez has not responded to a request for comment.