Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #2 / Writer: Seanan McGuire / Artist: Rosi Kämpe / Color Artist: Ian Herring / Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles / Cover Artist: Bengal / Published November 28th, 2018
As Spider-Geddon rages, Spider-Gwen, aka Spider-Woman, aka Gwen Stacy has found herself stuck on a parallel Earth that she knows nothing about by the Inheritors. She’s desperate to find a way home to help save her friends, and she will have to turn to this world’s Peter Parker for help.
Gwen was on the run from this Earth’s Green Goblin when she ran into the local Peter Parker. Turns out on this world, Peter didn’t get bit by the spider. Instead, it bit Harry Osborne, he became Spider-Man, and this world’s Gwen Stacy became the Green Goblin. Harry, Peter, MJ, and their Gwen all worked together as a superhero team until a tragic accident caused their Gwen to turn evil. To further complicate matters, Goblin-Gwen may be the only person who can help Spider-Gwen get back home.
The trouble with a multiverse is that there is more than one of everything. Most of Spider-Gwen #2 is Peter telling the story of himself, Harry, MJ, and Gwen. It’s a lot of backstory to fill in, but it never feels like an info dump or excessive exposition. Something doesn’t feel right about this world; there is definitely more going on than we have been told. This world’s Peter Parker is a manipulative jerk who blackmails Gwen into helping him. MJ is not very excited to have Gwen’s help, either. There are several panels in the flashback that allude to a connection between MJ and Gwen. I think this connection is going to become very important in the next issue.
Seanan McGuire balances the necessary exposition well. We don’t know anything more about this world than Gwen does. Multiverse stories can be confusing when you have not only multiple versions of the same character, but also different versions of familiar characters, and McGuire does a good job building a world that feels familiar but also different at the same time. I think a little bit more attention could’ve been paid to the Goblin reveal, however. It nearly went past me without fully registering on the first read. Since we first met the Goblin as a villain, it was hard to connect that she was initially a hero.
I enjoyed Rosi Kämpe’s art. The pencils and layouts flowed well. This world looks subtly different than any of the Earths we’ve followed Gwen to before. The visuals also helped give us more subtext in the backstory, showing us things Peter left unsaid. Ian Herring’s colors on top give it all a great look. The fight with Sandman in the flashback is fantastic. It’s a fight we’ve seen our Peter Parker do many times but here it’s all just a little different, with tragic results.
Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #2 tells us a lot about this world we are stuck on with Gwen, but also leaves so much more to discover. The tension of Spider-Geddon hangs constantly in the background while we deal with a manipulative, untrustworthy Peter Parker. We also get the first hints of the origin behind the new title, Ghost Spider. I’m very excited to see where this goes in the next issue as Spider-Gwen hunts Goblin-Gwen and we learn more about what MJ’s not telling us.
VERDICT: 4 out of 5.