GHOST SPIDER #1 / Writer: Seanan McGuire / Artist: Takeshi Miyazawa / Colors: Ian Herring / Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles / Cover: Jorge Molina / Published August 21st, 2019
Spider-Gwen is no longer the Spider-Woman of Earth 65. She is now the Ghost Spider, protecting Earth 65 while also attending college classes on Earth 616. Since revealing her secret identity, Gwen Stacy has found it hard to maintain jobs, roommates, or classes; everyone (including supervillains) are well aware who and what she is. Fortunately, she is one of the few people who can easily travel between universes, so she has come up with a plan to attend college on a different Earth where her secret is still secure.
The first noticeable change on Ghost Spider #1 is that we no longer have the Spider-Gwen header that was on the previous 50 issues. Now, she is just Ghost Spider. The name has been hinted at for a while, going back to the Spider-Geddon event, and I think it’s a good fit for Gwen. There are already so many Spider-women and Spider-girls to keep track of, and I particularly like that it’s not a gendered name.
Gwen has a hard time explaining her dimension-hopping school choice to her band-mates in The Mary Janes, but her dad and 616 Peter Parker are on board with it. Peter even helps her get set up at school. I’ve always thought Gwen would work well as a hero in the regular 616 Marvel stories, and her scenes with Peter just go to prove that. The two of them interplay well as heroes, but each also has a lot of emotional issues, due to their losses. Peter admits that he has had more time to adjust to having a Gwen Stacy back in his life, than she has had to having a Peter Parker back.
Seanan McGuire continues to write a fun story, while still keeping the heart and emotional connections. The dialogue and characters shine throughout. Gwen’s had a rough time recently, but we finally get to see her happy and things are going her way (at least, for now). The super-heroics are light in Ghost Spider #1, a lot of the story is setting up pieces that will come into play later. Peter and Gwen work together to save a mother and daughter from a giant rat attack, but it’s unclear if this is a setup for anything larger or just a random encounter.
Takeshi Miyazawa’s art continues to be a great fit for Gwen. I like the range of expressions he puts into the faces. The splash page of Gwen swinging through the city is fantastic. Ian Herring’s colors keep everything bright, but the palette also changes between the two Earths, which helps so much in a dimension-hopping story like this. Otherwise, it can easily get confusing as to which Earth you are on.
Ghost Spider #1 is a new beginning for Spider-Gwen, and a good jumping-on point for new readers who haven’t been following Gwen’s exploits on Earth 65 or those who may have found the character through the Spider-Verse film. This creative team continues to work quite well together, and I can’t wait to see where they take the character.
VERDICT 5 out of 5