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Review – Ghost Spider Annual #1 (Marvel Comics)

Ghost Spider Annual #1 (Marvel Comics) Variant cover art (detail) by John Tyler Christopher
Ghost Spider Annual #1
Overall
9/10
9/10
  • Writing - 9/10
    9/10
  • Art - 9/10
    9/10
  • Overall - 9/10
    9/10
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Summary

Writing: Vita Ayala
Artist: Pere Perez
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel
Maturity Rating: T
Release Date: September 4th, 2019

It’s time for Gwen Stacy to see what Murderworld has in store for her (even if she wasn’t the intended target) in Ghost Spider Annual #1.

 

Ghost Spider Annual #1: Gwen In Murderworld

Ghost Spider Annual #1 brings with it an interesting concept; Gwen Stacy (Ghost Spider) interacting with villains used to battling Peter Parker. Here we see a world in which Gwen Stacy is of the past—yet Gwen from Earth 65 is still alive and well. And she’s not going to sit out a fight just because it wasn’t designed for her.

Gwen Stacy has come a long way in the past couple of years. She’s even found a solution to some of her problems by traveling to a different universe (Earth 616) when needed. But it’s unlikely she anticipated this strange twist of events. At least it’ll be entertaining for the readers.

This annual issue is a heavy hitter—one that isn’t afraid to deal with some of the darker events in Peter’s (and Gwen’s) past. Meanwhile, it also highlights a new perspective and take on certain events.

Writing

Ghost Spider Annual #1 (Marvel Comics) Cover art by Emanuela Lupacchino
Ghost Spider Annual #1 (Marvel Comics) Cover art by Emanuela Lupacchino

Vita Ayala took charge for the Ghost Spider Annual #1 issue. And while I’ve been adoring Seanan McGuire’s take on one of my favorites, I’ll admit that I enjoyed Ayala’s take on it as well. I love that she acknowledged some of the hardships Gwen would face in this alternate world.

Actually, she did more than that. She drew direct comparisons and parallels, sometimes for the better, other times to point out the dark past and implications. All of it was done to advance the character, of course. But it was also oddly cathartic to see, as well.

Murderworld plots tend to go one of two ways. Either they read as slightly goofy—a fun diversion from Peter’s (or in this case, Gwen’s) life—or an intense roller-coaster. This issue somehow managed to have a little bit of both—quickly swinging from one extreme to the other.

There were some truly impactful moments and lines in this issue. It’s a worthwhile read—even for those fans that prefer to avoid annual issues. Though I should probably mention that you shouldn’t read this issue without being mostly up to date on Gwen’s adventures.

Art

Ghost Spider Annual #1 had to show a variety of different characters and situations, all while making the references immediately clear. And it did all of this perfectly. It helps that some of these moments were so iconic.

Gwen’s emotions were clearly expressed—even with them being blunted by the mask. Her movements and poses were enough to convey most of the extra details needed to support her words. Meanwhile, the events that triggered these emotions…well, they were proportionately extreme.

Pere Perez was the artist behind these iconic moments coming back to the surface. And Rachelle Rosenberg added the colors that made the whole plot pop—and fit in with Gwen’s series as a whole. Finally, Clayton Cowles‘ lettering brought it all home.

Conclusion

Ghost Spider Annual #1 was an interesting read—one that goes from zero to sixty in no time at all. Having so many of Peter’s worst moments brought into the light in front of Gwen was…enlightening. And not just for us readers.

This may be an annual issue, but it feels right at home with the rest of the story that’s been built for our beloved Gwen Stacy, Ghost Spider.


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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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