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Review – Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #1 (Marvel Comics)

Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #1 (Marvel Comics) variant cover (detail) by Sujin Jo
Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #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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User Review
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Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #1

Writer: Seanan McGuire
Artist: Rosi Kämpe
Color Artist: Ian Herring
Cover Artist: Bengal
Variant Cover Artists: Andrew C. Robinson, Paolo Rivera, Jee-Hyung Lee
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel
Release Date: October 24, 2018

Gwen is back in an all new series, and she’s ready for a fresh start. Seanan McGuire takes the helm for this run, and it’s already looking to be an interesting take on the character.

An All-New Gwen in Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #1

Fantasy readers out there may recognize a surprising name on the cover of Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #1. Marvel has pulled in Seanan McGuire to write the new Ghost Spider series. Having read her previous works, I think this was a fantastic call. Plus I know she’s been a huge Marvel fan for years, and it’s always nice to see a fan succeeding with their dreams.              

Writing

Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #1 (Marvel Comics) cover by Bengal
Main cover by Bengal

The series started off with lots of new life and energy, which, considering what character we’re talking about here, makes a lot of sense. Gwen is one of those characters that will always get back up on her feet, no matter how many times you kick her down. She’s much like her predecessor in that sense.

I do feel like Seanan McGuire managed to step up the levels of sass coming from Gwen. She’s always had the banter down—though hers was never to a level like Peter Parker’s—but this is totally different. There are subtle and not-so-subtle references to her backstory, other interpretations of her in media, and things like that. It was all brought up in good fun—mild quips showing the author’s opinion on things that had been done in the past. Considering I agreed with a lot of those points, I really enjoyed seeing them.

Fans of the old Spider-Gwen series will enjoy this new run. But it’s also open-ended enough so far that new fans could easily join in. This isn’t a given with all number one issues, so it’s really refreshing to see here.

The plot of the first issue seems to tie in fairly heavily with what has been happening with Spider-Geddon. I suspect it’ll break off from this point though, but without reading the next issue I can’t be certain. If you’re not following what has happened in that series, a few of the panels and pages shown may confuse you. The context will probably provide enough information, with any luck. If you’re planning on reading Spider-Geddon and Spider-Girls at the same time, I believe there’s a specific reading order to them. The order for today’s comics should be Spider-Geddon #2, Spider-Girls #1, follow by Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #1.

Art

I imagine most people will picture Spider-Gwen’s iconic image when they think of her series. Even comic book fans who don’t like her series have admitted that her character design looks amazing. Thankfully they have not changed Gwen’s looks for this series. If anything, the world around her seemed to be a bit brighter and full of color, though that’s subject to change at any time.

While the classic look of Gwen and her costume stayed the same, you can tell that Rosi Kämpe has been taking steps to infuse the world with their style. There are several moments that were perfect for heavy stylization, and the artist happily used them. I personally liked the spiraling and edging effects Kämpe used. It lent well to the confusion of the moment (as even Gwen didn’t know what was going on at that point).

Conclusion

Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #1 is off to a strong start, based on this one issue. It looks like Marvel made the right call with pulling Seanan McGuire into the mix; it seems that she’s managed to revitalize the character and her world.

The twists and turns thrown at us in this issue were unexpected, but in a good way. It leaves a lot of potential for where to go next, and even established a reason for Gwen to not be in the next few Spider-Geddon issues (should they choose to go that route).


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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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