The Jackals of two worlds are chasing Gwen Stacy, but she’s still unaware of the dangers that face her. She’s too busy going to school on Earth-616 and keeping her home safe on Earth-65 to notice the weird old guys stalking her. This dual citizenship is starting to have consequences and it’s only a matter of time before it gets out of hand.
There’s a definite creep factor with the Jackals. The OG one seems to have stumbled upon Gwen since he’s working at the university. I have to wonder what he was up to before this completely changed his plans. He’s manipulating another student to get to Gwen, teasing her with a formula that can turn her into a powerful monster. We get a glimpse as to what this looks like in Ghost-Spider #3 and it’s pretty rough.
While they’re both villainous, the Earth-616 Jackal edges out the Earth-65 one in terms of pure evil. Everything about him just sends a shiver up my spine. His actions and speech are enough to freak me out, but then he can turn into a weird green monster so there’s that too. The Earth-65 Jackal is even more in the shadows, plotting his next move against Gwen.
Artist Takeshi Miyazawa, aided by inks from Rosi Kampe, blends the monstrous with the humorous. His style is a perfect fit for the energy of this book, moving from the carefree fun nature of Gwen as a college student to all-out action against thugs. I like how the the spooky stuff is weaved into the book, creating an unsettling appearance every so often. A great example is when Gwen changes from her street clothes to her super hero outfit. Since she has a symbiote, this comes with a thought. The tendrils of the symbiote whip out and surround her face while she’s smiling back at Peter Parker. It’s a nice shot of the in-between of the change.
Also, quick aside, why was Peter following this young college student into an alley when she said she was getting changed? Seriously, why does everyone need to creep on Gwen Stacy?
Colorist Ian Herring matches up to the tone and style of Miyazawa’s artwork. It moves from the bright and bubbly to the dark and mysterious. Some of this comes from the change of setting. The color palette is different for each world, creating a unique look and feel based on where Gwen is. I love the dedication Herring has shown in keeping these distinguished.
When we swap locations, letterer Clayton Cowles introduces the new world with a bold, scratchy font. It’s pure Gwen Stacy in tone and has a spider-like look to it. I really like this touch.
Ghost-Spider continues to move at a great pace, showing the main character juggling lives on multiple worlds. It can be exhausting just watching her go through all this so I can only imagine how she’s holding up. Writer Seanan McGuire maintains a peppy attitude with Gwen as she tackles her personal and heroic lives with her head held high and a smirk on her face. It’s pure fun, which makes the menacing Jackals lurking in the shadows all the more harrowing.