Susan and Johnny Storm have suddenly returned after mysteriously disappearing four years ago. We’re not talking about the Invisible Woman and the Human Torch though. This is Earth-65 where the siblings are social media influencers exploited by their mother. What happened during that fateful trip to Latveria? And how will their return affect Ghost-Spider?
Since her father got the case, Gwen is tied to this from a civilian standpoint. She worries about her father and wants to protect him, although he doesn’t appear to be in any immediate danger just yet. There’s a definite sense of foreboding with this whole setup as writer Seanan McGuire continues to move the pieces in place for this mystery.
Letterer Clayton Cowles adds a bit of context to the humor in the exchange between Gwen and her father with different font sizes. These little bits work well to create the voice of each character.
You can see some definite parallels to the influencer life in our world in Ghost-Spider #7. It’s a little sickening to see how the Storm matriarch is using her kids for fame and fortune, essentially selling them out to the highest bidder. There are some not so subtle hints that Susan and Johnny are getting powers similar to those seen on Earth-616. Since we all know about their exploits as part of the Fantastic Four, I’m curious if McGuire is pulling a red herring here and something else is coming down the line for us.
Sometimes I forget that Gwen’s costume is a symbiote since she uses it so seamlessly. It really is a part of her. When she first appears in this issue, she wakes up and heads out to look for her father, all the while, her clothes are shifting and changing. She goes from pajamas to street clothes to her super hero outfit over the course of a few panels with the symbiote working its magic.
Artist Ig Guara brings a normalcy to Gwen when she’s out of costume. She looks like your average plucky girl going about her life. There’s a definite change when she suits up. Her entire demeanor changes, shifting to a lithe, agile warrior swinging through the city. Guara highlights the muscles in her body as she grabs a web line and pulls herself through the air.
The real all-star in Ghost-Spider is colorist Ian Herring. He’s been holding this down for some time and continues to knock it out of the park with every single issue. You know you’re on Earth-65 just from a quick glance of the page. The color palette is unique to this dimension.
More importantly, it shifts to a brighter shade when the action heats up. The backgrounds fade away, replaced by striking yellows, pinks, and blues that add another level of excitement. I absolutely love this effect and I never get tired of it. Herring uses it sparingly so it’s always a treat.
While I’m still curious as to what’s going on with the Jackals and Man-Wolf, this arc is proving to be an intriguing mystery. Gwen has a unique perspective on the Storms since she’s seen them as the heroes they are in most other universes. Since she has an idea of where this might go, she could help stop whatever nefarious deeds could be coming down the line. Of course, this is another dimension entirely so it could be a completely different scenario. Regardless, Gwen is up for the challenge and this book continues to be an absolute delight. It’s full of youthful energy and excitement.