On Earth-65, everyone knows that Gwen Stacy is the super hero known as Ghost-Spider, but her profile is about to get a whole lot bigger as social media influencers Sue and Johnny Storm have invited her to a team-up. It’s been pretty clear that these two are not the heroes w know on Earth-616 and not just because they’re vapid Instagram models. There’s something sinister going on with this brother-sister team and Gwen is about to find out first hand.
Although Gwen doesn’t seem to realize this at first, her symbiote suit is on edge. I love how it gets more monstrous with the more stress Gwen is under. This really comes to a head in Ghost-Spider #9 as artist Ig Guara brings out the more Venom-ous side of Gwen’s costume. I absolutely love this design. It’s like her hood becomes a large mouth that takes over her entire torso. It’s so very terrifying. This is made even more so by how startling it is when this side comes out.
There’s a definite horror vibe to Ghost-Spider #9 between this creepy look that pops up with Gwen and the Storms. These two are so very different than their 616 counterparts. They are way past super villains. These are sociopaths through and through. What makes this even creepier is how ok they are with all of this. There’s a chilling sequence where they deal with their mother that’s a straight up serial killer setup.
Guara creates a nice contrast between their heinous actions and their charming appearance. They are loved by millions and they know it. They revel in this fame which makes their acts all the more sickening.
I will never get tired of the color scheme of Earth-65. It’s bright and vibrant. Colorist Ian Herring does a phenomenal job differentiating this from the regular world we know and love. It has these bursts of blues, pinks, and yellows that make it clear that this is a new and different place and that’s a good thing. Some of the darkness from the Storms seeps in with this issue, tarnishing that otherwise bright landscape. It makes for a nice juxtaposition.
Knowing that the Storms are up to no good puts everything they say in a different context. Letterer Clayton Cowles puts just the right amount of emphasis on key words that speak volumes since we know the full picture.
Overall, this storyline has some great aspects, although it feels like it’s meandering a bit. It’s taking quite a long time for us to get the real heart of the story. Writer Seanan McGuire has been planting seeds with this for a bit and hopefully they all start paying off sooner rather than later. I love this world and this character’s voice so I’m fine engulfing myself within this for as long as possible.