Bouncing In And Out Of Spider-Geddon In Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider #1
by James Ferguson
Gwen Stacy is just getting her life back together after spending some time behind bars when she’s called into action by Spider-Ham to stop the Inheritors once again. We see where she goes next in Spider-Geddon, with issue #2 fitting it right in the middle of this issue, so you’re going to want to read that before reading this one. It’s kind of a weird pacing decision, but we’re going to go with it.
As I wasn’t totally up to speed on Spider-Gwen before jumping into Spider-Geddon, I was grateful to get a download as to what she’s been up to and what makes this character so special. She has a rigorous sense of honor with a bit of that Parker luck that seems to plague all Spider heroes. Although her costume is a bit darker than the original wallcrawler’s, she has the same witty banter and positive attitude. Writer Seanan McGuire brings the essence of the character through loud and clear.
This issue opens with Gwen at a crossroads of sorts, trying to figure out what to do next with her life. She has a lot of options in front of her, but she doesn’t see a version of her life that doesn’t have her helping people. Despite what the public may think of her after she’s done some jail time, she’s not going to stop being a hero.
It’s easy to see why everyone took to Spider-Gwen when she was first introduced. The costume design alone is pretty awesome. Artist Rosi Kampe makes it look so very cool, not to mention flexible. The mask comes off, leaving the hood, which can also be pulled back. This is something that Peter Parker never would have figured out, plus it’s probably way warmer than his pajamas ever were.
Kampe’s style lends itself to the nature of a character with spider-like agility. Gwen is popping all over the page in ever-changing angles and poses. There are some panels that have her moving across the page with after-images of her previous movements trailing behind her like shadows.
Letterer Clayton Cowles works well with these frenetic movements, too. Gwen’s internal narration flows around her, moving along with her actions. For example, when she’s in free-fall, the caption boxes kind of drift along the page, surrounding her body as she plummets towards the ground.
Gwen’s journey has her bouncing between two different Earths. Colorist Ian Herring sets the tone for both with the first providing a more urban, futuristic feel while the second is more dystopian and desolate. The opening pages feel like a version of New York City where anything can happen with bright neon lights and the closing pages are the complete opposite, full of darkness and shadows.
In the scheme of things, this is a little light in the Spider-Geddon tie-in. Instead, this issue serves as a good introduction to Spider-Gwen, getting the reader acquainted with her and her world before turning it upside down. I do have to wonder if a chunk of this couldn’t have been shoehorned into the main Spider-Geddon title.
Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider #1 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.