Ghost-Spider makes her triumphant return this week with a new #1 issue from Seanan McGuire and Takeshi Miyazawa. It’s a series many are greatly anticipating as it sets her up to interact with the 616 universe as well as her own, with a new premise of sorts: Gwen wants to go to college, but decides she should start attending in the main universe since nobody knows her identity. Simple, right?
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
This is Forrest Hollingsworth’s most anticipated book of the week which he talks about on this week’s AiPT! Comics Podcast. Check that out, it’s well said!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
As first issues go this one introduces the main premise, the character, and a good sense of who the characters are in Ghost-Spider’s life. You get a healthy helping of Peter Parker and his contributions toward getting Gwen into college, a basic understanding of what is going on with Gwen’s dad who is the chief of police, and a nice farewell between Gwen and her band. The new direction makes sense, especially if you’ve ever gone to college or know anyone who has. Life changes dramatically in this time in people’s lives and Gwen wants that while also maintaining her superhero work. It might seem crazy that she wants to attend school in another dimension, and that school is totally fine with it, but McGuire efficiently explains how it works and why. Given this is a superhero swinging around amongst gods and aliens it’s not a huge stretch!
The Spider-Gwen (now Ghost-Spider) costume is certainly the coolest costume to be created in the last twenty years and it’s a major focus in this issue. I don’t want to spoil what we learn, but it’s a compelling concept and it fits in well with the symbiotic nature of Spider-centric heroes. We learn something new about the costume, which seems like a likely answer to a bothersome inter-dimensional hopping issue Gwen is having, but the mystery remains with the cliffhanger that’ll have you worried for Gwen’s safety.
The art by Miyazawa with colors by Ian Herring are strong and never loses sight of atmospheric lighting, adding a subtle sense of drama to every panel. The comedic timing works well too, like in a scene with Gwen’s dad who absolutely does not want a surprise party. The frozen moment when he realizes what is happening is priceless.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
The only fighting that happens in this issue is with a nondescript villain that doesn’t matter. I suppose the villain’s purpose is to allow for a New York joke, but it’s quite throwaway. The scene itself allows McGuire to add a little exposition though, and that works.
Is it good?
Ghost-Spider is crafted in a way that’ll make it easy for anyone to swing into. This first issue is sharp, elevating an otherwise “seen it before” Spider-Man story with interesting characters and a new beginning.