After reading and enjoying the new Ghost-Spider series from Seanan McGuire, I was left wishing I had more Spider-Gwen in my life. Just my luck, the new series is out this week in comic shops, featuring issues #5 through #10 and perfectly setting up the new series.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
After reading and liking the new Ghost-Spider series from Seanan McGuire I was wishing I had caught up on the previous series. Just my luck, the new series is out this week in comic shops featuring issues #5 through #10 which perfectly set up the new series.
Why does this matter?
Get the low down on Spider-Gwen as she attempts to make sense of her life as an outed superhero. This leads directly into the newly minted #1 Ghost-Spider series and it’s well worth checking out to get a better understanding of her story, too.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This story feels like the question to the answer of the latest series. Early on we learn Gwen can’t attend college or even get a job due to her criminal record and the fact that everyone knows she’s a superhero. As the story carries forward, she dabbles in taking payment for helping folks with minor problems, or for the price of a selfie with her in costume. Still, there’s a part of Gwen that wishes she could be a normal person and could move on with her life. Being recognized in the street is not her bag, and it’s a problem worth solving. On top of all that, she’s having mysterious headaches and that need to be rectified too. By the end of this collection, it’s clear the new series is a direct continuation of this one and I highly recommend you read this before you dive into the current ongoing.
This collection shows off McGuire’s knack for good dialogue and natural character dynamics. Gwen’s relationship with her bandmates is complex, to say the least. Betty is always on her side but honest about it, while Glory is constantly trying to speak reason to the hot-headed MJ. The relationship Gwen has with her father is particularly endearing and it’s nice to see a believable father/daughter relationship. The developing relationship with Harry also feels right as he’s a good friend who wants more of a romantic relationship, but it’s just not getting there anytime soon.
Takeshi Miyazawa’s art is solid for the first five issues of the book. The last issue is drawn by Rosi Kampe, with Ian Herring pulling everything together with their colors. The costume looks fabulous in every shot and the anatomy of Gwen is spot on. It has that agile feel that a spider-hero needs. The rock band vibe is never lost thanks to good pops of color like splashes of pink or red to allow Gwen to lift off the page. There’s a slight manga feel to the way Miyazawa draws Gwen’s expressions that suits her age but also puts a bit of a skip into her step. You get the vibe that she’s a cool girl, but also trying to make sense of everything like the rest of us.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
The main antagonist is a big blue wolf gangster that doesn’t seem all that important in the narrative. He’s after Gwen, but she’s never really in danger nor is there much of a plan that even partly works. The Jackal is clearly the shadow villain who plays a small part in this story, but it’s obvious his role is being saved for later. It’s quite clear the main point of this books is the relationships and solid dialogue rather than an opposing villain to combat Gwen, but that makes the main conflict lacking.
Is it good?
I had a blast with McGuire and Miyazawa’s Ghost-Spider thanks to the excellent character work and spot-on dialogue. It’s like hanging out with a superhero who totally doesn’t think it’s a big deal.
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