Ghost-Spider is one of those books that mixes domestic and superhero life so darn well. Seanan McGuire and Ig Guara get back in the saddle this week for the digital-only release of issue #9 in their latest story arc. In this issue Gwen talks through some stuff with her dad, social media is on blast, and a team-up is in order. Not all team-ups are equal though and things may be going down a dangerous road.
There are a few interesting conversations in this issue that are sprinkled throughout to make you think about Gwen’s unique position. She’s a hero that is doing her best and in the latest issue, she’s trying to figure things out in her own world after taking some classes in the 616 universes. One of the strengths of this series has been Gwen and her father’s relationship which continues to read like a real relationship and is strengthened once again here. It’s easy to relate as they discuss superhero matters because McGuire is so good at tapping into what it is to be a teenager figuring things out.
These dialogue-heavy scenes never get too tiring thanks to some well placed visual ideas, like Gwen’s costume freaking out as she gets angry mid-conversation with her dad, or a well-timed swinging session amongst the pretty blue and purple stylistic buildings of New York. Ian Herring’s colors amp up the graphite stylings of Guara’s pencils quite well.
While most of the New York villains are in jail, a new kind of hero emerges requesting a team-up and they are none other than Johnny and Susan Storm. These are younger and much more edgy versions of Susan and Johnny that’ll be fun to follow and understand as things go on. McGuire gives us just enough to be wary of them so that we’re unclear of their intentions and want to learn more.
Ghost-Spider gets a solid perspective on her “alternate reality”
There’s a clever detail Gwen brings up about living a “what if” lifestyle and Susan and Johnny are certainly a version of that for readers familiar with their 616 counterparts. That said, McGuire is putting her foot down here, reminding us Gwen’s world is real and she knows it. So often it’s hard to gather interest in Elseworld tales like this since the universe matters less than the main one, but I’d argue McGuire has made a case to care because the characters — Gwen especially — care so much.
This is a great issue thanks to some well-plotted and paced scenes filled with good character moments and sharp dialogue. Your interest will only increase as Gwen discusses her alternate reality as a real place or seeing how evil the Storm’s really are.