It’s been a minute since we’ve seen Ghost-Spider after Seanan McGuire wrapped up the last issue back in June. She returns triumphantly for a 3-part tie-in series to King in Black, and this series is leaning into the Symbiote nature of her costume. She’s not from the 616 though, which gives her an edge on Knull. Or does it? Find out, and find out who Carnage is for that matter, in this first issue!
Flaviano kills it on art with colors by Rico Renzi that are so good they startle. It’s safe to say the style and high-octane energy of Into the Spider-Verse movie permeates this book on some level. You can see it in the image below in how Flaviano frames Gwen’s face in her hood, or how the speed-lines rush on the surface of the building. Just look at that “Snap!” and you’ll see a colorful and cool vibe for this book. That’s important since Knull and his Symbiote goo has taken over most surfaces of New York, and yet this series offers a bright pop to the event.
The Gwenom costume is also incredibly well done here. If you like the Ghost-Spider costume (and let’s be serious, we all do), you’ll love the dark zip-up vibe the Gwenom costume gives off. There’s a seam running down the front that actually turns into a tongue that whips about in a cool way.
This issue is fast-moving and never skimps on the plot and progression of the story. McGuire doesn’t lose sight of the vitality and youthfulness of Gwen, either. That is an important part of the character, delivered well via captions. We also get a key scene with Gwen and her friends who she tries to save, but things don’t work out so well when a Symbiote dragon is chomping through the walls.
Ghost-Spider has always been a joy to read if you’re a fan of Elseworld tales, and while Gwen is a mainline character these days, the cliffhanger leans into the Elseworld angle quite a bit. It’s an exciting turn to be sure and it sets up a confrontation that’ll likely bring deep emotions and personal anguish to Gwen going forward. However, if you haven’t been following Ghost-Spider, that may hinder your enjoyment here since it doesn’t tie into the event too closely.
Gwenom vs. Carnage is yet another example of how the tie-in books are where the best stories are in this event. The creative team is firing on all cylinders here with a fast-paced action book with a great voice for its main character.
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