Given the possibilities of the multiverse and the popularity of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Marvel was bound to create a new series like Spider-Gwen: Gwenverse. Out this week, Tim Seeley and Jodi Nishijima explore what happens when Ghost-Spider’s multiverse-jumping abilities go way off the rails. It’s the kind of series that has every right to explore the vast nature of the multiverse as well as the promise of some character growth for Gwen Stacy.
The preview gives away the fact that Gwen has been shot off course as she was making her way to the 616 universe, but now her own universe is far different. Something is up, and she’ll need the help of Spider-Zero to figure it out. The ramifications are huge, but that’s also evident from David Nakayama’s incredible cover which features many different versions of Gwen Stacy as a superhero.
The issue actually starts at a place that’s far calmer, although it does involve fighting a villain. Seeley does a great job reminding readers where Ghost-Spider is at in her life, her strong relationship with her father, and how she’s been going to college in the 616 universe since nobody knows Gwen Stacy is Ghost-Spider there. It’s a good way to establish our main character as there’s great promise here for her to go through some growth.
As a spoiler-free review it’s tough to discuss the main enemy, but let’s just say it plays around with the multiverse in a cool way. If you enjoy brand new characters that are riffs on what you’ve seen before you’ll like what you see. It’s also interesting to see how Mary Jane is used in the narrative.
Nishijima’s art is solidly done here with a great pop of color from Federico Blee. Nishijima’s style suits Ghost-Spider, which has traditionally had a more cartoony look. There are even manga influences present like nervous sweat on Gwen’s face prior to jumping in to save the day. The character’s eyes are also quite large and add a certain dramatic effect that suits this bonkers multiverse story. My only complaint with the art is how it’s a bit stuffy with very few splashy moments. There are splash pages, but they don’t have the impact one might expect from a story exploring the multiverse.
Letters by Ariana Maher are also spot on, with word balloons that don’t end in a sharp tail, but a curved one. It seems to give the word balloons a bit more sturdiness which is interesting.
Thankfully it’s fairly easy to follow what is going on. Spider-Zero is used quite well to add context and inform readers what needs to be done. Obviously, there’s some comic book sci-fi gobblygook to make sense of how the villain screws things up, but given the fun nature of the narrative, it works.
Spider-Gwen: Gwenverse #1’s true strength is the promise for Gwen Stacy to grow up a little bit and development by the end of this story arc. The creative team sets up a huge multiverse story, but Spider-Gwen/Ghost-Spider fans are going to be excited knowing their favorite hero may come out of this a little bit differently. Plus, who doesn’t love Thorgwen!?
Join the AIPT Patreon
Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:
- ❌ Remove all ads on the website
- 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
- 📗 Access to our monthly book club
- 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
- 💥 And more!