Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider #5 Serves As A Fantastic Jumping On Point For New Readers

by James Ferguson

With Spider-Geddon now in her rear view mirror, Spider-Gwen looks to find her place once again on her own world. This means checking in with her band, the Mary Janes, her buddy Harry Osborn, and her father. While those people are behind her, she has trouble getting anything resembling a normal life. Doubts in her street clothes don’t help the new villain that’s taken up shop in the city while Gwen was away.

Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider, along with Miles Morales: Spider-Man have reinforced my dislike of the concept of a secret identity. The tone of these two titles is very different compared to Peter Parker’s adventures in Amazing Spider-Man. Gwen’s life is open and supported by those closest to her. She doesn’t have to make lame excuses for why she can’t hang out with a friend or why she’s late for dinner. Instead, since they all know, they are there for her, backing her up when she needs it, understanding that she’s out there making the world a better place. After all, we know what comes with great power, right?
Gwen’s doubts are shown in her internal narration. Letterer Clayton Cowles uses caption boxes in the same color scheme as Gwen’s costume which is a great touch. There are times when these boxes fill the panel, creating a claustrophobic feeling. This helps tremendously in some of the more tense scenes during her personal life, further outlining the troubles she’s having.

Artist Takeshi Miyazawa is a welcome sight to any title and his work is definitely welcome on this book. He brings his signature high energy style to Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider, perfectly capturing the title character’s current manic status quo. You can see the weight of the world pulling Gwen down when she’s with her friends and family. Although they all know her secret identity, it still makes her feel guilty that she can’t be there for them.
This contrasts well with the scenes of Gwen during her exploits as Ghost-Spider. It’s here where she has the most confidence. She is the most at home here and it shows. She carries herself differently. Miyazawa brings a fun energy to these sequences, showing Gwen in great poses suitable for someone with spider powers.

A particular favorite image has her quickly dispatching a group of thugs, with after-images of her shown in the background. Colorist Ian Herring shows these in a lighter shade, like they’re a dim memory. At least that’s how the goons will probably feel in the morning when they’re nursing their wounds. The background for this shot fades away, leaving a fiery yellow, mirroring the intensity of the action.

Now that the Spider-Geddon tie-ins are over, Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider has a chance to settle down and find its footing. Writer Seanan McGuire uses this as a great jumping on point for new readers and it could not come at a better time with the character appearing in Into the Spider-Verse and Marvel Rising. It serves as a re-introduction to Spider-Gwen without retreading too much of the past.
Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider #5 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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