Ghost-Spider has been placed in an interesting spot within Marvel’s publishing line. While the former Spider-Gwen still exists in her own Earth-65 Marvel Universe she is now going to Empire State University in the main Earth-616 Marvel Universe. Now being more of a part of the main Marvel Universe has begun to pull Gwen Stacy into the greater Outlawed storyline that Marvel has started with their next generation of superheroes. While Outlawed is a story that Gwen is getting involved her more immediate concern on Earth-65 has been the developments with Sue Storm and Johnny Storm of this universe. In front of Ghost-Spider and the public, they have shown themselves to be returning celebrities turned heroes but we’ve seen there are more sinister things that they are hiding from everyone. Will we see those things that Sue and Johnny Storm have hidden from the public come to light? Let’s find out with Ghost-Spider #10.
Writer: Seanan McGuire
Artist: Ig Guara
Colorist: Ian Herring
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: At a shipyard Ghost-Spider talks with the cops about the criminals that she, Sue, and Johnny Storm caught earlier. She then swings home as the sun begins to rise.
Back home Gwen talks to her dad about the criminals she and the Storm siblings caught. This causes Gwen and George Stacy to get into an argument about Gwen interfering with a criminal investigation. George says while he is proud of Gwen he still worries about her safety. Gwen says she was safe as she was working with other heroes though she wishes she knew more about the Storms origin. George says the Storms likely have their own reason for keeping their origins a secret and Gwen will figure it out eventually.
Five years ago Sue and Johnny Storm are walking through a city, followed by a photographer. Doctor Doom suddenly appears and kills the photographer. He then proceeds to recruit Sue and Johnny to work for him and allow him to experiment with giving the Storm siblings powers. While Johnny is hesitant throughout this period, Sue is shown more accepting and begins hanging out with Doctor Doom in more romantic settings.
Eventually, Sue and Johnny gain strong control over their new powers. Sue and Johnny then use their powers to kill Doctor Doom with Sue assuming Doom’s identity.
In the present Gwen gets a text message from Sue with a request to meet up. Gwen changes into her Ghost-Spider costume and heads out.
Over at the billboard they met before Ghost-Spider wonders if everything is okay. Sue says it is as long as Ghost-Spider leaves New York because the city is theirs now. Ghost-Spider quickly turns down the request.
Hearing that Sue uses her powers to create an invisible bubble around Ghost-Spider’s head to cut off her air supply. Sue states she went with Johnny’s request to give Ghost-Spider a chance but now they are doing things her way so no one will be finding Ghost-Spider after tonight.
Ghost-Spider’s symbiote costume reacts to Gwen losing air and is able to capture Sue to cause her to lose control of her powers for a period. Johnny fires attacks at Ghost-Spider but he is able to get away.
Elsewhere Gwen is trying to catch her breath but is attacked once again by Sue with an invisible bubble over her head. Ghost-Spider’s symbiote activates again and is able to breathe for Gwen and changes form into a black costume. The new costume gives Gwen enhanced abilities as Ghost-Spider to fight against Sue.
Johnny shows up and is able to keep Ghost-Spider on the defensive since Gwen can’t web up Johnny due to his fire powers. After recovering, Sue is able to catch Ghost-Spider and gets ready to finish her off.
Johnny stops his sister as he wants a chance to be heroes and this isn’t the way to start that career. Sue decides to give Ghost-Spider a chance to accept another proposal. Sue states that while she and Johnny are media darlings Ghost-Spider is a felon. She goes on to state they can easily use footage they have that make Ghost-Spider look like she was working for Man-Wolf’s gang and get the public to believe it because of Gwen’s criminal record. While Ghost-Spider tries to argue Johnny states they just need Gwen out of their way.
Later that night Ghost-Spider swings home. In her house, Gwen tells her dad everything that happened with the Storms and says she has to leave in order to protect everyone she loves. Gwen then hugs her dad as she will be away for a while.
Before traveling to Earth-616 Gwen sends MJ and the others a text message about how she has to be away for a while on interdimensional business, and Johnny and Sue will protect everyone while she is gone. She asks MJ to keep an eye on Bodega Bandit in the hospital while she is gone. Gwen then promises she has a plan and will return eventually. End of series.
The Good: Ghost-Spider #10 is a bittersweet ending for this series. On one hand, Seanan McGuire delivers a compelling read that builds a strong future for Gwen Stacy. But on the other hand, the end of Ghost-Spider comes at a time when this series was finally finding its own footing once again. That said, the series ending abruptly does not take away from the impact of Ghost-Spider #10.
With Ghost-Spider #10 being the final issue of this series it was good that McGuire was able to complete this first act of the story involving the Earth-65 versions of Sue and Johnny Storm. Since the beginning, McGuire has not hidden the fact that Sue and Johnny have more villainous intentions that they are showing to the public. Finally, with Ghost-Spider #10 we get a full inside look at both of their origins and how they greatly diverge from their Earth-616 counterparts.
Typing Earth-65 Sue and Johnny Storm to this universe’s Doctor Doom was a good move. McGuire has been teasing us with the fact that Doctor Doom is somehow involved with how Sue and Johnny got their powers. Now seeing how that was indeed true and that both Sue and Johnny turned on Doctor Doom after they gained a mastery of their powers was a great twist. This further sets up how Sue and Johnny’s plans do not end in simply taking Doctor Doom’s spot or Ghost-Spider’s role as New York City’s resident hero.
Earth-65 Sue Storm in particular stood out in Ghost-Spider #10. McGuire went all-in on showing what a villain version of Sue Storm would be like. From how she seduced Doctor Doom only to turn on him and kept trying to suffocate Ghost-Spider with her powers, there was no hiding how big of a villain Sue was. With Earth-65 Kingpin Matt Murdock out of the picture McGuire has found the perfect replacement in this version of Sue Storm.
Sue’s actions and dialogue was balanced out well with how her brother, Johnny Storm, acted alongside her. While Johnny is just as bad as his sister it’s clear that Johnny is more hungry for fame. He sees being the one and only hero in New York City as a way to increase his fame while Sue sees it as a means to whatever ends she is seeking. Having Johnny have these different motivations while also having similar villainous tendencies to his sister made the Storm siblings dynamic stand out even more.
The strong build for Sue and Johnny Storm made the predicament Gwen Stacy found herself in as Ghost-Spider even greater. You could see that as Ghost-Spider that Gwen was trying to overcome her own confusion in what the Storm siblings were doing. Not knowing their origin story played a role in helping explain why Gwen wasn’t fighting the Storm siblings like she would a normal villain.
Gwen fighting in a way she was only defending herself made the moment when Sue and Johnny gave her an ultimatum of leaving NYC or being made to look like an even bigger criminal a heartbreaking sight. You could see at that moment that Gwen felt that just as she was starting to gain her normal life back that it was taken away from her. Her talk with her dad, George Stacy, and the hug that concluded it added to the weight of the decision that Gwen was forced to make.
Ending Ghost-Spider #10 with Gwen sending Mary Jane a text message about her decision was a strong way to conclude the series. It reaffirms that Gwen still has a lot of ties to Earth-65 even though she will be on Earth-616 for a period. There is more than just her dad that Gwen will come back for. There are many people she loves that Gwen will not be able to talk or communicate while she is gone. This gives her greater motivation to come up with a plan so that when she does return to Earth-65 she will be able to protect those she loves in the process.
Through all of this McGuire was able to set up multiple directions for Gwen to take while she is on Earth-616. It’s clear that as Ghost-Spider, Gwen will be taking some part in the Outlawed direction that many of the next generation Marvel heroes will be dealing with. At the same time, McGuire has set things up for Gwen to also work with the entire Spider-Man Family members, something that will likely be key to whenever a new Spider-Gwen or Ghost-Spider series launches.
Once again, Ig Guara delivered solid artwork throughout Ghost-Spider #10. With this issue being much more action-heavy than previous issues Guara was able to put Ghost-Spider, Sue Storm, and Johnny Storms abilities on full display. Each character brought something different to the table with how their respective powers worked. The way the battle developed helped in make the dialogue McGuire wrote for each character to be even more effective.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: While it is sad to discover that Ghost-Spider #10 is the final issue of this series Seanan McGuire and Ig Guara delivered an impactful conclusion. McGuire was able to flesh out the origin story of Earth-65 Sue and Johnny Storm in a way that amplified the story they have been telling with Gwen Stacy. The result was a final issue that set up several storylines for Gwen Stacy to be a major part of while building towards the return of a new Spider-Gwen or Ghost-Spider series.
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