Spider-Gwen: The Ghost-Spider #1 Review

Spider-Gwen: The Ghost-Spider #1 Review

Spider-Gwen is back with a brand-new ongoing series from the minds of writer Stephanie Phillips and artist Federica Mancin. Similar to the previous Ghost-Spider series, this latest Spider-Gwen series will be set in the main Earth-616 Marvel Universe rather than her home Earth-65 universe. Last time we saw Earth-65 Gwen try to make Earth-616 her home universe it did not work out thanks to ongoing Spider-Verse related events. Will a second time be the charm for Earth-65’s Spider-Woman, now known as Ghost Spider? Let’s find out with Spider-Gwen: The Ghost-Spider #1.


Writer: Stephanie Phillips

Artist: Federica Mancin

Colorist: Matt Milla

Letterer: Ariana Maher


“TRAPPED IN THE 616…FOR GOOD! Welcome to New York! Gwen truly becomes a Ghost-Spider when she moves full time to the universe where Gwen Stacy died years ago. But why did she leave Earth-65? Why aren’t the other spiders supposed to know she’s here? Why isn’t she supposed to suit up? And who will get hurt when she does?” – Marvel Comics


Spider-Gwen: The Ghost-Spider #1 is a tricky first issue. There is certainly an attempt made to make this new reader friendly. Unfortunately, because of all the Spider-Verse Multiverse baggage that Spider-Gwen has that is easier said than done. We see that throughout this first issue. It’s only when the focus isn’t on the new reader friendly aspect that Spider-Gwen: The Ghost-Spider #1.

The complication that faces Spider-Gwen: The Ghost-Spider #1 shows just how tough it is to make the Multiverse concept new reader friendly. Having a character jump from one universe to another one instantly creates the feeling of missing out on a bunch of continuity. There is no fresh start for either Earth-65’s Gwen Stacy or the reader. You do need to have some basic knowledge about the comic book version of Spider-Gwen.

Even if you are up-to-date with what happened in Spider-Gwen: Smash, the character’s most recent mini-series, there are questions as to why Gwen is back on Earth-616. There are obvious details that are being left out with why Gwen and the TVA agreed to have the Earth-65 resident try to make her home Earth-616. It is even less clear why if Gwen’s return to Earth-616 she would be placed in the hub for the Spider-Man Family that would make it hard for her to resist the urge to be a superhero.

These questions, while continuity heavy, is also the major hook for this series. As long as you are able to just accept that Gwen is on Earth-616 for a mysterious reason you will be fine. Stephanie Phillips does at least give you info on why Gwen is metaphorically feeling so heavy. Her entire history with her family, friends, and Spider-Man Family has left her seeking out a fresh start.

Train Save- Spider-Gwen: The Ghost-Spider #1
Gwen Stacy gets her Spider-Man 2 moment in Spider-Gwen: The Ghost-Spider #1. Credit: Marvel Comics

That’s where Gwen’s personal struggle of wanting to live her own life the best part of her character arc. While she may want to do that, in order for her to accomplish that she can’t do it as Gwen Stacy. That fact is made tougher when she sees her Spider-Man Family peers all getting to live their double lives. When that is the focus of the story Phillips direction for Gwen is much better. There is a great back and forth between Gwen and her TVA rep that solidly establishes the bigger direction for this series.

Which leads well into the second half of Spider-Gwen: The Ghost-Spider #1 is much stronger. While we have the mysterious big reason why Gwen is on Earth-616 this is still a superhero book. And for as much Gwen may try to resist trying to hide her presence she cannot ignore helping others in danger as a superhero. Federica Mancin nails how Gwen as Ghost-Spider utilized much more of a flow in her motion compared to Peter and Miles. At the same time, we get some classic moments, including a cool homage to the train saving scene from Spider-Man 2.

Things ending with Kraven the Hunter, who was hired by Black Tarantula, showing that Ghost-Spider can’t approach things like she did in her universe was a cool hook. Ghost-Spider tried to use her own experience without realizing that she was fighting different versions of villains she has fought before. That left her open to be defeated, though she didn’t look weak as Kraven did take advantage of Ghost-Spider saving people to weaken her with poison before their fight. It all set-up Kraven and Black Tarantula as solid initial villains for Ghost-Spider to fight while building the larger narrative for this series.


Spider-Gwen: The Ghost-Spider #1 struggles to be new reader friendly due to Earth-65’s Gwen Stacy complicated Multiverse history. Once Stephanie Phillips and Federica Mancin move past the opening to focus on building the larger creative direction and showing Gwen in action this comic book comes into its own. Hopefully the momentum created by the second half of this debut issue is carried forward by future issues.

Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

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