Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider #5 Review

by Harlan Ivester on February 13, 2019

Writer: Seanan McGuire
Artist: Takeshi Miyazawa
Colorist: Ian Herring
Publisher: Marvel Comics

            I had to take some time off from Spider-Gwen simply because I didn’t think anything I was reading would actually matter once Spider-Geddon was over. So now that we’ve moved on, was I right? Signs point to probably.

            In a lot of ways, this reads more like a #1 relaunch than the actual one did. It spends a lot of time introducing us to Gwen’s supporting cast and status quo. It doesn’t quite hook me, but I think a reader brand new to Earth-65 would be happy with it. They might also ask if MJ has always been a jerk. Her being one did make it a little cathartic for me when Gwen told her off, thus redeeming the conversation to some degree, but the rehearsal dialogue still had me, as a musician, rolling my eyes. Anyway, I think McGuire might be projecting some of her own personality traits on to Gwen, because I’m not sure where her social awkwardness is coming from. I’m not opposed to the very idea, but it feels like it goes against how we saw her react to her fans at the end of Latour’s run. Another feature of his time with the book was all the great twists he put on familiar ideas, and I’m wondering if that’s just gone now. I’m not saying it is because it’s too early to tell, but that would be a major loss for what made Spider-Gwen’s book so good. And on to perhaps my most nitpicky point: I really need them to decide how Gwen’s symbiote works. It’s actually spiders now? And does she have a spider sense or not? These things bug me.

            The art is by far my favorite thing about this issue. Miyazawa’s characters are so expressive in their faces and movement; it’s charming. I wish there weren’t so many panels completely lacking a background, but we still get some fun camera work to make things more interesting. Action sequences aren’t explained very much, yet they’re easy to follow and feel real thanks to line work that doesn’t go overboard. Herring’s colors are fine, but Earth-65 just doesn’t feel the same without Rico’s neon lights everywhere. I’m hoping that in the future, they’ll embrace Gwen’s punk rock vibe to make readers feel more at home.

            This is a fine issue, but it doesn’t make me want to pull the book again. It’s drawn out exposition can make it feel like a step back in some ways, but Gwen’s world and supporting cast have always been what really made the book shine, so I understand that it was necessary. I just think it could have been better if there weren’t pages dedicated to Gwen finding a purse.

Our Score:


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