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Comic Book / Ghost-Spider (2019)

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This is my second chance at normal. I can come here, be an ordinary student, go home and be a hero. I just need to be careful, and I can have it all.

Ghost-Spider is a 2019 comic book series written by Seanan McGuire and drawn by Takeshi Miyazawa, starring the Earth-65 version of Gwen Stacy.

Gwen has been facing more than a few problems, as is par for the course for any Spider, no matter the dimension. In her case, it's that revealing her secret identity well over a year ago means that even doing something as simple as attending college is now a struggle, to say nothing of how villains can more directly attack her friends and father. Oh, and her symbiote has been acting up for no discernible reason, and the person who developed it is currently missing. So yeah, Gwendolyn Maxine Stacy has some issues she needs to work out. Thankfully, with the help of an interdimensional travel device that yet another alternate version of herself cooked up, she has plenty of options.

Following the events of the Spider-Geddon crossover and the ten-issue Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider series, Ghost-Spider sees Gwen commuting between Earth-616 and her home dimension to attend the former's Empire State University. Now she must juggle life in a world where she's technically dead with her double life as a superhero, all while facing the challenge of now being one of many, many crimefighters in a Shared Universe, rather than one of the few in a more isolated one.

After a tie-in for King in Black, Gwen's story would be picked up in Spider-Gwen: Gwenverse by Tim Seeley and Jodi Nishijima.

Ghost-Spider provides the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Villainy: After the Spider-Gwen series gave Daredevil this treatment, Sue and Johnny Storm, who are good guys in all other universes, continue this trend and are villains here.
  • Appropriated Title: The comic completely eschews the iconic Spider-Gwen name and is simply called Ghost-Spider. Justified in-universe, as Earth-616 already has a "Spider-Woman", she needed a new alias, and there was no way she was giving up the ability to have a secret identity again.
  • Arc Villain: Miles Warren is back and is wondering how Gwen is as well. He's recruited a student at her school to pretend to be her friend and spy on her for him. His Earth 65 counterpart is also introduced, working for John Jonah Jameson Jr, also taking an interest in Gwen.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: As of the end of the series, the Storm siblings have successfully driven Gwen not just out of town, but her own universe as well.
  • Canon Immigrant: After spending five years in her own special world, Gwen now joins the mainstream superheroes as part of the 616 universe.
  • Cool Big Bro: Peter acts as something like this to Gwen as she navigates Earth-616, with and without the mask.
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover to issue 1 (and used as the cover of the first trade paperback) pictured above shows Miles Morales wearing headphones. Miles Morales does not appear in the series at all. This may be a an intentional misdirection as a different Miles, Miles Warren a.k.a. the Jackal, does appear in this issue and is a major antagonist of the first story arc.
  • Dimensional Traveler: Gwen herself, via her necklace. While she's always had the means to do this, though she used to use a watch instead, this series has her use it on a daily basis as opposed to her less frequent jaunts in the past.
  • Downer Ending: The series ends with Gwen being forced to leave Earth-65 to live on Earth-616 for the foreseeable future. On the plus side, this means she'll more likely have guest appearances in the main continuity more often.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
  • Fauxshadow: Issue #8 sets the Maker — the evil Reed Richards from Earth-1610 — up as the antagonist of the final arc, but Sue and Johnny Storm take the stage as the villains with the Maker nowhere to be seen.note 
  • Fish out of Water: Gwen is an immigrant from another dimension, and the issue of her not having any legal citizenship status in the 616 universe is brought up. However, the 616 universe is no stranger to aliens, gods, or time/dimension-displaced refugees. Empire State University has scholarship programs set up for people like Gwen.
    • That being said, Peter advises Gwen to brush up on her pop culture knowledge while in 616, due to the differences in media between dimensions.
  • Kill and Replace: The final issue reveals that Sue Storm pulled this on Doctor Doom, seducing him to learn all that he knew before murdering him and usurping his identity as the dictator of Latveria.
  • Meaningful Rename: Somewhat. The final issue of Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider has Gwen choose to go by the alias "Ghost-Spider" on Earth-616 out of necessity more than anything else.
    Gwen: I have a secret identity here. Can't be Spider-Woman. Jessica would kill me. It's time to finally settle on a new codename. I keep saying that death loves Gwen Stacy, so let's commit...
  • Mistaken for Romance: Peter Parker is the T.A. for Gwen's Intro to Bioethics class and he often asks Gwen to stay after class to discuss superhero issues. Gwen later says that as a result, half of the class thinks they're dating.
  • Mundane Utility: Gwen uses her dimensional travel necklace to take her friends to concerts for alternate universe versions of their favorite bands.
  • Red Skies Crossover: There's a tie-in episode to "Outlawed!". Peter explains her what had happened... and she simply quits going to the 616 universe at all. That is, until she's forced by the Storms to abandon her universe for the time being.
  • Sequel Series: The series is a direct continuation of Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider, taking place immediately after that comic's last issue and sharing the same creative team of writer McGuire and artist Miyazawa. McGuire even recommends that you read that before beginning this series.
  • Understatement: Many years in the past (before Gwen got her powers) the siblings Johnny and Sue Storm got lost in Latveria, a country in Ruritania ruled by the dictator Victor Von Doom. Gwen asked her father, a mere cop, to do something about it. "I'm sorry, sweetheart. Latveria is a little outside my jurisdiction".
  • Wake Up, Go to School & Save the World: McGuire stated that college will be the biggest challenge Gwen faces.