Written by: Seanan McGuire
Art by: Ig Guara
Colors by: Ian Herring
Final issues require unique creative decisions. Does a writer try to wrap up storylines or set up teasers for a return? Is the narrative reflective or transformative? Writer Seanan McGuire carves her own path in this final issue of the current volume of Ghost-Spider. “Current volume” being the optimal word. Ghost-Spider #10 is the end of a chapter, a middle arc in a larger story, and it success in drawing out emotion and leaving readers wanting more.
McGuire has consistently delivered with Ghost-Spider, from it’s characters to it’s connections across the multiverse, she has created a series that dips into the larger Marvel universe and still stay isolated to provide a different perspective outside of Marvel’s standard continuity. With crossovers and the animated movie, Spider Gwen has increased her profile and generated new fans without sanding off the strong characterizations that have made the multiple volumes successful. Spider-Gwen’s growth as a person, a hero, a daughter, and friend has kept the book grounded even as she hops between dimensions.
The story arc dealing with the return of Johnny and Sue Storm first portrayed as a team-up turns darker as their time in Latveria is revealed. The twists McGuire takes with the Storms and Dr. Doom instantly invest readers into this interpretation and leave questions for a future volume. The Storm’s use of social media to create a following and build trust successfully subverts traditional hero narratives and works as a counter point to Gwen’s involvement in the delayed Outlawed crossover event. A hero’s intentions may not be heroic and the public’s perception can be mislead. The confrontation between the three starts to play with these ideas, but their arc is far from over.
Throughout the issue, the artistic team of Guara and Herring create distinctive and approachable characters and world. Guara’s draws movement well and successfully using posture and stance to convey emotion. The fight scenes move quickly and are focused more on the individuals rather than the landscape, but this work to highlight the versatility of Gwen’s suit even as she is still learning about it. The father daughter moments provide both youthful independence and tender concern and compassion. Herring’s colors carry a similar emotional weight, bright and warm to match the family moments and dark with contrast during the fight scenes. This is not a surprise for readers of the series, but the effectiveness of it allows any reader to jump in and live in the world this team has created.
Fortunately, even though this volume is finished this world is not. McGuire has more in store for Gwen and her supporting cast. While the future is uncertain for when and what comes next, Ghost-Spider delivers a successful final issue that gives fans something to look forward to and new readers something to invest in.