One of the biggest fan-favorite superhero characters to emerge in the Marvel Universe is Spider-Gwen, the webslinging Gwen Stacy who became a superhero on her native Earth-65. Recently, the young superhero has decided to take advantage of her fresh start in the main Marvel Universe as she begins attending Peter Parker’s old alma mater of Empire State University in Earth-616’s Manhattan. This led to her taking on the new superhero moniker Ghost-Spider while saving the day during her regular visits from her alternate dimension.
When she was originally introduced, Gwen used the moniker Spider-Woman to defend Earth-65 from a variety of threats, including her world’s villainous incarnation of Matt Murdock. With her powers failing her, Gwen was forced to bond with her world’s Venom symbiote to regain her incredible abilities, defeat Murdock and dismantle his criminal empire. Gwen’s heroic actions came at a steep price, however.
In order to expose Murdock and his under-handed dealings, Gwen had to reveal her own secret identity to the world. As an authorized superhero implicated in the death of her world’s Peter Parker while he was transformed as the villainous Lizard, as well as being responsible for violent actions while under the initial thrall of the Venom symbiote, Gwen was convicted and jailed for her actions as Spider-Woman. Her heroic career and key role in toppling Murdock limited Gwen’s sentence to one year, which she served dutifully before her eventual release — now with the Venom symbiote under her control.
With her superhero identity public, Gwen decides to focus on attending college at Empire State University to enjoy a more incognito life on Earth-65 alongside the superhero friends she’s made from previous team-ups. However, complications with the Venom symbiote begin to rise, leading Gwen to approach the main Marvel Universe’s Peter Parker for help. As Peter analyzes the symbiote, Gwen realizes her superhero secret is still a secret from the general public on Earth-616 and decides to restart her superhero career on the alternate Earth, with a bit of a dark twist.
The mantle of Spider-Woman is held by several women on Earth-616 — most notably Jessica Drew, who had teamed up with Gwen previously. To limit the confusion, Gwen decides to drop her own use of the moniker altogether while taking inspiration from her Earth-616 counterpart.
Learning of this world’s Gwen and her tragic fate dying during a showdown between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin, Gwen makes the morbid observation that “death loves Gwen Stacy.” With that in mind, Gwen sees herself as a living ghost on Earth-616, replacing this world’s ill-fated counterpart only with spider-based superpowers. Inspired, Gwen begins referring to herself as Ghost-Spider when disguised as a superhero during her time on Earth-616, while maintaining a low profile whenever she returns to Earth-65.
The Gwen Stacy of Earth-65’s superhero career appeared to have been cut abruptly short after her secret identity was outed, followed by her incarceration. However, the possibilities of the Marvel Multiverse have allowed her to continue to use her powers to the save the day — albeit under a completely different name. Fortunately, even with a new name, the superhero’s fan-favorite look and attitude has been maintained, as Gwen balances life on an alternate Earth with all the trials and tribulations of college.
Spider-Gwen rebranded herself as Ghost Spider when she started college. Here's the reason behind the change.