Spider-Gwen Explains Why She's Ditching Her Codename

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #1 by Seanan McGuire, Rosi Kämpe, Ian Herring and Clayton Cowles, in stores now.

When the alternate version of Gwen Stacy, aka Spider-Gwen, was first introduced to the Marvel universe in 2014's Edge of Spider-Verse #2 by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez, "Spider-Gwen" was only meant to be an out-of-universe nickname. In her own spider-adventures, Gwen's superhero alter-ego was called Spider-Woman. "Spider-Gwen" was just a moniker for the marketing and fans to differentiate the character.

However, as the character's popularity spiked, the name took on a life of its own. When referring to her, no one would use the codename Spider-Woman, a superhero identity that already belonged to Jessica Drew. Gwen Stacy eventually officially became Spider-Gwen, for better or for worse, a fact that started to reflect in the comic books themselves.

Now, in her new series, Gwen Stacy is the first to point out that Spider-Gwen, as a superhero identity, simply doesn't work, a realization that sets the stage for her assuming the Ghost Spider moniker.

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Spider-Gwen codename

Her internal monologue is, of course, somewhat meta. After all, fans have always been quick to point out that as a superhero codename, Spider-Gwen just isn't practical, given that it doesn't exactly hide the identity of the person underneath the white spider mask. After all, Peter Parker doesn't go around calling himself Spider-Peter. This is why Gwen first went by Spider-Woman, a name she refers to in her internal monologue. "You may also know me as Spider-Woman," she says in the first issue's opening narration, "or - ugh - Spider-Gwen."

With this simple phrase, Gwen Stacy is making it clear that she isn't fond of the codename, even if her identity isn't actually a secret any longer. A moment later, she saves a young woman from some street thugs, and at the sight of her, the woman exclaims "Spider-Gwen!" to which Gwen narrates, "I have got to get a new codename."

It's no secret Spider-Gwen will make the change to Ghost Spider; it's in the series' title, after all. And while we don't yet know how, exactly, Gwen will settle on her new mantle, the first issue wastes no time in laying the groundwork for the change. Gwen is ready to put Spider-Woman and Spider-Gwen behind her.

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