WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Ghost-Spider #1 by Seanan McGuire, Takeshi Miyazawa, Ian Herring and VC's Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
The Gwen Stacy of Earth-65 is undergoing a couple of huge changes. To recount, Gwen no longer has a secret identity, she lost her spider-powers, gained them back through an army of symbiotic spiders and now has an official codename (Ghost-Spider). Now, Gwen's latest status quo change sees her head to college through a multiversal exchange program, enrolling at Empire State University on Earth-616.
This is the Earth occupied by our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, Peter Parker, Miles Morales and other spider-themed heroes. If Gwen's secret identity is public knowledge on her Earth, then the next best option at a normal college life can only come from another Earth. And luckily Peter Parker is already a faculty member at Empire State.
The only problem is whenever Gwen travels between dimensions, it throws her powers out of wack. Before Gwen heads to Earth-616 to start school, she sets Peter up with some of the spiders that make up her suit to run some tests on. Being the genius that he is, Peter has an answer for Gwen's power fluctuations, and it strangely comes down to not eating enough.
After stopping an oversized rat terrorizing a mother and son -- it's better not to ask -- the son asks Ghost-Spider how her white suit stays so clean. Gwen explains her suit is made of spider, which is definitely a conversation starter. However, it does allow Peter an opening to explain what he's learned from his analysis of Ghost-Spider's costume.
It may have sounded like a joke before, but Gwen's power problem really does come down to nutrition. Since the gang of spiders act as a symbiote, they have a similar relationship to Eddie Brock and Venom. As Spider-Man tells Ghost-Spider, the suit gets nutrients from what she eats. Web-slinging burns a lot of calories, but since she's eating for two (herself and the symbiote), the symbiote is basically starving.
Specifically, Ghost-Spider's suit could go for a dose of cellulose. Humans can't digest cellulose, so the suit just siphons it off of her and does the best it can with it. Gwen will need to get in the habit of scarfing down the celery. However, as with most symbiotes, Gwen will have to find a delicate balance in her relationship with the suit. If the balance of power shifts too much in the symbiote's favor, it can start to wrestle control from its host, which is never good. That's one reason why the relationship between Spider-Man and the Venom symbiote ended so badly.
What happens with Ghost-Spider, her suit and powers is definitely worth monitoring going forward. Ghost-Spider has a brand new ongoing series, a new part-time life on Earth-616 and plenty of wacky adventures in her future.