A new Spider-Verse based variant cover from Peach Momoko featuring Spider-Gwen reveals the dark potential lurking in this area of Marvel’s comic universe. The cover for Spider-Gwen: Smash #1 is one of several variants that put nightmarish twists on Marvel characters. This art series is scheduled to last throughout December.

Spider-Gwen: Smash #1 has the creative team of Melissa Flores and Enid Balam. The series is set to focus on the titular heroine and her band, the Mary Janes, as they go on a short tour. She is supposed to put her heroics aside, but a looming assassin makes it hard to keep true to that agreement.

The series kicks off on December 6, bringing new iterations of iconic Marvel heroes with it. The story seems primarily set on Earth-65, the home of Spider-Gwen, allowing the heroine a break from the Spider-Verse activities fans have recently been seeing her involved with. Nonetheless, the nightmare makeover she has undergone provides a look into the kinds of terrors the Spider-Verse could bring to its wide span of heroes and villains.

Peter Parker has been known to turn into an actual spider, including the horrific – and bizarre – Spectacular Spider-Man #20, in which he became a spider, became pregnant, and birthed himself. While this is one of his worst iterations, this cover of Spider-Gwen: Smash #1 from Peach Momoko brings it back in the best way. By adding the spider-leg elements to Gwen, but maintaining a lot of her recognizable human form, a perfect blend of nightmare and functionality is maintained. This iteration of Ghost Spider ends up feeling like a more organic version of an Iron Spider-style limb arrangement.

This natural spider look is the stuff of nightmares for many arachnophobic readers, but it’s absolutely perfect for giving Gwen a new advantage – or even disadvantage! Making the Spider-Verse heroes arachnid-hybrids could allow for new fighting techniques, terrain traversing, and fear-inducing encounters with their rogue galleries. This is one of several Marvel nightmare variants that involve Hulk, Black Panther, and many others. However, bringing this style to several Spider-Verse heroes, like Miles Morales, Spider-Punk, and Araña could create a grotesque, yet thrilling, makeover worthy of another Marvel Comics event.

Spider-Gwen: Smash #1 will be available December 6 from Marvel Comics.

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