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  1. #61
    Really Feeling It! Kevinroc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeitgeist View Post
    But he was coming at it from the angle of protecting her. You can say from a far removed viewpoint from the outside as a reader "oh, that's not a great representation of trust", but it's very much an in-character thing Peter would do as he believes in his heart it's for the best for the one he loves. I mean, that's basically his relationship with Aunt May and many other close supporting characters. I don't think that undercuts the relationships he has with any of them, and definitely not the strength of his bond with Gwen.
    I didn't say it wasn't an in-character thing. In fact, I said...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinroc View Post
    Oh yeah, MJ had to tell him that she knew he was Spider-Man. And this was, what, years after he had first proposed to her? And even after she told him she knew, he had hoped he could convince her that she was wrong. It was only after she confessed her past to him (which she viewed as trying to make amends for confessing to Peter that she knew his secrets) that he became even the slightest bit comfortable with someone who was supposed to be one of his oldest friends actually knowing his identity.

    Peter has a very weird, very naive view of this kind of thing. (This is also why his relationship with Carlie crashed and burned. He couldn't open up to her when she realized the truth and confronted him about it. He still just stood there and lied to her.)
    That first time Peter proposed to MJ, he had not told her he was Spider-Man, and clearly had no intention of telling her he was Spider-Man. And this was *undefined period* after Gwen had died. It was *Undefined period* later that she told him she knew he was Spider-Man, and his first instinct was to try to convince her that she was mistaken. Dude had already proposed to this woman *undefined period* and still didn't think he could trust her with his secret identity.

    And then there's Carlie. He cared more about trying to protect his secret identity than about Carlie, which made her so angry that she ended the relationship right then and there.

    This is a flaw in Peter's character. And I don't think anyone can argue otherwise. He has trouble opening up. And I don't think it's controversial to say that relationships need people to be able to open up for their partner. And if people can't do that, what kind of relationship is that?

    (Edit: There's a reason why you see Peter/Gwen presented much differently in adaptations/AUs/etc.)
    Last edited by Kevinroc; 06-05-2019 at 06:54 AM.

  2. #62
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Here's the thing. My only issue with the Peter/Gwen romance is that all the baggage and stuff mentioned here about their relationship could actually have made it worth something if that baggage was actually acknowledged and not brushed away because Peter/Gwen are "in tru wuv", which is what the Lee-Romita era did. If you read the Lee-Romita era like I have then Gwen actually had potential to become a real interesting character. As Peter's first and only upper-class girlfriend she actually opened up a lot of interesting sides and conflicts to Peter's life, bringing in a dimension of class which is certainly in the subtext at least, a big part of the Lee-Romita era.

    I also think that the reason Peter/Gwen don't work as a couple isn't so much about Gwen as a character as it is a result of Stan Lee being incapable of writing romances and relationships. Stan Lee can't write romance and relationships to save his life. His Reed/Sue romance was an abomination, and created issues for Sue that hampers her from actually becoming the "first lady" of Marvel in anything other than lip service. The major reason why Mary Jane became popular and far and away the best and most rounded female character that Lee wrote is that he wasn't writing her like a traditional love interest. So even that was an accident. If he had, maybe it would be MJ dropped off the bridge. So basically Stan Lee killed Gwen. Not by intention but as a function of not generally writing women very well.

    The reason Peter/MJ work better as a couple than Peter/Gwen is that Gerry Conway was the first writer on Spider-Man to really know how to write a proper romance and relationship blossoming which he did with Peter and MJ over the course of his run culminating in that iconic kiss at the airport with that famous Ross Andru panel. Gwen Stacy never got one big moment like that with Peter. If it had not been for Conway, there would probably not be Peter/MJ, or rather not as we know it, i.e. the love story that has essentially become the emotional center of the entire mythos. Conway, along with Stern, Mantlo, JMD, PAD, Defalco, Michelinie really did the best romance and relationship writing in Spider-Man in the classic period. Together they all worked on various times on Peter/Black Cat and Peter/MJ, and certainly the Peter/Felicia/MJ love triangle in the Defalco years always felt more of an actual fair fight than the Lee-Romita era did, because there it was Lee pushing the thumbs on the scale to make Gwen the winner, whereas in the second part, its the writers following the characters and allowing them to bounce off each other. After that it was JMS.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by boots View Post
    a writer gives his opinion based on the powerful effect of some artwork on him. end of story
    an editor-in-chief who has power over the creative direction of all marvel comic lines gives his opinion that a woman character is someone’s true love based on how powerful he found the depiction of her death:

    oh dear. that’s rather a sticky wicket. definitely should not be the end of the story as far as cebukski is concerned.

    it is one thing to say gwen is peter’s one true love because of who gwen was a character.

    it is quite another to say gwen is peter’s true love because her death made peter and by extension cebulski so terribly sad.

    i am not of the school who believes gwen’s death fits the classic description of fridging as it played a far larger role in moving the overall story forward than just delivering manpain, including the development of mary jane’s character and the maturation of peter, but cebukski’s comment turns gwen into an object whose value comes only from how its absence affects the hero. that’s not love, true or otherwise.

    cebukski’s comment deserves discussion as he has quite the extensive editorial power. if this is how he views women supporting characters in the marvel universe, it is rather twentieth century of him.

    it is also reductive and not a wee bit sad to say there is only one true love. all love is real and true in its own way and in its own moment. rather dismissive to those who lost a partner and found love anew to imply either the lost love or the new love must be somehow automatically inferior to the other.
    Last edited by TinkerSpider; 06-05-2019 at 09:31 AM.

  4. #64
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinkerSpider View Post
    an editor-in-chief who has power over the creative direction of all marvel comic lines
    TBH, Editors-In-Chief have far less power these days then they did before. Quesada was powerful and he was the last EIC in the classic mold, but after the Disney buyout where he became Chief Creative Officer (which is kind of above EIC but does include a lot of the stuff that EIC used to do), EIC after him have been less powerful and influential. Like when Nick Spencer started on Spider-Man and he was worried about bringing the Peter/MJ romance back, it needed a sitdown dinner with Quesada for him to get the green light. Cebulski didn't figure in that at all even if that was his call to make.

    cebukski’s comment deserves discussion as he has quite the extensive editorial power. if this is how he views women supporting characters in the marvel universe, it is rather twentieth century of him.

    it is also reductive and not a wee bit sad to say there is only one true love. all love is real and true in its own way and in its own moment. rather dismissive to those who lost a partner and found love anew to imply either the lost love or the new love must be somehow automatically inferior to the other.
    Agree with all this.

    As I said Marvel in general are rather fond of what people in other fandoms call the "Dead ladies club". So Hank Pym's first wife was perfect but the commies killed her and his second marriage to Janet is doomed because he saw her as a replacement and younger lookalike for wifey 1. Then you had the Cyclops/Jean and Madelyne fiasco which destroyed Scott Summers' character in the form he was originally conceived as, i.e. the moral center and leader of the mutants. The minute you make that guy into a deadbeat Dad who walks out on his wife because his first love came back from the dead, that pretty much goes forever.

    Them trying to fit Spider-Man in that is a sign of male fan groupthink more or less.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinkerSpider View Post
    an editor-in-chief who has power over the creative direction of all marvel comic lines gives his opinion that a woman character is someone’s true love based on how powerful he found the depiction of her death:

    oh dear. that’s rather a sticky wicket. definitely should not be the end of the story as far as cebukski is concerned.

    it is one thing to say gwen is peter’s one true love because of who gwen was a character.

    it is quite another to say gwen is peter’s true love because her death made peter and by extension cebulski so terribly sad.

    i am not of the school who believes gwen’s death fits the classic description of fridging as it played a far larger role in moving the overall story forward than just delivering manpain, including the development of mary jane’s character and the maturation of peter, but cebukski’s comment turns gwen into an object whose value comes only from how its absence affects the hero. that’s not love, true or otherwise.

    cebukski’s comment deserves discussion as he has quite the extensive editorial power. if this is how he views women supporting characters in the marvel universe, it is rather twentieth century of him.

    it is also reductive and not a wee bit sad to say there is only one true love. all love is real and true in its own way and in its own moment. rather dismissive to those who lost a partner and found love anew to imply either the lost love or the new love must be somehow automatically inferior to the other.
    The single biggest problem with Gwen as Peter's "great love" is it was not canon.If it was, then he would have chosen to give up being Spider-Man for Gwen. Pete had to have known that Norman Osborn or any enemy of Spider-Man would have made her a target if they discoved his identit. I understand MJ is a walking target as well, but she is much stronger then Gwen and can handle stuff Gwen never could. The meeting with the Connors family is just the latest example. I think back to Captain Stacy's final words: in ASM 91. "Peter take care of Gwen." MJ does not need soneone to take care of her, she is tough. She also understands the need for Spider-Man (protecting people) that Gwen never did and would not make Pete choose between her and Spider-Man

  6. #66
    Spider-Fan Since '95 WebSlingWonder's Avatar
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    I think the only groupthink is all of you guys overthinking this comment, as if one comment will undermine years worth of stories.
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  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celgress View Post
    In spite of what others here may think I agree with C.B. Cebulski's statement *ducks*.
    Fair enough.

    In fact, as someone who frankly has no use for Gwen Stacy (outside of Spider-Gwen in the movies), I frankly think this's all much ado about nothing; a guy working at Marvel gave his opinion on an aspect of these characters and this series. I may not agree with it, but he didn't do anything wrong or say anything worth getting mad over. It's a perfectly legitimate opinion and doesn't devalue other opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by emmafrosting View Post
    The Spider-Man: Sinister Six trilogy novels actually dealt with this. Peter himself admitted that he believes he still would have ended up with MJ, and him and Gwen wouldn't have worked out in the long run and fizzle out eventually because they were fundamentally incompatible. That's something he only realized as he matured as an adult because back then him and Gwen were too young and in love with the idea of love to see the truth.
    Interesting idea; will have to track those down, since I find that kind of examination of stuff in tie-in media to be up my alley.

    Quote Originally Posted by WebSlingWonder View Post
    I think the only groupthink is all of you guys overthinking this comment, as if one comment will undermine years worth of stories.
    Seconded.
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  8. #68
    Mighty Member KangMiRae's Avatar
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    I've always viewed them as being two different types of loves for Peter. Gwen was Peter's first true love, but Mary Jane became his one true love. Love is complicated, and it's difficult to gauge how much both mean to Peter, but to try to downgrade either of their importance to Peter is a disservice to both and all 3 characters. I am very happy with MJ x Peter, but I love Gwen x Peter, too.
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  9. #69
    Astonishing Member boots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinkerSpider View Post
    cebukski’s comment deserves discussion as he has quite the extensive editorial power. if this is how he views women supporting characters in the marvel universe, it is rather twentieth century of him.
    we'll probably need a tad more evidence of that than a quote about how some raw artwork affected him. sure, we can infer from these 3 lines, but that's something i'm really loathe to do.

    i mean the guy seems to be making an effort to contextualise it as a personal opinion.

    and as you can see here, a lot of the resulting discussion devolves into some sort of mj vs gwen spider-board competition.

    it is also reductive and not a wee bit sad to say there is only one true love. all love is real and true in its own way and in its own moment. rather dismissive to those who lost a partner and found love anew to imply either the lost love or the new love must be somehow automatically inferior to the other.
    maybe it is sad, but it's still very human to think in those terms. and its everywhere in our entertainment, from superhero comics to the notebook to buffy to shakespeare. even in this thread it became a matter of which one was the true love, not that each was distinct and true.
    Last edited by boots; 06-05-2019 at 05:12 PM.
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  10. #70
    Really Feeling It! Kevinroc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boots View Post
    well probably need a tad more evidence of that than a quote about how some raw artwork affected him. sure, we can infer from it, but that's something i'm really loathe to do.

    and as you can see here, a lot of the resulting discussion devolves into some sort of mj vs gwen spider-board competition.



    maybe it is sad, but it's still very human to think in those terms. and its everywhere in our entertainment, from superhero comics to the notebook to buffy to shakespeare. even in this thread it became a matter of which one was the true love, not that each was distinct and true.
    People would rather argue their ships than actually question what kind of message is being sent.

  11. #71
    Spider-Fan Since '95 WebSlingWonder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinroc View Post
    People would rather argue their ships than actually question what kind of message is being sent.
    But neither side is right in this, save for creating conflict where there isn't. Here's the story:
    Cebulski saw the original artwork, it affected him. He said "I believe, in my opinion, that although Peter loves MJ, Gwen was his one true love." Think of the context. After seeing the original art, heck, I'D say that.
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  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebSlingWonder View Post
    But neither side is right in this, save for creating conflict where there isn't. Here's the story:
    Cebulski saw the original artwork, it affected him. He said "I believe, in my opinion, that although Peter loves MJ, Gwen was his one true love." Think of the context. After seeing the original art, heck, I'D say that.
    Which "original artwork" we talking here?
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  13. #73
    Mighty Member Vortex85's Avatar
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  14. #74
    Spider-Fan Since '95 WebSlingWonder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebLurker View Post
    Which "original artwork" we talking here?
    Cebulski said the original pages from #121, apparently. I don't know the exact artwork he was referring to.
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  15. #75
    Mighty Member Vortex85's Avatar
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    You can call Gwen Peter's true love all you want, but as long as the below is still canon, ACTIONS SPEAK LOWDER THAN WORDS. I'm not sure how anyone can consider someone their true love if they go behind your back, cheat on you, and keep information from you about having babies with another man.



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