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  1. #61
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    Most of the "serious" Silver Age love interests got written out of their books though. They only got made to look like the default love interests thanks to the movies or writers making them into Superheroes (which is what happened anyways).

    Gwen's death might have saved Betty from that fate in hindsight...
    You know Steve Ditko planned to kill off Betty in his run. Blake Bell's biography of Ditko mentions that. Ditko wanted to kill off Betty in a domestic accident (falling down the stairs) rather than someone criminal. Lee nixed that idea because he felt it would give too much baggage to Peter at that stage and Ditko actually said that Lee was right.

    Stan Lee was generally not a good writer of romance and relationships. Susan Storm, "first lady of the Marvel Universe" has never actually lived up to that title in anything outside of a token sense. And the Reed-Susan relationship is the main hurdle people face in adapting the Four, since they are bland characters and their romance is bland as hell (I do like how Hickman wrote them though). Mary Jane is easily the best female character that Lee wrote and that's mostly by accident rather than design. In fact I think that once Spider-Man became a big title, Lee decided on giving Spider-Man a permanent love interest to make his titles resemble or come more in line with Daredevil, Iron Man and FF.

    In general, most of the Silver Age love interests (Karen Page, Pepper Potts, Betty Ross) were added in because it was part of the convention and not enough work was done to make them work. And eventually all kinds of horrid stuff happened to them. Pepper Potts got the best of the lot. It's difficult to say if Karen Page got a worse deal than Betty. The latter at least is still alive (and pretty interesting in Immortal Hulk -- "This is me") but that was after a period where she died multiple times and on one occassion got raped by Nightmare (the Dr. Strange villain). Karen Page got to die in a mediocre Daredevil story after being a major character in the greatest Daredevil story of all time (which admittedly didn't do favors for her). Especially now that Deborah Ann Woll's turned heads in the Netflix show, Guardian Devil has revealed itself to be the big mistake it always was. Pepper Potts (who is clearly the first lady of the MCU in a way Susan Storm never was in the comics) owes her prominence to Gwyneth Paltrow and RDJ insisting that they make Tony and Pepper settle down since he didn't like being playboy Tony.

    You know, I'm not a fan of "they didn't know how successful the character would be" school of retconning and overwriting continuity...but that argument cuts the other way. X wouldn't have aged Peter out of high school had they known how successful the character would be...at the same time, knowing how successful and iconic the Peter/MJ romance became, I am pretty sure that Lee and Ditko and others wouldn't have wasted people's time with Betty, Liz, and Gwen. I mean that's what inspired Bendis to use Mary Jane as Peter's one-and-only in USM. Everyone knew she was the heroine of the books so why waste people's time with rotating stuff.

  2. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop Dogg View Post
    If Gwen survived the Conway run then another writer would have just written her as a more interesting character, which is how all 60's female characters evolved, and she might have become the default love interest.
    As an added wrinkle, a series without Gwen's death might have attracted different writers. According to an introduction for The Death of Jean Dewolff, Peter David came back to reading comics because he was intrigued by the idea of Gwen getting killed off.

  3. #63

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    I wish she had lived. Could have made for more diverse storytelling with both her and MJ, over time.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypestyle View Post
    I wish she had lived. Could have made for more diverse storytelling with both her and MJ, over time.
    I don't know, there's something nice about MJ not really having any real rivals for Peter.

  5. #65
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosebunse View Post
    I don't know, there's something nice about MJ not really having any real rivals for Peter.
    Even when Gwen was alive, she wasn't a real rival to MJ. Even Stan Lee putting his thumb on the scales didn't help matters.

  6. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop Dogg View Post
    If Gwen survived the Conway run then another writer would have just written her as a more interesting character, which is how all 60's female characters evolved, and she might have become the default love interest.
    Hmm, I wonder if that leads to a writer telling her story the way Frank Miller told Karen Page's in Daredevil: Born Again.


    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Even when Gwen was alive, she wasn't a real rival to MJ. Even Stan Lee putting his thumb on the scales didn't help matters.
    Peter and Gwen were the major couple in the series for several years.

  7. #67
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    Peter and Gwen were the major couple in the series for several years.
    And Lee was never able to make that romance and relationship popular with readers. He and Romita Sr. kept getting letters complaining about it.

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    And Lee was never able to make that romance and relationship popular with readers. He and Romita Sr. kept getting letters complaining about it.
    The book did well regardless.

    This does raise an interesting question about how a Peter/ MJ relationship would be viewed if Peter and Gwen broke up in the comics. We might just have fans split on which girl is better for Peter, especially when new writers are able to take characters in different directions (Stan Lee was pretty much the only one to write Gwen; Gerry Conway had about seven issues with her before he killed her off.)

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    The book did well regardless.

    This does raise an interesting question about how a Peter/ MJ relationship would be viewed if Peter and Gwen broke up in the comics. We might just have fans split on which girl is better for Peter, especially when new writers are able to take characters in different directions (Stan Lee was pretty much the only one to write Gwen; Gerry Conway had about seven issues with her before he killed her off.)
    you're thinking of archie. spider-man is not archie.

    we already have a test case for spider-man.

    felicia and peter were a major couple for several years. felicia wasn't killed off.

    mary jane is still considered the one for peter by a majority of fans.

    same for carlie cooper. marvel did everything they could to make carlie into "the one."

    didn't work.

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by TinkerSpider View Post
    you're thinking of archie. spider-man is not archie.

    we already have a test case for spider-man.

    felicia and peter were a major couple for several years. felicia wasn't killed off.

    mary jane is still considered the one for peter by a majority of fans.

    same for carlie cooper. marvel did everything they could to make carlie into "the one."

    didn't work.
    Felicia did come in after the series was more established, so it's not the best test case.

    There's a different argument for Betty Brant, although Gwen did have the advantage of having a key role in a greater number of classic stories.

  11. #71
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    There's a different argument for Betty Brant, although Gwen did have the advantage of having a key role in a greater number of classic stories.
    The only classic stories that Gwen featured as a love interest in, was "The Death of George Stacy" (where she's hardly featured), "The Drug Trilogy" (where she appears at the very end and has two balloons of dialogue), and "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" (where she dies early).

  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The only classic stories that Gwen featured as a love interest in, was "The Death of George Stacy" (where she's hardly featured), "The Drug Trilogy" (where she appears at the very end and has two balloons of dialogue), and "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" (where she dies early).
    And Spider-Man No More. And Disaster. And Horns of the Rhino. And the six-armed saga.

  13. #73
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    And Spider-Man No More.
    She and Peter aren't in a relationship (yet) in that issue.

    And the six-armed saga.
    Don't think the Six-Armed Saga has held up all that well. All it amounted to was an attempt by Roy Thomas to bring Morbius into the Marvel Universe. I certainly don't see it showing up in more recent assessments.

  14. #74
    Extraordinary Member Celgress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    And Spider-Man No More. And Disaster. And Horns of the Rhino. And the six-armed saga.
    Yup, she did indeed.
    "So you've come to the end now alive but dead inside."

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    And Spider-Man No More. And Disaster. And Horns of the Rhino. And the six-armed saga.
    you mean horns of the rhino, as in the only reason why the story is remembered today is because of mary jane's iconic introduction? lol lol lol

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