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  1. #31
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    To me, it holds up as a story but not as a Spider-Man story. Its so unconnected with anything that came before or went afterwards concerning Spider-man, Gwen, Peter and Norman. The last time we saw Norman, he was witnessing his drugged out son in a coma and crying. Last time we saw Gwen, she was ... going to Europe? And I don't think Norman and Gwen had ever shared a panel before. Peter and Norman had a long relationship, of course, punctuated by some famous stories. But honestly Norman at this point had been rather inconsistently portrayed between Ditko and Romita. He's a businessman! No wait he's a vengeful sinister psychopath! Oh now he's nuts! But he cares about Harry for some unknown reason now! Then suddenly out of the blue he has Gwen on a bridge and Peter accepts it as if its normal behavior for this guy. Its not. Not even close.

    Over time, this all has been interpreted as "Norman upping his game" or him "having mental issues" but its pretty much a bunch of BS. He's just an intriguing character because every time he shows up the writers do something new with him. And at this point, there is no pre-conceived expectation with him whatsoever. Its not like Doc Ock where you absolutely know the guy is going to be arrogant and scientific. No. Norman is always all over the place. And a lot of that is Conway's fault!

    And, the story was relatively unconnected with comics that came afterwards. There was mention of it in ASM, for a couple of issues, but barely a mention of it in MTU and PPTSSM. Conway dealt with a follow up, kind of, with the Clone Saga. But was that really dealing with it? The story still just kind of sits there in continuity but almost to big to really play a part. More modern stuff that has occurred is just sentimentality, sometimes misplaced.

    Back to the story then. Its great. Hero wins but there is a price. Classic stuff going back to Greek Mythology and earlier. Where it really shines is what impact it had on comics, since it happened with such a high profile character in a young people's comic book. This wasn't some adult magazine or pulp rag, it was mainstream as things can get.

    Next we got Frank Miller, Alan Moore and the rest is history.
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  2. #32
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electricmastro View Post
    Yep, at least to me, "women in refrigerators" is basically a term for "poorly written female characters," and perhaps also for how seemingly out of nowhere female characters are used and abused for the sake of furthering the story of a male character, but I don't think is this is the thread to entertain the statistics of such cases. The point for now is that I think it's less about having a female character go through a tragedy in the first place and is, I'm sure is reasonable to say, more about how the writing of the tragedy is handled.
    That's true. And the truth is that applies perfectly to Gwen Stacy. Gwen was a "poorly written character". And her death was used to the further the development of other characters. Gwen's death is a tragedy but it's not hers. It's Norman Osborn's and Peter Parker's. Tragedy in the literary sense, I am talking Aristotle, as a concept always presupposes a level of agency. In the case of Gwen she had no agency at all in her story. Neil Gaiman's Sandman defined it in that speech Morpheus gives towards the end, "We do what we do, because of who we are. If we did otherwise, we would not be ourselves."

    In the case of Jean Grey in The Dark Phoenix Saga, that was tragedy because Jean or the Homunculus who had a copy of Jean's consciousness (as per current retcon) had agency. She was the one who made the choice to kill herself to protect Scott, the X-Men, and the Universe (the awful movie X-Men The Last Stand ruined that by making Jean into a psycho woman who Logan had to put down). Jean Grey could have lived like a God but she decided to die like a mortal because that's who Jean is, or at least the consciousness of Jean is.

    It's a terrible comic of course but Abrams' Spider-Man #1 which killed of MJ in the first pages does make MJ's death more tragic than Gwen's. MJ made the choice to come and aid Peter when he fought Cadaverous, she did so out of love for him and concern for his survival. She made that choice and paid the price because that's who she is, her love for Peter would always rush her towards him even at the risk/cost of her life. Now just because MJ had slight agency there doesn't mean that it's not "fridging" because it is but it's still more than what Gwen got. As a character Gwen had a lot of unresolved drama and issues. The death of her father, her hatred for Spider-Man and so on. Yet in her final comic she doesn't make any decisions or choices related to that.

  3. #33
    Astonishing Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    That's true. And the truth is that applies perfectly to Gwen Stacy. Gwen was a "poorly written character". And her death was used to the further the development of other characters. Gwen's death is a tragedy but it's not hers. It's Norman Osborn's and Peter Parker's. Tragedy in the literary sense, I am talking Aristotle, as a concept always presupposes a level of agency. In the case of Gwen she had no agency at all in her story. Neil Gaiman's Sandman defined it in that speech Morpheus gives towards the end, "We do what we do, because of who we are. If we did otherwise, we would not be ourselves."

    In the case of Jean Grey in The Dark Phoenix Saga, that was tragedy because Jean or the Homunculus who had a copy of Jean's consciousness (as per current retcon) had agency. She was the one who made the choice to kill herself to protect Scott, the X-Men, and the Universe (the awful movie X-Men The Last Stand ruined that by making Jean into a psycho woman who Logan had to put down). Jean Grey could have lived like a God but she decided to die like a mortal because that's who Jean is, or at least the consciousness of Jean is.

    It's a terrible comic of course but Abrams' Spider-Man #1 which killed of MJ in the first pages does make MJ's death more tragic than Gwen's. MJ made the choice to come and aid Peter when he fought Cadaverous, she did so out of love for him and concern for his survival. She made that choice and paid the price because that's who she is, her love for Peter would always rush her towards him even at the risk/cost of her life. Now just because MJ had slight agency there doesn't mean that it's not "fridging" because it is but it's still more than what Gwen got. As a character Gwen had a lot of unresolved drama and issues. The death of her father, her hatred for Spider-Man and so on. Yet in her final comic she doesn't make any decisions or choices related to that.
    And fair point. I suppose some may argue she was better written in previous comics, and how her having more appearances than Alex DeWitt did by the time of her death in Green Lantern #54 helped make Gwen a less out of nowhere character, though at the same time, that doesn't take away from the possibility of how Gwen could have been better written in Amazing Spider-Man #121 and #122 themselves.
    Last edited by Electricmastro; 11-14-2019 at 08:32 PM.

  4. #34
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    To me, it holds up as a story but not as a Spider-Man story. Its so unconnected with anything that came before or went afterwards concerning Spider-man, Gwen, Peter and Norman. The last time we saw Norman, he was witnessing his drugged out son in a coma and crying. Last time we saw Gwen, she was ... going to Europe? And I don't think Norman and Gwen had ever shared a panel before. Peter and Norman had a long relationship, of course, punctuated by some famous stories. But honestly Norman at this point had been rather inconsistently portrayed between Ditko and Romita. He's a businessman! No wait he's a vengeful sinister psychopath! Oh now he's nuts! But he cares about Harry for some unknown reason now! Then suddenly out of the blue he has Gwen on a bridge and Peter accepts it as if its normal behavior for this guy. Its not. Not even close.

    Over time, this all has been interpreted as "Norman upping his game" or him "having mental issues" but its pretty much a bunch of BS. He's just an intriguing character because every time he shows up the writers do something new with him. And at this point, there is no pre-conceived expectation with him whatsoever. Its not like Doc Ock where you absolutely know the guy is going to be arrogant and scientific. No. Norman is always all over the place. And a lot of that is Conway's fault!
    Well, he's insane and has severe mental problems, so I don't think it's surprising, although I think back then it was consistent that we had normal "businessman" Norman and the Goblin who was the split-personality that got awakened and was obsessed with killing and hurting Spider-Man in the worst ways possible.

  5. #35
    Astonishing Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    Where it really shines is what impact it had on comics, since it happened with such a high profile character in a young people's comic book. This wasn't some adult magazine or pulp rag, it was mainstream as things can get.
    Ya know, in retrospect, I wonder how many later writers were inclined to write about female love interests dying, Alex DeWitt's case included, after being specifically inspired by Gwen Stacy's death. Earlier Spider-Man comics had Uncle Ben and George Stacy die, who were both close acquaintances of Peter, and more writers could have drawn their inspirations from those, yet it's Gwen Stacy's death that many seemed to go back to, regardless of how poorly written their efforts turned out.

    I guess "The uncle of our hero has died!" or "the old man best friend of our hero has died!" don't quite grab the attention of people walking by the comic racks as much compared to "The girlfriend of our hero has died!"

  6. #36
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    Well, he's insane and has severe mental problems, so I don't think it's surprising, although I think back then it was consistent that we had normal "businessman" Norman and the Goblin who was the split-personality that got awakened and was obsessed with killing and hurting Spider-Man in the worst ways possible.
    Well in this story there's no separation between the two. The thing is Norman's reacting badly to stock market prices of his company falling, then finding out Harry had a relapse, and he falls into a depressive spiral where his amnesia recovers. If you read this story there's no indication whatsoever that Amnesia!Norman was a somewhat decent person. There's no sense of tragic recognition on Peter's part about Norman's downfall and the fact that his attempt to give Norman a second chance came to naught. That needed to be there to drive home the reality of Norman's downfall, the end of any attempts at redemption. Likewise, his situation isn't dire enough for him to attack and murder Gwen. His stock prices fall, he goes to Harry and finds him delirious, and he decides that he's going to go out and attack and murder one of Harry's friends. I mean okay he might blame Gwen and MJ and Peter for his son's condition and he knows that Gwen is dating Peter and realizes Peter's Spider-Man but that's still an extreme direction for him to do, especially considering that Gwen and Harry were friends since high school. And again Norman would have to know that Gwen hates Spider-Man. She made no secret of that, so all Norman has to do is tell Gwen the truth about her boyfriend.

    Norman Osborn going from villain to a fixture of Peter's supporting cast and then lapsing back to villainy should have felt tragic and awful. That Peter's seeming success at redeeming Norman backfired horribly. There needs to be some sense of that. Instead Norman is like "I am Goblin again, I'm the best version of myself...whee!". That's not something worthy of a tragic villain. Compare this to Raimi's Spider-Man 1, when Goblin kidnaps MJ at the end, the reasons for why Norman does it is established. At the Thanksgiving scene, Norman is established as a misogynist who sees MJ as a tramp, then he finds out from Harry that MJ is Peter's love and Harry's heart was broken because MJ seems to return his affections. So in Goblin's twisted mind, his actions in the climactic scene is somehow "all for Harry". On a character level, Norman's actions even addled by the Goblin's formula is grounded in Norman's tragic flaws, his workaholic scientist nature which came at the cost of his family and forming proper relationships either with his wife (who he resents/hates) or with Harry. Norman's death at the end feels tragic and awful.

    I am not saying that it's out of character for Norman to have killed Gwen back then, I am just saying that it's not established well and emotionally that turn or snap back doesn't have any impact.

  7. #37
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electricmastro View Post
    I guess "The uncle of our hero has died!" or "the old man best friend of our hero has died!" don't quite grab the attention of people walking by the comic racks as much compared to "The girlfriend of our hero has died!"
    I think it's because of the "woman as reward" idea. A big chunk of the readership back then identified with the male protagonist and saw female characters as prizes and so on. Spider-Man failing to save Gwen was something they couldn't accept. The hero always saves the girl right.

    Of course other readers saw through the story and cottoned the real intent, a gimmicky story to clear away a supporting character who was getting stale. Like there's this awesome letter written by Jane Hollingsworth:
    "I never imagined you could actually kill Gwen. You have more intelligence then I gave you credit for. I fervently hope Gwen doesn't make a miraculous recovery in #122 (or in any subsequent issues). I also hope Peter doesn't mourn her too long...how long can he grieve over a person whose brain was constructed entirely out of old Pepsi bottles and whose personality had the exact color, consistency, and flavor of a loaf of Wonder Bread?"
    — Jane C. Hollingsworth, Letter to the Editor, "The Spider's Web" Column, published in Amazing Spider-Man, #125

    To add on to the discussion of the Goblin. Some of his lines, like when he calls Gwen, "paltry useless female who never did anything more than occupy space" is pretty extreme even back then for Norman to say about someone he knows personally (Sins' Past aside...). I mean it makes sense if you consider Norman as basically saying what Gerry Conway himself believed about Gwen. In a lot of ways, Green Goblin is kind of an author stand-in, while Spider-Man is intended as the reader stand-in. Audiences hate Goblin and they hated Gerry. The other author stand-in is of course MJ at the end (she also becomes one in the course of Conway's overall run).

  8. #38
    Astonishing Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    I think it's because of the "woman as reward" idea. A big chunk of the readership back then identified with the male protagonist and saw female characters as prizes and so on. Spider-Man failing to save Gwen was something they couldn't accept. The hero always saves the girl right.

    Of course other readers saw through the story and cottoned the real intent, a gimmicky story to clear away a supporting character who was getting stale. Like there's this awesome letter written by Jane Hollingsworth:
    "I never imagined you could actually kill Gwen. You have more intelligence then I gave you credit for. I fervently hope Gwen doesn't make a miraculous recovery in #122 (or in any subsequent issues). I also hope Peter doesn't mourn her too long...how long can he grieve over a person whose brain was constructed entirely out of old Pepsi bottles and whose personality had the exact color, consistency, and flavor of a loaf of Wonder Bread?"
    — Jane C. Hollingsworth, Letter to the Editor, "The Spider's Web" Column, published in Amazing Spider-Man, #125

    To add on to the discussion of the Goblin. Some of his lines, like when he calls Gwen, "paltry useless female who never did anything more than occupy space" is pretty extreme even back then for Norman to say about someone he knows personally (Sins' Past aside...). I mean it makes sense if you consider Norman as basically saying what Gerry Conway himself believed about Gwen. In a lot of ways, Green Goblin is kind of an author stand-in, while Spider-Man is intended as the reader stand-in. Audiences hate Goblin and they hated Gerry. The other author stand-in is of course MJ at the end (she also becomes one in the course of Conway's overall run).
    I suspect the idea of the majority of comic readers being male had something to do with that as well. I seem to recall others talking about finding Gwen endearing and found her enjoyable to read about despite her not joining in on the action as much as Spider-Man did, and fair enough to that point as well. And indeed, I suppose that if Gwen died to further Peter's story, then maybe the same could be said for Mary Jane Watson's case as well, the moment in which shuts the door after refusing to leave Peter being a defining moment in of itself after arguably being written as well as Gwen was in the past. Tom DeFalco and the others' characterization of her into the 80s was probably a direct result of that now that I think about it.


  9. #39
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    It’s aged great.
    So are women civilians just not allowed to die in comics anymore? Is it always called a “fridging”, no matter the context? What sexist horseshit.

  10. #40
    Mighty Member Lukmendes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Norman's trigger for becoming Goblin (his stock prices fell) and then attacking Spider-Man through Gwen is just random.
    Stock price falling is one of the reasons, not the only one, since Norman was blaming Peter for what was happening to Harry, and then he was paranoid that everyone was an enemy, and hallucinations of Spidey made his memory magically return, and then he just wanted to hurt Peter.

    Not saying that your point of his characterization is bad being wrong mind you, but unfortunately, that's how he was written, whenever Green Goblin showed up, any other characterization Norman had was thrown in the garbage can and he became a lunatic with a revenge boner for Spidey, Conway was unfortunately just following what Lee/Romita had established already instead of doing something more complex, all he did was just change Green Goblin's revenge methods, so now he does what Spidey feared what would happen if someone found out his secret identity, actually go after his loved ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    To me, it holds up as a story but not as a Spider-Man story. Its so unconnected with anything that came before or went afterwards concerning Spider-man, Gwen, Peter and Norman. The last time we saw Norman, he was witnessing his drugged out son in a coma and crying. Last time we saw Gwen, she was ... going to Europe? And I don't think Norman and Gwen had ever shared a panel before.
    There was the "Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine#2" (Not the same as the usual Spectacular comics) that had Norman's memory returning, and he invited Peter, Gwen and MJ to a dinner in his house, or something like that, and ASM did occasionally reference it, so at least in that they've met.

    Peter and Norman had a long relationship, of course, punctuated by some famous stories. But honestly Norman at this point had been rather inconsistently portrayed between Ditko and Romita. He's a businessman! No wait he's a vengeful sinister psychopath! Oh now he's nuts! But he cares about Harry for some unknown reason now! Then suddenly out of the blue he has Gwen on a bridge and Peter accepts it as if its normal behavior for this guy. Its not. Not even close.
    Him caring about Harry is something ASM#40 established, he's just a guy who isn't fit to be a parent, but he did try to make Harry's life good with money, he was just bad at showing love, something Harry needed more.

    The weird thing is how after this he became better at showing love for no reason lol.

    And, the story was relatively unconnected with comics that came afterwards. There was mention of it in ASM, for a couple of issues, but barely a mention of it in MTU and PPTSSM. Conway dealt with a follow up, kind of, with the Clone Saga. But was that really dealing with it? The story still just kind of sits there in continuity but almost to big to really play a part. More modern stuff that has occurred is just sentimentality, sometimes misplaced.
    Well, if Conway's clone saga is any hint, Peter managed to move on by that time, and Spectacular only started way after that, so by that point, Gwen had little reason to be reminded as more than "Oh man, she died, it's my fault", and MTU is less about Peter's character than the rest, as far as I remember, at best he just gets stressed over what was currently happening with him, though if no MTU issue around the time Gwen's death happened made even a mention of that, then yeah, they screwed up lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by HypnoHustler View Post
    It’s aged great.
    So are women civilians just not allowed to die in comics anymore? Is it always called a “fridging”, no matter the context? What sexist horseshit.
    I mean, if you go by context, Gwen's death can somewhat be considered fridging, since fridging is the writer's intention of killing the character to make other characters be sad for a while, and that's why it can be considered somewhat fridging, since Conway only killed Gwen so he could ship Peter with some redhead character he liked, he was just better than a lot other fridging cases since Gwen's death fucked over everyone who knew her emotionally for a while, felt more organic than half assed fridgings we have around.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukmendes View Post
    Stock price falling is one of the reasons, not the only one, since Norman was blaming Peter for what was happening to Harry, and then he was paranoid that everyone was an enemy, and hallucinations of Spidey made his memory magically return, and then he just wanted to hurt Peter.

    Not saying that your point of his characterization is bad being wrong mind you, but unfortunately, that's how he was written, whenever Green Goblin showed up, any other characterization Norman had was thrown in the garbage can and he became a lunatic with a revenge boner for Spidey, Conway was unfortunately just following what Lee/Romita had established already instead of doing something more complex, all he did was just change Green Goblin's revenge methods, so now he does what Spidey feared what would happen if someone found out his secret identity, actually go after his loved ones.



    There was the "Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine#2" (Not the same as the usual Spectacular comics) that had Norman's memory returning, and he invited Peter, Gwen and MJ to a dinner in his house, or something like that, and ASM did occasionally reference it, so at least in that they've met.



    Him caring about Harry is something ASM#40 established, he's just a guy who isn't fit to be a parent, but he did try to make Harry's life good with money, he was just bad at showing love, something Harry needed more.

    The weird thing is how after this he became better at showing love for no reason lol.



    Well, if Conway's clone saga is any hint, Peter managed to move on by that time, and Spectacular only started way after that, so by that point, Gwen had little reason to be reminded as more than "Oh man, she died, it's my fault", and MTU is less about Peter's character than the rest, as far as I remember, at best he just gets stressed over what was currently happening with him, though if no MTU issue around the time Gwen's death happened made even a mention of that, then yeah, they screwed up lol.



    I mean, if you go by context, Gwen's death can somewhat be considered fridging, since fridging is the writer's intention of killing the character to make other characters be sad for a while, and that's why it can be considered somewhat fridging, since Conway only killed Gwen so he could ship Peter with some redhead character he liked, he was just better than a lot other fridging cases since Gwen's death fucked over everyone who knew her emotionally for a while, felt more organic than half assed fridgings we have around.
    What we are seeing is analysis by 2019 terms. People seem to forget that Gwen was going to lose to MJ even before she died. Ditko and Romita had that planned out. Why? Gwen was not shown to be very nice. 1: A snob. 2: Sam Bullett. 3: The running off to Europe. 4: Her treatment of Aunt May. By comparison, despite being a "Wild Child" MJ was shown as a more likable and sympathetic character ( see her treatment at the hands of Harry). I have long felt the reason Conway killed her off in such a way was to surprise and shock people. Sort of like what Hitchcock did with Janet Leigh in Psycho ( another cool blonde). Guess what? Like Hitchcock he succeeded. As for MJ she lives on. Why because she was and still is a great character, and readers know it ( despite Marvel wanting her out of the book). Something that did not happen to Gwen with Clone Saga. No demands to bring her back.

  12. #42
    Mighty Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    Actually, IIRC, Stan Lee intended Gwen to be the official couple with Peter, and not Mary Jane. He even lamented that no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn't get Gwen to be as interesting to readers as MJ.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
    Actually, IIRC, Stan Lee intended Gwen to be the official couple with Peter, and not Mary Jane. He even lamented that no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn't get Gwen to be as interesting to readers as MJ.
    That is exactly right. Stan preferring Gwen is why MJ was written out of the book by Romita the first time. The readers are the ones who have preferred MJ down through the years. Why? Because she is a great character with many layers to her, while other " Parker Women" did not have this (not just Gwen), One thing that always appealed to me about MJ is you saw character growth. Sure she was not perfect ( abandoning her family and the "Wild Child" days) but you could see her growing up and being a responsible adult ( unlike Gwen back then and Felicia today). The character growth issue is important to me, which is why rhe BND regression when it came to Peter is the main thing I had against Slott's run. ps. As a straight guy, I also thought Ann-Margaret ( the inspiration behind MJ) was way hotter then Grace Kelly ( the inspiration behind Gwen).

  14. #44
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HypnoHustler View Post
    It’s aged great. So are women civilians just not allowed to die in comics anymore? Is it always called a “fridging”, no matter the context?
    Superhero stories like Spider-Man aren't realistic stories. They are fantasies largely written for adolescent boys. These stories by and large do not take a realistic approach to death and violence. So in these stories, when you make a big deal about character death, the choice of who dies and so on, how they die, carries a message whether people like it or not.

    In the case of The Death of Jean DeWolff, there it's done with some realism, and Jean's death isn't fridging even if the overall effect is similar to Gwen's death. Jean was a peripheral supporting character at the time, she gets killed suddenly brutally and without any last words and so on. The reason is that the comic does treat violence somewhat realistically in the Spider-Man setting. You get a New York which is very violent with high street crime, you have a serial killer who murders multiple people Summer of Sam style, and the idea is violence can visit anyone. When George Stacy died, it's done as an awful but realistic and believable action. It's framed as collateral damage and Peter and George get final words to say at the deathbed and all.

    In the case of Gwen's death, the overall effect and set up is basically like the old serial where the bad guy ties a woman to a train track and at the last minute she gets saved from being run over. The only difference is in this comic the hero is too late. Gwen is unconscious before she gets rammed over the bridge and then dies from the fall (to hell with sound effects). It's a situation where Gwen is reduced to a doll who gets broken by rough handling. And for a major supporting character in a superhero comic with so much unresolved stuff hanging on her, it was maybe not the best exit.

  15. #45
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Gwen Stacy was fairly unpopular or at least divisive when she was alive.

    Roger Stern had this to say:
    "Gwen's Stacy death made her the holy version...this ideal woman for Peter...People who say that weren't around for the whole run. They've forgotten how nasty she was. She wasn't the most stable. She'd be all lovey-dovey one moment, and then hands-off the next. She was very strange. Just prior to her death, there was a long period when they were on the outs."
    — Roger Stern Spider-Man Crawlspace Episode 37: Roger Stern Interview Pt. 2', Timestamp: 52:00 — 55:00

    Stern was a regular reader and he had a good handle on continuity so he knows what he's talking about.

    To be honest, I think the idea people had about Gwen's death being this great event and so on is because of Kurt Busiek-Alex Ross' MARVELS. I mean it had a backlash in the early-mid 70s among readers but people had well and truly moved past that. Then MARVELS came along and what that did was give validation to the people who were part of that backlash. It's a story that says that if you lost your s--t about Gwen's death, if you sent death threats to Conway, and harassed Stan Lee...then you were right to do so. Gerry Conway himself said in an interview that he had no idea how big a deal that story was until Marvels came out.


    Among writers, Gwen's death and her importance is often a tool to enable the status-quo. A few writers elevate Gwen as "the one" or Peter's "perfect relationship" as a way to undermine Peter's relationship with MJ and others. This isn't really about Gwen as a character, it's so much as what her death itself perpetuates. And again, the actual intent of the story The Nigh Gwen Stacy Died is the opposite. No matter how low Peter gets, how much he hates himself, there is someone who will love him back, there is a silver lining or a light at the end of the tunnel. So that's why ASM#121, the substantively weaker issue gets elevated over the really great issue of ASM#122.

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