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  1. #1
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    Post Green Goblins comment in the Night Gwen Stacey Died

    Re-reading the issue and while its still a classic story and that scene with the "snap" when Gwen died is so chilling even more so as Peter is congratulating himself for saving Gwen. Yet one thing puzzles me. That's, Goblins comment that the shock of the fall killed her already. Why would he say that ? From his perspective It's basically giving his sworn enemy a pass on killing his Girlfriend causing less pain. Which from his crazed perspective he wouldn't want to do as he wants Peter to suffer for what happened to Harry. Like I said it seems odd.
    Was that writers trying row back on Spidey actually killing his Girlfriend by making it ambiguous because if so why do the Snap sound then ?
    I know that afterwards they confirmed yeah Spidey did break her neck but that was later.

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    As per Gerry Conway himself,

    Tom DeFalco: In your mind, was Gwen still alive until her neck snapped?
    Gerry Conway: "Could be! Honestly, I don't know — I'm not sure why I added that sound effect, or what I meant to accomplish; as I say, it was the result of a subconscious decision. Consciously, I've always thought that she was already dead when Spider-Man caught her. But if that's true, why did I put the 'SNAP' in? What was the purpose of it? Spider-Man couldn't hear it. It was strictly for the audience. What was I trying to say? That 'SNAP' came from a pure artistic impulse. It was not calculated or part of a master plan to mess with the readers' heads...That said, I'd sure like to believe she was already dead."
    Comic-Creators on Spider-Man, Titan Books, 2004 Edition, Page 47-48.

    The production process on The Night Gwen Stacy Died had Conway write the original script, and give the art to Gil Kane to draw, and then the writer, Conway, on seeeing the art added in sound-effects, and without thinking stuff through added in the "SNAP" sound-effect. In other words, the story as originally written was never intended for Gwen to die as a result of the snap. She was intended to be killed by the Green Goblin, and the only reason people think otherwise is a last second improvisation on the part of the writer.

    In-Universe, Green Goblin killed Gwen when he rammed her off the bridge and she died of a fall.

    The "snap" thing never made any amount of sense because before and after Gwen's death, Spider-Man webbed many people in-flight in that manner (including a baby) and none of them died.

    Gwen Snap Spidey 1.jpg

    Gwen Snap Spidey 3 - ASM #362.jpg

    Gwen Snap Spidey 4 - ASM Back in Black 2.jpg

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    As per Gerry Conway himself,




    The production process on The Night Gwen Stacy Died had Conway write the original script, and give the art to Gil Kane to draw, and then the writer, Conway, on seeeing the art added in sound-effects, and without thinking stuff through added in the "SNAP" sound-effect. In other words, the story as originally written was never intended for Gwen to die as a result of the snap. She was intended to be killed by the Green Goblin, and the only reason people think otherwise is a last second improvisation on the part of the writer.

    In-Universe, Green Goblin killed Gwen when he rammed her off the bridge and she died of a fall.

    The "snap" thing never made any amount of sense because before and after Gwen's death, Spider-Man webbed many people in-flight in that manner (including a baby) and none of them died.

    Gwen Snap Spidey 1.jpg

    Gwen Snap Spidey 3 - ASM #362.jpg

    Gwen Snap Spidey 4 - ASM Back in Black 2.jpg
    Cool thank you.

    I should say that i5 have read that there was a response in a letters page saying yes he did kill her though like you said, why is this different from the thousands of times he's done it before

    Side Note some of the 70's dialogue is pure of the time period too like when Peter refers to him and Gwen being a couple of straights. Like im not sure what that even means ???
    Last edited by Mauled; 07-13-2020 at 10:28 AM.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mauled View Post
    I should say that i5 have read that there was a response in a letters page
    Then Editor-In-Chief Roy Thomas said that, and it was largely in response to the fan backlash and a need to shut down debate and attacks, so that people know there was no way Gwen could have lived. Had Spider-Man not shot a web-line, she would have died upon hitting the water anyway.

    The intent of that scene was to build suspense around the expectation that Spider-Man would save Gwen at the last moment...so you as a reader, i.e. the reader when they first read this comic, had to believe that Spidey would save the day at the last moment, just as always. Only this time it doesn't work.

    ...why is this different from the thousands of times he's done it before
    Because the thumb was on the scale that's why. In the court of criminal justice, Green Goblin is responsible for Gwen's death. He kidnapped her and brought her to the top of the bridge to endanger her. Most crucially, when Spider-Man goes to save Gwen, Goblin rams the glider at him at top speed, ramming Gwen off the bridge. So Green Goblin killed Gwen end of story. That's the story and plot Gerry Conway and Gil Kane wrote.

    The "snap" was just a gimmick Conway introduced as a gimmick and was never supposed to be actually followed-upon (i.e. Spider-Man actually held accountable within the narrative for Gwen's death).

    However, Peter Parker still has moral responsibility and culpability for Gwen's death:
    -- Peter Parker knew that Norman Osborn was Green Goblin, and that Norman has mental illness and could be a danger to himself and the people around him.
    -- Peter Parker didn't turn Norman in (which is a crime...failure to report a crime).
    -- Peter Parker allowed Norman Osborn to worm his way into his supporting cast, and exposing everyone he knew in his life (Harry, Gwen, Mary Jane, Aunt May, George Stacy, Jonah, Robbie, Flash) to danger.
    -- To the extent that you could introduce extenuating circumstances to pardon Peter (Norman's amnesia, Amnesia Norman doing some good, including an earlier issue where he saved Gwen's life...yeah that happened), that went out the window with the Drug Trilogy (ASM#96-98), where Norman relapsed badly.

    So at the start of ASM#121-122, Peter knew Norman was mentally ill, was the Green Goblin, and had relapsed once before and could again, and he still allowed himself and his supporting cast near him. And for those who argue there wasn't anything Peter could do (no legal resources and evidence to turn Norman in), all he had to do was tell the truth, and reveal his identity and Norman's to Gwen and others, putting them on warning about the presence of a living time bomb in their midst.

    So that's the additional tragedy in the story...Norman Osborn/Green Goblin spitting on Peter Parker's mercy, and another innocent close to him paying the life because, to turn a phrase, "he let the burglar go free".

    Side Note some of the 70's dialogue is pure of the time period too like when Peter refers to him and Gwen being a couple of straights. Like im not sure what that even means ???
    In that context, "A couple of straights" means innocents. In the '70s context, straights would be people who didn't drink, smoke, shoot drugs and so on and so forth, i.e., the kind of people who don't have it coming to them. The intent was to sell the tragedy of Gwen as this innocent being cut down in her prime.

  5. #5
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    yeah so peter broke her neck
    Quote Originally Posted by ???
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  6. #6
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    At the time when this story was written, there had been cultural discussions about suicide which led to this understanding that the brain shuts off at some point in a long fall. Thus the Goblin's statement "she was dead before she hit the ground." There is still debate about whether that is true or not, but at the time the story was out it was being actively discussed for some reason.

    Its a nice sentiment. I'd rather think that your brain just shuts down during a fall rather than thinking falling people's lives end with a progression of conscious sheer terror to an instant of extreme pain. The mind is a powerful thing. Most athletes would tell you that excelling at sports is a mental thing just as much as a physical thing. So the mind could suicide a person if it perceived that the situation was hopeless.

    But the only thing with Gwen is that she was already unconscious or dead at the time of the fall. Not reactive at all, just lying there with eyes closed. How does the "shock of a fall" kill someone who is unaware of what is even happening? So maybe that went through Conway's mind when he added the snap? Just to cover the bases?

    Personally I think she was either dead already on top of the bridge or the glider hitting her killed her or it was the snap. But it wasn't the fall.
    Every day is a gift, not a given right.

  7. #7
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    She was conscious and in shock on the bridge and when she fell, then her neck snapped.
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  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    Personally I think she was either dead already on top of the bridge...
    When Peter gets to Gwen's unconscious body at the top of the bridge, Peter's narration says clearly that she was unconscious at the time. Then Goblin rammed him while he was holding Gwen's body, with his glider knocking her off. So she wasn't already dead at the top of the bridge (and btw, but Clone Conspiracy is total BS as well...not only was she unconscious when Peter found her, she was also unconscious when Goblin rammed her off...the comic gives no room in any panel to suggest that in her last moments she found out who Peter was).

    When I first read the comic, my feeling was that Gwen's neck snapped after Goblin knocked her over and she died from the steep fall rather than the sudden shock. Suicide Bridges are a real thing. Some people have survived falls from the Golden Gate and Brooklyn Bridge but others have died as well. The difference is that nobody has statistics on the fall killing them versus the impact on the water, but the fall killing someone isn't impossible. I think it was a combination of Gwen being drugged unconscious, rammed by Goblin at high speed and the steep drop. Because gravity is a thing, The speed at which Goblin struck her would have accelerated Gwen's descent rather than if she had simply tumbled down.

    It was only when I read online that I found the whole "Spider-Man snapped her neck thing" because the story doesn't convey that at all.

    To me, ASM#121-122 and the follow-up stories with Goblin and Spider-Man don't make any sense if it was Spider-Man's webs that snapped her neck. Because that means that Peter's righteous anger against Goblin in ASM#122 wasn't justified or deserved, and it makes Goblin's reputation as the guy who killed Gwen nonsensical. And there are so many instances where Peter caught people falling with his webs, including a little baby, that there's no precedent or consistency for it. And don't bring realism into this...we are dealing with dudes on flying glider and pumpkin bombs and radioactive spider-powers. Ultimately the story is what it is and no sound effect can over-write that.

    On a story level, or rather a scene level, the main thing which Conway wanted to convey is that there's nothing Spider-Man could have done. He did his best and there was nothing he could have done.
    -- The intent of the scene was to convey suspense. As a reader, when reading the comic for the first time, you had to believe for a brief moment that Spider-Man saved her. As Conway said above, Peter didn't hear the snap sound effect. When Spider-Man stops Gwen's descent and grabs her and takes her to a platform he quips in delight that he saved the day once again, only knowing too late that she was dead. The intent was manipulative in teasing out that Spider-Man saved her until the last possible moment.
    -- Goblin claiming "the fall killed her from that height" suggests that he intended to kill Gwen by ramming into her, that he knew what he was doing.
    -- So on that level, Spider-Man web-snapping Gwen killing her is also counterproductive, because that means that Gwen's death wasn't an inevitable tragedy but because Spider-Man was incompetent. And the story that's written isn't built to accomodate that reading.


    To me the "Gwen snap" thing is right there with Ridley Scott's hare-brained "Deckard is a Replicant" twist. The screenplay of Blade Runnder and the actors and production design had all been planned with the idea that Deckard was a human. But late in production, Scott decides to outsmart himself by introducing this plot twist that goes against everything the movie has established and set-up and we have last-minute cleverness overwriting the compelling story that was actually written.

  9. #9
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    Peter snapped her neck and Norman is her killer because he kidnapped her and threw her off a bridge, a premeditated decision that directly led to her death, the same way that other lady who's neck Peter broke committed suicide and it wasn't a murder or accident.
    Quote Originally Posted by ???
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Then Editor-In-Chief Roy Thomas said that, and it was largely in response to the fan backlash and a need to shut down debate and attacks, so that people know there was no way Gwen could have lived. Had Spider-Man not shot a web-line, she would have died upon hitting the water anyway.

    The intent of that scene was to build suspense around the expectation that Spider-Man would save Gwen at the last moment...so you as a reader, i.e. the reader when they first read this comic, had to believe that Spidey would save the day at the last moment, just as always. Only this time it doesn't work.



    Because the thumb was on the scale that's why. In the court of criminal justice, Green Goblin is responsible for Gwen's death. He kidnapped her and brought her to the top of the bridge to endanger her. Most crucially, when Spider-Man goes to save Gwen, Goblin rams the glider at him at top speed, ramming Gwen off the bridge. So Green Goblin killed Gwen end of story. That's the story and plot Gerry Conway and Gil Kane wrote.

    The "snap" was just a gimmick Conway introduced as a gimmick and was never supposed to be actually followed-upon (i.e. Spider-Man actually held accountable within the narrative for Gwen's death).

    However, Peter Parker still has moral responsibility and culpability for Gwen's death:
    -- Peter Parker knew that Norman Osborn was Green Goblin, and that Norman has mental illness and could be a danger to himself and the people around him.
    -- Peter Parker didn't turn Norman in (which is a crime...failure to report a crime).
    -- Peter Parker allowed Norman Osborn to worm his way into his supporting cast, and exposing everyone he knew in his life (Harry, Gwen, Mary Jane, Aunt May, George Stacy, Jonah, Robbie, Flash) to danger.
    -- To the extent that you could introduce extenuating circumstances to pardon Peter (Norman's amnesia, Amnesia Norman doing some good, including an earlier issue where he saved Gwen's life...yeah that happened), that went out the window with the Drug Trilogy (ASM#96-98), where Norman relapsed badly.

    So at the start of ASM#121-122, Peter knew Norman was mentally ill, was the Green Goblin, and had relapsed once before and could again, and he still allowed himself and his supporting cast near him. And for those who argue there wasn't anything Peter could do (no legal resources and evidence to turn Norman in), all he had to do was tell the truth, and reveal his identity and Norman's to Gwen and others, putting them on warning about the presence of a living time bomb in their midst.

    So that's the additional tragedy in the story...Norman Osborn/Green Goblin spitting on Peter Parker's mercy, and another innocent close to him paying the life because, to turn a phrase, "he let the burglar go free".



    In that context, "A couple of straights" means innocents. In the '70s context, straights would be people who didn't drink, smoke, shoot drugs and so on and so forth, i.e., the kind of people who don't have it coming to them. The intent was to sell the tragedy of Gwen as this innocent being cut down in her prime.
    I hate the concept of Peter being held to blame for Gwen’s death. Norman Osborn is one of the nastiest villains in Marvel ( maybe not Carnage or Red Skull but bad enough), and I am not letting him off the hook. In fact, if you add Sins Past to the equation, you find out he is even worse. Peter’s mistake is being too decent of a human being when it comes to Osborn, but it is just that a mistake, and anyone is entitled to a mistake. Add to the fact that Peter has saved thousands of lives down throughout the years from the likes of Osborn and Otto, should give him a pass for Gwen.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop Dogg View Post
    Peter snapped her neck and Norman is her killer because he kidnapped her and threw her off a bridge, a premeditated decision that directly led to her death, the same way that other lady who's neck Peter broke committed suicide and it wasn't a murder or accident.
    What other lady?

  12. #12
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    What other lady?
    Charlie from Spider-Man Vs. Wolverine by Christopher Priest, Wolverine's ex-KGB lady friend who wanted him to kill her to keep the KGB and other intelligence agencies for torturing all she knew out of her and then killing her. Spider-Man wanted to find out what she had to do with Ned Leeds's murder and fought Wolverine when Wolverine was about to kill her, only for Charlie to deliberately provoke Spider-Man into hitting her with full force by taking advantage of his assumption that she was Wolverine coming for another attack, which killed her and traumatized him due to (even unwittingly) violating his own code against lethal force.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    As per Gerry Conway himself,




    The production process on The Night Gwen Stacy Died had Conway write the original script, and give the art to Gil Kane to draw, and then the writer, Conway, on seeeing the art added in sound-effects, and without thinking stuff through added in the "SNAP" sound-effect. In other words, the story as originally written was never intended for Gwen to die as a result of the snap. She was intended to be killed by the Green Goblin, and the only reason people think otherwise is a last second improvisation on the part of the writer.

    In-Universe, Green Goblin killed Gwen when he rammed her off the bridge and she died of a fall.

    The "snap" thing never made any amount of sense because before and after Gwen's death, Spider-Man webbed many people in-flight in that manner (including a baby) and none of them died.

    Gwen Snap Spidey 1.jpg

    Gwen Snap Spidey 3 - ASM #362.jpg

    Gwen Snap Spidey 4 - ASM Back in Black 2.jpg
    Oh wow! I had no idea this was the case. I always thought it was some small mistake and I just looked over it. Crazy how one word can change the whole spider-man character forever.....

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huntsman Spider View Post
    Charlie from Spider-Man Vs. Wolverine by Christopher Priest, Wolverine's ex-KGB lady friend who wanted him to kill her to keep the KGB and other intelligence agencies for torturing all she knew out of her and then killing her. Spider-Man wanted to find out what she had to do with Ned Leeds's murder and fought Wolverine when Wolverine was about to kill her, only for Charlie to deliberately provoke Spider-Man into hitting her with full force by taking advantage of his assumption that she was Wolverine coming for another attack, which killed her and traumatized him due to (even unwittingly) violating his own code against lethal force.
    Strangely enough, Ann Nocenti, in an interview with Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg at their YouTube Channel addressed this over the weekend. She said that as an editor and a writer, people would always try and slip stuff past the editor without them noticing it. She called it a "yellow bowtie".

    Nocenti was the editor on Spider-Man V. Wolverine #1, and she said that years later fans would accost her and ask her how she could let Spider-Man kill someone, and she said that she never did that. She said Spider-Man never kills and then the fan would show her the comic and she was surprised to have dropped the ball and for Christopher Priest (then Jim Owsley) to slip something past her. So if Nocenti had been more attentive, that sequence would have been edited and removed.

    In either case, that situation (which by the way has always been controversial and rarely referred to in continuity) has always been controversial and it has nothing in common with Gwen's death.

    Quote Originally Posted by scilover View Post
    Oh wow! I had no idea this was the case. I always thought it was some small mistake and I just looked over it. Crazy how one word can change the whole spider-man character forever.....
    Except it didn't.

    The Night Gwen Stacy Died did not in any way change Spider-Man's character and certainly not forever.

  15. #15
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    At the time when this story was written, there had been cultural discussions about suicide which led to this understanding that the brain shuts off at some point in a long fall. Thus the Goblin's statement "she was dead before she hit the ground." There is still debate about whether that is true or not, but at the time the story was out it was being actively discussed for some reason.

    Its a nice sentiment. I'd rather think that your brain just shuts down during a fall rather than thinking falling people's lives end with a progression of conscious sheer terror to an instant of extreme pain. The mind is a powerful thing. Most athletes would tell you that excelling at sports is a mental thing just as much as a physical thing. So the mind could suicide a person if it perceived that the situation was hopeless.

    But the only thing with Gwen is that she was already unconscious or dead at the time of the fall. Not reactive at all, just lying there with eyes closed. How does the "shock of a fall" kill someone who is unaware of what is even happening? So maybe that went through Conway's mind when he added the snap? Just to cover the bases?

    Personally I think she was either dead already on top of the bridge or the glider hitting her killed her or it was the snap. But it wasn't the fall.
    This would kinda suggest that parachuting or bungie jumping is fatal.

    So I'm glad to have the alternate explanation.
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