The Amazing Spider-Man #121-122 "The Death Of Gwen Stacy" Talkback (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Comic Book Culture' started by Stu, Feb 14, 2007.

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  1. Stu

    Stu Marvel Animation Age Webmaster

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    Since Marvel is reprinting this classic story this week, I thought everyone should chime in with thier thoughts on it!

    [​IMG]

    Written By: Gerry Conway
    Art: Gil Kane

    Spider-Man's career has often been shaped by tragedy, but rarely as much as in the story of the Stacys! Two of Spider-Man's greatest enemies, Doc Ock and the Green Goblin, made comic-book history by killing the wall-crawler's police-officer mentor, Captain Stacy, and his first true love, Gwen – events that affect the Marvel Universe to this day!

    Comments?
     
  2. Spider-Man

    Spider-Man Wallcrawler

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    I can't believe there was never a talkback already created for this! I picked up the trade collection for this story last year and it still blows me away! Solid art and great story-telling proves why this is one of the classic stories of the genre. I still get surprised by how the story unfolds to the bitter end. It's just handled with the utmost of care and in the classiest fashion possible. Never once did it feel like the death or what happened was tacked on in anyway. Not even the subsequent return of Green Goblin or the hideous Gwen Stacy clone (or whatever happened in that awful 'Sins Past' arc) can take away the sheer importance and strength of this book. Kudos to Conway and Kane!
     
  3. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!

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    You know what's the best scene in this entire comic for me? Right at the end, when Peter is totally shattered over Gwen's death (this page has a scan of the panels in question). MJ tries to comfort him and Peter totally lashes out at her. It's a great moment for him because it's so dramatically out of character. His dialogue is incredibly and uncharacteristically mean-spirited and spiteful, but it lets us know that he's hurting so badly that all he wants to do is share the wealth and damn the consequences. Most of us have been there at one time or another.

    But that's not the great thing about the scene. The great part is MJ's reaction. Peter's barb clearly worked -- she's deeply hurt by what he said. And she stays anyway.

    To me, that was when MJ changed from vapid eye candy to a real, viable character in her own right, and that is why MJ is awesome. It really annoys me when modern-day Spider-Man writers relegate her to second-class status behind Gwen. Whether the death of Gwen Stacy triggered a greater darkening of Marvel Comics or not, I still wouldn't undo it because of this scene alone.

    The sequence also demonstrates how great Gil Kane was at the craft. He nails the body language and the attitudes beautifully in that entire sequence.

    -- Ed
     
  4. Miyamoto Musashi

    Miyamoto Musashi Law Enforcer

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    Why do they call Gwen pete's 1st true love since he loved Betty sincerly enough to prepare him self to reveal his secret identity to her?
    I never liked Gwen. She died at least just because the goblin wanted to toture the web spinner, I wonde how did Mike Deodato jr. and Strachzinsky translated it later that it happened because of Gwen being pregnant with Osbourne's twin kids
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2007
  5. wonderfly

    wonderfly 30 Years since Vampire Hunter D!

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    It's simple: Betty, (for Peter) was a teenage infatuation. You do stupid things when you're a teenager in the name of so-called "love". Gwen was Peter's true first love, the first woman he truly bonded with...except for that whole bit about him keeping his secret identity from her, (and of course that bit about Gwen having kids with Norman Osborn and not telling Peter)...
     
  6. Miyamoto Musashi

    Miyamoto Musashi Law Enforcer

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    Before her death was there any story with Gwen going to France? I have a big amazing spider-man comic book collection and never seen one with her travelling out of her country to someplace other than London and to the Antarctica where Gog took her to make her the hunters queen of the hidden jungle. When did Gwen Stacy go to France?
     
  7. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!

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    When JMS said she did in "Sins Past." There is no foundation for the story other than past continuity that doesn't include an element where she says she DIDN'T do it. Then again, most comic book retcons are founded on "it doesn't say that DIDN'T/COULDN'T happen."

    Or maybe I'm letting my personal bias about how I thought "Sins Past" was a rotten idea that was badly executed show...;)

    -- Ed
     
  8. Miyamoto Musashi

    Miyamoto Musashi Law Enforcer

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    It all seems meaningless
     
  9. Stu

    Stu Marvel Animation Age Webmaster

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    Not to mention the fact that Gwen going to France is a sloppy continuity error - Gwen actually went to England (she has taste!) and from reading through those old issues, she was gone for a matter of days, weeks at the longest of stretches. She certainly wasn't gone long enough for Peter not to notice she was pregnant.

    Another horrible idea from JMS/Quesada which has only served to ruin Spider-Man. These two should never be allowed near him again.

    As for this story, it's still utterly brilliant all these years later. Spider-Man's finest battle with The Green Goblin and still the measuring stick to which all shock twists are measured.
     
  10. Miyamoto Musashi

    Miyamoto Musashi Law Enforcer

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    Most of the comics untill amazing 300 are brilliant. Now some good and some stink. But this story as I read it I finally understood how and why. When and where has the goblin killed her. Such issues reflect genius
     

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