Captain George Stacy. Art by Salvador Larocca.
|First appearance||The Amazing Spider-Man #56 (Jan. 1968)|
|Created by||Stan Lee
John Romita, Sr.
|Supporting character of||Spider-Man|
George Stacy is a supporting character in Marvel Comics's Spider-Man series. He first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #56 (1968), and was created by Stan Lee, John Romita, Sr., and Don Heck. He is Gwen Stacy's father and he strongly approves of his daughter's relationship with Peter Parker (Spider-Man). He is also a strong supporter of Spider-Man, often defending him when others accuse him. During a fight between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus, he is crushed by falling debris while saving a child, in The Amazing Spider-Man #90 (Nov. 1970). As he dies, he reveals to Peter that he had known his identity for some time (something Peter had suspected anyway), and asks Peter to take care of Gwen.
Fictional character history
Little did Peter Parker know, after falling in love with Empire State University classmate Gwen Stacy, that her father was one of the most respected former police members in the NYPD, Captain George Stacy. But even in retirement, Captain Stacy kept up with the happenings at the department - and had taken a keen interest in Spider-Man. It wasn't long before John Jameson called Captain Stacy out of retirement to assist in the return of a device called the Nullifier - which could render any electrical or mechanical apparatus inoperative - that Doctor Octopus had tricked an amnesiac Spider-Man into stealing.
After safely securing the weapon, Captain Stacy interviewed Peter Parker, believed to have been held captive with Doctor Octopus and Spider-Man. After the interview, Captain Stacy revealed to Peter that he had spent time studying the career of Spider-Man, and that he was glad to have met Peter, known for photographing the wall-crawler on numerous occasions.[volume & issue needed]
Identifying himself as a strong supporter of Spider-Man, Captain Stacy wished to see the wall-crawler redeemed in the public eye. He also took an instant liking to Peter, and openly encouraged the growing bond between the youngster and his daughter, Gwen. Shortly thereafter at a dance club which employed Mary Jane Watson, Captain Stacy was put under a hypnotic trance through a rigged camera operated by Mary Jane who took photos of him unaware that her actions were aiding the Kingpin of Crime, Wilson Fisk. Stacy was compelled into a backroom where he underwent additional brainwashing by the camera's inventor, Dr. Winkler. Despite Spider-Man's efforts, George returned programmed to follow the Kingpin's directions. As such, Captain Stacy later stole police records for the Kingpin while Spider-Man's automatic camera captured the theft. Peter Parker gave the photos to J. Jonah Jameson, hopeful that this apparent betrayal of the Stacy family would actually help expedite a discovery of the captain's innocence. While George and Gwen attempted to flee, they were kidnapped by the Kingpin's men and held captive at one of Norman Osborn's labs where Dr. Winkler worked. The Kingpin intended to eliminate the Stacys once they were used to lure Spider-Man into his crushing hands. While Spider-Man battled the Kingpin, Osborn arrived and tackled the Kingpin's henchmen holding the Stacy's at gunpoint. Though the Kingpin fled, and Winkler was apparently killed, the Stacy's were rescued. Osborn's testimony to the police exonerated Captain Stacy.
Captain Stacy started to suspect the two were one. After a feverish Peter admitted to being Spider-Man before his friends including Captain Stacy, Parker asked the Prowler to imitate Spider-Man so Peter and the web-slinger could be seen together. Captain Stacy could not be fooled. Called into action one night, Captain Stacy watched Spider-Man battle Doctor Octopus on a rooftop high above the city. A crowd had gathered nearby to watch the confrontation. As the two fought fiercely, chunks of concrete began to dislodge from the roof and rain on the spectators below. Spotting a child standing under the falling masonry, Captain Stacy leapt to shield the boy - and paid for his act of heroism with his own life. Abandoning the assault, Spider-Man swung down in time to hear Captain Stacy's final words, "Be good to her, son! Be good to her. She loves you so very much."
In the timeline of the "House of M" storyline, George Stacy is a former police chief, and a personal friend of the rich and successful Peter Parker. This goes sour when Peter experiences a mental breakdown. Part of this manifests as diary filled with morbid imaginings; George Stacy reads an account of his Earth-616 death, along with the fate of his daughter.
In Spider-Man loves Mary Jane Gwen Stacy mentions George Stacy in Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #9 as being the reason she moves to Queens. In this version he is not a fan of Spider-man and views him as a vigilante getting in the way of real police work.
In Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, George Stacy is given a hint from Emma Frost in issue 53 by the arrival of his daughter Gwen, who is a new student of Midtown High. In issue 54, George makes his full debut as a slightly younger character with light brown hair. He recently discovered that Peter is Spider-Man when he accidentally yelled a quote that George knows. With his identity now known, George now calls him, requesting support on some of his cases. He later feels he shouldn't use Peter, but Peter allows George to call him if he needs help, which pleases George.
In Ultimate Spider-Man, the character is named John Stacy, and is younger than his mainstream counterpart, as he does not have white hair, but brown hair. He is also more athletic and carries his own gun. In this version he is not a fan of Spider-Man, but admires his vigilante work. He has trouble handling his teenage daughter, Gwen, and has a troubled marriage. He makes an appearance in issue 5, arriving at the warehouse where the killer of Ben Parker is hiding out when Spider-Man catches up to him. He then makes his full debut in issue 15, when he was investigating a house being attacked, which was the work of Doctor Octopus, and heard that his daughter caused trouble by bringing a knife to school. He has been contacted by Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich about his investigations. Stacy was also critical of Urich removing the Kingpin from control of New York as it led to a disorganized and chaotic scramble to gain the Kingpin's territory. His marital problems reach a conclusion when his wife abandons their family, leading Stacy to ask May Parker to watch over Gwen while he is away at a conference. During the "Public Scrutiny" story arc, he is killed by a bank robber posing as Spider-Man, as the criminal robs an armored truck and throws a bag with a bomb in it onto a nearby child. Stacy sacrifices his life to save the child. His death causes a grief-stricken Gwen to develop a deep hatred for Spider-Man, which continues even after the man who killed her father confesses his crimes. May Parker eventually invites Gwen to live with her and Peter, though her animosity towards Spider-Man eventually subsides, and comes to learn of his secret identity.
In other media
George Stacy appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man voiced by Clancy Brown. A police captain and father of Gwen Stacy, he often sees Spider-Man in action, or the results of his work, and thus truly believes him to be a hero, albeit one operating outside of the law. This version of George is based on both his mainstream counterpart and his Ultimate counterpart as he has both his admiration and respect for Spider-Man, like his mainstream counterpart, and is younger and athletic and good with firearms, like his Ultimate counterpart. When the Chameleon tried to frame Spider-Man by committing crimes while disguised as the webswinger in "Persona", Stacy defended him, pointing out that the robber Spider-Man was taller than the real Spider-Man. Stacy also warned Spider-Man that as long as he wore a mask, people would wonder. In "Group Therapy," Stacy was caught in a disbelief when he saw Spider-Man nearly beat Doctor Octopus to death under the influence of the alien symbiote. He later joins the Parkers with Gwen for Thanksgiving, thankful that his daughter was saved by Spider-Man. Captain Stacy is later forced by Doctor Octopus (posing as the Master Planner) to steal secret codes from Homeland Security when the villain kidnaps Gwen. Spider-Man saves his daughter, and later, Stacy joins Midtown High School as an instructor for a criminal justice class in order to get close to his daughter (or rather, to keep a closer eye on her). When both Venom and Chameleon impersonated Spider-Man, George Stacy was unconvinced either was the genuine article. And he was able to back up the second claim by noting the distinct differences between the black-suit Spider-Man and Venom. Venom attempts to out Spider-Man's secret identity, but Ned Lee 'proves' it can't be true. While everyone else agrees and moves on, Stacy has a private conversation with Peter about Spider-Man's need to keep his identity a secret. It is strongly hinted that he knows the truth and gives his approval in his own way. He often speaks in innuendo and encrypted dialogue to both Parker and Spider-Man that aids him in his endeavors, and provides covers and alibies to aid Peter in slipping away from school activities to do his superhero work.
George Stacy is portrayed by James Cromwell in Spider-Man 3. Stacy is still Gwen's father and is a Captain in the New York City Police Department. Like his mainstream counterpart, he too is an admirer of Spider-Man, shown when he acts with great relief after Spider-Man saves Gwen from falling from a building. Stacy later informs Peter and Aunt May that Flint Marko (Sandman) is the real killer of Uncle Ben instead of Dennis "Spike" Carradine. He tries to comfort the angry Peter, who leaves in a rage. Stacy and Gwen later attend Harry Osborn's funeral.
Captain Stacy appears in The Amazing Spider-Man played by Denis Leary. In the film Stacy's top priority is the arrest of Spider-Man, regarding him as a vigilante on a private mission ignorant of wider issues (Peter's 'career' at this point is focused on finding the man who killed his uncle rather than protecting the innocent). Once he discovers Spider-Man's identity and realizes that Spider-Man is on his side and can save his daughter, he changes his opinion. After being mortally wounded by the mutated Dr. Curt Connors while buying time for Peter to release the antidote, Captain Stacy makes him promise to stop seeing his daughter Gwen, in order to keep her safe from his dangerous double life, before he succumbs to his wounds. Peter initially agrees to the promise, but later decides against it, knowing that there are some promises that cannot be kept for good reasons.
- George Stacy is briefly mentioned in Spider-Man: Edge of Time.
- George Stacy is mentioned several times in The Amazing Spider-Man video game. It is shown that Connors himself seem to hold dear remorse for killing the Captain while being in his Lizard form, which caused Gwen to develop a sense of hatred and distrust towards him.
- Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2012). "1960s". Spider-Man Chronicle Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. Dorling Kindersley. p. 42. ISBN 978-0756692360. "In The Amazing Spider-Man #56 fans met retired police Captain George Stacy, father of Gwen."
- Manning "1970s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 55: "Captain George Stacy had always believed in Spider-Man and had given him the benefit of the doubt whenever possible. So in Spider-Man's world, there was a good chance that he would be destined to die."
- Amazing Spider-Man #56
- Amazing Spider-Man #59-61
- Amazing Spider-Man #87
- Amazing Spider-Man #90
- Spider-Man: House of M #1-3 (2005)
- Bendis, Brian Michael (w), Bagley, Mark (p). Ultimate Spider-Man #5 Marvel Comics.
- Ultimate Spider-Man #31
- Bendis, Brian Michael (w), Bagley, Mark (p). Ultimate Spider-Man #32 Marvel Comics.
- Vejvoda, Jim. "Amazing Spider-Man 2 Set Photos Reveal Surprise Returning Character". IGN. Retrieved 3 June 2013.