|First appearance||The Amazing Spider-Man #31 (December 1965)|
|Created by||Stan Lee|
|Full name||Gwendolyn Maxine Stacy|
|Supporting character of||Spider-Man |
Gwendolyne Maxine "Gwen" Stacy is a fictional character who appears in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, usually as a supporting character in those featuring Spider-Man. A college student, she was a long-term romantic interest for Peter Parker before she was murdered by the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn). Spider-Man writers and fans often debate whether Peter's "one true love" is Gwen Stacy or Mary Jane Watson (Peter's later girlfriend and wife), though stories published long after her death indicate that Gwen still holds a special place in his heart.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Other versions
- 4 In other media
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2013)
Fictional character biography
In her initial appearances, Peter Parker met Gwen while both were studying as undergraduates at Empire State University, but with Aunt May in the hospital, Peter was troubled and ignored her advances. She dated both Flash Thompson and Harry Osborn to make Peter jealous. Gradually, however, a romance developed; Gwen, a science major, appreciated Peter's intellect. Their relationship began almost immediately after Peter stopped going out with Mary Jane Watson, whom he began to see as shallow and self-absorbed.[volume & issue needed]
Later issues introduced Gwen's father, NYPD Captain George Stacy. Though her father was both fond of Peter and supportive of his alter-ego Spider-Man, he ultimately strained Peter's relationship with Gwen after being killed by falling debris during a battle involving Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus. Gwen blamed Spider-Man for his death, and left for Europe to cope with her loss. She wanted Peter to ask her to marry him and convince her to stay, but his guilt stopped him from proposing.[volume & issue needed] Gwen's feelings for Peter eventually prompted her to return to New York, and their relationship was rekindled.
According to Lee, who scripted all of the stories featuring Gwen Stacy up to this point, the original intent was for Gwen Stacy to be Spider-Man's central love interest, "but no matter how we [i.e. Lee and his artist/co-plotter collaborators] wrote it, Mary Jane always seemed more interesting!"
Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas succeeded Stan Lee as writer and editor, respectively, of The Amazing Spider-Man. Together with inker John Romita, Sr., they came to the decision to have Gwen Stacy killed off. It was Romita who first suggested the idea, during a plotting session with Conway when Romita was still penciller on The Amazing Spider-Man. Conway later said his contribution to the decision was motivated by a desire to bring Mary Jane Watson to the forefront, as he shared Lee's feeling that she was a more interesting character than Gwen Stacy: "[Mary Jane] hadn't lost the edge that made her an interesting character. Gwen didn't have an edge. She was just a nice person."
The Green Goblin kidnaps Gwen Stacy and throws her off the George Washington Bridge in The Amazing Spider-Man #121 (June 1973). Both the decision to kill Gwen and the method in which Marvel implemented it remain controversial among fans because some believe that Peter himself was the one who caused her death. The death became a pivotal point in both Spider-Man’s history and in American comic books in general. Many point to Gwen's death as the end of the Silver Age of Comics. Before her death, except possibly as part of an origin story, superheroes did not fail so catastrophically, nor did the hero's loved ones die so suddenly and without warning.
In his book The Physics of Superheroes, physicist James Kakalios writes that, consistent with Newton's laws of motion, the sudden stop would have killed Gwen Stacy. The comic book Civil War: Casualties of War: Captain America/Iron Man (2007) concurred that the proximate cause of death was the sudden stop during a high-speed fall. An issue of Peter Parker/Spider-Man revisits the issue, and further confirms Gwen died of a broken neck due to the use of the webbing.[volume & issue needed] On the other hand, in the 1987 edition of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Gwen’s death is attributed to the fall, not to Spider-Man’s webbing.
Within the Marvel Comics, Gwen Stacy's death has enormous repercussions. Mary Jane Watson feels the loss of Gwen deeply and becomes a more mature, compassionate person. Gwen's death also draws Peter and Mary Jane into a closer friendship, and eventually to romance.[volume & issue needed] Miles Warren, one of Gwen's professors, was secretly in love with her. Following her death, Warren goes insane and adopts the persona of the Jackal. In the fourth and final issue of the miniseries Marvels (April 1994), photographer Phil Sheldon befriends Gwen Stacy, who has absolved Spider-Man of any blame for her father's death. Gwen's simple faith in heroes convinces Sheldon of the purpose of the "Marvels" (i.e., superheroes)—to protect innocents such as Gwen. He resolves to write a book to praise the heroes and what they should mean to humanity. When the Green Goblin kidnaps Gwen and holds her hostage to bait Spider-Man, Sheldon frantically follows the resulting chase in a taxi and witnesses her death. While it is reported that she died from the shock of the fall, Sheldon thinks it looks like something else. Sheldon's faith in the Marvels is shattered.
Following the publication of The Amazing Spider-Man #121, Stan Lee (who had since become Marvel's publisher) was frequently criticized by fans during his public appearances for killing off Gwen Stacy. Lee, who had also found the character's death objectionable, insisted that Conway write a story bringing her back. Conway strongly objected since he felt any sort of resurrection would break the plausibility of the stories, but ultimately gave in under the condition that after reviving Gwen, he could write her out of the book as soon as he wanted. He decided that cloning would be the best means to bring the character back.
In the resulting story, set approximately two years after Gwen Stacy's death, "Gwen" reappears, perfectly healthy but with no memory of the time since her death. This story, published in Amazing Spider-Man #144 (May 1975), initiated the original Clone Saga. At the end of that story, Gwen's clone, a creation of Spider-Man villain the Jackal, leaves to find a new life for herself, coming to accept that she is not really the same person who had a relationship with Peter Parker.
In the 1988 crossover "The Evolutionary War", the High Evolutionary, who had once been Miles Warren's teacher, captures Gwen's clone. He is dismayed to learn that Miles Warren has perfected the art of cloning and thus lies to the New Men that it was nothing more than a genetic construct created by a virus that he injected into his apprentice, Joyce Delaney.[volume & issue needed]
During the second "Clone Saga", Gwen Stacy's clone, now married to a clone of Professor Warren named Warren Miles, sees a copy of Peter Parker's book of Spider-Man photos, Webs, and remembers (to an extent) her real history. She returns to New York City. During this storyline, she again disappears from Spider-Man's life. It was revealed the Gwen Stacy clone introduced in Amazing Spider-Man #144 was in fact the second Gwen clone Miles Warren created and has been living in London under the name Joyce Delaney. This clone is murdered by the Gwen Stacy clone known as Abby-L.
Another Gwen clone appears in The Amazing Spider-Man #399 (March 1995). This clone believes she is the real Gwen.[volume & issue needed] She dies from clone degeneration in Spider-Man #56 (March 1995), the next issue of the story arc.[volume & issue needed]
A further Gwen clone appears in the "Sibling Rivalry" crossover storyline between Superior Spider-Man Team-Up and Scarlet Spider. She joins the Jackal (alongside Carrion and a regular Miles Warren clone) in capturing Superior Spider-Man and Kaine. She is sympathetic towards "Peter" and Kaine, but at the same time utterly loyal to the Jackal. When the Spiders break free, Superior Spider-Man disarms and attempts to kill her, but is stopped by Kaine. When the Jackal's lab is engulfed in flames, Kaine offers to save her, but she refuses, and is seemingly consumed by the fire.
The story arc "Sins Past" by J. Michael Straczynski in The Amazing Spider-Man #509–514 (August 2004–January 2005) reveals Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin's alter ego, fathered twins, a boy and a girl, with Gwen Stacy, to whom she gave birth while in France shortly before her death. She vowed she would raise them with Peter (despite the fact that he was not aware of Gwen's infidelity) and refused to allow Norman access to them. Seeing her as a threat to his potential heirs, the Green Goblin killed Gwen. Norman Osborn then raised Gwen's two children, a boy and a girl named Gabriel and Sarah.[volume & issue needed]
Straczynski later stated he originally wanted to make Peter Parker the father of Gwen's kids but the editors vetoed the idea. They felt it would age Peter Parker too much if he had two adult children. The whole creative and editorial team then decided Norman Osborn would be the father. In an e-mail to the comic book website Newsarama, Straczynski claimed he regretted the version of "Sins Past" that went to press, and he had hoped to "retcon" it out of continuity during the events of the then-recent "One More Day" storyline: "I wanted to retcon the Gwen twins out of continuity, which was something I always assumed I could do at the end of my run. I wasn't allowed to do this, and yes, it pissed me off." In the original plans for "One More Day", the story would have ended with Gwen Stacy being resurrected by Mephisto's reality-warping spell along with Harry Osborn, but it was eventually decided to let her remain dead. Her son, Gabriel, has reappeared in subsequent stories.
Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy
In the Clone Conspiracy storyline, a flashback revealed that Gwen Stacy was conscious during Spider-Man and Green Goblin's battle on the bridge, and as she was falling to her death. She overheard their conversation and discovered Peter is Spider-Man. She was angry at Peter for keeping this secret and for his involvement in her father's death.
In the present, Gwen is supposedly revived by the Jackal with his clones. The Jackal claims that this one is not a clone but the real Gwen who was harvested from her remains and still has all her memories, including those of her death. The Jackal offers Gwen the opportunity to be his business partner as he tries to change the world with his new technology. Gwen is hesitant about this new life at first but accepts it when the Jackal shows that he has reanimated the clone of her father, who is much better than he was before he died. When Spider-Man arrives at the incorporation and discovers the Jackal's experiments, he is surprised by Gwen's presence and notes that unlike the other people the Jackal revived, who were all clones, Gwen does not trigger his spider-sense, making him wonder if she was the real one. He is attacked by the "reborn" Doctor Octopus before he can question the issue further.
After the Jackal breaks up the fight and shows Spider-Man around the New U, George Stacy clone recognizes something off about Gwen's face and points his gun at her. It was revealed that the Gwen clone was actually her Earth-65 counterpart Spider-Woman who assists Spider-Man in escaping. The real Gwen is kidnapped by Kaine and taken to Parker Industries to be studied. Kaine reveals that he and Spider-Woman came to this Earth to assist Spider-Man because they saw that Spider-Man allying with the Jackal's offer on other worlds results in a global disaster. Rhino and Electro are sent to retrieve Gwen after attacking the staff, but Gwen tells them to take Kaine with him too because the condition could help with Jackal's experiments. Anna Maria Marconi also volunteers to come with because she has studied both Kaine and the drug.
When Spider-Man is taken to Haven, he catches up with Gwen in the household in the facility, where she tries to convince him to support New U Technologies. Peter still has a hard time believing she is the real Gwen given his other experiences with clones. Gwen tries justifying her existence by telling Peter her memories, including how she overheard the Green Goblin talking to Spider-Man before her death. Peter thinks she died hating him, but Gwen said that she did not hate him, but rather died feeling betrayed. Peter again still has doubts towards Gwen not being a clone. She tries kissing him, to no avail which only pushes him to put the mask back on. Gwen witnesses Jackal order the villains clone to kill Spider-Man and wants to help.
Doctor Octopus pulls a switch that activates the Carrion Virus in all of the revived, including Gwen and George, and causes them to start rapidly decaying. After Gwen's father deteriorates in her arms, she assists Spider-Man by helping him get to the lab. When the villains clone get to the lab doors, Gwen locks Spider-Man inside the lab and sacrifices herself towards the villains to give him more time. Following the Carrion Virus being thwarted, Spider-Man and Anna check the building and see that Gwen has been reduced to dust.
"Age of Apocalypse"
In the two-issue mini-series X-Universe, which details what happened to the rest of the Marvel Universe during the "Age of Apocalypse" storyline, the Green Goblin never killed Gwen Stacy. Instead she became the bodyguard of Donald Blake, who, in this reality, had never become the Mighty Thor. Sometime later in the mainstream universe in X-Man #37, the Age of Apocalypse version of Gwen is pulled from her reality to the mainstream Earth's George Washington Bridge, much to Spider-Man's shock.[volume & issue needed]
Due to the popularity of Spider-Gwen, in June 2015 Marvel published variant covers for 20 of their current series, which saw Gwen Stacy re-imagined as other Marvel characters, such as Doctor Strange, Groot and Wolverine. One of those variants, for "Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars #2", featured an amalgam of Gwen Stacy and Deadpool dubbed "Gwenpool", which turned out to be especially popular with the fans. As the result, Marvel produced two stories featuring Gwenpool as a character, a backup story in the series "Howard the Duck", and a one-shot "Gwenpool Holiday Special #1". A retcon in the Howard the Duck #1 backup it was revealed her name is actually "Gwen Poole", not Gwen Stacy, or even an alternate version of Gwen Stacy. Following the publication of the one-shot, an ongoing series titled The Unbelievable Gwenpool by the same creative team was announced, starting in April 2016.
"House of M"
In the reality seen in the "House of M" storyline, in which the Scarlet Witch alters reality to make mutants the ruling class over humans, Gwen was never killed. Instead, she married Peter Parker, and the couple had a young son. She had become a scientist, a savvy businesswoman, and a peace activist – and had a decidedly hostile relationship with chemical weapon developer Norman Osborn. Mary Jane Watson, a popular actress in this reality, played Gwen Stacy in the film adaptation of Spider-Man's life story. Gwen and her father read textual accounts of their deaths in the main universe, though they believe this simply to be the morbid imaginings of Peter Parker, who is suffering from mental health issues.
Gwen Stacy first appeared in Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #53 as a new student of Midtown High. She had transferred from her previous school after the Torino Gang, a powerful New York mob, began harassing her in an attempt to keep her father, police captain George Stacy, from arresting members of their gang. However, the Torinos continued to harass Gwen at Midtown, prompting Spider-Man to help the police take down the gang. Like her father, Gwen believes Spider-Man is a hero. She subsequently began participating in a "Spider-Man Appreciation Society" designed to foster better public opinion of Spider-Man. Gwen is also attracted to Spider-Man's alter ego Peter Parker; although she openly flirted with him, Peter began dating a different girl, Sophia "Chat" Sanduval, which made Gwen very unhappy. Later, Gwen was brainwashed by Emma Frost into believing she was dating Peter. Gwen's brainwashing wore off (or was undone by Emma), but Gwen now believes her relationship with Peter ended when he chose Chat over her, causing her to treat Chat very coldly. She has since warmed to Chat, however. Recently, Gwen began a close friendship with Carter Torino who is the grandson of the head of the Torino Gang. Their relationship is complicated by the fact Gwen's father is still trying to take down Carter's criminal family.
Marvel Zombies Return
In the limited series, Marvel Zombies Return, Gwen of 'Earth Z' is still a college student out with her friends Mary Jane and Harry Osborn. The zombified Spider-Man travels to this earth and, despite his best intentions, turns the Sinister Six. They then slay and partly consume Gwen and her friends. To stop the spread of the virus, Spider-Man obliterates the bodies.
In the Powerless mini-series, Gwen Stacy again appears as the girlfriend of Peter Parker. Norman Osborn again kidnaps and attempts to kill her as a part of a plan to intimidate Peter. In a twist, the powerless Peter (with a limb crippled from a spider bite) manages to save Gwen from falling to her death.[volume & issue needed]
In the alternate reality designated Earth-65, Gwen Stacy is the one bitten by the radioactive spider, and becomes a superhero going by the name of Spider-Woman. She is also a member of a band fronted by Mary Jane Watson, simply called the Mary Janes. Shortly after Gwen begins fighting crime, Peter Parker attempts to exact revenge on those who bullied him, becoming this universe's version of the Lizard. Gwen subdues him, but Peter dies towards the end of the battle due to the chemical he used. Spider-Woman is blamed for his death, causing an outcry for her arrest, led by J. Jonah Jameson. Her father, who is also a police chief in this world, begins a hunt for her. This follows Gwen into college, where she is still a member of the Mary Janes. At a gig of theirs, an assassin is sent after Gwen's father, who is in the audience. Gwen defeats the assassin, the audience and band clearing out during the battle. While they are alone, Captain Stacy holds Spider-Woman at gun point, with Gwen taking off her mask to reveal who she is. Shocked upon learning Spider-Woman's identity, he tells her to run before he changes his mind. In the distance, the Captain Britain from Earth-833, called Spider-UK, is watching, saying that Gwen will "do quite nicely."
Gwen is recruited by Spider-UK to team up with other Spider-Totems across the multiverse, and next appears on Earth-616 with Old Man Spider-Man of Earth-4 and Spider-Man of Earth-70105 (who in that reality is Bruce Banner) to rescue Kaine, who was under attack by the Inheritors. Marvel-616 Peter is hesitant to put Gwen in action and she is told by the others of how he failed to save her in his world. However he does recruit her for a mission and they both agree to look out for each other. Gwen is sent to recruit an alternate version of Peter Parker who is driven insane after he failed to save the Gwen Stacy in his dimension, killed the Green Goblin, and became the Hobgoblin. She tells him that he can become the man he once was if he joins them, but they are attacked by the Inheritors. Hobgoblin sacrifices himself to save Gwen.
After the events of Spider-Verse, Gwen returns to her home of Earth-65 where she continues her career as Spider-Woman in her own solo series, Spider-Gwen. She first saves George Stacy from mercenary Aleksei Sytsevich who was sent by Wilson Fisk and his lawyer Matt Murdock to target him. Then she begins a hunt for the Vulture who has been terrorizing the city in her absence.
She appears as one of the main characters in the Secret Wars Spider-Verse event with Spider-Ham, Spider-Girl, Spider-UK, Spider-Man Noir, and Spider-Man India in a Battleworld called Archania ruled by Norman Osborn. They eventually form a team called the Web Warriors where they help other Spider-Men and Women in various dimensions. A child version of her also appears in Giant Size Little Marvel Avengers vs X-Men as a new kid that Tony Stark tries to ask out on a date. She rejects him because he's a kid with a goatee and mustache. Another version of her is a member of Arcadia's's A-Force. On Earth-8, she is married to Miles Morales and they have two children with Spider Powers.
Spider-Man: Fairy Tales
Issue #1 of Spider-Man: Fairy Tales follows the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood, reimagined with Mary Jane Watson as the titular character. Gwen Stacy has been previously killed by the wolf. Issue #4 is an adaption of Cinderella with Gwen as Princess Gwendolyn. She falls in love with the masked "Prince of Arachne," who is revealed to be Peter Parker, servant to Sir Osborn, but is killed during a fight between Osborn and Parker.[volume & issue needed]
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane
Gwen Stacy first appears at the end of Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #5. She is the new girl at school and quickly becomes close friends with Peter Parker. In Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #9, Peter and Gwen take their relationship to the next level by sharing a tender kiss, much to the dismay of Mary Jane. They date for a time, though Gwen breaks up with Peter when she learns Mary Jane is the girl he truly loves. MJ, attempting to fix this, breaks up with Peter and reunites with Harry. Peter cannot commit to Gwen. She is unwilling to accept him as a friend and not a boyfriend.[volume & issue needed]
In the fourth issue of the comic book based on the Spider-Man Unlimited animated series, Spidey encounters a Counter-Earth version of Gwen Stacy. She helps him escape a hidden paradise known as "The Haven".
In the Ultimate Marvel continuity, Gwen Stacy first appears in Ultimate Spider-Man #14 (December 2001) as a teenage girl at Peter's high school. In this continuity, Gwen, whose rendition by artist Mark Bagley was inspired by an early-career Madonna, has amber eyes, wears punk-style clothing, and harbors a rebellious personality. In her first appearance she gives a rousing speech on 'super powers'; in the next issue she pulls a knife on Kong, a classmate who was bullying Peter. She is suspended from school temporarily. Gwen becomes friends with Peter, which leads Mary Jane Watson to believe Gwen is vying for his affections.[volume & issue needed]
Gwen is later taken in by Aunt May after her father, police captain John Stacy, is killed by a burglar wearing a Spider-Man costume. Her estranged mother does not want to take her in. Her living in the Parker house creates more tension between Peter and Mary Jane, and leads to their temporary break-up. Peter's relationship with Gwen is further complicated by her hatred of Spider-Man, whom she blames for her father's death. When Peter finds his friend Eddie Brock, Gwen confides in him about her feelings of isolation. Eddie then tries to kiss her. Gwen is shocked.[volume & issue needed] When she eventually learns Peter is Spider-Man, the angry Gwen pulls her father's gun on him. He manages to convince her he is not to blame for her father's death. Gwen runs off but returns, explaining she is just really mad at everything at the moment. She wouldn't have really shot him, a fact Peter already knew because his spider sense didn't go off despite Gwen's wrath. Gwen then agrees to keep his secret.[volume & issue needed]
Gwen Stacy dies in Ultimate Spider-Man #62. Before her death, she made peace with Mary Jane and assured her she never had romantic feelings for Peter. She considered him just as a friend. She is killed by Carnage, a vampiric monster made by the splicing of genetic material from Peter Parker, his father, and Dr. Curt Connors. Although Peter is not in the area when she dies, he still feels some responsibility for her death, as he allowed Dr. Connors to use his genetic material for experimentation. His guilt makes him decide to retire as Spider-Man for a while. Eventually, he takes up his hero identity when his responsibility for the innocent becomes too great to overlook.[volume & issue needed] At the end of the arc, there was an issue that dealt with Gwen's death. Flash Thompson makes an off-color remark about Gwen's passing. It infuriates MJ to the point where she physically attacks Flash. It is revealed Flash had a crush on Gwen all along.[volume & issue needed]
A girl seeming to be Gwen Stacy appears in Ultimate Spider-Man #98. Says Ultimate artist Mark Bagley, "Gwen’s return is integral to the Clone storyline and is basically a way to rock Peter's world...again."[dead link] In this issue "Gwen" appears to have no memory of her "death" and believes she was in a hospital, from which she has escaped. In issue #100, after a raft of revelations, the stress of the situation enrages "Gwen". She transforms into what appears to be Carnage before leaping out the window.[volume & issue needed] In the next issue, "Richard Parker" claims "Gwen" should not have met Peter at all, and was merely an experiment in stem cell research. This Gwen/Carnage fights with the Fantastic Four, Nick Fury, and the Spider-Slayer drones, until she is knocked unconscious by a beam of light, and taken into custody. In issue #113, Norman Osborn as the Green Goblin causes a massive prison break from the Triskelion. An inmate appearing to be 'Gwen' walks out amidst the chaos, disappearing in the shadows. It has been revealed the creature posing as Gwen Stacy is still the original Ultimate Carnage Spider-Man faced earlier in its run. After "devouring" Gwen, this incarnation of Carnage has gone on to mimic her "essence" and now believes itself to be Gwen Stacy.[dead link]
During the "War of the Symbiotes" storyline, Gwen/Carnage's back story in the Triskelion is revealed. It is shown Gwen has been taking some form of therapy with Tony Stark. However, when the Green Goblin broke out of the Triskelion, Gwen escaped and went to Peter Parker's house in a confused and terrified state, with Carnage's face on her body. During an exchange between Peter and Gwen, Eddie Brock attempts to attack Aunt May and retake his symbiote. In a rage, Spider-Man engages Venom on a nearby rooftop. During the fight, Gwen is shown to be able to use her symbiote to fight off Eddie but Eddie reabsorbs his symbiote along with the Carnage symbiote rendering Gwen Stacy an average girl. After SHIELD intervenes, SHIELD Director Danvers states Gwen will remain in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. Peter and May argue for her to come back to live with them, with Tony Stark supporting the Parkers. In Ultimate Spider-Man #129, the Parkers are now helping to rebuild Gwen's life. Her ghastly experience with the Carnage symbiote also causes her to develop a death anxiety she gradually controls. Six months after the "Ultimatum" storyline, in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1, Gwen is living with the Parkers again and seems to be dating Peter. However, circumstances involving the Chameleon made Gwen realize she made a mistake dating Peter. She breaks up with him, but still lives with the Parkers due to Gwen and Aunt May has become close in a surrogate mother-daughter fashion.
After Peter's death, Gwen and May re-located in France, but returned to New York after hearing about the re-emergence of a new Spider-Man. Afterwards, they meet the Peter Parker of the Earth-616 continuity after he was accidentally and briefly sent to the Ultimate universe, with Gwen being intrigued to learn about her counterpart (although she is not informed that her other self dead, Gwen also "neglecting" to tell Peter that she had died and revived), as she also attempts to tell Mary Jane about the other Peter's arrival in their world. When Green Goblin escapes custody after S.H.I.E.L.D. was shut down, he arrives at the front yard of Aunt May's house and confronts the new Spider-Man. Gwen and Aunt May are inside watching the television where the battle of the new Spider-Man and Green Goblin was being broadcast. Soon, Spider-Man emerges to aid the new Spider-Man in the fight, to the surprise of Gwen and Aunt May. Green Goblin flees at his arrival and the two Spider-Men depart. Gwen is unsure of the identity of the original Spider-Man, however, Aunt May assures her that his motives show that it him. Later, Gwen and Aunt May walk over to Mary Jane's house and overhear Peter's unknown resurrection. Gwen sprints over and joyfully reunites with him. After the two Spider-Men defeat Green Goblin, Peter tells Gwen that he intends to go on a quest to find out the truth of his mystery resurrection.
Early in the series, Ultimate Spider-Man #25 (October 2002) paid homage to Gwen Stacy's death in the Earth-616 continuity, although Gwen herself was not involved. The Green Goblin tossed Mary Jane off the Queensboro Bridge. Spider-Man caught her leg with his webbing, just as with Gwen. The issue ended with a cliffhanger: when Spider-Man pulled Mary Jane up, she appeared to be either unconscious or dead. The cliffhanger was resolved in the next issue when Mary Jane awoke in #26, uninjured.[volume & issue needed]
- In "What if Gwen Stacy had lived?", Peter saves Gwen by jumping after her rather than catching her with a web-line. In doing this, he cushions her from the impact as they hit the water and subsequently gives her CPR. After regaining consciousness, Gwen sees him without his mask. After explaining himself to her, Peter proposes to Gwen, and she accepts. Meanwhile, the Green Goblin mails to J. Jonah Jameson proof of Spider-Man's real identity. On the day of Peter's wedding to Gwen, Jonah has published the expose and uses it to acquire a warrant for Peter's arrest. Peter escapes from the police moments after his wedding to Gwen, but the issue ends with Peter on the run from the law and pondering his uncertain future. As the issue ends, Gwen departs with Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, who promises Gwen they will do whatever they can to help Peter and quits the Bugle.
- In "What If Spider-Man Had Kept His Six Arms?", Spider-Man (whose six-arms mutation was permanent here) is able to prevent Gwen Stacy's death.
- At the very end of Peter David's one-shot "What If: The Other," Peter Parker (now calling himself "Poison") uses part of the Venom symbiote attached to him in the resurrection of Gwen Stacy. She takes the appearance of Carnage.
- In "What if Peter Parker became the Punisher?", Peter (who is the Punisher in this continuity) is able to save Gwen by killing the Green Goblin and webbing her body to a suspended scaffold on the bridge. Feeling guilty over almost getting her killed, he quits being the Punisher to be with her.
In other media
- Gwen Stacy was deliberately excluded from the 1990s Spider-Man animated series as the creators felt they could neither allow her to live nor deliberately include a character who was going to die. An alternate version of the character did appear in the series finale, voiced by Mary Kay Bergman. The fiancée of Spider-Man's high-tech armored counterpart in this parallel universe, the primary version of Spider-Man meets Gwen for the first time. Gwen plays a role in help defeating Spider-Carnage.
- Gwen Stacy appears as a central character in The Spectacular Spider-Man, voiced by Lacey Chabert. Depicted as a teenager, this version is friends with Peter Parker and Harry Osborn and is the daughter of George Stacy. She has hidden romantic feelings for Peter, being hurt several times when he expressed interest in other girls. Throughout season one, she becomes concerned when Harry become addicted to Gobulin Green. At the end of season one, she kisses Peter, leaving them in an awkward standing in season two. Despite their feeling for each other, Peter begins dating Liz Allan and she dates Harry. In the series finale, "Final Curtain", she and Peter acknowledge how they feel about each other, and agree to break up with Harry and Liz. However, after Norman Osborn's apparent death, Gwen stays in a relationship with Harry because she would be the only one to care for him.
- A variation of Spider-Gwen, native to Miles Morales' dimension, shows up in the final part of Return to the Spider-verse in Ultimate Spider-Man vs. the Sinister Six, voiced by Dove Cameron. This version doesn't have Spider powers and instead relies on tech stolen from her father's robot program to become Spider-Woman with the help of her world's Aunt May after Miles was transported to the alternate dimension early in the season. She is a big help in the final battle against Peter Parker's villainous counterpart Wolf-Spider. Gwen also stated she was a friend of her dimension's Peter Parker before his death.
- Gwen Stacy as Spider-Gwen appears in the 2017 series Spider-Man, voiced by Laura Bailey. This version is one of Peter's classmates at Horizon High and specializes in DNA formulas. She was inspired to pursue science by her uncle, Raymond Warren, later revealed to be the villainous Jackal. In the "Spider Island" event, she becomes Spider-Gwen after being exposed to the Jackal's chemicals and assists Spider-Man as a hero, but is later mutated into a giant spider as the experiment starts affecting the rest of New York (similar to Carlie Cooper's role in the original story). She is later cured in the climax of the story.
Sam Raimi series
- A student in Peter Parker's university class in Spider-Man 2, portrayed by Brianna Brown, is identified as Gwen Stacy in the film's novelization.
- Gwen Stacy is portrayed by Bryce Dallas Howard in Spider-Man 3. She is a potential new love interest for Peter Parker, serving as an unintended rival to Mary Jane Watson. Gwen is a classmate and lab partner of Peter Parker and Spider-Man rescues her early in the film from a construction crane accident. She kisses an upside-down Spider-Man in similar fashion to how Mary Jane did in Spider-Man which causes Mary Jane to become angry and hurt. As Peter is at the top of Dr. Connors's quantum mechanics class, he tutors her. She considers Peter a genius and is very fond of him. She is also friends with Eddie Brock as he took pictures of her so Gwen could be a model. Brock's relationship is short-lived, as Peter, under the influence of the symbiote, steals her from Eddie. He dances with her at the same jazz club where Mary Jane works, but Gwen realizes Peter is doing this to make Mary Jane jealous. Gwen, upset about this, approaches Mary Jane, apologizes, and storms out of the club, leaving Peter behind. She is later present at Harry Osborn's funeral.
- Bryce Dallas Howard said she would love to be a part of any continuation of the film franchise, while acknowledging her character's opportunity may have passed, especially after Spider-Man 3 ended with Peter and Mary Jane once again in each other’s arms. In May 2007, actor James Cromwell, who played Captain Stacy in the film stated he thought the natural progression for the character would be for both to die early in Spider-Man 4, mirroring the comics. Howard said a death would not have bothered her. The film was ultimately unmade, although Stacy was in the draft.
Marc Webb series
- Emma Stone portrays Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man as Peter Parker's love interest. She works as an assistant at Dr. Curt Connors's laboratory at Oscorp, where Peter is bitten by a genetically-engineered spider. She subsequently develops a crush on him, and he soon reveals his secret identity as Spider-Man to her. Gwen plays an important role in the Lizard's defeat, by helping Peter develop an antidote for the serum that mutates people into reptilian hybrids through cross-species genetics, using her own scientific background. Her father is killed by the Lizard before Peter can defeat the villain. George begs Peter to keep Gwen out of his dangerous life. Peter honors that vow without telling Gwen immediately; this affronts Gwen until she realizes what her father did, and subsequently forgives Peter. However, when Peter later wonders if he should keep that promise, she just smiles.
- Emma Stone reprises her role as Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Gwen continues to work at Oscorp, which is owned by Harry Osborn, Peter's best friend. By now, Peter and Gwen have decided to keep their relationship platonic, but Peter's romantic feelings for her are rekindled when she tells him that she is going to England to study medicine at Somerville College, Oxford University. When Oscorp employee Max Dillon suffers an industrial accident and becomes the villain Electro, Gwen starts asking questions; Donald Menken, a high ranking and mutinous Oscorp board member, decides that she is a threat, fires her and targets her for elimination. When Electro attacks the city's electricity supply, Gwen and Spider-Man work together to stop him. Just then, the Green Goblin kidnaps Gwen and holds her hostage atop of the power plant's clock tower, intent on drawing Spider-Man out. The Green Goblin throws Gwen through the tower's glass rooftop, but Spider-Man saves her by shooting a web for her to grab onto. The web eventually breaks, however, and Gwen falls to the ground far below. Spider-Man catches her with another web an instant too late, as her head hits the concrete floor, killing her instantly. Gwen's death sends Peter into a deep depression, and he decides to give up being Spider-Man. Five months later, he watches a video of Gwen's graduation speech, in which she tells her class that hope is what makes life worth living, even in the darkest of times. Inspired, Peter decides to once again become Spider-Man. As viral marketing for the film, a Tumblr page was created for the character.
- In both films, Kari Coleman, Charlie DePew, Skyler Gisondo and Jacob Rodier portray the Stacy family: Helen Stacy (Gwen's mom), Philip Stacy, Howard Stacy, and Simon Stacy (Gwen's younger brothers) respectively.
- Although she does not appear directly, Gwen's death plays an important role in Revenge of the Sinister Six by Adam-Troy Castro, the second part of his Sinister Six trilogy, when Mysterio (posing as Electro) takes hostages on the same bridge where Gwen died, using a holographic projection of Gwen's death stuck on a loop to put Spider-Man at a psychological disadvantage. After Spider-Man drives Mysterio away, he takes a moment beside the hologram projector to mourn Gwen's death, musing that he has recognized with hindsight that their relationship wouldn't have worked out as Gwen wanted a peaceful life where Peter seeks out crusades, but he still wishes that Gwen had been allowed to live a long and happy life.
- Gwen Stacy is briefly mentioned in Spider-Man: Edge of Time. When a futuristic version of Peter Parker reveals his plans to Spider-Man 2099, he mentions he can save the lives of Uncle Ben, Gwen Stacy, George Stacy and countless others.
- Gwen Stacy appears in The Amazing Spider-Man voiced by Kari Wahlgren.
- Gwen Stacy makes her debut as a playable character in the Lego game Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced again by Kari Wahlgren.
- Gwen Stacy is playable once again in Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2, but this time she can switch to her Spider-Gwen persona.
- Gwen Stacy's full first name was given in Amazing Spider-Man #62 as "Gwendolyn" and in #90 as "Gwendolyne." Both issues were written by Stan Lee.
- Gwen Stacy states her full name as "Gwen Maxine Stacy" in Ultimate Spider-Man #127.
- Manning, Matthew K.; Cowsill, Alan (2012). "1960s". Spider-Man Chronicle Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. London, England: Dorling Kindersley. p. 31. ISBN 978-0756692360.
This monumental issue saw the first appearances of Peter's upcoming love interest Gwen Stacy, prospective best friend, Harry Osborn, and even the future super villain known as the Jackal.
- Sanderson, Peter (2007). The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City. New York City: Pocket Books. pp. 30–33. ISBN 1-4165-3141-6.
- Amazing Spider-Man #90
- 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 #98
- Fisch, Sholly (September 1987). "The Wedding of the Year". Marvel Age (54). Marvel Comics. pp. 12–15.
- Thomas, Roy (August 2011). "Stan Lee's Amazing Marvel Interview!". Alter Ego. TwoMorrows Publishing (104): 30.
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- Conway, Gerry (June 1995). "Foreword". Spider-Man: Clone Genesis. Marvel Comics. pp. 4–5. ISBN 0-7851-0158-6.
- Veronese, Keith (October 2010). "Spider-Man: The Beginnings of the Clone Saga". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (44): 69.
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- Blumberg, Arnold T. (Fall 2003). "'The Night Gwen Stacy Died:' The End of Innocence and the Birth of the Bronze Age". Reconstruction. 3 (4). Archived from the original on 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
- Sanderson, Peter; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1970s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. Dorling Kindersley. p. 159. ISBN 978-0756641238.
In June , Marvel embarked on a story that would have far-reaching effects. The Amazing Spider-Man artist John Romita, Sr. suggested killing off Spider-Man's beloved Gwen Stacy in order to shake up the book's status quo.
- Manning "1970s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 68: "This story by writer Gerry Conway and penciler Gil Kane would go down in history as one of the most memorable events of Spider-Man's life."
- David, Peter; Greenberger, Robert (2010). The Spider-Man Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles Spun from Marvel's Web. Running Press. p. 49. ISBN 0762437723.
The idea of beloved supporting characters meeting their deaths may be standard operating procedure now but in 1973 it was unprecedented...Gwen's death took villainy and victimhood to an entirely new level.
- Inventing Tomorrow (University of Minnesota Institute of Technology magazine), Spring 2002: "Jim Kakalios enlists the aid of costumed crimefighters to teach critical thinking in an imaginative freshman seminar" by Paul Sorenson Archived 2006-06-15 at the Wayback Machine.
- Amazing Spider-man #129
- Marvels #4
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- The Amazing Spider-Man #149
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- Scarlet Spider (Vol. 2) #20
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- J. Michael Straczynski rebuttal to OMD Archived 2010-08-15 at the Wayback Machine.
- The Clone Conspiracy #1
- The Clone Conspiracy #2
- The Clone Conspiracy #3
- The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 4 #23
- The Clone Conspiracy #4
- The Clone Conspiracy #5
- "GWEN TAKES OVER". Marvel. 14 April 2015. Archived from the original on 27 August 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- Johnston, Rich (August 21, 2015). "And Finally… Has Marvel Noticed That Gwenpool Is A Thing Now?R". Bleeding Cool.
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- "Marvel announces new Gwenpool series". Entertainment Weekly. December 22, 2015.
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- Brucie, Dylan (March 2007). "Ultimate Spider-Man". Wizard Xtra!. p. 110.
- In an interview in Wizard Magazine #180 (2006), Mark Bagley remarked there were some "coloring issues" in Gwen's first appearances. He did not intend her eyes to be yellow.
- "". Wizard Universe. Archived January 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Ultimate Spider-Man Pictures Full Size". IGN.
- Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #11
- Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #13
- Spider-Men #3
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- Rey, Leo (December 18, 2016). "SPIDER-MAN 2017 CARTOON WILL FEATURE VENOM, SPIDER-GWEN, AND MILES MORALES". Nerdspan.
- Marvel Entertainment [@Marvel] (15 July 2017). "The #MarvelAnimation panel is underway, and the cast of "Marvel's #SpiderMan" has just been announced! 1/3" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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