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Gwen Stacy Must Die...Again
by Matt Demers on
One of the most pivotal moments in Spider-Man's life and it needs to happen on the big screen.
However, most of us are quick to pass over the other one – the blond. When Mary Jane’s party girl lifestyle became too much for Pete, Gwendolyn Stacy replaced her as the dame on Spidey’s arm. Her romance with Peter was tumultuous: jealous of the redhead, she dated Peter’s best friend Harry, moved on to date Peter, dealt with the death of her father (which Spider-Man could have prevented) and travelled to London in order to live with an Aunt and Uncle. Though their relationship was difficult at times, it was clear that Peter and Gwen loved each other very much.
Her importance has been underscored by the use of her character to pull at Spider-Man’s heartstrings: first through Norman Osborn’s manipulations (Sin’s Past) and most recently in Amazing Spider-Man #655. She has replaced Mary Jane Watson as Andrew Garfield’s love interest in the forthcoming The Amazing Spider-Man film; this gives younger viewers who are unfamiliar with her to see a very important part of Peter Parker’s life, and appreciate it.
And her importance is why she needs to die. Again.
== TEASER ==
For me, The Amazing Spider-Man will be a total wash if Gwen Stacy does not die. Her death, originally told in Amazing Spider-Man #121-122, is one of the most pivotal moments of Peter Parker’s life: without Gwen Stacy’s death, Peter would not have been able to transition from a teenager to man. Suddenly, it becomes all-too-evident that being close to Spider-Man has its risks, and that is a responsibility that Peter lives with for the rest of his life.
It’s saddening that Stacy’s role in the Spider-Man mythos has been reduced to a glorified Women in Refrigerators example, but I’ve lost count of how many people who have been hurt because of their involvement in his life – even poor old Aunt May almost got shot by a sniper at the behest of the Kingpin.
This risk reinforced the importance of a Spider-Man’s secret identity; after all, the Green Goblin only abducted Stacy because she knew of Peter Parker’s dual life. The mask not only became a precaution against people bothering Peter directly, but one to protect those who associate with him. The attempt that was made to reveal Spider-Man’s identity during Civil War only served to reinforce that point: May and Mary Jane had to move into the Avengers Tower, which robbed them of a normal life.
A normal life is all Peter ever wanted for them, which works into Ben Parker’s old line, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Gwen’s death reinforced Peter’s need to follow this rule and take responsibility for what he indirectly caused. This, in turn, drove him closer to the people who care about him and take their protection more seriously.
Sadly, the “Death of Gwen Stacy” storyline looks to be unlikely for The Amazing Spider-Man; with the casting of Rhys Ifans in the role of Kurt Conners/The Lizard and rumors of a Proto-Goblin appearance, the villain roster looks to be pretty stacked. However, there haven’t been any official casting details about any of the Osborn clan, which were pretty important to Peter’s high school life; we could still see a multi-villain movie, with Green Goblin, Proto Goblin and the Lizard. Then again, a new rumor surfaced that perhaps Ifans will play Norman instead...
But it doesn’t change the fact that The Amazing Spider-Man needs to illustrate a certain side of Spider-Man: the transition from awkward teen to responsible man. As we’ve had three films in the last decade that explain his origins, the film should be able to illustrate a cohesive story from start to finish, giving viewers a taste of the emotional gravitas the situation carries. We should, theoretically, be able to jump into the meat of the story and actually have a movie with purpose. At the very least, The Amazing Spider-Man shouldn’t be the cluster of confusion that Spider-Man 3 was. And we can take solace in that.