The Amazing Spider-Man “Death of the Stacys”

Collecting issues #88-92 and #121-122

Writers: Stan Lee, Gerry Conway

Pencilers: John Romita Sr, Gil Kane

Before The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was released I wandered into a Barnes & Noble and what did I see? “Death of the Stacys” was prominently displayed alongside Captain America “The Winter Soldier” and X-Men “Days of Future Past.” It was as if someone was trying to tell me something.

Captain George Stacy died in the first Amazing Spider-Man film, so it only made sense that his daughter Gwen would die in the second. Not that I was looking forward to it.

I like Gwen. A lot. It was a stroke of genius, or luck, that Emma Stone was cast as Gwen. And Denis Leary made a great George as well. I know that in the comics Gwen was kind of boring. Well, most people are boring when compared to Mary Jane Watson. An arguement could be made that Stone would have made the perfect MJ because she is anything but boring.

Gwen’s death in issue #121 of The Amazing Spider-Man is one of the most important moments in comic book history. Or, it seems so it retrospect. As writer Gerry Conway states in the introduction to this volume, if not for Gwen’s death would others have explored the dark side of heroes? He has a great point. Would we have had the “Dark Phoenix Saga”? What about Watchmen? Then there is pretty much everything written by Frank Miller.

It’s not like Gwen was a character that was created as a plot point; someone whose sole purpose in living is so that they can die. Conway states that he killed off Gwen so that Peter can hook up with Mary Jane Watson. He felt that MJ was one of the greatest female characters that Stan Lee created. She was sassy, secretly pained, and a redhead.

Isn’t that what we all are looking for?

I don’t remember reading about the death of Gwen when I was a kid. I was five years old at the time, and I loved Spider-Man, yet somehow I missed it. Or maybe I did read it and somehow forgot. Conway also says in the intro that; “…Memory, as any psycologist will tell you, is self-deceiving.”

One of the clearest memories I have of reading Spider-Man is the introduction of the Spider Mobile in issue #130, which is only nine issues after Gwen’s death. There is another story involving the Vulture that I thought was from around the same time period, but a quick Google search proved me wrong… Again. It was actually from the late Seventies.

I guess, in some small way, that gives you some sort of insight into what goes on in my head on a daily basis. Sorry about that.

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