Finding Gwen Stacy part 5: First Fight


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I suppose I’m a bit late here. These were originally intended to be churned out a few times a week, but that hasn’t been the case. Sad thing is, out of the all the online projects (blogs, podcasts, editing) this should be the easiest as I’m merely converting a project already written. Yet I make it difficult. Well if I can post a Dick Grayson/Babs Gordon bonanza for Stella, I suppose I have time to continue this!

Hopefully we’ll get these out more regularly. It has also come to my attention that this is best viewed in Firefox. For some reason the images and text show up on the screen arranged differently with Internet Explorer. But even then some versions of Firefox are different….it might help to press CTRL + or – until the images go on top of the text.

Since it’s been so long, let’s talk about where we last left things. The “will they or won’t they” (date not have sex..simpler times) tension with Peter and Gwen has come to a close. They are now dating…so where will the tension come from? Get ready for their first fight!

Issue 59

Peter is now recovered from his amnesia (Bertone note: See last part) and is meeting Gwen’s father for the first time.

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Their relationship gets off on a positive foot right away.

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That appears to be Peter and Gwen’s first kiss. I am actually surprised he recgonizes her, because he hasn’t seen her for issues and her face has already changed. Notice how Peter right off the bat feels he can trust Captain Stacy with his life. The fact that they get along so great also is great for his relationship with Gwen. She is a daddy’s girl, so any boy who gets along great with daddy..well you get the idea. The gang goes to see MJ’s act later that issue…

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MJ is told to take pictures of the important club members, because the camera brainwashes them..

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Later…

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After some Spidey action we don’t see Gwen again until…

Issue 60

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At this point Captain Stacy has been brainwashed!

This shows us that Gwen and her father do have a close relationship. We never do get any textual information about Gwen’s mother. We do see her grave, after Gwen’s death, during Conway’s run on Spectacular in the 80’s, but we never get any REAL information on her. It appears that Captain Stacy did alot of the raising of Gwen on his own, so they were very close. I do wonder how a police captain could’ve functioned as a single parent. He must’ve been gone alot. I imagine Gwen had her share of babysitters and nannies. When he finally retired he was able to spend more time with her, so perhaps that is why they are so close. It’s all speculation…

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Peter Parker has now come to the conclusion that he is love with Gwen Stacy. A major turning point in their new relationship. But trouble is ahead.

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The study comment makes me think of “Morel Orel”. Gwen may joke about being hurt that Pete has come for her dad and not her, but look at her face. She loves that Peter and her father are hitting it off so well.

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Awkward moment in 3….2….1…

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Ouch. Gwen is forced to choose between Peter and her dad, and at this early point in their relationship, and given the evidence right in front of her, the choice isn’t hard. Gwen is a daddy’s girl at heart and we haven’t seen any reason why she should stick by Peter..

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Gwen obviously doesn’t want to believe what happened, and subconsciously knows something is up, hence the questions to her dad.The fact that she couldn’t call the police is very telling. I think most people in her position wouldn’t hesitate to call the cops if their retired and partially disabled father was attacked.

By the end of the issue things go from bad to worse.

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Seriously Gwen? Reading the paper you KNOW PETER WORKS FOR is going help you forget him??

But now she is really conflicted. In the past day she’s come to question two men in her life who she thought she could trust…and one of them was her father the good police captain!

Issue 61

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I know the picture is a metaphor, but wouldn’t it be funny if they really all were trapped in the web and Peter was too busy brooding to notice them? Some of them (like Aunt May) look like they’re dancing and Mary Jane is just being a drama queen.

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Gwen is very quick to try and hold onto whatever denial she can about her Dad’s actions. Once that option is gone she tries to make excuses (“You’re ill”) to justify his behavior to herself. First Peter, now her father. Gwen’s world is crashing around her right now. She doesn’t know what to believe. That must be really hard. But her father is her rock and center right now. That is why she is following him without asking too many questions.

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The bond between Gwen and her father is really strong. She is willing to leave college and everything behind to go on the run with him. Although I am sure Peter’s actions have made that choice easier than it would’ve been 24 hours earlier.

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This is the first of the “Gwen gets captured” stories.

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We get some pages of Spidey fighting Kingpin that we won’t post. We’ve already done a good part of the issue because it’s Gwen-centric but we shouldn’t post too much of it…we want you to buy it (or a reprint).

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Gwen is under a large amount of stress so she may not be thinking clearly enough to note that Spider-Man seems to know her name.

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People will note a) the irony of Osborn saving Gwen and b) Spidey saying “I won’t let you die” to Captain Stacy and Gwen.

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Now according to fan speculation, Madgoblin JR, and a recent Marvel handbook, it is at this point when Gwen went to see Norman to thank him and they wound up concieving the Goblin twins. Okay, well it helps for the people who think she cheated on Peter because they were broken up at the time, and had only really started dating anyway. But I am not going to get into trying to explain Sins Past here and now. I’ll save that for the post death entries. Trying to explain Gwen’s pregnency and 4 month trip to Paris is too much work right now, and to be honest, I am sure it’ll be retconned in a few years anyway.

Issue 62

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Peter and Gwen are both making this more complicated than it has to be. Peter can tell her what happened without revealing his identity, and Gwen now knows her dad was brainwashed and not himself. But then we wouldn’t have drama and angst. We can’t have that. Still, Gwen loves him so much she is desperate to believe ANY explanation as she makes it clear, but Peter can’t even TRY to provide one. I have no idea how (we see later on Gwen kept the thing mum), but MJ somehow finds out about their fight.

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Pierce my ears and call me drafty? Even for Mary Jane that doesn’t make sense. Was she just picking random words? By the way this is her first thought balloon and I believe last until the Gerry Conway era.

So you know that Betty and Veronica era with Gwen vs MJ that all the writers and fans always long for? The one that they say killing Gwen ruined? Well guess what? It didn’t last as long as they remember it. This was basically the end of the Betty/Veronica days, it really only lasted for about twenty issues! MJ lightly flirts with Peter from time to time, but she doesn’t make another play for him until the “Drug Issues” when Gwen is in Europe, and that’s about it. MJ pretty much backed off of Pete after this, and once Peter realized he was in love with Gwen, it was over between him and MJ. At this point Mary Jane became a more minor character. In a few issues they started having her date Harry Osborn because I honestly think they needed an excuse to keep her around.

As a matter of fact, you’ll notice that she’s almost written out of the series altogether! We’re getting a little ahead of ourselves but she won’t make an appearence in Amazing Spider-Man from issue 65 to issue 82 (she is mentioned in passing though). And people thought this was the era where MJ ran rampant!

So the beloved Betty/Veronica era with MJ and Gwen that everyone wants to bring back? Well it basically died here and not issue 121. A popular comic myth.

Next: Peter and Gwen reunite, and more Romita/Lee fun

We should be getting the next part soon but one problem I’ve had is the formatting…for some reason I want the articles to appear like this (as they do with some version of FIREFOX)

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But for some reason they come out like this (and I’ve tried everything)

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So if anyone has any suggestions let me know!




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