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Time for more classic Peter and Gwen stuff. No big introduction this time so let’s just jump right into things.

Issue 67

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Now that Peter are in lovey dovey land, Gwen is surprised that he isn’t calling on her as much as her past boyfriends have. We all know what Peter isn’t attentive, but Gwen is used to more attention and this will create complications. It appears the neglect has already started judging by the “dad gets more calls” comment.

Issue 68

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Peter thinking of Mary Jane first isn’t giving Gwen’s now fragile ego any more confidence. Luckily Peter makes a fast save. In his defense Mary Jane (who is still absent from the series and will be for more than a year) is a bit more of a “guess who” type. The confident Gwen that we met during the Ditko days is gone. Falling in love with Peter, and giving herself to him emotionally has changed her. Because he hasn’t given his full self to her, she is getting insecure. Now Gwen has to meet Aunt May’s approval. Since Peter is a “Mama’s boy” this is important.

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That has to be a little awkward with Anna Watson there, even though it’s not like Peter and Mary Jane were engaged or anything (now I am starting to sound like Ditko Aunt May!). May had high hopes for Peter and Mary Jane, but she seems to be happy about the Gwen factor. She is making Peter happy and is a sweet girl, so May has no reason not to like her. May says so herself, she wouldn’t want Peter’s love life to be spoiled by her ailing health (hear that “One More Day”).

Peter talking about how he isn’t a “hard luck Charlie”. It’s like this scene was designed to contradict the new era!

Issue 69

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We finally see some trace of the old Gwen. I suspect this is Stan and John trying to make her more interesting than Mary Jane who is now gone. We know from the Ditko issues that  Gwen doesn’t have much respect for cowards. Her relationship with Peter is already having it’s doubts and the coward comment bundled with the emotional stress of the protest situation was enough to make her lash out at the student. We now have Gwen is “spoiled brat mode”. We have never seen her talk to her father like this, or just march past the cop into the police station saying she’s going in.

Issue 70

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Even though we don’t see Mary Jane from issues 65 to 82, she is mentioned from time to time. The above quote establishes that she and Harry Osborn are dating. This gives us more closure to the love triangles (MJ/Peter/Gwen and  Harry/Gwen/Peter etc). Although the “Drug Trilogy” later had Mary Jane making a play for Peter and Harry being jealous, most of the Peter/MJ/Harry triangle was an invention of the movies and television series. For the most part Peter seems fine that Harry and MJ are dating. So we’ve effectively had Peter and Harry just switch to the other person’s girlfriend.

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Once again Mary Jane’s role is being played down. She’s been left out of the “floating heads of guilt” sequence in favor of such minor characters as Josh. Anyone else remember Josh?

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The coward thing rears it’s head again. Remember how put off Ditko’s Gwen was when she saw Peter run away from the Looter? Remember, this girl grew up around cops. Alot of them were probably like uncles to her. She has been shown to look up to and respect men who are brave. The coward thing is hard for her. It’s not just that though, it’s the cutting out thing which is upsetting her too. She also mentions her anger of the fake that he hasn’t been calling her. Perhaps that is really what the problem is. As I mentioned above, it is hurting her ego and making her insecure. Part of her is doing the coward accusation is a way to shield her true fears.

I never understood why Peter couldn’t just tell people he runs off to take pictures so he could pay his bills for his sick Aunt May.

Issue 72

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How can anyone stop him? Exaggerations in comics to play up the villain of the story. Sigh. Fought to a standstill? Actually Spidey beat him!

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Flash really did seem to only be kidding. Peter got overly defensive. The thing is, no matter how popular Peter gets, who successful, and who he dates, he still feels like it’s all out of his league. He feels like he is still the 15 year old wallflower. Flash Thompson represents all that for him. It’s very easy for him to get jealous and defensive when Flash comes around. Gwen is a little embarrassed by Peter’s outburst. She is also still hurt by the way he keeps blowing her off and keeping secrets. The “boy” “man” thing she said did what it was designed to do. She wanted to hurt him on purpose. It’s also why she walked off with Flash.

Issue 73

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A double dose of pretty pills??? Just bellow fellow???

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We are starting to get a return of the ego and pride Gwen. She won’t call Peter, she wants him to call her. She seems to have calmed down and realized the whole thing was stupid, but she still has her pride. She may have changed since her high school days, but old habits die hard sometimes. Especially when a relationship is in trouble.

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Included here because it’s an appearance of Gwen technically.

Issue 74

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How on Earth could Harry have hidden that for weeks??? Seriously? How does one hide facial hair??? Especially from your roommate! Granted, Peter is not always around. We get another case of “Peter’s friends are mad because he is self involved”. I don’t blame them. Peter can be very self involved sometimes and ignore his friends. Gwen is starting to realize that this is just part of who Peter is. He was like that when they first met. She doesn’t have to be happy about it, but she has to accept it. At least she is being understanding this time around.

It seems to me people have selective memories when it comes to the Silver Age of Spidey. It’s all about ESU, the Harry and Peter pad, Gwen and MJ love triangle and the Coffee Bean. People seem to forget about the stuff like Harry’s face fuzz, Mary Jane’s ginchy haircut and characters like Josh.

Issue 76

Gwen finally does the sensible thing and voices her concerns to Peter.

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It would have been very simple for him to say, “I disappear all the time to take news pics so I can support me and Aunt May”. It’s pretty close to the truth, but as we all know, Peter doesn’t always go the obvious route. Gwen knows there is some secret now. It’s easier for her to accept than the “other girl” or “he isn’t interested” route. That is partially why she is being so understanding….. for now. Remember Peter and Gwen’s first date? Remember how excited Peter was that she was “the only girl who never wanted an explanation”. That didn’t last long eh? Ultimately it’s all these secrets and lies that doom this relationship as I will go into later.

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This is one of the few times Gwen has had Peter all to herself, so she doesn’t want anyone, not even her dear old father, to take him. Another classic Robertson/Stacy discussing Spider-Man scene. It was one of the more interesting things about the era.

Issue 78

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I hate it when people do phone conversations in fiction by repeating what the other person says for exposition purposes. It’s really weird! Nobody talks like that on the phone! Gwen and Flash were close before he went into the army. The problem with their relationship, as we went into many posts ago, was that he wasn’t on the same level as her. However, he payed attention to her and now that she has an absent boyfriend, she doesn’t mind spending platonic time with Flash pouring her heart out. She can’t do it with Harry because he is Peter’s roommate. It would also sound hypocritical after she told him off for not being understanding to Pete a few issues ago and Gwen has her pride.

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Hey! I’ll walk past her house “by chance”!

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Once again, Flash automatically makes Peter insecure. As for trusting Gwen, I can’t blame him for thinking what he thought. He called her and she said she had a matter to attend to and couldn’t go out on a date, and he finds her with Flash. Flash and Gwen also dated before he went into the army. Peter’s secrets and lies have Gwen going nuts enough that she is asking Peter’s old friends for the scoop. This is after she said she would wait a lifetime until he was ready to tell her. These two people would have less problems with eachother if they said what was REALLY on their mind more often. This becomes an even bigger problem in the relationship later on.

Issue 79

More Peter angst.

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He is now calling Gwen “the wrong girl”. We all have thought and said things which weren’t true when we are in love and having problems. I do find it interesting that he is already considering her “the wrong girl” before even asking for an explanation. Still, he heard what he heard and saw what he saw.

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So Peter and Gwen continue on their cycle. Things get even worse coming up.

Next time we see the return of Mary Jane, and Peter reveal his secret to Gwen.


3 Responses to “Finding Gwen Stacy part 8: Problems Begin”

  1. #1 Zarius says:

    Check out where Gwen begins festering about “another girl”….you can’t blame her for that one actually. Gwen, smart kid that she is, was begggining to suspect Peter and MJ had feelings for each other and that she was making effort to drive a wedge between herself and Peter so she could convince him of it himself and settle into the sisterly role Marvel had promoted her as ever since (in other continuities).

    Gwen and Flash are the true tragic couple of Spider-Man I think. That man’s never had a “definitive” love interest…and the reason why? She died. Gwen, I beleive, would have been it for him.

  2. #2 Bertone says:

    I think for a LONG TIME Sha Shan was Flash’s definitive love interest. They even lived together for a while but that ended REAL badly. Otherwise Flash and Betty have been on again off again since the 80’s.

    I do think Flash always loved Gwen and I think the reason he and Pete became good friends is because of his last conversation with Gwen before she died. Basically she told him off for ragging on Pete and Flash never got to resolve things before Gwen died.

  3. #3 Zarius says:

    …Similar to how Tom Beland wanted to tell his unused “final MJ/Gwen” story, Gwen basicly alienating herself from just about everybody before dying. Pretty nasty way to go out.

    Sha Shang was something I didnt see lasting when it began….certain characters, and this is just as true today, just don’t “stick”, and in any respect, she’s been largely forgotten about by fans let alone Marvel…except us old geezers. A definitive love interest certaingly would “stick” around other interpretations.

    That said, Flash himself has barely any attention anymore anyway.