Took Long Enough

Took Long Enough

The most hated storyline in the history of Marvel Comics has, after twenty years, been erased.

I freely admit that when I was a little kid, Gwen Stacy was my comic book crush. It broke the Dark Herald’s black little heart when she was killed off, way the hell back in 1973. A few years later I found out about real girls and instantly got over it.

But here is the big thing about fictional characters you care about. Your brain doesn’t know they aren’t real. Literally. It can’t tell the difference. People have been wired up in psychological studies and the activity patterns in the brain when thinking about a real person are identical to the ones they have when thinking about a fictional character they are invested in.

This is the reason there is such a fundamental disconnect between people who care about a character and the people who say, “come on! It’s all made up.” Of course, if you mess with their favorite character, things are totally different then.

But this is why it torques an audience off to no end when an established character created by one person is badly botched by another who is “putting his own spin on that character.”

Twenty years ago, Marvel dug up poor Gwen Stacy’s corpse and fucked it.

The good girl next door, it turned out was a weak-willed, total whore. She was retconned in the story Sin’s Past by Babylon 5 creator, J. Michael Straczynski. In that detested story, Gwen Stacy, at the time of her death, was pregnant with the Green Goblin’s baby. This was definitely while she and Peter Parker were still an item. It completely undermined her character in the cheapest way possible and had long-time Spiderman fans finally saying, “Yeah. Done. Outa here.”

Straczynski now claims that in his first draft it was Peter Parker’s baby and Marvel’s editors came back and said, no, make it Norman Osborn’s. This is only a mild improvement. While I have loved a lot of Straczynski’s work he clearly didn’t get the character. The truth is that Gwen (at least in 1973) was a good girl who desired Peter but conformed to the pre-sexual revolution norm of “not without a ring on my finger.”

Originally her story ended in high tragedy. The death of a beautiful virgin who had wanted a husband and family.

After Sins Past, it was the death of an easy blonde slut.

And now it’s gone. Spiderman’s current writer is wiping Sins Past off the board as he walks out the door. The recon is now retconned away. Mysterio put that story in everyone’s mind for reasons I don’t care about.

I would be slightly mollified but Gwen Stacy was resurrected years ago through the magic of the multi-verse. And modern Marvel is still getting the character wrong. She was the one that got bitten by the atomic spider (workable) but couldn’t save Peter Parker, her “friend” (groan). In her world, Peter is both dead and friend-zoned. If Spider-Gwen had been desperately in love with Peter there would have been something to work with there but the career Gammas that run Marvel couldn’t do that because Grrl Power. Genuine feminity is repulsive to modern Gamma Males because it will always be lavished on another man who is much higher on the socio-sexual totem pole than they are. They genuinely resent feminity by the time they are in their twenties.

In conclusion, I’m mildly satisfied that Marvel has finally after twenty years dropped some lore that everyone’s head-canon had rejected when it was first introduced. However, given the people that control Gwen Stacy’s past, present, and future, I know they are only going to make things worse for her eventually.

Okay, I’m done here.

Share this post

Comments (9)

  • Joe S.Walker Reply

    Today I was looking at Marvel’s 9/11 Spider-Man issue, a serious contender for the title of worst comic book ever published. Straczynski wrote that one too.

    September 11, 2021 at 1:10 pm
    • EXALT Reply

      Well, if you can’t understand the beauty of Doctor Doom crying in the ruins of the World Trade Center, I don’t know what to tell you. Also, this:
      Right-wing pundit: “All of them who have tried to secularize America… the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians and the ACLU… I point the finger in their face and I say “You helped this happen”.”
      Spider-Man: “We reject [this] in the knowledge that our tragedy is greater than the sum of our transgressions.”
      That sound you hear in the background is the prophet Jeremiah facepalming.

      September 11, 2021 at 1:35 pm
  • EXALT Reply

    “The most hated storyline in the history of Marvel Comics has, after twenty years, been erased.”
    One More Day: Am I a joke to you?
    “I freely admit that when I was a little kid, Gwen Stacy was my comic book crush.”
    Ah, generational differences. For young me, Gwen was more of an obscure curiosity, while Mary Jane was always The One – had to be, between the Raimi movies, the ’90s cartoon and the fact she and Peter were married in the comics at the time.
    “Originally her story ended in high tragedy. The death of a beautiful virgin who had wanted a husband and family.”
    That’s part of the reason she was killed: the writers didn’t want Peter to marry, but they also realized that just breaking them off was not going to work – ergo, death. The Curse of the Status Quo strikes again.
    “She was retconned in the story Sin’s Past by Babylon 5 creator, J. Michael Straczynski.”
    Slight OT: Straczynski has recently said that he would like to showrun Doctor Who (here: https://mobile.twitter.com/straczynski/status/1420922821438427140?s=21); any thoughts on that?

    September 11, 2021 at 1:15 pm
  • Kyle Reply

    Now if only one more day was retconned as well

    September 11, 2021 at 2:55 pm
  • Moonglum Reply

    It never happened – now official.

    I wonder indifferently how newbies respond to these retcons of retcons of stuff that never happened twenty years ago. When it shows up in the current issues what does it mean to someone who never read it back then?

    Of course, I am largely indifferent to Spidey-related stuff. When it comes to nineteen eighties X-Men/New Mutants though … watching the recent New Mutants movie I was all why has Illyana got Lockheed when she hasn’t met Kitty and why is Lockheed a glove-puppet? Yes, it is funny, but why?

    September 11, 2021 at 3:30 pm
  • fnordfnordfnord Reply

    As much as I love JMS’ Babylon 5, even that was peppered with proto-Muh-Diversity and Stranger-In-A-Strange-Land level decadence with the telepaths story arc in the final season (a lame story arc, IMO cannibalized for the Sense8 series, where he teamed up with the FABulous Wachowsky deviants). Alfred-Kinsey would have approved with his trademark perv, and eerily cadaveral, grin.

    JMS can write good stores, and then laces some of them with enough woke toxicity to keep me at bay. I stopped with the “Let’s see if THIS time this lapsed Roman Catholic educated by Jesuits doesn’t do that,” and then he does it again. I simply gave up on him.

    I’m not that versed in comic book folklore, so I didn’t know (or merely forgot) his connection with that Gwen Stacy run. It makes sense, though, now that I know the source.

    September 11, 2021 at 5:22 pm
  • Dave W. Reply

    Sweet Jesus. I’m glad that I reached my limit with Marvel with the SpiderMan Clone Saga so I never had to endure this dumpster fire.

    September 12, 2021 at 2:53 am
    • David Reply

      I also gave up on Marvel because of the Clone Saga, a lot of people did. The editors and writers at the time blamed the marketing people for what happened, but who knows what the real truth is. That the Clone Saga was eclipsed by two even more hated storylines later on is astonishing.

      September 12, 2021 at 6:28 am
  • David Reply

    [b]After Sins Past, it was the death of an easy blonde slut…Mysterio put that story in everyone’s mind[/b]

    That [i]bastard[/i] he is probably responsible for season 1 of Loki as well.

    September 12, 2021 at 6:21 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *