Step aside, Peter Parker: there’s a new Marvel web-slinger in town and she’s certainly not going to get tangled up with you again…
Gwen Stacey’s been brought back from the (SPOILER ALERT!) dead, given super powers and she’s getting her own comic book series – as Spider-Gwen…
Who on earth is Gwen Stacy?
If your knowledge of the Spider-Man universe is based solely on Sam Raimi’s Tobey Maguire-fronted trilogy you won’t be too sure – unless you paid REALLY close attention during that emo phase in Spider-Man 3 – but if you’ve seen The Amazing Spider-Man then you’ll know her as the original love of Peter Parker’s life.
Fans of the comic books will be well acquainted with the blonde daughter of New York police captain George Stacey, who stole the web-slinger’s heart (Gwen that is, not George) before dying a rather horrific death during a battle with the Green Goblin.
If you want to make it really simple, just think of Emma Stone, ok?
There you go…
Why should I even care that she’s getting her own comic book series?
Well, they’ve taken a character that was terribly short-changed, treated as basically nothing more than some tragic girlfriend of a superhero, and MADE her a superhero.
Gwen always got the sticky end of the web, being repeatedly referred to as the girl whose death broke Spidey’s little heart rather than the smart, intelligent, feisty character she really is.
Those less obsessed than your average comic book reader got a half decent impression of her when Emma Stone took on the role opposite Andrew Garfield.
To be incredibly clichéd, it’s also girl power in action: Spider-Gwen originally appeared in an alternative Spider-Verse series last November (2014) and is now getting her very own ongoing comic series due to popular demand.
The readers want a strong, spunky web-spinning female and who are we to argue with that?
So what’s this new Gwen like then?
You could say she lives a complicated life, trapped in an, err, web of intrigue. The opening lines of Jason Latour’s Issue 1 probably describe her best:
“As a teenager, Gwen Stacy went to a demonstration on radioactivity and was bitten by a mutated spider. The bite transformed her, granting her amazing powers: a precognitive awareness of danger, adhesive fingertips and toes, and the proportional speed and strength of a spider. To the residents of New York, she is the dangerous vigilante called Spider-Woman, but you know her as… Spider-Gwen”
And what exactly is Peter Parker up to in this alternative universe?
Believe it or not, Peter’s a bit of a bad boy. And we’re not talking about that God-awful ’emo’ phase he went through in Spider-Man 3 either.
On Earth-65 – that’s the name of this alternative planet – he gets into a scrap with Spider-Gwen and while she doesn’t kill him, he does actually dies after their battle. Her dad then blames her for the death of an innocent man, granting her vigilante status.
So much angst. So much wisecracking. So Gwen.
Could Spider-Gwen appear in the new Spider-Man movies that sent everyone into a spin a few weeks back?
Eh, probably not. This is an alternative universe tale, so the chances of her taking Spidey’s place in the new Sony/Marvel film franchise are essentially slim to none.
She could, however (in our wildest hopes and dreams) inspire a TV spin-off or separate film franchise. Wouldn’t that be a nice little earner for the studios and quite possibly Ms Stone?
Take heed Hollywood types… even though some of us always did prefer Mary Jane.