ECCC: Anthony Mackie: Unleash the Falcon
[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]
As Tim mentioned earlier today, the “Spider-Gwen” character that debuted in Edge of Spider-Verse #2 last week has resonated with fans in a way we haven’t seen since … well, since the recent redesign of Batgirl. Writer Jason Latour was sharing fan art of the character on his Tumblr long before she debuted last “Gwensday,” as people really got into Robbi Rodriguez’s design of the alternate universe Spider-Woman.
As a huge Jason Latour fan I give him credit on the marketing front; he successfully pumped many folks (including myself) to be quite enthused about Edge of Spider-Verse #2 featuring another universe’s Gwen Stacy as Spider-Woman.
But when I finally got the issue, what surprised me is the aspect I loved most about the series. Despite the fact it is a universe where Gwen’s father is very much alive (and many other engaging narrative aspects–including a potentially very different kind of Matt Murdock)–it is the eyes of the Spider-Woman costume that really proved to be my favorite part. This may surprise, but let me explain.
“She was a nonentity, a pretty face. She brought nothing to the mix. It made no sense to me that Peter Parker would end up with a babe like that who had no problems. Only a damaged person would end up with a damaged guy like Peter Parker. And Gwen Stacy was perfect! It was basically Stan fulfilling Stan’s own fantasy. Stan married a woman who was pretty much a babe — Joan Lee was a very attractive blond who was obviously Stan’s ideal female. And I think Gwen was simply Stan replicating his wife, just like Sue Storm was a replication of his wife. And that’s where his blind spot was. The amazing thing was that he created a character like Mary Jane Watson, who was probably the most interesting female character in comics, and he never used her to the extent that he could have. Instead of Peter Parker’s girlfriend, he made her Peter Parker’s best friend’s girlfriend. Which is so wrong, and so stupid, and such a waste. So killing Gwen was a totally logical if not inevitable choice.”
— veteran writer Gerry Conway, in Grantland’s excerpt from Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, explaining why, upon John Romita’s suggestion, they decided to kill Peter Parker’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy instead of his elderly Aunt May, creating one of the most memorable Spider-Man stories of all time. Judging by the excerpt, which offers a terrific snapshot of the Marvel workplace in the 1970s — prominent drug use, struggles with Stan Lee, trend-chasing — Sean Howe’s book will be a must-read. It goes on sale Tuesday.