Comics that changed the world part 3:
The night Gwen Stacy died
By Jamil of Jamil's Comics
In 1973 something unexpected happened in Comics. Peter Parker's girlfriend, the fan favourite Gwen Stacy died at the hands of his arch enemy the Green Goblin. This was completely unprecedented. No character as popular as Gwen had ever been killed in the Comics. Marvel Comics, the 'house of ideas' had given the readers another epic. The response was massive, and this singular death haunts the life of the beloved superhero, and his countless fans, forever.
This is the year of Superhero movies it seems. And Amazing Spiderman seems to be a fore-runner. The movie features the beautiful Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. There are rumours that Amazing Spiderman #700 may see the return of Gwen. I hope not. Although Gwen was Peter's first true love; sometimes love lost is sweeter than happily ever after.
Here is a synopsis of Amazing Spiderman #121. The Green Goblin was suffering from amnesia. But when his only son Harry became a drug addict, the stress opened up gates. He was already in a financial crisis. Suddenly he remembered who he was. And more, he remembered that Peter Parker is his sworn enemy Spiderman. Seeking revenge, Norman kidnaps Gwen and challenges Peter. He takes her on the top of the Brooklyn Bridge/George Washington Bridge (the art and text in the story varies). When Spiderman comes to her rescue; the Goblin drops her from the top. Peter tries to catch her, throwing his webbing at her feet. He thinks he has saved her and pulls her to him; only to find that she is already dead, and probably from a broken neck. Peter thinks it was the sudden jerk from the webbing that caused her death, and curses himself. He vows revenge on the Goblin and runs after him.
For the many heart-broken fans, the consolation came with the apparent death of the Green Goblin in issue #122. Spiderman had beaten him completely, but could not bring himself up to kill him. The Goblin however was ready to kill Peter with his glider. Just like in the first Spiderman movie, Peter's Spider sense alerted him and he jumped out of the way of the glider. It missed him and killed the Goblin instead.
Fans later found out that Norman was alive; and had stayed low until a time ripe enough to strike back at Peter. There was an appearance of Gwen Stacy also in later years. But we found out it was only a clone, created by Professor Warren. Fans also were given shocks a few years ago when it was revealed that Norman had killed Gwen for personal reasons; and not for Spiderman. But that is a story for another day.
We miss you Gwen Stacy. Most people are denied their first love. And Peter Parker is no exception. No one lives forever. Here's to you, kid. 'Nuff said!
This piece was dramatic while giving a different view of the very common occurrence of bullying. We have 'Prawn' as next week's topic. All submissions need to be sent in to email@example.com by Sunday noon. Word limit: 350-500 words. Good luck.
By Shadman Iqbal
He walked with a stride that bespoke his rank. Grim eyes swept masterfully over the surroundings, and bore like cold, hard points of steel into any that dared to meet them. Provided you had not been delivered prematurely under a rock yesterday, a glance at his gleaming badge of office was, quite simply, redundant.
He was the warden. The watcher. It was the sound of his footsteps that kept the great, black heralds of Apocalypse at bay. And his was the lone voice that breathed order into utter chaos. The hands that were his masters saw nothing. And heard nothing. He was their eyes, and he was their ears. And when the need arose, he was the sharp, cold steel in their just sword hand. Sole sentinel he stood. Proud and cold. Distant as the stars, yet he was the fire that burnt brightest in the darkest night. But honour did not come cheap. For wherever he walked, he walked alone.
He clutched his weapon in his right hand. It gleamed in the light, black as death, and almost as lethal. In its beholders it inspired equal portions of awe and terror, and in its wielder's grip it seemed almost a natural extension of the arm.
“Hey Boobitor! Constipated much?” The voice cut through the silence like a knife through butter. Mere childish japes. Words could not touch him. He was a warrior. Grit and steel. And it was nothing more than a little winter weight. He was just a healthy young man. His mother said so. Grim eyes grimmer, he weighed the opponent with his eyes. A smile that would have looked more at home with an angel and a halo stared back. But those eyes, they promised a scenic guided tour through seven different kinds of hell.
“I saw your mother today. I really did notice the family resemblance, Boobitor.'' It was a little push too far that sent him tumbling over the edge. He sighed, a sad, rueful little sigh. And he looked away. But he saw red.
He sat waiting. The healers had just taken his new, shiny black pen, albeit after some tiresome wrenching from where he had lodged it in the left butt cheek of evil. And there was still some time left before his warden would tattoo her fingerprints on his butt cheeks. Shame and remorse, sadness and pain. There were a thousand emotions he was supposed to feel. But there was time for that sort of thing. For now, the warm glow that spread through his chest felt oddly like joy. And nothing could take that away.