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Two of the most important deaths in the Spider-Man saga,
This review is from: Spider-Man: Death of Gwen Stacy (Paperback)
Actually "The Death of Gwen Stacy" deals with more than the titular fatality and the end of the original Green Goblin in reprinting five classic comic books from Volume 1 of "The Amazing Spider-Man." You also get the previous three-story confrontation between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin that became infamous when the stories did not receive the Comic Book Code seal of approval because of a major sub-plot involving Peter Parker's roommate Harry Osborn being hooked on drugs: (1) "Amazing Spider-Man" #69, "And now, the Goblin," Story by Stan Lee, Art by Gil Kane and John Romita, Sr.; (2) "Amazing Spider-Man" #70, "In the Grip of the Goblin," Story by Stan Lee, Art by Gil Kane and Frank Giacoia; and (3) "Amazing Spider-Man" #71, "The Goblin's Last Gasp," Story by Stan Lee, Art by Gil Kane and Frank Giacoia. This was the first time when Norman Osborn remembered who he was along with Spider-Man's secret identity. Of course, the resolution of this crises leaves much to be desired since it is a tentative, at best, fix. The most memorable sequences in these stories is actually when Peter Parker and not Spider-Man takes down Harry's dealer. This trilogy sets up the other story, not just because it is the previous confrontation between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin, but because another subplot has Peter and Gwen resolving their current interpersonal conflict.
The key thing to remember when you get to the next pair of stories is that Stan Lee is no longer writing the book and therefore killing off Peter's girl friend was not his idea: (4) "Amazing Spider-Man" #112, "The Night Gwen Stacy Died," Story by Gerry Conway, Art by Gil Kane and John Romita, Sr.; and (5) "Amazing Spider-Man" #113 "The Goblin's Last Round," Story by Gerry Conway, Art by Gil Kane and John Romita, Sr. Of course, the title of that first issue does not appear until the final page, since it obviously gives the game away, but just as clearly that is not a problem for this trade paperback collection. I think Conway did away with Gwen because Peter was getting pretty close to actually being happy and Spider-Man needed to get back to the oppressive sense of guilt that drives him because of the death of a loved one. Now, in addition to Uncle Ben, there is Gwen (Spider-Man was much more responsible for Gwen's death than that of Captain Stacy). Little would we know that the end of this story, where Mary Jane Watson stays with Peter to comfort him after Gwen's death, that this would end up being the start of something special.
Also included in this collection is "The Kiss," by John Marc DeMatteis and John Romita, Sr., which is reprinted from "Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #1," which serves as a poignant epilogue to the main events. This 112-page edition has a new cover by new painted cover by John Van Fleet. I would not exactly say that the deaths of Gwen Stacy and the Green Goblin were "great" Spider-Man stories, but they were certainly important and constituted an impressive one-two punch for consecutive issues. The historical importance would apply to the Lee stories as well. Unfortunately, these events eventually led to introducing the horrible idea of clones into the story line, both for the late lamented Gwen and Peter himself. More often than not, the dead should stay dead, even in the world of comic books.