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* BrokenBase: The moment word got out that Marvel had decided to kill Gwen Stacy, fans sent loads of letters into Marvel HQ. Some letters commended Gerry Conway and the other writers for killing Gwen, others... well, weren’t so nice (one letter made a few theatrical curses, for one). Even today, fans are still arguing if Gwen should have died or not.

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* FairForItsDay: While modern takes criticize this story for its use of the StuffedIntoTheFridge trope, others give the story a GrandfatherClause treatment. The story is often cited as one of the earliest and most famous instances of "fridging", predating the TropeNamer by 21 years. It embodies many of the misogynistic hallmarks of the trope: Gwen has no agency of her own, barely has any lines before she dies, her plotline gets completely unresolved, she's not even the most important female character of the titular story (that's Mary Jane), it was done by [[ComicBook/NormanOsborn Green Goblin]] to spite Franchise/SpiderMan, and Spidey even ([[ValuesDissonance rather uncomfortably for modern audiences]]) refers to her as "my woman" even after she dies. However, unlike the many, ''many'' derided examples it inspired, this one in particular stands out positively and is seen as a good story even still for two primary reasons. The first is that Gwen's death has meaningful consequences for Spider-Man, both the mythos and the character, becoming a ShockingDefeatLegacy that aspired Spidey to be a better hero. Gwen herself is treated as TheLostLenore and ''not'' a DisposableLoveInterest, as it took years for Spidey to fully accept her death, and even after Mary Jane became his SecondLove, he will always mourn Gwen with the utmost respect, compared to the usual example of a fridged character being mostly forgotten and replaced. There's a very, ''very'' good reason why the story named ILetGwenStacyDie, instead of the incident being known as "Dropped From a Bridge".

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* AlasPoorScrappy: Gwen's death invoked this reaction to the extent that people have forgotten that she was a BaseBreakingCharacter before her death. Many fans didn't like her for hating Spider-Man, or unfairly blaming him for her father's death out of prejudice, and how that bizarre situation made Peter feel guilty. For reference, check out the letter by a female fan in ''Amazing Spider-Man'' #125 who commends the writers for whacking a very annoying character. But even then the shock of her death and the cold and almost perfunctory manner in which it happened as well as Peter's horror and grief at his loss and failure quickly enlarged and exponentially increased Gwen's fanbase overnight.


---> "Now many people would say that the biggest mistake of the Spider-Man continuity was the marriage. I would argue that things went askew earlier on with the Death of Gwen Stacy. One of the best stories ever written, but I think from that moment on Mary Jane and Peter were destined to get married. We had the perfect triangle between Gwen, Peter and Mary Jane. One which could have been exploited for years to come. No death= no marriage= no baby= no clones."

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---> "Now many people would say that the biggest mistake of the Spider-Man continuity was the marriage. I would argue that things went askew earlier on with the Death of Gwen Stacy. One of the best stories ever written, but I think from that moment on Mary Jane and Peter were destined to get married. We had the perfect triangle between Gwen, Peter and Mary Jane. One which could have been exploited for years to come. No death= death = no marriage= marriage = no baby= baby = no clones."


** At the time the story was released, TheHero failing to save the LoveInterest and said love interest getting killed for shock value was considered an unprecedented and bold move, especially since the ''Amazing Spider-Man'' comics at the time were known mainly for its low-stakes stories where there wasn't so much violence and death. It introduced real stakes and consequences, giving a sense that AnyoneCanDie, and this was a good decade before Creator/FrankMiller's ''ComicBook/{{Daredevil}}'', ''ComicBook/TheKillingJoke'', and ''ComicBook/ADeathInTheFamily''.

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** At the time the story was released, TheHero failing to save the LoveInterest and said love interest getting killed for shock value was considered an unprecedented and bold move, especially since the ''Amazing Spider-Man'' comics at the time were known mainly for its low-stakes stories where there wasn't so much violence and death. [[note]]Though it's not ''actually'' unprecedented even within Marvel itself - about two years prior, [[ComicBook/SubMariner Namor's]] love interest Lady Dorma had been killed off by a villain.[[/note]] It introduced real stakes and consequences, giving a sense that AnyoneCanDie, and this was a good decade before Creator/FrankMiller's ''ComicBook/{{Daredevil}}'', ''ComicBook/TheKillingJoke'', and ''ComicBook/ADeathInTheFamily''.


* FanDislikedExplanation: The idea that Peter caused Gwen's death by himself which was floated by later editors and columns, and which outright contradicts the dialogue (Norman saying that the fall killed her from that height) and is liked by some fans for its daring RealityEnsues is not one popular among others. They point out that this effectively makes Gwen's death not as a result of actual tragic decisions and circumstances (Goblin knowing Spider-Man's identity, Peter sparing him and giving him a second chance, Gwen not knowing about the double life and the danger she was in) that led up to it, but an accident of incompetence on Peter's part. It outright contradicts a number of moments in earlier comics where superhero physics were played straight, and it also means that the righteous fury and anger Peter falls into in Issue 122 is not merited.

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* FanDislikedExplanation: The idea that Peter caused Gwen's death by himself which was floated by later editors and columns, and which outright contradicts the dialogue (Norman saying that the fall killed her from that height) and is liked by some fans for its daring RealityEnsues is not one popular among others. They point out that this effectively makes Gwen's death not as a result of actual tragic decisions and circumstances (Goblin knowing Spider-Man's identity, Peter sparing him and giving him a second chance, Gwen not knowing about the double life and the danger she was in) that led up to it, but an accident of incompetence on Peter's part. It outright contradicts a number of moments in earlier comics where superhero physics were played straight, and it also means that the righteous fury and anger Peter falls into in Issue 122 is not merited. Conway himself says that the "snap" sound-effect is meant for readers only and that on a narrative level Goblin did kill her and there was no way Spider-Man could ever have saved her by doing anything different.



* OlderThanTheyThink:
** According to Blake Bell's biography of Creator/SteveDitko (''Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko''), Ditko proposed to Lee a plotline to kill off Betty Brant for shock value and melodrama. Lee turned down Ditko, and Ditko later admitted that Lee was right about this, that such a move would make the stories too dark and add more emotional baggage on top of Uncle Ben's death. Ditko said that his idea would have had Betty die in an accident and not in a criminal situation.
** It's often thought that the backlash towards this story being one of the first, best-known and popularizing cases of StuffedIntoTheFridge is a strictly modern reaction in a more politically correct era. While it wasn't as widespread at the time, there was a backlash even back in the '70s. This quote below? It was from Arnold T. Blumberg in the Comics Buyer's Guide in 1974, just a year after the comic.
---> "Since they couldn’t marry Peter and Gwen, they say it was ‘inescapable’ -- Gwen had to die. Not only is this [[AssPull a glaring and desperate attempt to absolve themselves]] of creative responsibility in the eyes of fans, it brings up an even more disturbing question: Was the writing staff so unable to think of any other potential avenues for the character’s fate? [[MundaneSolution Couldn’t Gwen simply have left town, met someone else, gotten a job?]] Since [[StuffedIntoTheFridge when is a brutal demise the only alternative for a female character besides marriage]]? The [[UnfortunateImplications misogynistic implications]] of this thinking are staggering."

to:

* OlderThanTheyThink:
**
OlderThanTheyThink: According to Blake Bell's biography of Creator/SteveDitko (''Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko''), Ditko proposed to Lee a plotline to kill off Betty Brant for shock value and melodrama. Lee turned down Ditko, and Ditko later admitted that Lee was right about this, that such a move would make the stories too dark and add more emotional baggage on top of Uncle Ben's death. Ditko said that his idea would have had Betty die in an accident and not in a criminal situation. \n** It's often thought that the backlash towards this story being one of the first, best-known and popularizing cases of StuffedIntoTheFridge is a strictly modern reaction in a more politically correct era. While it wasn't as widespread at the time, there was a backlash even back in the '70s. This quote below? It was from Arnold T. Blumberg in the Comics Buyer's Guide in 1974, just a year after the comic.\n---> "Since they couldn’t marry Peter and Gwen, they say it was ‘inescapable’ -- Gwen had to die. Not only is this [[AssPull a glaring and desperate attempt to absolve themselves]] of creative responsibility in the eyes of fans, it brings up an even more disturbing question: Was the writing staff so unable to think of any other potential avenues for the character’s fate? [[MundaneSolution Couldn’t Gwen simply have left town, met someone else, gotten a job?]] Since [[StuffedIntoTheFridge when is a brutal demise the only alternative for a female character besides marriage]]? The [[UnfortunateImplications misogynistic implications]] of this thinking are staggering."


-->'''Spider-Man''': "I saved you, honey... don't you see? *quietly* I saved you..."
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: Even those who like Gwen Stacy's death and want her to stay dead point out that the tragedy of her passing feels hollow by the fact that she died both without knowing Peter is Spider-Man and lacking catharsis for her father's death. Later storylines such as the first Clone Saga and ''ComicBook/DeadNoMoreTheCloneConspiracy'' try to provide this CatharsisFactor, but these instances are more for Peter's benefit rather than her own character.

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-->'''Spider-Man''': "I I saved you, honey... don't you see? *quietly* I saved you..."
you...
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: Even those who like Gwen Stacy's death and want her to stay dead point out that the tragedy of her passing feels hollow by the fact that she died both without knowing Peter is Spider-Man and lacking catharsis for her father's death. Later storylines such as the first Clone Saga and ''ComicBook/DeadNoMoreTheCloneConspiracy'' try to provide this CatharsisFactor, but these instances are more for Peter's benefit rather than her own character.


* AlasPoorScrappy: Gwen's death invoked this reaction to the extent that people have forgotten that she was a scrappy before her death. Many fans didn't like her for hating Spider-Man, or unfairly blaming him for her father's death out of prejudice, and how that bizarre situation made Peter feel guilty. For reference, check out the letter by a female fan in ''Amazing Spider-Man'' #125 who commends the writers for whacking a very annoying character. But even then the shock of her death and the cold and almost perfunctory manner in which it happened as well as Peter's horror and grief at his loss and failure quickly enlarged and exponentially increased Gwen's fanbase overnight.


** According to Blake Bell's biography of Creator/SteveDitko, ''Strange and Stranger: Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko'', Ditko proposed to Lee a plotline to kill off Betty Brant for shock value and melodrama. Lee turned down Ditko, and Ditko later admitted that Lee was right about this, that such a move would make the stories too dark and add more emotional baggage on top of Uncle Ben's death. Ditko said that his idea would have had Betty die in an accident and not in a criminal situation.

to:

** According to Blake Bell's biography of Creator/SteveDitko, ''Strange and Stranger: Strange Creator/SteveDitko (''Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko'', Ditko''), Ditko proposed to Lee a plotline to kill off Betty Brant for shock value and melodrama. Lee turned down Ditko, and Ditko later admitted that Lee was right about this, that such a move would make the stories too dark and add more emotional baggage on top of Uncle Ben's death. Ditko said that his idea would have had Betty die in an accident and not in a criminal situation.





* OlderThanTheyThink: According to Blake Bell's biography of Creator/SteveDitko, ''Strange and Stranger: Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko'', Ditko proposed to Lee a plotline to kill off Betty Brant for shock value and melodrama. Lee turned down Ditko, and Ditko later admitted that Lee was right about this, that such a move would make the stories too dark and add more emotional baggage on top of Uncle Ben's death. Ditko said that his idea would have had Betty die in an accident and not in a criminal situation.

to:

* OlderThanTheyThink: OlderThanTheyThink:
**
According to Blake Bell's biography of Creator/SteveDitko, ''Strange and Stranger: Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko'', Ditko proposed to Lee a plotline to kill off Betty Brant for shock value and melodrama. Lee turned down Ditko, and Ditko later admitted that Lee was right about this, that such a move would make the stories too dark and add more emotional baggage on top of Uncle Ben's death. Ditko said that his idea would have had Betty die in an accident and not in a criminal situation.
** It's often thought that the backlash towards this story being one of the first, best-known and popularizing cases of StuffedIntoTheFridge is a strictly modern reaction in a more politically correct era. While it wasn't as widespread at the time, there was a backlash even back in the '70s. This quote below? It was from Arnold T. Blumberg in the Comics Buyer's Guide in 1974, just a year after the comic.
---> "Since they couldn’t marry Peter and Gwen, they say it was ‘inescapable’ -- Gwen had to die. Not only is this [[AssPull a glaring and desperate attempt to absolve themselves]] of creative responsibility in the eyes of fans, it brings up an even more disturbing question: Was the writing staff so unable to think of any other potential avenues for the character’s fate? [[MundaneSolution Couldn’t Gwen simply have left town, met someone else, gotten a job?]] Since [[StuffedIntoTheFridge when is a brutal demise the only alternative for a female character besides marriage]]? The [[UnfortunateImplications misogynistic implications]] of this thinking are staggering."

Added DiffLines:

* OlderThanTheyThink: According to Blake Bell's biography of Creator/SteveDitko, ''Strange and Stranger: Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko'', Ditko proposed to Lee a plotline to kill off Betty Brant for shock value and melodrama. Lee turned down Ditko, and Ditko later admitted that Lee was right about this, that such a move would make the stories too dark and add more emotional baggage on top of Uncle Ben's death. Ditko said that his idea would have had Betty die in an accident and not in a criminal situation.


* CrowningMomentOfAwesome:
** Despite being pretty sick, Spider-Man puts all his strength into one punch and knocks the Goblin away just in time to reach Gwen.
** Spidey's NoHoldsBarredBeatdown of the Green Goblin after Gwen dies. Keep in mind, ''Spidey is sick'' during this fight, and yet he manages to wipe the floor with the Goblin. He was ''that'' pissed.
** On a meta level, the fact that the writers managed to permanently kill a major character convincingly. Though as pointed out by Gerry Conway, the decision to kill Gwen was not especially controversial by the editorial staff.
** Gerry Conway was ''19 years old'' when he wrote this story, and had the daunting task to follow Stan the Man himself as the writer of ''Franchise/SpiderMan''. That he stepped up to the challenge is already remarkable, that he did so with an era-defining story that showed that Spider-Man could continue without Stan and go in a direction entirely different from him but rooted in what he, Ditko, and Romita Sr. did is pretty great.
** Mary Jane's CharacterDevelopment shows ''brilliantly'' when Peter, in his despair, lashes out at her and tells her [[GetOut to leave him alone]]. [[YouAreNotAlone She refuses]].

to:

* CrowningMomentOfAwesome:
** Despite being pretty sick, Spider-Man puts all his strength into one punch and knocks the Goblin away just in time to reach Gwen.
** Spidey's NoHoldsBarredBeatdown of the Green Goblin after Gwen dies. Keep in mind, ''Spidey is sick'' during this fight, and yet he manages to wipe the floor with the Goblin. He was ''that'' pissed.
** On a meta level, the fact that the writers managed to permanently kill a major character convincingly. Though as pointed out by Gerry Conway, the decision to kill Gwen was not especially controversial by the editorial staff.
** Gerry Conway was ''19 years old'' when he wrote this story, and had the daunting task to follow Stan the Man himself as the writer of ''Franchise/SpiderMan''. That he stepped up to the challenge is already remarkable, that he did so with an era-defining story that showed that Spider-Man could continue without Stan and go in a direction entirely different from him but rooted in what he, Ditko, and Romita Sr. did is pretty great.
** Mary Jane's CharacterDevelopment shows ''brilliantly'' when Peter, in his despair, lashes out at her and tells her [[GetOut to leave him alone]]. [[YouAreNotAlone She refuses]].


* AlasPoorScrappy: Gwen's death invoked this reaction to the extent that people have forgotten that she was a scrappy before her death. Many fans didn't like her for hating Spider-Man, or unfairly blaming him for her father's death out of prejudice, and how that bizarre situation made Peter feel guilty but even then the shock of her death and the cold and almost perfunctory manner in which it happened as well as Peter's horror and grief at his loss and failure quickly enlarged and exponentially increased Gwen's fanbase overnight.

to:

* AlasPoorScrappy: Gwen's death invoked this reaction to the extent that people have forgotten that she was a scrappy before her death. Many fans didn't like her for hating Spider-Man, or unfairly blaming him for her father's death out of prejudice, and how that bizarre situation made Peter feel guilty but guilty. For reference, check out the letter by a female fan in ''Amazing Spider-Man'' #125 who commends the writers for whacking a very annoying character. But even then the shock of her death and the cold and almost perfunctory manner in which it happened as well as Peter's horror and grief at his loss and failure quickly enlarged and exponentially increased Gwen's fanbase overnight.


** Conway also pointed out in a 2016 Podcast for Spider-Man Crawlspace that there were plans well underway before he came in to kill of a major supporting character (something which needed the approval of not only the writer but the artist, lead art director, EIC and others), and that he didn't necessarily set out to kill Gwen. He merely tossed her name into the debate and everyone agreed that she was the best choice in being simultaneously emotionally significant to both Peter and audience while also being expendable. He stated that had there been no plans for CharacterDeath he would have merely broken Peter and Gwen up and have her PutOnABus and make way for Peter and MJ, leaving later writers to come in and develop her.

to:

** Conway also pointed out in a 2016 Podcast for Spider-Man Crawlspace that there were plans well underway before he came in to kill of a major supporting character (something which needed the approval of not only the writer but the artist, lead art director, EIC and others), and that he didn't necessarily set out to kill Gwen. He merely tossed her name into the debate and everyone agreed that she was the best choice in being simultaneously emotionally significant to both Peter and audience while also being expendable. He stated that had there been no plans for CharacterDeath he would have merely broken Peter and Gwen up and have her PutOnABus and make way for Peter and MJ, leaving later writers to come in and develop her. Gwen and built the LoveTriangle if they wished.


* ScapegoatCreator: According to Gerry Conway, he, [[ImprobableAge at the age of around 19 when he wrote this story]], became this for killing Gwen Stacy where Marvel received a bunch of comments, and vitriol, and Stan Lee passed the buck by saying that he wasn't involved and that it was Conway who came up with the story... which is true. However, Conway insists that while Stan Lee wasn't involved with the actual story, he ''was'' fully aware of the idea and approved it from the start.

to:

* ScapegoatCreator: ScapegoatCreator:
**
According to Gerry Conway, he, [[ImprobableAge at the age of around 19 when he wrote this story]], became this for killing Gwen Stacy where Marvel received a bunch of comments, and vitriol, and Stan Lee passed the buck by saying that he wasn't involved and that it was Conway who came up with the story... which is true. However, Conway insists that while Stan Lee wasn't involved with the actual story, he ''was'' fully aware of the idea and approved it from the start.
** Conway also pointed out in a 2016 Podcast for Spider-Man Crawlspace that there were plans well underway before he came in to kill of a major supporting character (something which needed the approval of not only the writer but the artist, lead art director, EIC and others), and that he didn't necessarily set out to kill Gwen. He merely tossed her name into the debate and everyone agreed that she was the best choice in being simultaneously emotionally significant to both Peter and audience while also being expendable. He stated that had there been no plans for CharacterDeath he would have merely broken Peter and Gwen up and have her PutOnABus and make way for Peter and MJ, leaving later writers to come in and develop her.

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