Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, two creative geniuses who, in 1962, pulled out of a hat a superhero with spider powers that jumped from building to building through the streets of New York. Now, six decades later, Peter Parker is already another member of a select group of fictional characters who are the protagonists of global popular culture, but in order for this to be the case, for his birth to take place in comics, someone had to create him. It was them, Lee and Ditko, and today, thanks to their genius, we continue to enjoy the adventures of Spider-Man. Thank you both for this.
On the occasion of this anniversary, Panini Comics released a ten-issue collection of the most important and decisive Spider-Man stories. Comics that changed his life forever. And among those stories is the death of the first love of his life, Gwen Stacy.
Before diving into this story fully, let’s get to the technical part of this Spider-Man, the death of Gwen Stacy: written by Stan Lee and Jerry Conway, art by Gil Kane and John Romita Sr., contains Amazing Spider-Man 96-98 and 121. – 123, hardcover, 136 pages, edited by Panini and price €9.95.
let’s start the review
A classic that redefined the hero’s personality
If anything characterizes Spider-Man and therefore Peter Parker, it is the suffering that he lives and overcomes for years. He is a sufferer. A superhero whose sense of humor hides a life full of big losses. His birth came from the bite of a spider, but his final transformation into Spider-Man was due to the mythical death of Uncle Ben. It changed him forever. This made him first want revenge, and then become a fighter for justice. His first knowledge of life came, but the matter did not end there, since from time to time the foundations of Peter’s soul are shaken by irreparable losses.
Peter’s life in the comics has never been comfortable, and in this particular story, a piece of his heart died when he lost his first love, Gwen Stacy, at the hands of the evil Green Goblin, his most notorious rival. Such is the plot of this story by Stan Lee and Gerry Conway, which for a while left the hearts of all readers who love the character cold. Peter was forever changed after this death, and this strength, which comes with great responsibility, cost him more than he could hope to bear at the time. This fact was so important that the authors hid the title of the comic in question in order not to reveal the death ahead of time and not to do what is now called a spoiler.
This is a classic comic, wonderful and, above all, very entertaining. It is an integral part of the Marvel Universe and Spider-Man in particular. It’s a delight to read, funny, dramatic, full of action, and even a way to culturally get to know what society was like at the time. In fact, the secondary story that is discussed in this comic, aside from Gwen’s mythical death, is the loss of sanity by Harry Osborn, Peter’s friend and son of the villain Norman Osborn, due to drugs. Stan Lee and Conway will be talking to us here about the world of drugs, and in many of the vignettes you can see the social condemnation they made about an issue that at that time was beginning to show its darkest and most destructive side to the American people and to the world in general. . This comic is not only a historical gem about Spider-Man and his universe, but also a way to learn the details of the society of that time. This dual function, historical on more than one level, adds value to the narrative.
Logically, Gwen’s death is the most significant in the story, but it’s interesting to see what role each character played in the Spider-Man universe until this fateful moment. We will meet Mary Jane Watson, who was always attracted to Peter, even if he had a girlfriend. We get to see the obsessive and spoiled side of Harry Osborn, who can’t stand it when Mary Jane spots his best friend. Aunt May will appear briefly. There will also be professional Spider-Man hater J. John Jameson. And, of course, there will be the Green Goblin. The duels, perfectly drawn by the hands of Gil Kane and John Romita Sr., will make us feel dizzy at the New York sky and Peter’s fear of Norman Osborn, who knew his identity before he lost his memory.
The Panini edition is another reason to buy this comic. The extras it includes are similar to those the publisher has, meaning they textually guide you through the point at which the story takes place. This makes this comic perfect for those readers who want to nibble on important Spider-Man stories here and there, or for those who want to expand on a story they already know by heart in a different format.
Conclusion: a nice way to pay homage to good old Spider-Man for his sixty years of age. A dramatic story, but full of fun and action. It’s about the history of comics in every sense, both in script and in art. The perfect format for a bite of Spider-Man and a great way to get closer to the classic comic book that we continue to drink today in 21st century cartoons.