‘The Amazing Spider-Man #121’ (Review) The Death of Gwen Stacy

The opening page of this book promises that someone very important to Spider-Man will die in this issue. But who is it? Are they that important? Will they leave behind a mark on the book and Peter’s heart?

We’ll find out soon enough.

The great Gerry Conway writes this issue while the perfect-for-Spidey Gil Kane handles the artwork. We’re in good, confident hands… but what’s that say about the death we’ll soon witness?

The early goings of the book show us a look at a comatose Harry Osborn. It seems he dropped some acid and fried balls just a little too much. He’s basically in a coma, and his friends, Pete, Gwen and Mary Jane make an attempt to see their bedridden friend, but Norman Osborn surfaces and he’s in a rage, immediately kicking everyone out of his house.

Is he remembering who Peter Parker really is?

Throughout the issue Peter battles illness. He’s not himself, and some sort of bug has him dragging rear, and it is an absolutely terrible time to be at anything less than 100-percent, for Norman Osborn has regained his memory. He knows Peter Parker is Spider-Man, and he plans to attack those that Peter cares about most.

Enter Gwen Stacy and her unfortunate luck.

Green Goblin kidnaps Gwen before Spidey can get to her. He follows his Spidey Sense and finds himself on the George Washington Bridge, where the Green Goblin waits… Gwen in tow.

A lengthy and gratifying battle between the two ensue. Due to Parker’s sickness he’s slowed a bit, which enables the Goblin to make it more competitive than it should be. But Peter swings closer to a Stacy rescue with each exchange and it seems only a matter of fleeting time before he can rescue the woman he loves.

But it is not to be so. Green Goblin strikes once more, and this time he sends Gwen careening from the bridge. In a panic Spidey does all he can to save his girl. He shoots webbing to catch Gwen, but by the time he’s secured her with his webbing she’s fallen far enough to gain the moment that ultimately snaps her neck (though Green Goblin insinuates she was dead before plunging through the air).

Gwen dies in the arms of a broken Peter Parker. We’re left to wonder how he picks up the pieces.

Rating: 5/5

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