Gerry Conway On "The Night Gwen Stacy Died"
This may be old hat for some of you older Spider-Man fans but legendary writer Gerry Conway was a feature guest at ECC where he discussed "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" and which Spider-Man character was originally scheduled to die.
Gerry Conway is one of the legendary writers in comic book history. During his time at Marvel, he was part of the team that created characters such as Man-Thing, Werewolf by Night, Punisher, Vulture, Tombstone, and many others. During his time at DC Comics, he created Atomic Skull, Cheetah, Firestorm, Killer Croc, Star Sapphire, Jason Todd and many more. However, at Emerald City Comicon, Conway spent a considerable amount of his panel discussing the classic Spider-Man story, "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" which had superstar John Romita Sr. supplying the art. Originally, Romita pitched the story with Aunt May dying at the end.
Which I didn't really see, because Aunt May was already, like, on her deathbed. It was sort of the running gag -- 'Oh, she's dying again.' If she died, it would've been sad, but it wouldn't have been tragic," said Conway to the panel interviewer Blair Butler.
"I really defy anybody to come up with anything memorable that Gwen Stacy ever did other than die," Conway continued, also calling Mary Jane Watson his "idealized female".
"I think there are things that should remain stable, because they give you a ground floor to build on," Conway stated about the death of Gwen Stacy as one of the few irreversible comic book deaths. "But in 1973, all I wanted to do was get out of the way of the tomatoes that were being thrown."
CBR has a lot more from the session with Conway where he discusses the creation of The Punisher, the rivalry between DC and Marvel, and the contractual differences between the two companies (Conway says he receives royalties from the DC characters he created but gets nothing for those he created at Marvel). It's an interesting recap that is definitely worth a read. In terms of "The Night Gwen Stacy Died", imagine how different Marc Webb's Amazing Spider-Man sequel might have be if Romita Sr. had gotten his wish and Marvel killed off Aunt May instead of Gwen Stacy. With both Aunt May and Uncle Ben dead, that might have made Peter Parker a bit too similar to Bruce Wayne I think.
The Marvel Pullpen circa 1970: Unknown, Stu Schwartzberg, Gil Kane, Gerry Conway, Bill Everett, Herb Trimpe, Marie Severin, John Verpoorten, Roy Thomas, John Romita, Morrie Kuramoto, Unknown (Allyn Brodsky?).
via Sean Howe of Marvel: The Untold Story
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