Also, I don’t have the time or energy to write about this in-depth right now, but one day, I’m going to have to write about how it disappoints me when comic book fans who are usually highly critical about the way women are treated/written, especially when it comes to fridging, will get extremely defensive if one tries to point out that there was definitely misogyny both in-narrative and behind-the-scenes when it comes to Gwen Stacy’s death.
‘BUT IT WAS A GREAT STORY MAYBE THE GREATEST EVER HOW DARE YOU CRITICISE IT!!!’
Thiiiiiis. I can understand (and have argued myself in the past) that The Night That Gwen Stacy died isextremely difficult to critique as a story in isolation because it was so significant in shaping not just the Spider-Man franchise, but American superhero comics as a genre. But I have seen people cite Conway’s comments on Gwen (that she was boring and there was nothing to be done with her but kill her off) as some kind of objective truth — as opposed to the preferences of a nineteen-year-old male writer working in the 70’s. Which, surprise surprise, did not form in a philosophical vacuum.
MJ is my favorite lady in comics and there’s no doubt that her characterization benefited enormously from Conway’s run but that doesn’t mean I’m going to ignore that her storyline came at the cost of Gwen being fridged, even if it’s hard to say what Spider-Man would be like if that hadn’t happened.