Snap!The Day Spider-Man Became a Murderer
Gwendolyn “Gwen” Stacy, looking at her from afar it wasn't uncommon for the mind to stray down the path of stereotypes that have come to epitomize attractive blonde teenage girls. But if you were one of the lucky few to stand close enough to catch the sparkle in those baby blue eyes, then you would realize that Gwen Stacy was not a cheerleader. Gwen Stacy was not vain. Gwen Stacy was not dumb. Gwen Stacy was far from stereotypical… but she was the victim of one cliché, she was blinded by love. Gwen dreamt of achievement, of a family, of a career. Sadly this was not to be. As her body hurled at nearly 95 miles per hour towards
New York’s East River,
it was a sad irony. Her fate had been sealed by the man she loved. Gwen knew she
would have no picket fence, no two car garage… no future. Spider-Man assured
that when he launched his web towards the descending body of young Gwen Stacy. With
one flick of the wrist, it was Spider-Man whose feeble attempt at “saving”
Gwen’s life would instead end it at that very moment with a SNAP!
To understand why Spider-Man killed Gwen Stacy you must first start by dissecting the man behind the mask, Peter Parker. Orphaned at a young age the traumatized Peter was whisked away by his loving Aunt May and Uncle Ben. When his Uncle Ben was gunned down by a robber whom Peter himself let get away only hours earlier, his fragile psyche was further shattered. Cursed by tragedy, doomed to live his teenage years a genetically enhanced abomination, Peter Parker thought he could never find happiness. Forced to mask himself from the world he now felt “great responsibility” to protect, Peter’s psychological deterioration only grew. Every time he put on that costume he would be feared by the community he served, ridiculed by the newspaper for which he worked. Hated by the very Aunt whom house he lived. But this was Peter’s life, and he accepted it, until she came along.
That “she” was Gwen Stacy, a fellow science nerd and classmate of Peter’s at Empire University. Stunning good-looks, an intellect that rivaled his, what more could Peter ask for? Yet he resisted Gwen’s advances, afraid to get close. Afraid of more lost perhaps? No. Abandonment had become Peter’s surrogate father. The guilt of failing his Uncle Ben had crawled into Peter’s gut and he embraced it. He curled into a mess of self-righteousness, determined to save a world full of people who didn't need saving. And there Gwen stood; the sparkling blonde key to his emancipation, the ailment for his guilt, a chance at stability. Gwen Stacy was happiness accessorized with a head band and packed into a pair of bell bottoms. But it was only a matter of time before the self loathing Peter Parker was bitten again, this time by the love bug. What was an ideal relationship became too much for Peter and with a little help from his former mentor, Norman Osborne, what was once a dream would become a deadly reality.
Cherophobia or fear of gaiety as it is referred to in the world of Psychology, is essentially the fear of being happy. Often masking itself as nausea, lost of appetite, and other flue like symptoms, Cherophobia is often triggered by negative association. For Peter Parker cherophobia reared its ugly head during what should have been the happiest time of his life. The Daily Bugle had toned down its anti-Spidey propaganda. Peter had moved out of his Aunt’s home and his best friend Harry Osborne was thinking about asking his girlfriend Mary Jane Watson to marry him. This is what Peter feared the most. Like his friend Harry, he soon would have to propose to Gwen, there was no way of getting around it. They would marry. They would have kids. He would be content. The need for Spider-Man would dull and eventually vanish. So when Harry’s deranged father, dressed yet again as the Green Goblin, abducted Gwen, Peter’s Cherophobia kicked into high gear.
As evident in the events of Amazing Spider-Man Issues 121-122, Peter arrived as Spider-Man, physically weak, and suffering flu like symptoms. Clearly he wasn’t himself. When the Goblin dropped Gwen off of the
, Peter could have simply spun a
web to cushion her impact before she hit the water or like he’s done so many
times before, dived off of the bridge and caught the falling damsel. Not
tonight. Tonight Peter’s mind was clouded by his cherophobia. Spider-Man couldn’t
get married. Spider-Man couldn't raise kids. Spider-Man couldn’t grow old and
retire, pot-bellied and graying watching cars drive by from his lawn chair.
Peter Parker could do all of those things and die a happy man… but what about
Spidey? The moment after the “I Do’s” were exchanged Gwendolyn Stacy-Parker
would do what Doc Ock and Electro couldn't—she would end the career of The Spectacular
Spider-Man. This blonde haired bitch was going to ruin EVERYTHING! No Avengers
membership. No X-Men team ups. No more heroics, no more praise, no more excitement.
All that power would go unused and Peter would end up just another fat,
balding, 9-5’er, who lived for bad TV shows and Wednesday meatloaf. F**k That! Gwen
Stacy had to be stopped… Brooklyn Bridge
The Moment the maniac Osborne tossed Gwen over the side of the bridge the pain of the past collided with the fears of the future and Peter made an irrational decision that subconsciously would renew his need to be Spider-Man. Peter shoots his web, connects with Gwen’s foot, and attempts to yank her up. The whiplash is sudden and violent.
SNAP! That was the sound of her C5 vertebrae being fractured. SNAP! That was the sound of 19 years extinguished. SNAP! That was the sound of a bright future dimmed. SNAP! That was the sound of Gwen Stacy dying. snap… that was the sound of Spider-Man being reborn.