[personal profile] kevinroc posting in [community profile] scans_daily
No, the title is not a reference to Sins Past or any of that. Today we will look back at Gwen Stacy during the Steve Ditko days on Spider-Man. Gwen was a much different character during Ditko's days.

Here we see the first appearance of Gwen Stacy and Harry Osborn. Introduced through their introduction to another supporting character (Flash Thompson). I don't think this introduction is particularly memorable but we never really got any kind of build up to Gwen and Harry joining the cast (Aunt May was still trying to get Pete and MJ together during these days).

Gwen was attracted to Peter since the first time she saw him. Given this is probably only the 2nd or so time Aunt May was hanging on death's door, it's understandable that Peter is so worried about her (this is the Master Planner arc).

Peter doesn't appear to give the attractive blonde the time of day in favor of his science experiment. Reed Richards would be so proud.

The Professor is Miles Warren, who later goes crazy and clones Peter and Gwen because he is crazy.

Gwen is clearly attracted to men who ignore her. Don't believe me yet?

Now do you believe me?

Gwen dials up the nastiness now.

But in all fairness...

Peter later goes to a space exhibit and Gwen sees him on line. She thinks to herself that she will casually bump into him. It'll be her chance to get to know him.

(Gwen in the middle left panel looks really evil!)

(Gwen is actually a very nasty person under Ditko.)

But there was hints of actual romance in Ditko's last few portions.

Ditko's Gwen was a definite "Tsundere."

Certainly not at all what people remember about her, huh.

Date: 2012-12-05 06:59 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jmacq1
I may be mistaken...I've never been much of an ardent follower of Spider-Man, but my understanding from the tidbits I've seen here and there over the years lead me to the assumption that Gwen didn't become the shining icon of purely pure purity and twue wuv until long after she was deceased.

Though it's definitely true that she "softened" a tremendous degree under later writers, she still often ran hot and cold even in those years. The first time I remember feeling like she was being "canonized" was...the old Marvels mini-series, I think?

Funny, if you sub out "Gwen Stacy" with "Emma Frost" all of these panels would seem nearly perfectly in-character.

Date: 2012-12-05 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
Her character started to soften once Ditko left and John Romita Sr. started drawing. Then by the time Gerry Conway got in and Captain Stacy was introduced, Gwen kinda became the crying princess.

Date: 2012-12-05 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
I honestly kinda love this take on Gwen--there's still innate goodness in her, but with some added deviousness and ego. In a lot of ways, I think this take on Gwen could have been just as interesting of a contrast to Peter as MJ was when they got together.

Date: 2012-12-05 07:25 pm (UTC)
mrosa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrosa
Well, it's a good thing characters change.

Date: 2012-12-05 07:52 pm (UTC)
bj_l: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bj_l
Ol' Peter's the only one who hasn't given her a tumble, aye?

I like this Gwen. This seems to be where the Ultimate Gwen originated.

Date: 2012-12-05 08:02 pm (UTC)
ablackraptor: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ablackraptor
Oh, you forgot the 'He's the only boy who hasn't given me the tumble' panel. I'm not sure why, but that one line makes me laugh. I don't know if its because how apposing it is to Gwen's more well known chracterization, or the fact that 'the tumble' is such a strange euphemism, but I always laugh when remembering that bit.

Small note, I can't help but wonder why, when they called him on it, Peter didn't just explain that the woman who raised him was really sick and he was too busy to talk to them? I mean, they'd have to be seriously horrible people to not give him some consideration if they knew why he was always ignoring them.

Date: 2012-12-05 08:44 pm (UTC)
ablackraptor: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ablackraptor
Huh, didn't notice it. Strange, my mind seemed to blank it, weirdly.

Date: 2012-12-05 10:19 pm (UTC)
greenmask: (Default)
From: [personal profile] greenmask
He's still a big ole nerd at this point, isn't he? Not yet used to having peers understand him?

Date: 2012-12-05 10:33 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] arilou_skiff
"given me the tumble" makes me think of some rather more.... Horisontal activities.

Date: 2012-12-05 11:16 pm (UTC)
auggie18: (Default)
From: [personal profile] auggie18
I'd kind of love it if they incorporated Gwen sleeping with a ton of dudes into her "blessed angel" status.

Date: 2012-12-06 01:33 am (UTC)
joeyconqueso: (Default)
From: [personal profile] joeyconqueso
"Small note, I can't help but wonder why, when they called him on it, Peter didn't just explain that the woman who raised him was really sick and he was too busy to talk to them? "

It seems like you were just supposed to internalize stuff like that back then.

Date: 2012-12-06 03:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredneil.livejournal.com
I think he did explain at some point, or maybe I'm getting this mixed up with a later "Peter thinks Aunt May is dying and everyone else thinks he's snubbing them" scene. Or maybe it was one of the times that she did die.

Anyway, you do see them laying the groundwork for softening her character here and there are other scenes like that from this period. I think that was the plan all along, as it was with MJ. Granted, Stan never got around to giving MJ any depth.

Date: 2012-12-06 08:50 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
I want to say that happened around the time when Romita started drawing and Lee started writing everyone to be a little less of a dick.

Date: 2012-12-05 11:23 pm (UTC)
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starwolf_oakley
There's a dramatic change, almost snap-like, to supporting characters in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #39. It was discussed and examined in a podcast review (with "C'mon Get Happy" playing in the background). Gwen said she was going to be nicer to Peter Parker, and wanted a reluctant Flash Thompson to be nicer to Peter as well.

Peter getting his own group of friends at ESU makes sense in a long-term story sense. Peter Parker: Social Misfit only goes so far, and then you wonder why Peter gives a crap if any of his mean classmates are threatened by supervillains.

Date: 2012-12-06 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
It was discussed and examined in a podcast review (with "C'mon Get Happy" playing in the background).

I think that was Amazing Spider-Man Classics. Oh, how I miss it. :'(

Date: 2012-12-06 12:28 am (UTC)
silverhammerman: (Default)
From: [personal profile] silverhammerman
I feel like the Ditko era stuff was focused on the whole "Peter's life is crap" angle a bit too heavily. Like, almost to the point that the classmates her come off as two-dimensional caricatures. The Romita Sr stuff did a better job establishing the supporting cast I think.
It is interesting to note how the characterization of Gwen Stacy's changed over the years, though I wonder how quickly they changed her into less of an unlikable person after Ditko left.

Date: 2012-12-06 12:44 am (UTC)
silverhammerman: (Default)
From: [personal profile] silverhammerman
Geez, really? It's been quite a while since I first read that stuff, but I don't really remember noticing the change that much.

Date: 2012-12-06 05:00 am (UTC)
wake_the_dragon: (girl wonder)
From: [personal profile] wake_the_dragon
I feel like the Ditko era stuff was focused on the whole "Peter's life is crap" angle a bit too heavily. Like, almost to the point that the classmates her come off as two-dimensional caricatures.

I wonder if this was partly inspried by Ditko's belief in Objectivism; it's the whole hero dragged down by the mean, selfish people around him

(I should admit my opionon on Objectivism is a bit biased and based on a dislike of Atlas Shrugged. )

Date: 2012-12-06 08:56 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
From what I recall, Ditko seemed to want to make it more of a crime book, which might explain the less chummy characterization.

Date: 2012-12-06 01:37 am (UTC)
robotdinosaur: (Default)
From: [personal profile] robotdinosaur
I read a fandom theory to explain her gradual change from how she was depicted under Ditko to how she was depicted under Romita Sr. as her growing away from being the type of image conscious teen she probably was in high school to being more mellow and comfortable with herself in college. Which happens to a lot of people.

Romita!Gwen got mad and upset sometimes too often with really good motivation. I wish current comic writers/the writers and directors of the current film series would remember that, because Gwen as she was written when she was alive was a far more interesting and compelling character that way.

Date: 2012-12-06 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
It's interesting you say that, because I thought the Gwen in the ASM movie was FAR more interesting than the Gwen under Romita and especially Conway, who I think literally admitted that he killed her off because he felt she didn't have a personality.

Date: 2012-12-06 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
Hmm...you know, I really can't argue the "no flaws," because there wasn't really a character-defining one like with Peter, but I can't say she was a bad character or a mary sue or whatever, because she just felt like a young woman who had her shit together better than everyone else around her. But yeah, I think the thing that really made her character shine more than what was written was her chemistry with Garfield.

Date: 2012-12-07 02:03 am (UTC)
robotdinosaur: (Default)
From: [personal profile] robotdinosaur
Yeah that's my big problem too. She doesn't really have a life outside advancing Peter's story (her job is a way for Peter to meet the Lizard, her dad gets more scenes with Peter than she does etc.). Also, I didn't like how they basically removed the big conflict of her and Peter's relationship from the comic (i.e. she dislikes Spider-man for really understandable reasons, and Peter keeps not telling her about him being Spider-man thus causing relationship issues).

Date: 2012-12-06 03:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredneil.livejournal.com
(Gwen in the middle left panel looks really evil!)

Gwen in most of the panels looks evil, but so does just about everyone else.

Date: 2012-12-07 09:27 am (UTC)
blackruzsa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blackruzsa
I honestly think the most douchey out of everyone here was Peter. Here you have some proud sort of people trying to be nice to a new guy, who may not understand what's going on in his life, but like anyone, feel angry when they're brushed off.

And then Peter, who KNOWS why they brushed him off, just responds with irritated jabs. I mean, man, I know you have problems, we're not denying it, but you're really making it easy to hate you.

And Gwen was a personality here. Very tsundere, as you said. It's cool, she's gorgeous, she's proud, but she's also got a bit of kindness.


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