Spider-Gwen is a weird title for the newest heroine to swing through the Marvel Universe. Technically, she’s a Spider-Woman. But the ‘Gwen’ part of her moniker highlights the most potentially exciting aspect of her: she’s an alternate version of Gwen Stacy, a character most famous for how she died.

Forty-two years ago, Spider-Man lost a girlfriend in a brutal battle with the Green Goblin that ended in a cruel, twist ending. The final pages of The Amazing Spider-Man #122—in which the wall-crawler snags Gwen with webbing after his archenemy knocks her off the George Washington Bridge—went on become an iconic part of comic-book history. It was a collective loss of innocence for an era of fandom, which dared to present a story where superheroes can’t always save innocents. (Read More)