The Relationship Between Gwen Stacy and Spider-Man

Marvel fans who have been watching the latest big-screen renditions of Spider-Man haven’t seen her in a while — but true comic buffs remember Spidey’s first love — Gwen Stacy.

In recent years, Gwen has been shunned in favor of Mary Jane Watson, a.k.a. MJ; yet, Peter Parker and Gwen’s love story is crucial for understanding Spired-Man’s character arc throughout comics and movies.

So, as a genuine Spider-Man lover, it’s time you meet Gwen Stacy and get to know more about her history with Peter Parker.

Who is Gwen Stacy?

Gwen Stacy is a comic book character, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko as Spider-Man’s love interest. She debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man comic book, issue 31, back in 1965.

Stacy attended Standard High, a rival high school to Parker’s Midtown High, and later met Peter when they were undergraduates at Empire State University.

In the comics, Gwen is portrayed as an intelligent, strong-willed, and opinionated girl who often acts tough and has no problem showing when she dislikes someone.

Stacy is best known as Parker’s first love interest; yet, throughout the comics, she also dated Norman Osborn’s (yes, Green Goblin) son, Harry, who was Peter’s best friend in college.

However, Gwen’s story didn’t have a happy ending. First, there’s her dark secret — she got pregnant with twins after a short affair with Norman Osborn, giving birth to a boy and a girl, Gabriel and Sarah.

Soon after their birth, Stacy was killed by Green Goblin, and their kids were raised by AI, only to die young due to a genetic flaw caused by Norman’s enhanced blood, that caused them to age at a rapid rate.

Eventually, Gwen was killed off because Spired-Man fans wanted to see more of MJ — a move that must have saddened Lee as he modeled Stacy on his beloved wife Joan.

However, there are countless versions of Gwen Stacy in the Multiverse and, luckily, some had a happier ending. For example, in this reality, Gwen became the superhero known as Spider-Woman, Spider-Gwen, or Ghost Spider.

Gwen and Spider-Man’s Relationship

As we’ve mentioned, Gwen and Peter met at university but they didn’t hit it off immediately.

Their superior intellect and interest in science brought the two closer together. However, Stacy never truly trusted Spider-Man and she considered him dangerous — this made her and Parker’s relationship rocky from the start.

Moreover, Aunt May’s illness, Peter’s alter ego, and numerous other issues contributed to Gwen believing Peter had no interest in her and that he was a coward, making their relationship even more tumultuous.

Throughout the comic books, Peter Parker had on-and-off relationships with both Gwen and MJ, and Gwen briefly dated Flash Thompson and Harry Osborn to make Peter jealous.

In one story, Gwen and MJ directly compete for Peter’s attention and the chance to go on a date with him. Stacy was very jealous of the bond Parker had formed with MJ; thankfully, the comics quickly dropped this narrative as it is far from the female empowerment we all want to see.

In the version of Multiverse where she dies at the hands of the Green Goblin, Gwen’s death significantly impacts Peter Parker. Although she and Parker had been dating on and off and weren’t always on the best of terms, Peter was in love with her and blamed himself for her death.

The guilt of Gwen’s passing tormented Peter for years, affecting his character development into becoming stronger and more determined to fight for justice and protect the innocent.

Gwen and Peter’s Relationship in ‘Spider-Gwen’s’ Universe

In one of the multiverses, Earth-65, Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker are best friends. This version saw Gwen getting bitten by a radioactive spider and becoming a ‘Spider-Woman’, a.k.a. Spider-Gwen.

Peter suffered bullying in school, and Gwen frequently stood up to protect Peter from his bullies. However, Peter became tired of being defended by her and took the formula he and Doctor Connors had been developing for SHIELD.

The formula turned Parker into the Lizard upon which he attacked his classmates at the Homecoming Dance at their school. Gwen fought him and he died telling her he ‘just wanted to be special…like you.”

In the comics, it was never made clear whether Peter died due to the wounds inflicted by Gwen or the side effects of the Lizard formula.

After a turn of events which saw Gwen beginning to lose her powers, bonding with a Venom symbiote, and revealing her true identity — which gets her sentenced to jail for killing Peter Parker — Gwen goes to Peter Parker on Earth-616 and asks him for help.

Coming to this multiverse marks a new beginning for Gwen, who decides to start fresh as a new superhero on Earth-616. However, there’s already a Spider-Woman in this multiverse, so Gwen changes her moniker to Ghost Spider.