Monday, January 31, 2011

Best of "What If...?": #14

Volume 1 #24 (1980)
What if Gwen Stacy had lived?

CoverWritten by Tony Isabella
Drawn by Gil Kane

When Peter Parker first gains the proportionate strength and agility of a spider, his thoughts are not of becoming a superhero, but of making a quick buck. This selfishness soon leads to the murder of Peter’s surrogate father, teaching him – at a terrible cost – that with great power comes great responsibility.

As the spectacular Spider-Man, Peter goes on to protect the people of New York City from innumerable super-powered criminals. Like most of these super-villains – and like Spider-Man himself – the maniacal Green Goblin wears a mask to hide his identity; unlike virtually anyone else, the Goblin knows who Spider-Man is.

Years ago, the Goblin sought to hurt Spider-Man by kidnapping Peter’s first love, Gwendolyn, and holding her hostage atop the George Washington Bridge. During the battle that ensued, the Goblin sent Gwen plummeting towards the Hudson, and Peter shot one desperate strand of webbing after her.

“My webbing caught your leg. I thought I had done it. I thought I had won.”

But the sudden arrest of Gwen’s fall served only to snap her neck, killing her. And even now, Peter wonders what might have been if he had succeeded…

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