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Fact From the Vapor of Nuance

I Feel Like I’m the Only Person on the Internet Who Doesn’t Think These Amazing Spider-Man Photos Mean that [SPOILER]


The biggest news on the Amazing Spider-Man 2 front lately has been some Getty Images pictures (snapped by Bobby Bank) of Emma Stone standing by a railing. Lots of folks are taking it as evidence that TASM2 will be dropping the proverbial other shoe when it comes to her character, and… oh, fine, I’ll put a thirty year old plot point under a spoiler cut. Lots of folks are taking it as evidence that TASM2 will be killing Gwen Stacy.

I’m not convinced, but if you don’t want to find out what’s under that spoiler tag, don’t read the rest of the post.

In the 1973 story The Night Gwen Stacy Died, Gwen was captured by the Green Goblin, who had just ferreted out Spider-Man’s secret identity, and used as bait to lure him to the top of the George Washington bridge. She’s thrown from the bridge by the Goblin, and though Spider-Man catches her with webbing before she hits the water, she is already dead by the time he pulls her back up. It’s just one in a long trend of female secondary characters hurt or killed in order to raise the emotional stakes for the male main character, but at least we can say that her death had a significant effect on Spider-Man comics going forward, for better or for worse. Here’s one of the pictures that’ve been making the rounds:

Where you’ll notice that it looks like Gwen is standing near a railing, and that railing is *gasp* near some water. Maybe she’s on a giant bridge and is about to be thrown off! Except if you live in New York City you’d recognize this railing as pretty clearly belonging to the edge of one of Manhattan’s riverside parks, not one of its many bridges, so you know that she’s about ten feet, maybe, from sea level. And if you’re going to make the argument that special effects could be employed to turn it into the top of a bridge, I have another New Yorker anecdote to share.

See, a couple years ago in the fall my roommate and I woke at 1am by what seemed at first to be the rising sun. When we actually looked out our windows, however, the blinding light that had fooled the birds into chirping all night turned out to be floodlights trained on the nearby bridge, aiding in the production of The Amazing Spider-Man. So if they had the money to go to a real bridge for the first movie, they’ve likely got the money to do it again.

This doesn’t mean that Gwen won’t die in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. After all, they’re introducing Mary Jane in this one and while I’d like to see Hollywood allow a male superhero to have a female friend in addition to a love interest, I don’t think it’s likely that TASM2 will be that groundbreaking. It’s very likely that the movie will play out the infamous Gwen Stacy death story arc. I just don’t think “vicinity to a bridge in the background” is definitive proof. Even if she is wearing a really similar outfit. We have a lot of bridges here!

(via MTV Splash Page.)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/deanna.mordenterossi1 DeAnna Mordente-Rossi

    I thought it meant that spoiler when they were casting 2 months ago for extras for a funeral scene in NYC.

  • http://www.facebook.com/deanna.mordenterossi1 DeAnna Mordente-Rossi

    I thought it was THAT spoiler when they posted for casting a bunch of extras for a funeral scene in NYC 2 months ago.

  • http://twitter.com/thegaf The Gaf

    Ok, sure, she’s standing by a river, WEARING THE EXACT SAME OUTFIT AS IN ASM 121/122. I’m sure theres no chance the Green Goblin couldn’t swoop her up in his goblin flyer and take her to the Ed Koch bridge.

    She gonna die.

  • Daniel Parker

    Common… the outfit… THE OUTFIT!
    You don’t have wardrobe design THAT outfit and not drop her off a bridge… sorry they are fridging her for sure.

  • http://twitter.com/WanderingLala Laura

    I don’t know if boots and a jacket mean the same outfit… but the funeral casting seems like a dead giveaway.

    (Get it? DEAD giveaway… *SUBTLE ELBOW NUDGE*)

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    as dated as that outfit looks it does rather stand out XD

  • http://bittersweetfountain.blogspot.com/ Bittersweet Fountain

    “It’s just one in a long
    trend of female secondary characters hurt or killed in order to raise
    the emotional stakes for the male main character, but at least we can
    say that her death had a significant effect on Spider-Man comics going
    forward, for better or for worse”

    The first half of that sentence had me going “woah woah, way to trivialize Gwen’s death!” so I’m glad to see the caveat of the second half. It’s my impression that Gwen’s death is significant not just to Spidey but in comic book history in general because it’s the first time a significant other was killed by the actions of a main character (outside of an origin story). Spidey thought he pulled a Superman but he didn’t. The jerk of his webbing catching her is what (arguably) broke her neck. That’s like a HUGE DEAL. This is one of the first times a superhero irrevocably failed. And isn’t it considered one of the things that marked the end of the silver age of comics?

    I guess all I’m saying is that Gwen isn’t just one in a long trend of dead girlfriends for superheroes. She’s the first (outside of an origin story, which are traditionally littered with death). That makes her special and a ground-breaker. She isn’t a cliche. She’s the template from which the cliche is created. For better or worse.

  • Anonymous

    Completely agree with what’s written above. Gwen Stacy was killed off in an era when comic characters didn’t die and get resurrected every two weeks. There was nothing trivial about this death and is one the 2 death stories from Marvel (the other being the Dark Phoenix saga) who really meant something IMO.

  • Anonymous

    Mar-Vell’s death had a huge impact on the Marvel Universe. To have a major superhero die of something like cancer, rather than getting killed by a super-villain, in the line of duty, etc. was a cold slice of reality that still cuts deep today.

  • http://twitter.com/LauraTruxillo Laura Truxillo

    I think it would pretty daring of them to play it close to the edge and NOT kill her off, honestly.

    Think how many pissed off fanboys over the “complete destruction of an iconic moment” or somesuch.

  • Anonymous

    The storyline was good but I don’t think Mar-Vell had the same cultural impact than Gwen Stacy or Jean Grey. If Ms. Marvel hadn’t become so popular, few people would remember the character.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kam.gates Kam Gates

    Yeah, it’s the outfit not the bridge that has us wondering. It’s spot on to the point that we can safely say they recreated it on purpose. Red herring? Very possibly, but for whatever reason they made sure she’s wearing the exact outfit from ‘The Night Gwen Stacy Died’.

  • Lynn Parry

    Or maybe they’ll pull an Iron man 3 and take a completely different direction than comic canon. Maybe they’re just trolling us and she wont even be wearing this outfit in the movie. Maybe she will survive the fall from the bridge and die later, at a point when we really don’t expect it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=48805881 Michael Fitz-Gibbon

    Gwen Stacy wore that outfit frequently.

  • Travis Fischer

    This. It’s not the fact that’s she’s on a bridge. It’s the fact that she’s wearing that outfit. It’s a, no pun intended, dead giveaway.

  • http://wrongsirwrong.blogspot.com/ Magic Xylophone

    The question is, will they botch her death as badly as they did Uncle Ben’s?

  • Brian

    They didn’t botch it any worse than Raimi did.

  • Brian

    Yeah, it’s not “just one more”, it’s the first, and they had no way of knowing what would become of that particular trope.

  • http://twitter.com/EliasAlgorithm Elias Algorithm

    Kind of obvious isn’t it? As in too obvious to actually do.

  • http://twitter.com/thegaf The Gaf

    5 issue numbers or its not true. Go!

  • Nicholas Reagan

    Maybe her death should be staged and then later in the plot; she turned out to be alive. That’s a much better story then just having her die.

  • http://twitter.com/Tonks07 Mandy

    Was Gwen’s death before or after the Green Lantern’s girl friend’s murder? I’m curious, was Gwen fridged before women in refrigerators became a thing?

    ETA for those that don’t know: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WomenInRefrigerators

  • http://bittersweetfountain.blogspot.com/ Bittersweet Fountain

    I had to Google it, since I’m not very familiar with Green Lantern. Looks like his girlfriend was stuffed in a fridge in 1994: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Refrigerators. Gwen Stacy’s death was way before that. The Spider-Man issue when she died was written in 1973, so almost 20 years before Green Latern’s girlfriend was murdered.

  • http://twitter.com/Darth_Cliche Carl Jackson

    And yet I still love the first to Raimi films. Go fig.

  • http://www.facebook.com/frank.short.3956 Frank Short

    It’d probably make more sense for them to save her death for the third one cus it would have more of an impact since we’ll have known her character for longer and they’ll probably introduce the Green Goblin in the third so if he kills her it’ll be more true to the source material. They might just be setting up events in this film that will lead to her death in the next, in which case these pics may simply be a red herring or a foreshadowing of what’s to come.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicky.reagan.7 Nicky Reagan

    This is probably a joke. She not going to die. She better not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicky.reagan.7 Nicky Reagan

    I think it’s not smart to tell people how the movie is going to end in a disastrous way to grab fans or make them not go to the theatres to see it.

  • Anonymous

    NO! NOT GWEN STACY! NOOOOO- yeah i think we all saw this coming.

  • Luzo

    probably it’s just a photo shooting for promotional images.
    we’ve seen spider man in the same locations doing some flying positions, peter and harry too. maybe this is a good spot to take pictures with the bridge as the backgroud (certainly because it is a key element to the movie, an especific scene that will be donne inside the studios)