Why Gwen Instead of Mary Jane in the Amazing Spider-Man?
Non-comic book fans may be asking themselves, “Why is Gwen Stacy in Amazing Spider-Man, the first movie of the reboot, coming out tomorrow?” Or hell why is Gwen Stacy a better choice than Mary Jane in this darker movie franchise?
The simple answer is that while Uncle Ben proved to be the inspiration of Peter Parker becoming Spider-Man, Gwen Stacy is the one mistake that he can never live down nor draw inspiration from. It is the one failing grade Spider-Man has received in his career that stays with him to this day.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Gwen Stacy is Peter Parker’s first true love. Yes, he has dated around and many fans would argue that Mary Jane is Peter’s only true love. Gwen is Peter’s college romance, the one that normal people may say that “got away.” The thing is that Peter is not normal. His version of “got away” is a series of heroic downfalls that ultimately end with a single sound effect.
In the comic book universe; Peter will eventually go on to marry Mary Jane Watson, live a life of balancing between Spider-Man and the husband of a supermodel. That seems like a pretty good life to me. Yes, it is a challenge with some strife that comes from being a hero but he is married to a model!
On the other hand, we have Gwen. Her father was a police chief that would be killed by falling rubble during a battle. A death Gwen blames Spider-Man. Gwen’s relationship with Peter is off and on as well. Then there is the fateful storyline The Night Gwen Stacy Died. Pretty much a big spoiler there. The Green Goblin, knowing the identity of Spider-Man, decides to torment the Webslinger. He kidnaps Gwen and tosses her off a bridge. Spider-Man tries to save her by shooting a webline to catch the damsel. Unforeseen, the sudden stop from the web attaching to Gwen’s leg causes her to snap her neck and die.
I really do not know if they are going this route for the movie, but if they are going for a darker tone then Gwen Stacy is the love interest they need. The struggles Peter has being Spider-Man and loving Gwen is one that can be played much more difficult than Peter trying to hide his dual identity from Mary Jane. Not to mention, if they kill Gwen then they have all the angst and torment that Spider-Man still carries around to this day in the comics.
Unfortunately for the character, Spider-Man is at his best when dealing with a death. He carries the burden for every death. First Uncle Ben, then Gwen (not to mention a few others). These deaths add up. Thank god for his proportionate spider-strength. And that is why Amazing Spider-Man needs Gwen Stacy instead of Mary Jane Watson.