View Full Version : Doing a 5 minute on Gwen Stacy and her impact on the world, would love feedback/help

12-19-2013, 03:33 PM
Hey guys, first time poster in a semi-jam. I got roped into doing a 5 minute talk on something interesting/weird at work, so I chose: "How Gwen Stacy Shaped Story-Telling for Three Generations"

Title Image: How Gwen Stacy Shaped Story-Telling for Three Generations (Maybe a shorter name?)

Slide 1: Who is Gwen Stacy?
Pic: Unlike MJ who has easy iconic pics (You hit the Jackpot!) I don't know of any for Gwen, if I don't get response here, I'll just find a body-shot of her at Empire or something.
Text: * Gwen Stacy was a Science Major at Empire University, she fell for a nerdy Peter Parker.
* A Woman in the sciences was quite forward at the time, but to understand her importance you need to know about World War II and the Silver Age of Comics

Slide 2: World War 2, Redux
Pic: I'm going with a stock photo or a badass WWII Marvel Cover.
Text: * World War 2 was depressing, this caused a huge upsurge in "Feel-Good" escapist entertainment such as movies, or in our case comic books. It was a depressing time so people wanted to see things like:

Slide 3: The Silver Age of Comics
Pic: Cap punching Hitler (If you guys can think of anymore appropriate WWII silver age stuff, it'd be nice to splice it in)
Text * Thus this was the norm in the Silver Age of comics, our heroes always saved the day and we could always feel good. This was great for a quick pick-me-up, but obviously this isn't how real people or the real world acts. Because the heroes of the silver age weren't people, they were just escapist fantasied projected onto ideals.

Slide 4: The Problems with the Silver Age
Pics: Super-man with the burgers and the water
Text: Because the Silver Age heroes weren't really people, they often struggled as they ran out of actual things for them to do. After World War II was over, a returning class of lost souls jaded from the horrors of war couldn't always relate to the sunny world where nothing goes wrong of the heroes of the silver age. It often resulted in now-comical situations for heroes to throw themselves into simply to have a conflict they can resolve.

Slide 5: Side-Kicks in the Silver Age
Pic: Bucky or something
Text: * The big problem in the silver age was that at-best the only character that a reader could relate to at the time was usually a token teenage sidekick of the hero. A reader could put themselves in their shoes, but they were never really the hero.

Slide 6: Enter Spider-Man, The Relatable Loser
Pic: Any of the classic Peter Parker getting the short end of the stick pics would be great here.
Text: * In a world of brawny, settled, adults who could do no wrong, enter an awkward teenager whose first use of his powers is to wrestle a dude for money to buy a car. Spider-Man was the first hero of this kind, relatable in the sense the he and the world acted like it would in reality, with unfortunate results.

Slide 7: Spider-Man, the Hero Who Never Won
Pic: Something with Jameson ranting against Spider-man, maybe a shot of Peter looking embarrassed about money with Aunt May
Text: Poor Peter Parker had a rough high school life, barely making rent with his widowed Aunt May while trying to help people with mixed results as Spider-Man. People were pretty enthralled with a hero that actually had to struggle with decisions and daily drama they had to deal with themselves. Things were looking up for him in college though (Happens with Nerds) when he met Gwen Stacy.

Slide 8: Stand Back Lois Lane! We're Going to Try Science!
Pic: Half screen with Lois Lane in a stupid damsel-in-distress caper, other half Gwen Stacy doing SCIENCE.
Text: * Considering how few women TODAY are in the field of science, a science under-grad lady like Gwen Stacy in 1965 was quite progressive, almost to the point of provocation. Gwen Stacy was smart, independent, and Peter dumped the shallow and aloof Mary Jane to date her. Perhaps a tongue-in-cheek slap in the face to one-dimensional female characters like Lois Lane but I might be giving too much credit to the authors in hindsight.

Slide 9: Gwen Stacy, Realistic Girl
Pic: Gwen Stacy worrying over oding Harry
Text: It's important to emphasize how strange this scene is. The girlfriend's of heroes were usually just that, the girl that every guy had to have because he was awesome. Gwen Stacy was a real person, worrying about real problems that people her age had at the time. Problems that heroes and people in these stories never dealt with until these stories came along.

Slide 10: The Night Gwen Stacy Died
Pic: Gwen Being Dangled Off the Bridge
Text: Peter Parker was hard to hurt, but all his friends were all too mortal. Someone who hated Spider-Man had only to target the ones he loved to hurt him, thus started a stand-off on the Brooklyn Bridge as the Green Goblin told Spidey to hang up the web-shooters or he'd kill his lady love.

Slide 11: Gods Can Fail
Pic: SNAP (Had to be done)
Text: As realistic as two gods clashing, two super-powered men caused the death of a fair mortal. The force of a rope pulling her back to try and catch her fall snapped her neck. It was the night Gwen Stacy died, of Spider-man's greatest failure.

Slide 12 Character development:
Pic: Harry being left behind, GG being impaled.
Text: And so Spider-Man sought his revenge, seeking out the Green Goblin who fled and turning his back on his best friend tripping out on an overdose, and almost murdering his nemesis in his grief-stricken rage. It's most akin to the epic stories of old then the penny-novels of the time.

Slide 13 Actions and Their Consequences:
Pic: Spidey and his Revenge
Text: And so the Green Goblin was dead, and Peter learned that revenge was never going to make him feel better, or bring Gwen back. She was dead and he would have to deal with the consequences of his actions. Consequences he still struggles with to this day.

Slide 14: From Failure, growth:
Pic: People mourning Gwen, epilogue where Mary Jane decides to grow up and comfort Peter.
Text: Failing is how people grow, and Gwen's death affected many, especially her friends. From her family friends mourning her, to the guilt Peter still feels to this day, and to Mary Jane, who stepped up from being an aloof party girl and comforted Peter. Which of course, grew into a love most people are familiar with today. Spider-Man and many in his world changed forever in that day, and it also began to change all the other heroes stuck in an endless loop of escapist fantasies.

Slide 15: Copy-Cats Didn't Always Get it
Pic: Girl in Fridge, Heroin Speedy
Text: It was unheard of for a hero to fail like this, or such a main character to die like this at the time. Several people who didn't understand WHY it had such an impact resulted in some comical situations such as green lanterns girlfriend being chopped up and shoved into a refrigerator for no reason. But stumbling aside, the story-telling landscape was changed forever. Heroes stopped being frozen in time and became people. People that changed, lived, and died.

Slide 16: Everyone's got problems
Pic: Tony Drinking, Batman Brooding, etc.
Text: And so ushered in a new age, every hero had to have an issue and they all started to become real people. Iron Man became a drunk, Batman has parent issues, and today there's an archetype for every easy character flaw that makes a character relatable to a viewer. See: Anti-heroes.

Slide 17: Echoes of the Present
Pic: X-Men Pic / Civil War Pic
Text: From her death, Gwen Stacy spawned stories and characters that echo reality. Some examples along the timeline such as the X-Men, being a living representation of Racism so obvious that senators in the comic more or less copied civil rights and anti civil rights speeches and replaced every instance of "Black/Minority" with "Mutant". To the more modern "Marvel Civil War" arc revolving around a divided nation of Super-Heroes, one side believes they should all be tracked and registered because they are dangerous and have so much power. The other side, led by the guy who saw this not work in World War II, thought this was an insane breach of privacy, all of this six years before anyone knew what the NSA was doing.

Slide 18: Round and Round
Video: South Park -> You can't Die, Everyone really liked you!
Text: Critics will say even this cycle has become formulaic, we've simply created archetypal characters that go through the same story over and over to the point of people simply building up a character then abusing emotional responses of people by doing something ridiculous to evoke reactions. Much of this is very true, especially when it comes to comic books.

Slide 19: Some Things Stay the Same
Pic: Spider-Man hanging up his cowl / Mary Jane commenting on it.
Text: While it is true writers have gone through ridiculous lengths with many characters, especially Spider-Man to essentially go through their same story over and over, I don't see this as a bad thing. Spider-Man's story is about an awkward kid growing up and struggling to find his place in the world. It does not surprise me that every new generation relates to this, and though it is a bit formulaic, it doesn't take away the power for a new authors and creators to address the concerns of a new generation with the same characters (Like X-Men with Racism/Civil Rights, etc)

Slide 20: Everyone Comes Back, Except Gwen Stacy
Pic: Gwen Stacy as the receptionist for the revolving door, I've seen it around.
Text: Because of her life, and sparking a Promethean fire due to her death that changed the characters in stories for generations. From characters in her universe that we could all relate to because we were all once awkward teenagers. To oppressed minorities who want to be seen as equals. Heroes, villains, bystanders, we're all just people. And thanks to Gwen Stacy, their stories all get to be told, reaching more and more people with each generation that can relate to them.

12-19-2013, 03:49 PM
Went over the character count, wanted to add I'd like some help getting images and some feed back =)

12-19-2013, 03:59 PM
When you talk about Gwen Stacy's impact on the world, which world are you refering to?

12-19-2013, 04:41 PM
This one, the real world, how it changed storytelling because of her life and subsequent death.

12-19-2013, 04:53 PM
This one, the real world, how it changed storytelling because of her life and subsequent death.

Characters dies in stories long before Gwen did her swan dive.

12-19-2013, 06:02 PM
That's an interesting overview, but half of the stuff you bring up has nothing to Gwen Stacy or superhero girlfriends. Maybe start with something about how girlfriends were usually portrayed as damels in distress. Then show your audience how you feel was different than other love interests of the time. Then maybe how impactful it was to have the hero FAIL to save the girl. The maybe, I dunno...the death of characters like Jean Grey, Jason Todd, Mar-Vell...characters die that the readers thought where safe.

Tony's drinking, Civil War, X-Men as metaphor...really weren't influenced by Gwen's Death.

12-19-2013, 06:02 PM
I think the biggest impact of Gwen Stacy is she defined the concept of "What If?" and this not only had a huge effect on Peter's life, but on the marvel universe in general...when people even think of the What If? marvel comic, the first thing that pops into many peoples head is what if Gwen lived? Its kinda amazing they waited till What If? Volume 1 # 24 (1980) to run that story...becuase it is always the first story I invsion when i think of the concept.

What if i saved Gwen, and What if i married Gwen would haunt Parker for years and was a cornerstone of who he was.

It has a powerful impact..that goes beyond its superficial meaning...even to many people who have let past romances slip away, great stuff.

Also..you should trim some stuff as you look like you will run way over 5 min with your stuff...feel free to use any of my thoughts on your thing if you want to.

12-19-2013, 06:04 PM
Ouch! Double post!

12-19-2013, 06:17 PM
This one, the real world, how it changed storytelling because of her life and subsequent death.You'd really be better if discussing how Gerry Conway impacted the world then. Gwen Stacy didn't.

12-19-2013, 06:18 PM
She had hot boots.

Ish Kabbible
12-20-2013, 02:46 PM
I have to believe this is all an intentional joke.I could do an hour on everything thats wrong with this outline.