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Superhero Origins: Spider-Gwen


Written by Thomas O'Connor The Marvel Multiverse is home to more Spider-People than you could count, but not all of them are dudes named Peter. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re entering the web of Spider-Woman, AKA Spider-Gwen, the alternate-reality web-slinger who made her sensational debut in Edge of Spider-Verse #2 and has since skyrocketed in popularity to become one of the most popular webheads on the block. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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The Marvel Multiverse is home to more Spider-People than you could count, but not all of them are dudes named Peter. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re entering the web of Spider-Woman, AKA Spider-Gwen, the alternate-reality web-slinger who made her sensational debut in Edge of Spider-Verse #2 and has since skyrocketed in popularity to become one of the most popular webheads on the block.

In the mainstream Marvel universe of Earth 616, Peter Parker’s longtime love Gwen Stacy met her tragic end during a confrontation with The Green Goblin. After being kidnapped by the Goblin and falling from the George Washington bridge, Spidey’s attempt to save her inadvertently caused her neck to snap, tragically ending her life.

But the multiverse is a place of infinite possibilities, where virtually every conceivable variation on the world we know can be found as an alternate reality. On Earth 65, Gwen Stacy’s life turned out a lot differently from that of her Earth 616 counterpart. Like the main continuity Gwen Stacy, this Gwen grew up in New York under the watchful eye of her father, NYC police captain George Stacy. Gwen lived a pretty normal life at first, attending Midtown high with her longtime friend Peter and even playing the drums in a band called The Mary Janes.

But Gwen’s life took a turn when a genetically engineered spider bit her, granting her the very same powers that would otherwise have been bestowed upon Peter Parker. As you can imagine, it’s at this moment that Gwen’s life diverged from that of her counterpart from Earth 616. Much like Peter, Gwen hoped to use these new-found abilities in the wrestling ring, but her plans were dashed when she was compelled to stop a mugger. Again, like in the 616 continuity, the mugger runs into Uncle Ben Parker, but in this reality, Ol’ Ben Parker takes the mugger down. Gwen is moved by Ben’s selfless act and is inspired to use her powers, not for fame and money, but to fight crime. Donning a costume and web-shooters from a retired crime-fighter named Janet Van Dyne, Gwen began her career as a costumed hero.

But it seems that a life of tragedy goes hand-in-hand with spider-powers, and Gwen’s glamorous new life as a superhero soon took a turn for the worse. Her friend Peter struggled with feelings of powerlessness, and took extreme measures to try and become more than just “Pathetic Parker.” After dosing himself with a mysterious serum, Peter transformed into The Lizard, a monstrous creature that threatened the lives of his fellow Midtown students. After a battle with Spider-Woman, The Lizard reverted back into Peter Parker, who then died in Gwen’s arms.

Not only did this loss hit poor Gwen incredibly hard, but the media blamed her for the death of Peter, putting her at odds with the NYC police. A special police task force was even assembled to try and bring her in, with Captain Stacy himself leading the charge. If you think Peter’s got it rough, try secretly living under the same roof as the man trying to unmask you and throw you behind bars! Gwen was thankfully able to patch things up with her father when she revealed her secret identity to him, after saving him from being killed by The Rhino, a hitman sent to kill Captain Stacy by The Kingpin.

It wasn’t long after this confrontation that Gwen met her fellow wall-crawlers from across the multiverse. After being recruited by Spider-UK, Gwen helped to battle The Inheritors, a group of beings who prey on those touched by the mystical Spider-Totem. It was during this time that she met many future allies, including The Spectacular Spider-Ham, Miles Morales and the mainstream Spider-Man of Earth 616. She also came away from her adventures as a Warrior of the Great Web with a universal teleportation device that allows her to travel between universes. She makes frequent use of this device, using it to pop by to visit her friends in other realities.

Since returning to her native universe, Gwen’s adventures as Spider-Woman have continued, and she’s squared off against her world’s versions of villains like The Vulture. Her ongoing battle to clear her name and fix her public image has continued as well, especially since her father was removed from the Spider-Woman task force and replaced by Frank Castle, a loose-cannon cop even more determined to bring her in than her father was. If you’re familiar with Castle’s mainstream Marvel Universe counterpart, The Punisher, then you can probably figure out just how much of a headache he’s turned Gwen’s life into.

The Spider-Verse crossover event introduced a number of new faces into the Spider-Man universe, but none have captured the hearts of fans like Spider-Gwen. She may have been introduced recently, but she’s become one of the most popular characters in the extended Spider-Man universe. Her adventures have only just started, and we can’t wait to see what she gets up to next.
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