Quote1 You're the creep who's going to pay! I'm going to get you, Goblin! I'm going to destroy you slowly, and when you start begging for me to end it - I'm going to remind you of one thing - You KILLED the woman I love! And for that you're going to DIE! Quote2
-- Spider-Man

Appearing in "The Night Gwen Stacy Died"Edit

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:

  • Ray (First appearance), Osborn's doctor




Synopsis for "The Night Gwen Stacy Died"Edit

In the previous issue Harry Osborn had taken LSD, which made him fall into a clinical Psychosis. This issue begins with Peter as Spider-Man now watching through their apartment window as Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson are at Harry's bedside. The Osborn's family doctor Ray tells Gwen and Mary Jane that Harry has been taking drugs again. He gives Harry a shot of Thorazine, a tranquilizer to offset the effect of LSD. Spider-Man decides to do a quick change on the rooftop and go inside where he is then confronted by Norman Osborn.

Norman blames Peter for what has happened to Harry and later in this issue cracks under pressure returning to the Green Goblin persona.

Peter on his way to the Daily Bugle building feels a cold coming on from the change of climate between Montreal and New York. While talking to Robbie Robertson at the Bugle dropping off some pictures of the Hulk from his Montreal assignment, J. Jonah Jameson walks in and tells Robertson about Parker to "get this disease ridden menace out of my building."[1] Before Peter leaves he points out that Robbie should have Jameson send him a bonus check for about two hundred dollars for the pictures.

When Norman leaves his son's bedside he begins to think how he has failed him as a father. Then he starts to hallucinate and sees his enemy Spider-Man coming at him, soon he flees from the apartment out into the street until he gets to Manhattan's lower eastside.

There in a place he had almost forgotten lies his Green Goblin paraphernalia.[2] Then after returning to the Goblin persona he decides to kidnap Gwen. She is standing at the window of Peter and Harry's apartment wishing there was some way she could do to help Harry when the Green Goblin comes flying into view.

When Spider-Man finally swings back to the apartment all he finds is a pumpkin lantern and satchel left behind by the Green Goblin. He soon realizes that Gwen has been kidnapped and that he must rely on his Spider-Sense to lead him to where the Goblin is. His Spider-Sense leads him to a New York city bridge which in the original comic Spider-Man calls the George Washington Bridge because it is Norman Osborn's favorite President but it is drawn like the Brooklyn Bridge (this has been later changed to the Brooklyn Bridge in future retellings but the original story was written to include the George Washington Bridge)[3] where he spots the Green Goblin standing next to a motionless Gwen Stacy.[4] [5]

GeorgeWashington Bridge Amazing Spider-Man 121

At the bridge Spider-Man attempts to get to Gwen but must fight the Goblin with everything he has. Both Spider-Man and the Goblin fight until the Goblin swoops down knocking Gwen off the side of the bridge. Spider-Man then goes to save her and as his Webbing catches her, her neck breaks and she dies instantly.

Spider-Man praises himself as he cradles the lifeless body of Gwen until he realizes that she is dead. The Goblin taunts him saying that "she was dead before your webbing reached her! a fall from that height would kill anyone before they struck the ground".[6]

Holding the lifeless body of Gwen in one arm Spider-Man raises his fist into the air vowing to destroy and make the Goblin pay for the death of the woman he loved. On the final page we get to see the title of the story "The Night Gwen Stacy Died".[7]

Gwen stacy dies

Gwen Stacy's death

When this issue came out people seemed unsure whether the Green Goblin killed Gwen Stacy, or that her neck was broken by the sudden whiplash effect when Spider-Man caught her with his webbing. It was explained in the letters column of Amazing Spider-Man #125, where Roy Thomas wrote that "it saddens us to have to say that the Whiplash effect she underwent when Spidey's webbing stopped her so suddenly was, in fact, what killed her. In short, it was impossible for Peter to save her. He could not have swung down in time; the action he did take resulted in her death; if he had done nothing, she still would certainly have perished. There was no way out." They also explained that Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas, and Stan Lee had decided that she had to die because Peter Parker was not ready for marriage, and the relationship was too often off and on again.[8]

  • This issue is widely considered a landmark, as prior to this, it was unheard of for a character directly attached to the superhero to be killed off. According to Gerry Conway, who wrote the issue, he felt that Peter and Gwen were the "perfect couple", but realized their relationship could only go up and that by going further in their relationship, such as Peter revealing his identity or them marrying, would betray the essence of Spider-Man's character, thus he decided to write the issue.
  • Randy Robertson, Aunt May and Flash Thompson all appear on the cover but only as images in Norman Osborn's vision of madness before he returns to the Green Goblin Persona.
  • Spider-Man says Norman Osborn's favorite President is George Washington. This is a joke regarding Osborn's famous love for money.

See AlsoEdit


  1. Amazing Spider-Man # 121, 1973, p. 10
  2. ibid, p 15
  3. Mentions the change to Brooklyn Bridge at
  4. Amazing Spider-Man #121, p 18
  5. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #19, 1987, p 61
  6. Amazing Spider-Man 121,1973, p 27
  7. ibid, p 28
  8. See also Gwen Stacy entry
  9. This story is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:

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