Comics : Spider-Man: Death & Destiny #3

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

This story is set after the events that occurred in Amazing Spider-man #90, and fills in some gaps in Spidey lore. What you need to know is that Captain George Stacy was a great cop and one of the only supporters of Spider-man. He was also friend to Peter Parker, through his relationship with Gwen (George's daughter). George played a significant role in Peter's life and then during a battle between Spidey and Doc Ock, George died in the crossfire. This story picks up the pieces of this tragic chapter in Spidey's life.

In Detail...

"Deja Vu All Over Again"
Spider-Man: Death & Destiny #3
Oct 2000 : SMURF 092.700 : SM Title
Summary: Story occurs after ASM #90 (Death of Captain Stacy)
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Writer:  Lee Weeks
Pencils:  Lee Weeks
Inker:  Richard Case
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man Family (Vol. 2) #9 (Story 4)

The final issue starts with Peter and Gwen talking in a park. Peter tries to explain his actions and seeks Gwen's forgiveness. Gwen does forgive him, but shuns Peter because she is afraid of losing him, due to the danger he is in when photographing Spidey. Meanwhile, Doc Ock has beat one of his cronies and put him in hospital, as a ploy to bring Spidey to him. Spidey questions the crony who reveals that Doc Ock is going to get Spidey through his "Stacy" connection. Spidey automatically thinks of Gwen and rushes to her. But, when Gwen is safe, Peter's mind works and realises that Ock's most likely target is J. Jonah Jameson.

He rushes to the bugle to find it besieged by Ock, who has Jonah tied to the sign atop the roof. A fight ensues with Spidey eventually getting the upper hand. But, to make his escape, Ock trashes the sign leaving Spidey with dilemma of either saving Jonah or pursuing a disabled Ock. Of course Spidey saves Jonah and the story ends with Peter putting to rest his feelings of guilt and self loathing over George Stacy's death. Instead he focuses on honouring the memory of George and promises himself to take care of Gwen.

In General...

I think the real triumph for Weeks is that he adds to Spidey's mythos in a meaningful and memorable way. He writes a story that takes place and adds to a period of Spidey's continuity that could be thought of as 'sacred'. I mean that a lot of things in Spidey's continuity have been messed with and often for the worse. But, always the death of George Stacy and most things to do with Gwen Stacy are left alone. Also, it was a time in continuity when Spidey was handled by a classic creative team. But, Weeks presents a story that fits in very well and matches up to the stories and creators it is slotted next to.

The ending of the story is also very poignant. It should leave you happy, but as everyone knows, Gwen Stacy eventually dies because Spidey fails to save her. So, as you see Peter sitting back resolving to take care of Gwen, you feel a stinging sadness and a deep sense of empathy for the characters. And these are fictional characters!!!! This is what a Spidey comic should be like. And that's why you should hunt down some copies of this series or beg Marvel to release it as a trade paperback!

Overall Rating...

An easy five webs. I'm I could be cynical enough to find something, somewhere wrong with this story. But, really it was thoroughly enjoyable, thought-provoking and engaging.