Hated by Stan Lee, loved by fans: story that redefined ‘Spider-Man’

O Spider man He is certainly one of the most well-known and loved heroes of all time, and his fame continues to grow over the years.

From his debut in ‘Amazing Fantasy #15’ in 1962 to ‘Spider-Man #121-122’ in 1973, the ‘neighborhood friend’ went through a series of challenges, but none as impactful as the plot he redefined its trajectory.

As the 1970s drew to a close, readers’ demands for psychological depth altered the landscape of superhero comics, leading to a twist that left co-creator Stan Lee disappointed.

Canonical event: loved by fans, hated by creator

In an interview with The Comics Journal in October 1978, Stan Lee revealed his utmost aversion to changing the characters’ origins, specifically citing the death of Gwen Stacy as the event that bothered him most.

Gerry Conway, the screenwriter responsible, dared to kill Peter Parker’s beloved, using her as bait in a dark plot that triggered the Bronze Age of comics.

The death of Gwen Stacy in the comics – Image: Marvel Comics/Reproduction

Gwen Stacy’s brutal death, with her neck broken by the very web that was supposed to save her, turned Spider-Man into a hero darker, marked by loneliness and guilt.

Such a radical change marked the beginning of a new phase in the hero’s stories, as he began to fight even harder to protect those he loved, even if it meant losing parts of himself.

Although Stan Lee expressed his distaste for Conway’s decision, fans embraced the transformation, recognizing it as a significant milestone in Spider-Man’s evolution as a hero and protagonist.

The character’s more mature, darker take became an essential part of his identity, shaping him into the resilient hero we know today.

A change hated by its creator, but which, ironically, became one of the most acclaimed by fans in the comic book history.

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