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Spider-Gwen: 7 Things to know about the new, female superhero

Holy Aunt May, guardian of Pete! After months of fangirl excitement and predictions, Marvel has finally unleashed the first full Spider-Gwen issue. Our heads just exploded in a mass of pink mist and webbing. The world — at least one of them — is right again.

Here’s what you need to know about Spider-Gwen

1. She’s been around a while

Gwen Stacy originally appeared in the Spider-Man series from 1965 (In The Amazing Spider-Man #31) to 1973. Gwen became Peter Parker’s longtime girlfriend following the demise of his relationship with MJ, after Gwen did much of the pursuing but not before she dates Peter’s best friend, Harry.

More: Is a female-led Spider-Man movie on the way, too?

2. Gwen disappeared from Spider-Man’s life in the early ’70s

In an epic battle between Spidey and the Green Goblin, the Green Goblin threw Gwen off the George Washington Bridge in The Amazing Spider-Man #121. The Green Goblin isn’t entirely to blame, though. When he threw Gwen, Spider-Man used his web to catch her. It was the whiplash from that fall that actually killed Gwen, though Spidey was never quite sure.


3. Her death marked the end of an era

According to hardcore fans, Gwen’s sudden death is the key factor in the end of the Silver Age of comic books. Until that time, fans had never seen a superhero fail so miserably at doing their job to fight the bad guys and protect the ones they loved. Moreover, Gwen’s death was the most sudden and shocking thing they’d experience in the comic world.

4. She’s been “resurrected” several times

Need proof of Gwen’s awesomeness? Since her death in 1973, Gwen has continued to pop up in multiple runs. From the Clone Saga, which saw multiple clones of Gwen living very different lives and eventually (of course) all dying to a spot in a short-lived Marvel zombie series, artists and writers love finding ways to bring back one Marvel’s most famous dead girls.

5. This is completely new, though

Because it’s the real Gwen. Spider-Gwen #1 is set in an alternate universe, Earth-65. In this one, she’s still Gwen, but better. Instead of being the girlfriend to a guy bitten by a radioactive spider, it’s Gwen who is bitten and become a superhero.

More: Why the new Batgirl is the perfect superhero for your kid

6. Spider-Gwen first appeared just four months ago

During Marvel’s special Spider-Verse crossover, fans were teased with a new Spider-Woman/Spider-Gwen. In Edge of the Spider-Verse #2, Spider-Gwen made her first official appearance and fans lost their shit. The second issue has already seen four printings and the first prints are already being sold on eBay for a pretty penny.


7. Gwen was exactly what fangirls wanted

Everyone loves Gwen. She’s smart, gorgeous and deep. But Spider-Gwen is all that and more. Just like DC’s new Batgirl saw a more modern, less sexist update, so has Spider-Gwen. She’s a superhero in a skintight but totally practical superhero costume. And, sure, not all girls love pink and purple. However, there’s nothing that says you can’t love those colors and still be a badass. Spider-Gwen is already proof of that. Since her first appearance, fans on Tumblr have already taken to sketching up fan art. We’re a little obsessed with this cutesy cartoon from Nan Lawson and this eerily awesome version by JP Perez.

Spider-Gwen #1 is in stores now. Catch her while you can, though… who knows how long she’ll last this time.

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