Quote1 Yeah, I'm sure resisting the dark side is harder than I can ever imagine... but when the rest of us have a bad moment -- we don't have some weird black ooze to blame it on, do we? Quote2
-- Gwen Stacy

Appearing in "The Life of Gwen Stacy. Part One: Counting Sheep"

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Synopsis for "The Life of Gwen Stacy. Part One: Counting Sheep"

Sitting in a cafe in an unknown dimension resembling the past of Earth-616 - the Dimensional Travel Watch trying and failing to find its multiversal designation, the Gwen Stacy of Earth-65 broods as her long-haired alternate-universe counterpart tries to get her to open up and apologizes for freaking out, tentatively asking if Gwen-65 is a clone. While the long-haired Gwen mentions her creepy biology professor, Dr. Miles Warren, taught a semester on transgenics and cloning, Gwen-65 wonders if she's the Earth-616 Gwen Stacy and debates warning her of her future. As the long-haired Gwen continues speculating about Gwen-65's origins, Gwen-65 irately notes that she doesn't need another distraction and lashes out in anger, the symbiote snarling that the long-haired Gwen is wasting their time. Gwen-65 gets up and leaves, telling her counterpart she doesn't have time for this, but the long-haired Gwen follows her and asks why she freaked out. Gwen-65 snaps that every second she spends in this dimension risks her losing everything, transforming into Venom and snarling that she doesn't belong there. As Venom leaves, the long-haired Gwen ponders over her referring to herself as "we."

Overlooking Earth-8, Utau complains that Utaa dragged him away from Earth-65 just as things were starting to get interesting. Utaa pulls out a holographic map of the Web of Life and Destiny, tracing one of the skeins of Earth-65 to where it intersects with one of Earth-616's - the wedding of Gwen Stacy and Miles Morales - and diverges into Earth-8. Utaa explains that injuries to the space-time continuum affect the timeline like a disease - for instance Gwen-65 becoming Venom and setting out to kill Murdock has already resulted in a slew of new alternate futures. Recalculating the progression of Earth-8, Utaa notes that he's afraid the rot has already spread and that the utopian Earth-8 may soon be wiped from existence and replaced with a new, darker future. Utau sarcastically asks what they can do even if they find the one responsible for abducting the Gwen Stacy of Earth-65, but Utaa angrily retorts that someone or something has sabotaged his perfect utopia and that he intends to get revenge and/or set things right, even if it means breaking his oath of non-interference as a Watcher.

In the alternate universe, Venom lands on the side of the Baxter Building outside Reed Richards' lab and tries to get his attention, but is greeted by an automated message addressing her as Spider-Man and telling her to respect the Fantastic Four's privacy and direct all contact through the proper channels. As the automated message flatly states they're still not looking for a fifth member, Venom is zapped by electricity and falls into a dumpster, reverting to human form and landing atop a copy of a newspaper blaming Spider-Man for the death of George Stacy.

Elsewhere, Peter Parker greets the long-haired Gwen Stacy with a pair of ramen cups, but she is distracted and tries to play not laughing at his jokes off as just being tired from midterms. When she turns down his offer of a date, Peter drops the ramen in the garbage and leaves, wondering why he feels an eerie sensation as though someone's watching him. Gwen watches him go, noting that despite how sweet Peter is she can tell that he's keeping a secret from her. Venom appears behind her, remarking that she never thought of her Peter romantically, making it weird to see her counterpart in a relationship with him. Gwen's dimensional travel watch pegs the unknown dimension's designation as Earth-616.525, but immediately resumes recalculating its divergence from Earth-616. Venom fishes the ramen out of the trash, explaining that she's from another dimension, but the long-haired Gwen swats it from her hands and says they're going to get real food. At a hotdog stand, the long-haired Gwen peppers her short-haired counterpart with questions, while the latter tries to suppress her symbiote's ravenous hunger. Gwen-65 notes she's a musician rather than a science-major, vetoing the long-haired Gwen's suggestion of involving Peter and stating she already tried Reed Richards.

Gwen-65 apologizes for lashing out earlier, explaining that her symbiote gives her powers like Spider-Man's, but amplifies her negative emotions to the point she can't control them. As Gwen-65 grows agitated, the long-haired Gwen tries to soothe her; saying she knows how she feels. In response, Gwen-65 pulls out the newspaper proclaiming their father's death at the hands of Spider-Man and asks why her counterpart didn't tell her. The long-haired Gwen bitterly retorts she had no way of broaching the subject, noting that nothing will bring her father back and she doesn't have an evil alien entity to blame her anger and despair on. However, she states that Gwen-65's existence has shaken her out of her downward spiral, giving her proof that somewhere out there a different outcome exists. Gwen-65 has the epiphany that at least her own father is still alive and that she could and should have stayed with him; admitting that she felt too scared, angry, and helpless to realize that. Despite this epiphany, however, she's still trapped in an alternate universe with no way home. The long-haired Gwen explains the principle of Schrödinger's cat and gives her Venomized counterpart some sage advice. When Gwen-65 asks how she can still be so positive after losing her father, the long-haired Gwen states that just knowing there's a world out there where she's a superhero is proof that anything's possible even for herself. The dimensional travel watch finally designates Gwen-65's location as Earth-617.

On Earth-8, Spider-Boy and Spider-Girl attack Utaa, who dismisses them as brats and freezes them in midair. Utau expresses shock at the notion that they could be behind Earth-65's corruption - having not even been born at the time - but Utaa refuses to be dissuaded. Utau interrupts Utaa's interrogation to inform him that a portal is opening above them, and a middle-aged Gwen Stacy appears and attacks the two Watchers before transforming into Venom.

Solicit Synopsis


• To defeat THE KINGPIN, Gwen has to let VENOM win.

• But if MURDOCK dies, so does Gwen Stacy.


See Also


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