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Quote1 But if the only way I can help is with my fists -- then I've already lost. I have to try a different way. I have to know I tried. Quote2
-- Gwen Stacy

Appearing in "The Life of Gwen Stacy. Conclusion"

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Synopsis for "The Life of Gwen Stacy. Conclusion"

After serving a year in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s maximum security prison, Gwen Stacy is free to go - uncertain what to do with her freedom. As the Venom symbiote suddenly engulfs her, Gwen awakens from her nightmare and finds herself sitting in the reception area for her father's neurologist Dr. Asim Strange - Captain George Stacy having come out of his coma while she was in prison. Doctor Strange starts to ask if she's Captain Stacy's daughter, but she assumes she's asking if he's "Spider-Gwen" - lamenting that she preferred Spider-Woman. Sitting across from her, Doctor Strange says that her father is just about ready to head home, though he advises her against letting Captain Stacy do anything strenuous for the time being. At the risk of sounding like a crystal-polishing quack, Doctor Strange states that he's worried about Captain Stacy's mental health and the state of his spirit, saying that he was on the brink of death and that such experiences incur trauma that he's likely to be in-denial about out of pride and stubbornness. Doctor Strange warns Gwen that his father trying to push himself too hard too fast in order to live up to the reputation of who he was before his coma will only put him back in the hospital and that their expectations of themselves must change. In his room, Captain Stacy gets dressed, then notices Gwen's Venom spiders crawling in his shoes.

Outside the hospital, Gwen remarks that it's strange the hospital isn't swarming with paparazzi pestering them with questions of what they'll do next, her father joking they could star in a reality show called The Police Car-dashians. Gwen asks her father where he wants to go, and George suggests the Dollar Dog, indignantly challenging her to a race when she expresses concern regarding the distance and offers to web-swing him there.

As George leans against a statue to catch his breath, Gwen stands upside-down on an overhang and suggests they get a cab. George refuses and tells her to come down as people are staring, but Gwen says they'd stare anyway and that it's not a crime to take a walk. The two Stacies have an intense staredown before George asks her to please come down. They're forced to stop a few blocks later, entering a boutique to rest and get some water. As the clerk grouses that if George is going to die he may as well get something more than than bottled water, Gwen spots a selection of Spider-Gwen memorobilia and after a moment of incredulity decides to buy a hoodie patterned after her Spider-Woman costume.

Outside, Gwen tells her father to slow down, but he irritably snaps that he's fine. Growing frustrated, Gwen demands to know what he's trying to prove. George rounds on her and asks what gives her the right to ask him that, telling her to look at herself. Gwen indignantly asks if he's really upset over a stupid sweatshirt, but he tells her what's upset him is that he's found her symbiote's spiders in his shoes and pockets; asking if she thinks he's a child who can't look after himself and snapping that it's not her job to protect him. Gwen grumbles an apology and that she and the symbiote are worried, George expressing concern given its negative influence over her in the past. Gwen explains that the symbiote isn't evil anymore, but that picks up on her emotions and just doesn't understand what to do with them. George asks if the reason why she quit being Spider-Woman is that she's afraid of losing control of it again. Gwen states that she gave the symbiote life and that the first things it learned were her rage and hatred; and that for as long as they're at peace it's her responsibility to show it that there's a better way. Sitting next to his daughter, George asks how their lives ended up so messed-up, wondering if he's at fault for having taught her to fight to protect those weaker than herself, for having chastized Spider-Woman for initially using her powers for personal gain. Asking how it's fair that she's suffered so much for his mistakes, George asks what she could have possibly done to deserve the misery life's heaped upon her. Quoting an old Western movie, Gwen states that she and her father aren't the heroes they thought they were, but that all they can do is keep moving forward and striving to one day live up to that ideal. George asks Gwen how that's possible, saying that even after she served her time in prison people are still waiting for an excuse to label her a menace and lock her away for good or conscript her into being a S.H.I.E.L.D. supersoldier. Gwen states that she was certain that everyone hated Spider-Woman, but that her hoodie is proof that there are still people who believe in her. George states that no matter how hard Gwen tries to do better and avoid fighting, she knows better than anyone that sooner or later someone will seek her out and give her no other choice. Gwen states that if that happens that someone might just get what they were looking for, but until then she has to at least know she tried her best to solve problems without resorting to violence. George relents, and when Gwen asks if he's trying some wily old cop trick on her he states that he nearly died but that some higher power decided to give them more time together, and that he's not about to squander that being a hypocrite. Smiling, George tells his daughter that he has her back so long as she agrees to keep her spiders out of his shoes. Joking that he must have gone insane from hunger, George tells Gwen to show him the city from her perspective.

Web-swinging to the Dollar Dog, Gwen asks her dad what it was like being in a coma. George states that it was like lucid dreaming, giving Gwen a few humorous examples. Gwen remarks that she doesn't remember her dreams anymore, George replying that it'd be hard to top waking up with spider-powers. Eating a bacon-wrapped corn dog, Gwen remarks that really freaked her out, and she was initially terrified her powers would suddenly stop working and she'd fall to her death. Stating that there's no normal in her life anymore, Gwen remarks that she's finally okay with that but wonders what it means for the rest of her life.

In a flashback to an earlier meeting with her friends, Betty Brant answers Gwen's question with an enthusiastic reply that it means the Mary Janes are going on a world tour. Gwen expresses incredulity, but Glory Grant remarks that for once Betty is making a modicum of sense. Glory elaborates that the band could go on tour and Gwen could use this as an excuse to help people outside of New York City, hiding in plain sight and helping people like a ghost. Gwen shuts the idea down, stating that it reminds her of Murdock's ninja and that if she wanted to hide she'd never have taken off her mask. Em Jay asks if this is a no to going on tour, and Gwen replies that she's unsure and wants to keep things local at first. Taking Em Jay's hand, Glory says that coming from Gwen a "maybe" is a promise set in stone; but Betty - who had been ignoring the conversation and focused on texting - declares that she's secured her cousin's Winnebago and that they're going on tour whether they like it or not.

Snapped back to the present by the sound of sirens, Gwen tenses and is told by George that they're fire trucks instead of police. As Gwen lets out a disappointed sigh, George tells his daughter that he loves her. They hug and Gwen rushes out the door, passing the Bodega Bandit and Mr. Albie, who wish her luck and tell her not to be late for her shift. Watching his daughter web-swing away, George glances at a Venom spider perched on his hand and quips to it that his daughter always wanted a dog.

At a burning apartment, the firefighters are ordered to pull out and evacuate the area. A firefighter on the roof states that he can't comply, struggling to haul an injured comrade named Valdez onto the roof. The cable securing Valdez breaks, the firefighter devastated by the loss of his friend only for a hooded figure to land in front of him holding Valdez' unconscious body. The firefighter nervously asks who the figure is, Gwen Stacy throwing back her hood and introducing herself as Spider-Gwen.

Solicit Synopsis

THE TRIAL OF SPIDER-WOMAN CONCLUDES!

• For months, Gwen Stacy has been fighting the world as Spider-Woman…

• Now her mask is off, and she’s got to face the music as Gwen Stacy.

Trivia

  • The T-shirts for sale in the boutique have the images of various Spider-Gwen covers.

See Also

Footnotes



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