GRAYHAVEN COMICS APPRENTICE- Challenge 5- Completed Rewrite Projects

TEAM HIVE MIND-

Memo: THE DEATH OF SPIDER-MAN Outcome

HiveMind, due to public outrage against our current storyline and the subsequent newUltimate SpiderMan #1 without SpiderMan, you must change the ending. Peter Parker must live. We’ve read your script for issue 160 and feel that our goal can be accomplished with a minor change of the last 2 pages. Remove those pages and replace them with an outcome where Peter is not dead. You can’t leave a cliffhanger because a new #1 has already been solicited. You have up to 3 pages to make this happen. Clearly, you see the implications this will cause for the new #1. The origin of Miles must change, but he must play an equally important role alongside Peter. Sorry for the late change.

-Dan, Joe, and Axel

Office of Marvel Editorial

The Choice

We have chosen The Death of Spider-Man because we love Peter Parker. Honestly, there is no reason that not having Peter Parker is ever better than having him. What Brian Michael Bendis has created is an amazingly consistent book with a character close to many of our hearts. The phrase “this is my Spider-Man” heard frequently among fans is a testament to his hard work, so keeping Peter Parker alive is an easy choice. The Ultimate Universe needs an everyman character that every kid can relate to. Yes, he has powers, but he is the underdog. If Spidey wins, it usually means that Peter loses. He is a great example of a character doing things for the right reasons, especially when he has everything to lose. In addition, we have never seen two Ultimate versions of Spider-Man work together before. It will be interesting to see the dynamics of a young, yet emotionally aged, Spider-Man mentor an even younger Spider-Man to be. Observing Peter try to let go of the reigns as a solo Spider-Man and sharing that torch with another will be an emotional roller coaster worthy of any fan’s comics dollar. We have chosen to keep the name the same as this was a last minute decision, and it indicates that there will be a death to Spider-Man, not Peter Parker. Spider-Man as we know him, will change due to the trials he has just overcome.

Scripted Scene

This is the last page that will remain as is, page 26 of the issue.

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Three Page Script Summary

A quinjet appears overhead, Cap, Thor and Iron Man looking weary come out with Layla Miller who heals Peter’s wounds enough to stabilize him. As Thor carries him back on the Quinjet which will take him to a Shield Helicarrier hospital, Cap addresses the crowd telling them, in that Cap way, that they should forget everything they saw that day to honor the young man who just saved all their lives. Standing behind him is Dr. Strange, casting  his spell, without the crowd’s knowledge, while Iron Man hits them with an electromagnetic pulse to erase any digital recordings of the event. We have a time break, moving one week in the future. Peter wakes up in a SHIELD hospital where he is told that his identity is put back in the closet as much as it possibly can. What he does next is up to him. We leave the issue with a closeup of a pensive look on Peter’s face, giving the impression that Peter is uncertain of his future.

Script Breakdown: Pages 27-29

Page 27 and 28 (Double Page Spread)

 

Panel 1 Black.

Silent

 

Panel 2 Black except for the light of a quinjet descending onto the street.

 

Panel 3 We see the front of a quinjet, ramp down, Thor, Iron Man and Captain America are emerging from the ship, with Dr. Strange and Layla Miller, who appears to be in restraints running in front of them.

 

Panel 4 Layla is kneeling beside Peter with her cuffed hands on his chest and head. Her face in an expression of deep concentration. Behind her we see Cap and Thor holding back Aunt May and Gwen who are trying to be at Peter’s side.

 

Panel 5 Same scene. Layla is looking up at Dr. Strange who is now kneeling beside Peter as well checking his vital signs.

 

Layla- His injuries are severe. I’ve done as much as I can do.

 

Dr. Strange- You’ve done more than enough. He’s stable enough to move.

 

Panel 6 Two medics are rushing towards Peter with a stretcher. In the background we see Cap and Aunt May. In the foreground, we see Dr. Strange and Layla Miller.

 

Cap- Get him to the Helicarrier.

 

Layla ( to Dr. Strange) Roxxon can never know abo…

 

Dr. Strange -Your secret is safe Dr. Miller. You are free to go.

 

Panel 7 In the background, we see Peter being loaded onto the quinjet with Aunt May and Gwen. Cap, Thor, Iron Man, and Dr. Strange are standing on top of an overturned car. The cheering crowd is roaring its approval at them. We see the flashes and red dotted lights of cameras taking video and pictures.

 

Cap-  Thor?

 

Panel 8 We see Thor’s hammer raised into the air bringing a bolt of lightning down to it and a thunderous BOOM! along with it.

 

Panel 9 The crowd is silent.

 

Panel 10 Captain America addresses the crowd.

 

Cap- You are all safer today, your whole world is safer today, because of the heroism of a young man who lived in this neighborhood.

 

Cap-  You have all seen his face. Many of you know who he is. Most of you have taken his picture tonight.

 

Cap (To Iron Man) Tony?

 

Panel 11 An imaged of Iron Man’s outstretched hand, palm out, emitting some kind of energy.

 

Panel 12 Close up on Cap.

 

Cap –We have just erased the memory of every camera and cellphone in a 2 block radius with a low level EMP.

 

Cap- For what we are about to do next, I am truly sorry, but this young man, this hero, deserves better than what is in store for him if we don’t.

 

Cap (to Dr. Strange) Stephen

 

Panel 13 We see a close up of Sr. Strange’s outstretched hands, mystic energy swirling around them.

Dr. Strange- Demons of darkness in the name of Satannish by the Flames of the Faltine let Clea’s mind vanish!

 

Page 29

Panel 1 Black with a beep… beep…. beep (heart monitor) sound effect across the bottom of the panel.

 

Panel 2 Black with the same beep beep beep sound effect. Peter’s view of his opening eyes. We see Nick Fury through the slits.

 

Panel 3 Nick Fury is sitting next to Peter’s bed in helicarrier medical ward. In the window behind him we see Aunt May, Gwen and Mary Jane.

 

Nick- Good morning Peter.

 

Peter- Where am I? Where’s Aunt May!? and Gw…

 

Nick-  Don’t worry. They’re safe. You’re in the medical bay of a helicarrier currently hovering 40,000 feet above the arctic circle. We’ve got a lot to talk about when you’re ready.

 

Panel 3 Same scene

 

Peter- Where’s Norman Osborn?

 

Nick-  Dead as far as we can tell. His body is being secured a few thousand feet below the arctic circle just in case.

 

Nick- So I guess the big question is, where do we go from here?

 

Panel 4 Same scene

 

Peter- My mask… my house. Everyone knows. I can’t go back. I can’t put my family at risk again. I won’t.

 

Nick –About that. We made sure, and I hope you appreciate how many civil liberties we violated taking care of this for you, we made sure that anyone in that crowd forgot all about what they saw. Their memories, along with their cameras, wiped clean of anything having to do with what happened last night.

 

Panel 5 Same scene

 

Peter –But there were more…

 

Nick-  Peter, I thought you knew by now that not only am I a very powerful man, but I take care of my friends. And right now kid, you’re my best friend. I can’t give you too many specifics but I have a program, that for the remainder of your lifetime, will scour the internet for any image or reference to you being SpiderMan and delete it.

 

Nick- Emails, web pages, blogs, podcasts, or whatever new thing some college kid comes up with next month. It’s not perfect, but it’ll keep you and your family safe.

 

Panel 6

Peter- There’s no way…

 

Nick- MEPHISTO is a very powerful program. And by the way, if Ms. Watson writes an article about it in anything from Time Magazine to the school newspaper, I’m pulling the plug, so keep it to yourself.

 

Panel 7 Back to Peter and Nick

 

Nick- As I said, I take care of my friends, and you are a very good friend. You’ve earned more than a few favors in my book. So if you’re hanging up the costume, what’s next for Peter Parker?

 

Peter (thinking)… Aunt May has always wanted to visit France.

 

End

 

Outline For the First Year of Stories

Issues 1-6

“Prowl”

Three months after the events of “The Death of SpiderMan”, a criminal is robbing local businesses without a trace, and even getting into inaccessible places. The police are stumped and have named this criminal, The Prowler. MJ is reporting for the school news program and looking at the way the criminal is entering the buildings (high windows, ceiling vents, etc.), the fact that the safes are being ripped out of walls and she’s imagining that someone with spider-powers could do it.

 

Meanwhile we meet 13 year old Miles Morales. His parents desperately wanted him to win a spot in a charter school lottery, but his number wasn’t picked and his parents are fighting. Their fights are mostly over money since they’re now worried that Miles will need to go to a private school in order to get a good education in their neighborhood. We see flashbacks to the day that Miles lost the lottery. Discouraged, he went to visit his Uncle Aaron. Uncle Aaron is a small time thief with larger aspirations and has recently done some corporate espionage against OsCorp. During his most recent job investigating the abandoned OsCorp labs, a genetically modified spider hitched a ride on his bag and came home with him. The spider bites Miles the day he visited. He lost one lottery and kinda won a totally different one.

 

More flashbacks show Miles teaching himself how to use his powers while hiding his abilities from his best friend Ganke. Ganke will continue to be a valuable friend, and Miles knows it. Hiding his powers and how he is using them is of utmost importance. His powers are identical to the traditional Miles Morales’ and he decides to use them to steal enough money to afford the private school to keep his parents from fighting. On one night, he breaks into a place that The Trapster is already breaking into. Seeing that ol’ PastePot is threatening the business owners and has already beaten one of them, Miles decloaks and takes out Trapster. Still in shock by the sudden turn of events, he quickly jumps to the ceiling, clings, and crawls through the air vent. Usually cautious, his spur of the moment decision gets his wall crawling, superstrength and super agility caught on the security camera, and now the press is assuming SpiderMan is back. MJ emails links to news articles to Peter and he is shocked, curious, and pissed. But under it all, there is relief. Sabbatical has been great, if not necessary, but this, this is what he needed a reason to return. A reason to suit up. A reason to get back in the game.

 

Issues 7-12

“One More Day”

After incapacitating Trapster with a single blow, Miles is freaked out about using his powers against a person. and If he could do this to a seasoned criminal, what would happen to an ordinary citizen? He swears to never use his powers again. MJ investigates  the rash of robberies and has narrowed down Miles’ identity. Realizing that he is not much more than a child, she feels guilty for having published blogs identifying clues as to his identity. If she could put the clues together, surely someone else could too. She tells Miles that she has evidence that he’s behind the robberies, and she convinces him to return the money. As he’s returning the money, he runs into The Trapster again. This time, Trapster has the drop on Miles. He’s about to land a devastating blow, when Pete shows up in his Spider-Man costume and takes down Trapster. The next day Pete talks to Miles about how he thinks he got his powers, why he was stealing and the fact that with his great power comes a great responsibility to use his powers for good. Pete trains Miles how to better use his powers. Miles is dying to get the webshooters, but Pete insists that they’re one of a kind and that Miles isn’t ready for them yet. While Pete is training Miles and taking out some low level threats (Trapster, Ringer, and the debut of Ultimate Big Wheel, etc), Nick Fury makes his presence known to the Spider-Men. He refuses to accept Miles as the new SpiderMan and tries to convince Peter to stay around leaving Peter with a choice: continue as Spider-Man ignoring Miles as Fury directs, or will he help convince Fury and everyone else (including Miles himself) that Miles is the real deal?

 

Long Term Plans

Out of respect for Peter Parker, Nick Fury submits to his wishes to train young Miles. The next few issues focus on the relationship growing between Peter and Miles. In addition to the building of friendship, part of each of these issues will focus on Norman Osborn, who has broken free of his prison in the Arctic. Peter has no knowledge of the event; in fact, it is known only to Nick Fury and a handful of high ranking SHIELD officers.

As issues 13-15 progress, we watch as Norman makes his way back to NYC, and thanks to the investigating, reporting, and blogging of MJ, he, too, has made the connection to the new young criminal, turned hero who has been spending a lot of time with Spider-Man.

To gain the attention of the new Spider-Men, Norman holds an entire office full of civilians, including the parents of Miles Morales, hostage. As Peter and Miles work together to bring down Norman while protecting the innocent, they become a very formidable team, feeding off of each other showing great trust… The significance of this event is that Miles has earned his place as Spider-Man and earned the respect of Peter and Nick Fury. And Peter? He changes roles from young underestimated hero, to full blown hero mentor. At the end of this arc, the book will officially be retitled Ultimate Spider- Men.

 

*As the second year of stories kicks off, Marvel will be running a Twitter contest to generate

some excitement for the book. In the book, Ganke notices that Peter is constantly chattering and making bad jokes. He doesn’t realize that Peter uses this for two reasons: one, to keep him from truly realizing the gravity of the situation he is in, and two, to throw off his opponents. Ganke simply sees it as something Miles should do if he is to become Spider- Man. He devises a plan to come up with jokes for Miles to use. He creates a fake Twitter handle and introduces the contest to create jokes for Spider-Man to use against a variety of different villains. In reality, Marvel will be running this very same campaign on its own Twitter account. The jokes that win will appear in the book with their actual Twitter handle listed with the joke. For those of us who have been reading since the beginning, this will be a nice nod to a very early scene where Peter reads jokes off of notes in a fight with the Kingpin

 

COMICS CREATIVE COLLECTIVE

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Rewriting ‘THE DEATH OF GWEN STACY’

Choice Explanation and Changes Rationale

Our Choice of Rewrite

For this task we have taken on the challenge of rewriting the closing three pages of ‘Amazing Spider-Man #121’, originally titled ‘The Night Gwen Stacy Died’.

In that issue, Norman Osborn (aka Green Goblin) unfairly blamed Peter Parker for his son Harry’s breakdown and drug use. Knowing that Peter is also Spider-Man, Goblin kidnapped Peter’s girlfriend at the time, Gwen Stacy, in order to use her to lure Spider-Man into mortal combat. But Spider-Man was suffering the draining effects of a virus caught while fighting the Hulk in Canada (Issue #120), which prevents him from combating Green Goblin with all of his potential might. After a collision with Green Goblin’s glider, Gwen falls from the George Washington Bridge. Although Peter tries to save her, she falls to her death.

Choice Explanation

Since his first appearance more than 50 years ago, Spider-Man has become one of comics more recognizable characters, cherished for his wit, unquenchable youthful energy, and a colorful rogues’ gallery. Underscoring his popularity is his humanity; the relatable nature of the man behind the mask. He is no borderline sociopath billionaire one-percenter, nor an alien with near-God-like powers. He’s a kid from Queens who was bitten by a bug, and consequently great powers and even greater responsibilities were thrust upon him. Spider-Man is a true “it-could-have-been-you” hero.

Peter Parker’s most enduring lesson about the nature of the obligations attached to his powers brings depth to this humanity: the murder of his father-figure Uncle Ben came at the hands of a criminal Peter had earlier chosen not to stop. This very relatable mistake, plus Peter’s shame, guilt, and subsequent determination to prevent anything like that from happening again drew our team to rewrite his second pivotal early loss: that of his first great love, Gwen Stacy.

While Uncle Ben’s death was the spark that ignited Peter’s true understanding of the responsibilities that lay with his extraordinary powers, Gwen’s death defined his limitations, vividly staking out the boundaries of protection he could offer to the city of New York as well as those closest and most important to him. Over time, the legacy of this event solidified the importance of his friends and family as sources of strength.

However, the shadow of Gwen’s death in the Spider-Man books is particularly long and sustained, and without a similarly positive impact. Unlike many other comic book characters, she has never returned, avoiding the overused trope of ‘comic book death’, plus losing her signalled a marked change in Spider-Man’s world: a shift from the often light-hearted title into significantly darker depths.

Additionally, her murder at the hands of Green Goblin cemented that villain as Spider-Man’s arch-nemesis. Goblin/Osborn’s death, occurring as it did almost immediately after Gwen’s demise, could be seen as a direct ramification since it was so closely related to Spider-Man’s relentless pursuit. Also, now-classic characters such as Punisher and Jackal effectively owe their existence to that fateful story.

There exists, too, significant cause to analyze Gwen’s death in the context of the ‘disposable woman’ trope, often used not just in comics but across male-centric hero fiction, where the elimination of a protagonist’s female partner or family member is used simply to outline the severity of a threat posed by an antagonist.  It could be argued that Gwen Stacy almost represents ‘patient zero’ for this – or it is, at least, the most high profile early case in modern comics.  However, the importance of the legacy of her passing, and the resolute decision to avoid her long-term reintroduction, suggests that Gwen Stacy carries significantly more merit than many other female companions of superheroes sacrificed in this frankly disturbing and common manner, even to this day.

Changes Rationale

Gwen Stacy’s death redefined many relationships in the world of ‘Amazing Spider-Man’. Losing Gwen gave Peter space and cause to grow close to Mary Jane Watson once more, encouraged by Mary Jane’s new-found maturity in the wake of her close friend’s death.

For all intents and purposes, Peter lost his best friend and roommate, Harry, at the same time when the unstable young man murdered his father, Osborn, almost immediately after Gwen’s death. This separation of long-time friends underlined the value that their companionship had previously brought to Peter.

Our one-year story outline begins with Gwen Stacy surviving her fall, also the point at which the machinations of Peter’s personal life begin to manifest as a source of weakness rather than strength. The painful emotional toll of his drawn out parting  with Gwen; the cooling of the one-time seemingly inevitable relationship with Mary Jane; the emergence of Harry Osborn as a murderer and the physical distance his moving out causes are all important events that serve to fracture his support network, leaving Peter more alone than if Gwen had died. He is left fire-fighting problems originating from his friends and family as much as fighting crime.

Ultimately, the major repercussion of Gwen’s survival is the establishment of Peter Parker/Spider-Man as a ‘man apart’; a hero whose ‘secret identity’ is more a source of problems and strife than supportive and strengthening. While there have always been threats to the touchstones of his private identity, these have tended to be counterbalanced by the succour it has provided him.

We posit many complexities and tribulations that saving Gwen and revealing his identity to her might bring, chief among them: Peter Parker, the mild mannered scientist, becomes less important than the super-powered Spider-Man. There has never previously been a question of whether it is the hero or the person behind the mask who dominates the Spider-Man/Peter relationship. The costume he wears is just that, a costume, unlike a character such as Batman, who is often considered to be separate from Bruce Wayne.

For our rewritten Peter, that question is not only asked but an alternative answer suggested, as there appears to be far more need for the masked super-being than the man beneath it. In the current market, ‘Superior Spider-Man’ poses similar questions to see how a different, more brash and solitary personality handles the ‘great power’- ‘great responsibility’ axis. However, in order to negate the troublesome aspects of personal entanglements, in the ‘Superior’ title he has cast them off.  We ask instead: what if this option did not exist? How would Peter cope, and what would become of him and his world?

Long-term Benefits to the Title

As mentioned, currently ‘Amazing Spider-Man’s’ successor title, ‘Superior Spider-Man’, is using the platform of a radically changed Peter Parker in order to show a harder, darker side to Spider-Man. Not the first change of this nature, it seems the most prominent, at least in the modern era. Most importantly, ‘Superior Spider-Man’ has been met with extreme reactions ranging from wild praise to savage criticism.

Many aspects of the negative reaction stem from the fact that Spider-Man as a long-time popular character is usually perceived as positive and relatable; someone fans considered a paradigm of virtue, even in his darkest hours. Had Gwen Stacy been kept alive over 550 issues prior to the merging of Doctor Otto Octavius and Peter Parker, this would have given writers and artists space to explore the ‘man apart’ aspect as we have done, something that has not been as closely associated with this character as it has with other heroes.

This opportunity would give Spider-Man the potential for wider ‘dynamic range’, and if coupled with a later return to his rogue’s gallery of more established and less destabilizing supporting characters, would also allow for the exploration of aspects of Spider-Man/Peter Parker’s nature that have had limited exposure.

For example, Batman is both the ‘Dark Knight’, loitering in the shadows and dispensing brutal justice, and a hero revelling in the high-camp role of the ‘Caped Crusader’ first encountered in comics and television in the 1960s and again now in the title ‘Batman 66’.  For Spider-Man there has been less of a dark side, at least not one caused by outside influence such as the symbiotic Venom.

In taking this early detour from the established path and removing a stunning tragedy from Peter’s life, events can open up a much darker state in Peter than the shadow of loss itself provided, thus enriching the character in an unexpected fashion.

Outline: Year One

 

The Amazing Spider-Man, issue 121, pp 18-20 (final three pages)

 

Issue Retitled:  “At Last… Peter Proposes to Gwen!”

 

Spider-Man leaps off the bridge after the plummeting Gwen Stacy. The cackling Green Goblin – delighted by the prospect of Spider-Man’s sure death – flies away, just before Spider-Man reaches Gwen, pulling her close as they fall. He crafts a cantilever of webs that grabs them and slows their terrifying descent. The elaborate construct works, softening their impact into the water so that it causes no harm.

 

Quickly pulling Gwen with him up onto a nearby dock, Peter forgets himself, telling Gwen how worried he was and that he loves her. Peter takes off his masks and asks Gwen to marry him. Upset that he has lied to her for so long, a shaky and upset Gwen walks away without saying a word.

 

The Amazing Spider-Man, issue 122

 

A despondent Peter heads back to his apartment, his soaking wet costume exacerbating the fever he has been fighting since his encounter with the Hulk. Knowing that he should be searching for the Green Goblin, Peter rationalizes that he will be able to find him easily when Goblin switches to his alter ego, Norman Osborn. But on his way home and despite feeling ill, Spider-Man stops to prevent a pair of corrupt cops that he sees planting a bag of drugs on a young man in an alley.

 

Norman Osborn returns to his family townhouse, encountering his son Harry who is still in the thrall of a devastatingly bad LSD trip. Harry, believing that his father is actually a devil, brandishes a pistol and shoots Norman square in the chest, killing him.

 

The Amazing Spider-Man, issues 123 and 124

 

Several days later, a healthy Peter Parker arrives at the Osborn home looking for Norman, but finding only an anxious Harry. With Oscorp already in dire financial straits Harry tells Peter that his father absconded with all of the company’s cash. Harry is assuming control of Oscorp, resolved to keeping his birthright from bankruptcy. The conversation ends with Harry stating that he will be taking up residence at the townhouse and will no longer be Peter’s roommate.

 

Peter decides to focus on searching for Gwen, hoping that over the past few days she has had time to forgive him. When he runs into Mary Jane, Peter describes his visit with Harry and asks if she knows where he can find Gwen. Based on Mary Jane’s advice, Peter arrives at Empire State University where he immediately sees Gwen across the courtyard. As he heads toward her, his Spider-senses begin to buzz and one wall of a science building explodes. A man in a suit and harnessed into a jet-pack, looking like someone known as ‘the Gentleman’, flies out of the building clutching a brief case. Peter attaches a Spider-Tracer to the escaping man and goes into the rubble of the building hoping to find survivors.  He pulls his Biochemistry professor, Dr. Miles Warren free of the wreckage.

 

Dr. Warren explains that the villain has stolen all of his research and must be a Russian spy. Peter immediately leaves and changes into his Spider-Man costume, making brief eye contact with Gwen as he leaves. Following his tracer to the spy’s location in an abandoned warehouse, Spider-Man observes the man reading over the research and preparing to dump it into a burn barrel. Spider-Man’s sudden attack overwhelms the well-trained spy and the paperwork is saved. The webbed-up spy begs desperately for Spider-Man to destroy the research, explaining that he doesn’t want to keep or replicate the science, but to destroy it. After Peter reviews the research he is shocked to discover that Dr. Warren has made incredible advances in mapping the human genome and is ready to begin cloning humans.

 

Knowing the good that a complete mapping of the human genome could do for disease research, Peter destroys only the work specific to human cloning. Leaving the spy to wait until the webbing melts, he returns the research to Dr. Warren, who is happy being cared for by Gwen.

 

The Amazing Spider-Man, issue 125

 

After Gwen sees and then ignores him in class, Peter rushes off on patrol to blow off some steam.  Unfortunately, it’s a slow day. Following several failed efforts to be a hero, Peter is ready to call it a night when suddenly there is a large explosion several blocks away. Arriving at the site, Spider-Man encounters the Human Torch and the Thing battling against a large Moloid. After saving a child from the path of destruction and helping to contain the situation, Peter’s resolve to continue being Spider-man – no matter the personal cost – is strengthened.

 

The Amazing Spider-Man, issues 126 and 127

 

The stress of running a failing Oscorp is taking a heavy toll on Harry’s drug-damaged psyche, and during an exchange at The Coffee Bean he snaps at Mary Jane, officially putting an end to their on-and-off relationship and friendship. Peter begins to realize that without Harry, there is no way he will be able to pay the rent on his own, but before he can consider that problem he is distracted by the Shocker robbing a bank. After a very quick fight, Shocker retreats, leaving all of the money from the robbery behind. Peter is lamenting being broke and having to be the good guy when a police officer chastises him for stopping the small incident with Shocker while Hammerhead and his gang robbed a bigger bank, taking more money. Peter feels even worse when he realizes that Shocker was merely a distraction for Hammerhead.

 

Peter runs into a distraught Mary Jane. They discuss their respective predicaments related to Harry’s new responsibility to Oscorp and decide that Mary Jane will move into Harry’s vacant room but they will keep their relationship entirely platonic. As Spider-Man, Peter has upped his patrol time to maintain an almost constant lookout for the inevitable return of the Green Goblin. During one of these patrols he again encounters the Shocker getting ready to rob another bank. Not fooled by the distraction this time, Peter puts a quick stop to this, learns of Hammerhead’s next target, and heads there himself. At a large downtown bank, Spider-Man is overpowered by Hammerhead who is taking the cash to continue his gang war against Doctor Octopus. Just as the police show up on the scene, Hammerhead makes a clean getaway. Spider-Man is briefly taken into custody until the bank employees come to his aid and free him.

 

Harry, in an attempt to locate money missing from the Oscorp books, and knowing full-well that Norman did not abscond, begins assessing the various properties owned by the company. He soon discovers one of Norman’s hidden chambers, fully-equipped with Goblin paraphernalia.

 

The Amazing Spider-Man, issue 128

 

On the streets of the city, Gwen has her nose buried deep into a biochemistry book when she literally runs into Peter’s Aunt May, accompanied by one of Doctor Octopus’ bodyguards. May tells Gwen how sad she was to learn that Peter and she had split. May explains that it is very obvious that Peter still loves her deeply and that she believes they are meant to be together. After May leaves, Gwen considers that she does truly love Peter but she cannot be with him while he is still Spider-Man.

 

Peter and Mary Jane are doing well as roommates, there is some tension between them, but with Peter still trying to win back Gwen and Mary Jane not giving up her party girl persona, nothing ever progresses past flirtation.

 

During a patrol, Spider-Man observes the new Green Goblin flying out. Harry – believing that running the city’s criminal underground would be the only way to keep his company afloat – is heading to Westchester to confront Doctor Octopus, one of the city’s top gang leaders. Coincidentally, Hammerhead and his gang are also converging on the same location to carry out a mission of their own. Spider-Man lands on the roof of one of Hammerhead’s cars and rides that way to Ock’s estate, following the Goblin.

 

The Amazing Spider-Man, issues 129 and 130

 

At the home of Doctor Octopus, a four-way battle ensues among the hero and three villains. Peter tries to protect his Aunt May, who has been a house guest of Doctor Octopus’ for some time. The fight reaches its climax when Goblin manages to kill Hammerhead with a pumpkin bomb. Octopus sees his chance to make a grand escape, recruiting some of Hammerheads men along with him. Peter, believing that Norman Osborn is still the Goblin, confronts him and stops him from following Octopus. Keeping his identity hidden, Harry declares that Norman is dead but that a new Goblin has risen. He briefly endangers Aunt May and then makes his escape. Saving May from a pumpkin bomb, Spider-Man takes one of Hammerhead’s discarded cars and drives Aunt May back to her house in Queens.

 

The Amazing Spider-Man, issues 131, 132, and 133

 

Spotting a man mugging a woman in an alley, Spider-Man intervenes only to discover that the mugging is another fraud. He suddenly finds himself being hunted by the Punisher, who ends their chase through the city by hitting Spider-Man with several tranquilizer darts. Peter fights off the Punisher as long as he can, but eventually succumbs to the drugs. The ‘mugger’ and his fake victim assure Punisher that Spider-Man will no longer be able to hurt anyone. They pay the villain off and take Spider-Man with them. His captors are revealed to be Gwen Stacy and Dr. Miles Warren.

 

Gwen awakens an unconscious Peter, and explains that they can be together, but not as long as he is Spider-Man. Gwen tells him that she and Dr. Warren have created a ‘gene cleanser’ that they have calibrated to remove his powers and return him to a baseline human. Warren enters the room holding a syringe, but Peter quickly manages to convince Gwen that he never wanted to lie to her; he just didn’t want to risk losing her by telling her the truth. He explains that he loves her, that he can continue as Spider-Man and they can make it work. Gwen finally accepts this and tells Peter that she also loves him.

 

Dr. Warren is infuriated, having been under the impression that they were going to punish Spider-Man for losing his cloning research, and not realizing that Gwen was still in love with him. Enraged, Warren attacks Spider-Man with the syringe, but when Gwen intervenes she is injected with the gene cleanser by mistake. Spider-Man breaks from his restraints and catches a collapsing Gwen. They share a brief moment before she falls unconscious. Warren blames Spider-Man for what has happened and vows his revenge.

 

At the hospital, a distraught Peter explains to Mary Jane that the gene cleanser was intended for only Spider-Man’s specific genetic code and that it has put Gwen into a coma. He is holding onto the hope that her body can purge it from her system.

Three-page Scripted Scene

 

The Amazing Spider-Man, issue #121, ‘The Night Gwen Stacy Died’

Rewrite: pp 18-20 (Closing pages, this issue)

 

 

 

Note:     Issue #121 Retitled:  ‘The Day Peter Proposed to Gwen!’

 

 

PAGE 18 – 6 PANELS

18 – PANEL 1:

Spider-Man is standing on top of a high tower on a large span bridge (the George Washington Bridge), seen from far below at water level.  A woman (Gwen) is in mid-air about 20-to-30 feet from the same tower, falling toward the water. His Spider-Sense is tingling!

(SFX: Black lines like electricity form a corona around his head, as if depicting heat emanating from a source.)

Spider-Man:        (Dialogue)                                          OH NO!

(SPX: GWE-EN-N !!!)

 

18 – PANEL 2:

Still looking up at him, but now from only about 20 feet away, we see Spider-Man dive off the bridge tower after Gwen. Far in the background but just in view is the figure of Green Goblin as he speeds away from the bridge on his bat-shaped Glider.

(SFX: Ack-ark! [Goblin’s cackle barely “heard” in the distance. Small font; near escaping Goblin.])

Spider-Man:        (Internal Monologue)                      I’VE GOT TO GET TO HER SOMEHOW!

Spider-Man:        (Dialogue)                                          I’VE GOT IT!!

 

 

18 – PANEL 3:

Looking down toward the water from Spider-Man’s POV, we see Gwen free-falling with only waves and whitecaps as the backdrop. Spider-Man’s right hand is in the foreground with strands of his web flying from his wrist in Gwen’s direction.

 

18 – PANEL 4:

Again looking down from Spider-Man’s POV, threads of web are criss-crossing back-and-forth beneath Gwen while her body rushes toward the water.

Spider-Man:        (Internal Monologue)                      I’VE GOT TO HURRY!

 

18 – PANEL 5:

From mid-air just above Gwen, viewed over Spider-Man’s shoulder, we see a dense and fully-formed, hammock-shaped net of Spider-Man web under Gwen. Spider-Man continues to shoot extra webs to the highest edges of the net, using those lines to slingshot himself toward Gwen.

(SFX: ALM-OST THERE!!)

 

18 – PANEL 6:

Close-up of Spider-Man, his body wrapped protectively around Gwen; he is pulling the web-net around them both to cushion the imminent impact with the water.

Spider-Man:        (Internal Monologue)                      I DID IT! BRACE FOR IMPACT!

Spider-Man:        (Dialogue)                                          GOT YOU, GWEN!

Spider-Man:        (Whisper)                                          HOLD ON. I’VE GOT YOU.

 

PAGE 19 – 4 PANELS

19 – PANEL 1:

From the side, at water level, we see a giant splash with the edges of Spider-Man’s web-net poking through the displaced water.

 

19 – PANEL 2:

Spider-Man is helping Gwen to keep her head above the 3-to-4-foot waves. They are both gasping for air.

(SFX:  SPUHH-COUGH!!)  (SFX: GASP-AAHH-EEE!!) (SFX: COUGH-COUGH!)

 

19 – PANEL 3:

Spider-Man carries Gwen in his arms as he uses more webbing to grab a dock and swing out of the water toward it. Gwen’s eyes are partially open as she begins to wake up; her face is pale and she is sweating despite the cold water.

Gwen:                  (Hoarse/Loud Whisper)                  WHU…WHUT…HAP’N’D?

Spider-Man:        (Dialogue)                                          HOLD ON WHILE I GET US TO THE DOCK.

 

19 – PANEL 4:

Spider-Man and Gwen are now sitting on the dock, Gwen is shivering in Spider-Man’s arms, pale and in shock.

Gwen:                  (Dialogue)                                          YOU…YOU…SAVED MY LIFE.

Gwen:                  (Whisper)                                           OH, SPIDER-MAN…

Spider-Man:        (Dialogue)                                          GWEN, THERE’S SOMETHING I NEED TO SAY…

 

PAGE 20 – SPLASH PAGE WITH 2 INSERT BOXES PLUS 1 TRANSITION BOX

PAGE NOTES:     INSERT BOX 1, Top Left

 

                              INSERT BOX 2, Bottom Right (above Transition Box)

 

                              TRANSITION BOX, Bottom Center

 

 

20 – INSERT BOX 1 (Upper Left):

Still sitting on the dock, Spider-Man has pulled off his masks to reveal to Gwen that he is Peter Parker. She looks at him in shock.

Spider-Man:        (Dialogue)                                          IT’S ME, GWEN. I’M SPIDER-MAN.

 

20 – SPLASH/BACKGROUND:

Peter and Gwen are standing with Peter holding the still-weakened Gwen close to him with one arm. He takes her hand in his. Gwen’s other hand is a fist at her mouth as she looks at him in realization – and with complete disbelief.

Spider-Man:        (Dialogue)                                          WATCHING YOU FALL I REALIZED…

I REALIZED I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU.

GWEN STACY, WILL YOU MARRY ME?

 

20 – INSERT BOX 2 (Lower Right, above Transition Box):

We see Gwen from over Peter’s shoulder. Gwen has turned her back on him, and with one hand still raised to her face, she is walking away (in silence). Peter stands on the dock, his shoulders slumped forward, chin dropped toward his chest (despondent).

 

20 – TRANSITION BOX (Bottom, Centered):

(SFX:  Bold, large Title Font)                                                      ‘THE DAY PETER PROPOSED TO GWEN!’

(SFX: Smaller, Sub-title Font)                                                   This story is far from over…

Summary: Long-term Title Plans

 

Rewriting the ending of ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ Issue #121 in order to keep Gwen Stacy alive, allows us to establish new story arcs for the first year’s issues that provide fresh potential for major characters as well as the title as a whole.

Our approach is character-based, in keeping with the feel of the original material. For Peter Parker/Spider-Man, internal identity conflict (the ‘man apart’ arc) can continue to plague and challenge him as he tries to find balance between the young man he is and the costumed persona he feels compelled to be. Extension of this turmoil without specific resolution could cause Peter/Spider-Man to lose trust in his own judgment, eventually turning away from the support of friends and family. But Peter has built relationships with people who will not turn their backs on him, providing a lasting spark of hope. With Gwen alive yet not in his life, Peter/Spider-Man could reach down into very dark inner space, in turn leading both man and alter ego into darker situations. Doors have been created that can be opened to reveal many possible scenarios, including Dark Spider-Man or a merged Peter Parker/Spider-Man. In addition, such a character schism can become a classic set-up for a redemption story at a point where a climactic event helps Peter/Spider-Man to regain a sense of balance.

The consequences of being injected with Peter’s targeted serum positions Gwen to become a different kind of ‘patient zero.’ Her future is a blank slate that can easily be envisioned as haunted by echoes of intangible memories. Like Peter/Spider-Man, she is now unique and unpredictable.

Other major characters will also undergo significant shifts in follow-up to our story line. A less carefree Mary Jane is impressed when an intriguing new man enters her life, but he is a handsome gentleman by day whose manner grows cruel and abusive at sunset – a personality change that lasts until the sun rises again. After Spider-Man saves her from a savage beating, the man’s identity and strange behaviour sparks an intense investigation and adds an interesting new character to the title. However, for Mary Jane, the experience is an epiphany that demands a wrenching re-assessment of her life.

Green Goblin becomes Harry’s primary personality. Unlike Peter, he lives less with a dual identity and most often as the Goblin, establishing the largest crime empire in New York. The small part of him that is still ‘Harry’ pulls Oscorp back from the brink but struggles to keep Goblin from developing it into a front for criminal activities. In rare, lucid moments, Harry sometimes sends cryptic warnings about the dangers of an alter ego to his old friend Peter.

Dr. Warren resurfaces on the Goblin’s payroll, with new science that could cripple Spider-Man and make Peter Parker suffer for the rest of his life.

As with any good story, the potential is limitless.

 

PAST EPISODES—

WEEK FIVE

Challenge #5 Task  (The Rewrite)- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/23/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-5-the-rewrite/

 

WEEK FOUR

Challenge #4 Task (Marketing) –http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/13/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-4th-challenge-marketingpr/

Challenge #4- Completed Projects- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/21/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-4th-challenge-completed-projects/

Challenge #4- Judge’s Thoughts Boardroom-http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/22/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-4th-challenge-judges-thoughtsboardroom/

WEEK THREE

Challenge #3 Task (Milking the Franchise)- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/05/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-3/

Challenge #3- Completed Projects- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/10/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-3-completed-projects/

Challenge #3- Judges- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/11/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-challenge-3-judges-feedback/

Challenge #3- Boardroom- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/12/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-3rd-challenge-the-boardroom/

WEEK TWO
Challenge #2-Completed Projects-  http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/03/the-apprentice-2nd-challenge-completed-projects/

Challenge #2 Judges- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/04/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-2nd-challenge-judges-feedback/

Challenge #2- Boardroom- http://www.grayhavencomics.com/2013/08/04/grayhaven-comics-apprentice-2nd-challenge-the-boardroom/

WEEK ONE

 

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