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1723: Amazing Spider-Man #122 (v1)

" The Goblins Last Stand! "
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Amazing Spider-Man #122 (v1)
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Editor-in-Chief: Roy Thomas
Cover Artists: John Romita Sr.
Writers: Gerry Conway
Pencilers: Gil Kane
Inkers: John Romita Sr., Tony Mortellaro
Colourists: Andy Yanchus
Letterers: Artie Simek
Editors: Roy Thomas
Cover Date: July 1973
Release Date: April 1973
Story Arc: The Death of Gwen Stacy (2 of 2)
Pages: 20
Cover Price: $0.20
Times Read: 433                 Times Rated: 256
Plot Flags:  
Universes:   Earth-616  
Go to Issue #121 Go to Issue #123

Shanna the She-Devil #5 (v1)
Amazing Spider-Man #121 (v1)
Amazing Spider-Man #122 (v1)
Amazing Spider-Man #123 (v1)
Hero for Hire #12
1721: Shanna the ...
#5 (v1)
1722: Amazing Spi...
#121 (v1)
1724: Amazing Spi...
#123 (v1)
1725: Hero for Hi...
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Blurb
Gwen is dead and there's nothing Peter can do to change that fact. Still, his rage is overwhelming and it's object is Norman Osborn.
Issue Detail Divider
Character Appearances
Main Characters
Spider-Man last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #121 (v1). Spider-Man next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #123 (v1).
Supporting Characters
  Harry Osborn
Harry Osborn last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #121 (v1). Harry Osborn next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #123 (v1).
  Joe Robertson
Joe Robertson last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #121 (v1). Joe Robertson next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #123 (v1).
  J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #121 (v1). J. Jonah Jameson next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #123 (v1).
  Mary Jane Watson
Mary Jane Watson last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #121 (v1). Mary Jane Watson next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #123 (v1).
  Gwen Stacy
Gwen Stacy last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #121 (v1). Gwen Stacy next appears in Marvel Graphic Novel #46. Only her corpse appears.
  Philip Sheldon
Cameo Appearance First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Philip Sheldon in the mainstream continuity. Philip Sheldon next appears in Marvels #1. According to Marvels #4, Philip is a background person in the crowd. This is a cameo appearance.
  The Green Goblin
The Green Goblin last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #121 (v1). The Green Goblin next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #123 (v1). He dies in this issue..
Group Appearances
Daily Bugle
Daily Bugle last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #121 (v1). Daily Bugle next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #123 (v1).
Equipment, Items & Vehicles
Web-Shooters last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #121 (v1). Web-Shooters next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #123 (v1).
Goblin Glider
Goblin Glider last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #121 (v1). Goblin Glider next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #136 (v1).
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Notes
  There are no notes for this issue.

Issue Detail Divider
Issue Review
   February 17, 2017
This is a powerful and dark story as a revenge-driven Spider-Man goes after the villain who killed his girlfriend. It's every bit as tense and grim as it should be. The battles are excellent, but the two best scenes are the ones with Peter and Harry, then Peter with Mary-Jane. Dark. The saddest part? Spidey cradling Gwen's dead body while the cops watch. Extremely well-written. 10/10
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Synopsis
There is not synopsis for this issue.

Issue Detail Divider
  Kez Says:    
  2012-10-23 18:21:59  
  Out of the two, I would say this was the better issue.  

  john54542 Says:    
  2012-12-22 17:38:05  
  Great emotional issue! I must express my overall disappointment with them killing off Gwen tho. What purpose did this really even serve? I've known about her death for the last 30 years but had never read these issues until I decided last November to read all mainstream Marvel super hero comics from the beginning. As I've been reading Spider Man for the last year it quickly became my favorite comic book of the '60s, and as I grew to adore the character of Gwen Stacy it occurred to me that it would make a great plot line to have her slowly realize that Peter Parker is indeed Spider Man (especially after she blamed Spider-Man on the death of her father), but then afterwards Peter's dilemma of how to keep his identity secret from his girlfriend would be gone. Enter the need to kill her off. That plot line never developed, but they killed her anyway? Stan Lee wouldn't have dropped that ball. I could tell from Stan's stories that he was eventually going to have her find out that the man she's been blaming for her father's death is the man that she loves. Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway did drop the ball. They didn't even allow space in this story to have Gwen find out at the last minute (which would have been better than not exploring this at all). It just made it feel slightly anti-climatic to me and is the main reason both issues didn't get 5 stars for me.  

  Canuck Says:    
  2013-02-16 00:07:07  
  By far, the best issue in the order to this point! Excellent fight sequence. With the scene containing Harry and Peter to be particularly gripping. 5 stars, no question.  

  instantdeath999 Says:    
  2013-03-15 01:29:36  
  That was a great issue, even by modern standards. Peter choosing revenge over helping a friend, nearly beating a villain to death... very dark stuff for this era. And we get one of the best lines in any Marvel comic so far: "I just feel empty. And maybe just a bit alone". Really sums up the neverending villain/hero dynamic.  

  Drax Says:    
  2013-07-01 17:51:16  
  And I thought the last one was something. This has to be the darkest issue in the order at this point and it might also be the best. In contrast with john54542, I believe that the anti-climatic part of her death is the best part. It shows us the fragility of life is ever present even in comics. Building it would have, in my opinion, lessen the shock and the overall impact associated with this storyline.  

  podgejeff Says:    
  2013-12-29 02:19:46  
  Gwen Stacy's death, IIRC, was a decision by the Marvel Bullpen made to keep Peter a lovable loser. Part of his appeal is how he deals with constant problems. With Gwen and Peter's relationship they felt like they were stuck in that the only things they could do would be to have them get married or repeat plot points (as if that had ever stopped them before). They killed her for the shock and to keep Peter's status quo of unhappiness going.

As you'll see Peter Parker never really gets everything that he wants in his personal life for too long. It might as well be an unwritten rule of Marvel.

  skalchemist Says:    
  2013-12-31 00:56:48  
  That last page might be the best page so far in the Order.  

  leisch Says:    
  2014-02-16 18:32:05  
  great issue, although the later return of Osborn cheapens it a bit. I've read these stories many times, but until now, don't recall that last page with MJ, beautiful!  

  Schabenc Says:    
  2014-05-17 20:35:01  
  For a while, I thought Peter would actually go through with killing Goblin, but I'm glad he didn't. He still remains a hero.  

  illcom94 Says:    
  2014-08-17 21:13:46  
  Wow, Mary Jane just made up for all of her selfishness in one panel.  

  scottyjrules Says:    
  2015-01-21 09:52:54  
  So many great things contained in 20 pages. It's been a while since I read these issues and I forgot about Peter turning his back on Harry while caught up in his quest for revenge. I will always love the moment where Peter stops himself from going too far, nearly killing Norman Osborn. For me, that's the moment where Peter truly lives up to the lesson Uncle Ben was trying to teach him. And that last page with Mary Jane is a huge turning point for both characters. For my money the only thing that ever tops this as the greatest Marvel story ever is the Dark Phoenix Saga, but this is absolutely the greatest Spider-Man story ever told...  

  heman0420 Says:    
  2015-01-24 01:14:57  
  The passion of this issue was great. Best issue since #100.  

  Imperator Says:    
  2015-03-08 18:42:28  
  That was so sad. I almost cried.  

  TheAmazingGatorMan Says:    
  2015-04-03 21:09:24  
  I think it's cool how close to the final fight sequence between Spidey and Gobbie was between the first movie and this issue. The movies usually take a lot of freedom and change stuff around.

But this issue was... Wow... Intense, emotional, dark, and a series changer for Soider-Man. I can't imagine the shock the readers had back in the 70s.

  ViolentPhlegm Says:    
  2015-04-06 00:01:33  
  Another superb issue. Like the classic "Employee of the Month" episode of The Sopranos, this issue actually explores the vicarious satisfaction that a reader/viewer gets from a protagonist having the power to exact revenge. But also like that Sopranos episode, the protagonist ultimately comes to the realization that the personal cost of following through would only make things worse. The MJ part is very nice, as well. Marvel continues to move away from unnecessary dialog and exposition and toward letting images and natural speech tell the story.  

  duncanm Says:    
  2015-06-02 17:25:37  
  I felt it was a solid 4 star issue throughout, good drama, good action, the part with Harry was well done and I'm interested to see how it's dealt with, but I still felt it was lacking a little something to earn that 5th star (I'm very stingy). And then I realized that there was another page...and man did that page ever shoot this book into 6 star levels. I believe we've finally seen the turning point of MJ changing from the annoying, self centered girl she's been, becoming the thoughtful and warm woman that I remember. Though I'm interested to see how she deals with things from here. After all, being there for Peter is all well and good, but she's been closer to Harry so far in the order, and she hasn't been spending time with him during his problems, and now his father is dead as well. I wish her luck, but I imagine there will be hurt feelings in the future.  

  jwerth Says:    
  2015-09-01 22:49:35  
  This was excellent. In addition to all the great things about this issue (Peter and Harry, Spidey and Gobby, Peter and MJ), I think it's worth remembering what a shallow character Gwen was and how little Conway had to work with. There isn't that much you can do to make us mourn her when we barely knew her. She was just this angel who loved Peter - other than Peter and her dad, who or what did she care about? What was she interested in? We never learned anything about her, never saw any flaws or eccentricities. She was a good foil for Peter's shortcomings - his jealousy, his lack of self-esteem, his tendency to be self-absorbed - because she didn't have those problems, but she was basically always a blank slate.  

  alendor Says:    
  2015-09-19 00:49:19  
  Finally reached this point in the order, although is a reread, and it was as excellent as remembered. Now i'll venture into a lot of spiderman issues that I have never read - very exciting.  

  Shocker Says:    
  2016-12-06 10:43:34  
  How is it possible that Conway wrote this issues (especially that last page)? He was a mediocre writer before and returned to that standard right after this (even tough his SM is the best of his work I've read). I guess he really, really hated Gwen...  

  Beaustaff Says:    
  2017-04-28 11:53:38  
  That was super sad even better than the last one. MJ at the end was awesome. On the bright side I always thought MJ was hotter anyway. Nice upgrade Pete!  

  dadoodoflow Says:    
  2017-05-06 23:49:37  
  - This is why you should always know your chemist. Bath salts.

- How can Gobby survive, or even remain non-vegetative, being punched like that?

- I do like these moments though, you see how much Peter holds the Spider back

- I've always checked in & out on Spider-Man, I usually enjoy the comics, but he was never formative in my appreciation of comics. I never defined any part of my comic fandom through Spider Man. The whole Spider Man run up until now has been a revelation. I've read it most of it before but this time I'm paying attention in a different way and they reward the focus.


  skabeaters Says:    
  2017-05-23 03:17:42  
  This one redeems the last issue. All the emotion that I thought I would see last ish was all packed in here. The moment MJ closed the door was the best moment in comics that I have read to date.  

  Locust75 Says:    
  2017-06-13 20:59:50  
  5 stars. Put a fork in Green Goblin, he's done!!!

'Nuff Said - "What worth is there in the paltry existence of one useless female? A simpering, pointless girl who never did more than occupy space--"-Green Goblin

  Russ Says:    
  2017-06-27 18:37:26  
  After all the times I've read this, it never fails that I have a tear in my eye as I read the final page.

More than 40 years after it was first published, it's still one of the most intense, emotional stories ever told in comics; arguably, in all of fantasy literature. Yet, here in the 21st century it's now hard to imagine how shocking and game-changing this was back when it was first published. Imagine being a parent buying this for your kid in 1973!

So, this arc would alter the trajectory of the entire Spider-Man series going forward, and become a source of stories sporadically over the next 40 years (SPOILER: including the recent Clone Conspiracy arc). Granted, a few stories and arcs would be excellent, and some would end up being real WTF head-scratchers. But I think Spidey hit a peak here and would never approach this level of story-telling ever again.

And just an opinion here, but I think there's a missed opportunity here. Part of me wishes Peter would've actually landed the fatal blow in that last fight. Imagine what stories could've come from such an act; Peter coming to grips with murdering a foe with his bare hands instead of ducking a weapon aimed at him. Heck, I wouldn't blame him; he's human and the guy killed his girlfriend. How would he have reacted? What would you do?

Spidey's golden era is now officially done. By the way, I imagined the ballad "Precious and Few (are the moments we two can share)" playing during that 2-page montage on pgs. 6-7. Cheesy, but it seemed to fit.

5 stars. As if there were any doubt.

  Katryn Says:    
  2017-07-17 08:19:10  
  That was so sad, I actually did cry. Mufasa's death and this. They just get me.  

  CrazyforRAMU Says:    
  2017-09-02 15:27:49  
  Pete walks out on a friend in need. Nine pages later, MJ is presented with the same situation and makes a different choice. That is just staggeringly good writing. It illuminates and transforms both characters and it does it entirely without narration. It's all show, no tell. It's beautiful.  

  Allencthulhu Says:    
  2017-12-12 22:39:45  
  You know, I've stated it before, but I have a rule that if you make me cry, you get 5 stars.

I didn't cry until MJ shut the door. Here is the beginning of their love story that leads to their marriage (one of the highlights of my old comic book addict days).

As for Spid...PETER not killing Harry, they kind of touched on this in an issue of Spider-Man/Deadpool where Spider-Man wants to kill Itsy-Bitsy and Deadpool tries to stop him because Spider-Man is a hero and Deadpool wants him to continue to be a hero. That's the point. Peter couldn't kill Harry because then he wouldn't be a hero anymore. He would still wear the red and blues and fly around Manhattan on a web, but he'd be a killer, not a hero.

We need our heroes. Even the flawed ones.

5 stars for the best Spider-Man issue ever.

  ignaciotixi Says:    
  2018-01-26 11:28:52  
  If it wasn't enough with the death of Gwen, now they killed the Goblin.

Spidey arcs are the best

  metsguy Says:    
  2018-02-04 11:16:57  
  THat last page...  

  Saithrenslot Says:    
  2018-02-22 10:38:13  
  Thank you, Conway.  

  JonahBlack Says:    
  2018-04-03 11:48:52  
  At points in this issue, I had the same feeling I do in a lot of the milestone arcs: I've seen this re-told so many times that the original is a bit of a let down.

However, the amazing sequence with Harry and the beautifully emotional page with Mary Jane at the end were so shocking and powerful that I was as gripped by this story as any I've ever read.

Issue Detail Divider
Spider-Man: Death of the Stacys
This collection includes Amazing Spider-Man #89 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #90 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #91 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #92 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #121 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #122 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #88 (v1)
Amazing Spider-Man: Through The Decades
This collection includes Amazing Spider-Man #4 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #50 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #122 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #195 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #243 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #290 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #415 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #546a (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #2 (v2), Amazing Spider-Man #40 (v2)
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Issue Letters Page

There are no letter pages submitted for this issue. If you would like to transpose and send at letters page, you can send it to tstarnes@gmail.com. Check in the forums for information about formating the letters page.
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Date User Name Update
   March 22, 2018 ViolentPhlegm
   February 9, 2018 TStarnes Added Goblin Glider listing.
   February 9, 2018 TStarnes Added Web-Shooters listing.
   February 9, 2018 TStarnes
   February 9, 2018 TStarnes
   February 9, 2018 TStarnes Added Daily Bugle to the issue.
   November 26, 2017 TStarnes
   May 25, 2016 fragsel Updated the listing for Philip Sheldon.
   April 14, 2015 vanhornluke Added Philip Sheldon to the issue.
   July 27, 2013 TStarnes Updated the listing for The Green Goblin.
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