Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, Gwen Stacy is a supporting character from the Spiderman series of Marvel comics. Her fictional death in 1973 caused some controversy amongst devotees of Marvel, and to some observers marked a turning point in the thematic and philosophical output of the comics.
Gwendolyn 'Gwen' Stacy first appeared in issue #31 of 'The Amazing Spiderman'.
A pretty blonde with a highly developed intellect, she first encounters Peter Parker while they are both students at Empire State University.
After some initial awkwardness, the two become romantically involved. She is Parker's first real love, and their relationship goes through several ups and downs, including the death of her father due to debris from a fight between Spiderman and Doctor Octopus.
However, it seems they may have a future together until her death at the hands of the Green Goblin.
She dies possibly as a result of Spiderman's attempts to save her, an event which introduced a more worldly and jaundiced view of superheroes into Marvel comics.
It was rare for a hero to fail like this.
Killing Gwen elevated the Green Goblin to the front rank of Spiderman's various enemies, even though in the issue where she died the Goblin himself seemed also to be killed and would not return for almost another three hundred issues. Gwen's death brought an end in the view of many observers to the so-called 'Silver Age' of Marvel Comics, and a shift in perspective in the comics would occur after it. In terms of story arcs, Gwen's passing helps Peter Parker find love with Mary Jane Watson.
Gwen herself appears in later outings for the Spiderman story, often as a clone of herself, though the appearances are many and varied within the context of the variety of worlds and realities which occur in the comic books.
Television and movies
Gwen is portrayed by Bryce Dallas Howard in the 2007 feature film 'Spider-Man 3'. Emma Stone is set to play her in the next outing for the film franchise in 2012. Gwen also appears in the animated television series 'The Spectacular Spider-Man', voiced by Lacey Chabert.
As things stand, this version of Gwen is the only one to wear glasses. Final word
She also seems more sensitive and less prone to aggression than other versions of the character.