And finally, a Spider-Man-themed disappointment also takes top spot on our list of worst Marvel retcons, as not only was the revelation that Gwen Stacy had children with Parker’s arch-nemesis Norman Osborn needless, it was just downright cruel.
1973’s “The Night Gwen Stacy Died” featured one of the most well-chronicled deaths in comic lore, as Peter Parker saw the poor police chief’s daughter—not to mention the OTHER great love of his life—have her neck broken before his eyes, partly as a result of his own efforts to save her with his webbing.
It’s one of the toughest-to-take deaths in the character’s history, and the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Stacy has always held something of an angelic status since then, her departure paving the way for Mary Jane to take front stage as Parker’s main romance.
Well the Marvel editorial team said “screw that” and—once more, against the wishes of Straczynski—gave her two children. Straczynski intended for these twins to be Parker’s but it was decided they be attributed to Osborn, the Green Goblin, and this was written as the real reason he caused her death.
This is the equivalent of Reed Richards turning to Susan Storm and telling her about a fiery summer of experimentation he and Victor von Doom once enjoyed at college.
The move sullied Stacy’s good name and was a particularly bitter pill to swallow as it was thrust upon a character who was long dead and could have been avoided altogether.
Osborn took these twins under his wing, naturally trained them as assassins to help him murder Spider-Man once and for all, and one of the most maddening “plot twists” Marvel has ever incepted was complete.