Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Every week, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
Reader Brian Ward suggested I feature this one. Commenter Michael suggested I add a couple more links in the chain. Thanks to both!
Today we look at the strange journey of the clone of Gwen Stacy…from clone to not a clone and back!
It all began in Amazing Spider-Man #144 where Gwen Stacy seemingly shows up alive and well…
In #147, Peter finds out that Gwen is a clone…
In #149, Dr. Miles Warren (now going by the Jackal) explains Gwen’s origin….
After the Jackal is defeated, Peter and the clone of Gwen part company…
A little over a decade later, the Gwen clone shows up again during The Evolutionary War crossover.
The High Evolutionary scans her…
He then determines that Gwen is NOT a clone! Instead, she’s…well….let’s let him explain it….
One of the Young Gods (do not bother ever learning who the Young Gods are) helps her come to terms with who she really is….
Oddly enough, Gerry Conway was the guy who came up with this major retcon. He was the fellow who wrote the original Clone Saga.
Conway then had this story confirmed a little while later in Spectacular Spider-Man #149, when Peter finds Warren’s journal. This is where we get the name Joyce Delaney…
Okay, so that’s it for the Gwen clone until the mid-1990’s Clone Saga, where she pops up again in Web of Spider-Man #125, written by Terry Kavanagh, as the wife of a clone of Miles Warren (Peter Parker is wearing the Scarlet Spider outfit because he is on the run after being falsely arrested for murder).
So the retcon from the Spectacular Spider-Man Annual is now retconned itself. The action of the Young God is now that of trying to make her feel better by lying to her.
In the Web story, the Miles Warren clone dies…
and the Gwen clone comes to terms with her clone status..
The Gwen clone showed up one more time during the Clone Saga but then heads up to limbo for another fifteen years.
But what about the journal? In Scarlet Spider Unlimted #1, by Glenn Herdling, the Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly) encounters the High Evolutionary who reveals that he forged the journal…
The Gwen clone returned again in a recent Spider Island one-shot (written by Fred Van Lente), where she is living in London as Joyce Delaney…
Why, none other than the never before shown FIRST clone of Gwen (just like how Kaine was the Jackal’s first attempt at cloning Peter Parker)….
And that, as they say, is that.
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