Monday, October 19, 2015

The Gweniverse!

Ever since Spider-Gwen introduced us to the parallel universe where Gwen Stacy was bitten by a radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker, we've been seeing Marvel react to the strong, unexpected demand for a version of Spider-Man who's also an adorable teenage girl. (I still insist there's something deeply Freudian about the "distaff counterpart to male superhero" trend in general, but I'll be damned if I can figure out what it is.) She has her own regular series, and they've gone so far as to release Gwen Stacy-themed covers of just about every Marvel title in order to show what it would be like if Gwen was Captain America, the Hulk, Deadpool, every single member of the X-Men, et cetera.

Which made me wonder--what if she was?

I'd love to see a Marvel one-shot that was an off-shoot of the classic Jackal storyline. For those of you who don't remember either the Jackal's first, legendary appearance or his later, extremely awkward and best forgotten return in the 90s, the Jackal was college biology professor Miles Warren. He had an inappropriate fixation on Gwen Stacy, and when she died, he blamed Spider-Man for not being able to save her. He created what was originally intended to be a clone of Gwen, which was later retconned as a gene-splicing formula capable of reconfiguring random people into Gwen Stacy (and which may later have been re-retconned back to a clone of Gwen, but for our purposes let's pretend it wasn't).

(No, we can do that, because it was later revealed that he also created a similar genetic cocktail that turned one of his students into a version of himself called Carrion, so the logic holds no matter how you come at it. Anyhow, this isn't the place to get into the finer points of Clone Saga continuity, as we simply don't have enough liquor to go around.)

The point is, I think they should do a story where the Jackal returns with his final, triumphant creation--a virus that will transform everyone on Earth into Gwen Stacy! He unleashes it in New York City, of course, but it begins spreading globally. If left unchecked, it will mean the end of the human race, as the entire population of human beings will be reduced to Gwen Stacies. Luckily, the virus interacts oddly with superhuman genomes, creating a sort of limited protection from the virus--superheroes aren't immune, but the transformation shapes itself around their powers to create variants on Gwen Stacy. The story becomes a race against time, as Gwen Stacy, Gwen Stacy and Gwen Stacy (formerly Mister Fantastic, Beast and Hank Pym) must find a cure while Gwen Stacy, Gwen Stacy and Gwen Stacy (Captain America, Spider-Man and Wolverine) track down the Jackal and stop him once and for all.

And then in the next Secret Wars, Battleworld can have the Gweniverse meet the Marvel Zombies.

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