The long-anticipated second installment of Sony’s animated ‘Spider-Verse’ franchise, ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,’ has finally premiered in theaters earlier this month. Like its predecessor, the movie received universal acclaim for its animation, writing, characters, voice-acting, and references. At the time of this writing, the movie grossed over $506 million worldwide, and we already know that we can expect much more from this franchise apart from the anticipated threequel ‘Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.’
It’s known that the ‘Spider-Woman’ spin-off movie with Hailee Steinfeld’s Gwen Stacy is also in development. It’s still unknown when that movie will arrive, but waiting for ‘Beyond the Spider-Verse’ is enough to keep us interested in this amazing animated franchise.
Previous reports have mentioned that we can expect to see multiple alternate variations of Gwen Stacy and/or Spider-Woman in the threequel, and since we know how big the Multiverse can get, we decided to dip our fingers into various incarnations of Gwen Stacy through history to see which ones would be most interesting to see in the upcoming threequel. FYI, the list is in no particular order.
1. The original Gwen Stacy (Earth-616)
When you’re dealing with the Multiverse, you know there are countless parallel universes and, therefore, countless variants of the same character. However, none of those variants would’ve existed if it wasn’t for the original character. In Gwen Stacy’s case, the original variant of the character, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, was introduced in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ in September 1965.
Spider-Man fans know that the original Gwen Stacy was the first true love of Peter Parker. Green Gobin eventually killed her in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ #121 In June 1973. Her death deeply affected Spider-Man for years, even after he started a relationship with Mary Jane Watson. Although the ‘Spider-Verse’ franchise is primarily the story of Miles Morales, if we’re going to see multiple Gwen Stacy’s in the threequel, it would be a great homage to see the original one.
2. Gwenom (Earth-65)
The original Gwen Stacy ended her story tragically in Marvel’s mainstream universe. However, the character’s variant from Earth-65 is probably the second-best variant since she’s the mainstream Spider-Gwen, aka Spider-Woman, aka Ghost-Spider. This character’s variant inspired Gwen Stacy in the ‘Spider-Verse’ franchise, but we added it to the list because we think it would be great to see her as Venom.
In ‘Spider-Gwen’ Vol 2, one of the storylines depicts Gwen’s Spider-Woman when she was merged with a Symbiote created by Dr. Elsa Brock. Much like Peter Parker from Earth-616, Gwen also received a black suit, and the influence of the Symbiote has also put her on the dark path.
During her time as Gwenom, Gwen committed several crimes, for which she eventually turned herself in and spent some time in SHIELD’s prison. Considering that the ‘Spider-Verse’ Gwen is an adaptation of the Earth-65 Gwen, we wouldn’t be surprised if she merges with the Symbiote in her own spin-off movie as well.
3. Gwendolyn Stacy/Green Goblin (Earth-3109)
Gwen Stacy from Earth-3109 is one of the most interesting, although maybe not so known variants, which actually makes her a perfect character to appear in the ‘Spider-Verse’ franchise. Harry Osborn was bitten by a radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker in this universe, and Gwen designed the armor and glider to become Green Goblin. But as the ally, not the enemy of Harry’s Spider-Man.
After Sandman’s attack on a police station killed both Harry and Gwen’s father, the shock permanently turned Gwen into the Goblin persona. She was eventually saved by this Earth’s Peter Parker and Mary Jane with the help of Spider-Woman from Earth-65. After that, Gwen used her genius to create a Ticket to the Multiverse for Spider-Woman. Just by reading this last sentence, it would make sense for this Gwen variant to appear in ‘Beyond the Spider-Verse.’
4. Various variants from the Gwenverse
No, you’ve read it right, “Gwenverse” is a thing as well. In last year’s five-issue limited series ‘Spider-Gwen: Gwenverse’ by Tim Seeley and Jodi Nishijima, the story depicted the Earth-65 Spider-Woman travels across the Multiverse where she comes face to face with various variants of herself, including Gwen Rogers (Captain America Gwen), Gwendolyn Janus (Thorgwen), and Gwendolyn Howlett (Wolverine Gwen). Given how many Spider-Man variants we’ve seen in ‘Across the Spider-Verse,’ meeting all these variants of Gwen Stacy in ‘Beyond the Spider-Verse’ (or in her own spin-off movie) would surprise us the least.
5. Nightbird (Earth-TRN852)
Dr. Gwen Stacy’s Nightbird made an appearance in ‘Spider-Gwen: Gwenverse,’ but her first appearance was in ‘Heroes Reborn’ Vol 2 #5 in June 2021. Her history is more or less similar to the original Gwen Stacy from Earth-616. After her father’s death, Gwen was trained by Kyle Richmond, also known as Nighthawk, and she became a hero herself, known as Nightbird.
She also became a psychiatrist at Ravencroft Asylum. And if that maybe reminds you of one certain DC character, you’re not really wrong. After she was exposed to Goblin Gas, which drove her insane, she fought Nighthawk and proclaimed they were wrong about crime. She was an antagonist in the Gwenverse storyline until the symbiote purged the Goblin Gas from her system, bringing her back to her old sense.
6. Gwendolyne Stacy (Earth-1610)
Gwen Stacy from Earth-1610, also known as the Ultimate Universe, is one of Gwen’s most known civilian variants in the comics. The Ultimate imprint of comic books featured modernized and re-imagined versions of their most known characters, including Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and the Ultimates, a team that is this universe’s counterpart of the Avengers.
Gwen Stacy from the Ultimate Universe debuted in ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ #14 in December 2001. She was depicted as a teenage girl at Peter Parker’s high school who eventually befriended him.
After her father was killed by a burglar in the Spider-Man costume, she moved in with Peter and his aunt after her mother refused to take her in. She also met Eddie Brock, who was depicted as Peter’s closest childhood friend in this universe. Unfortunately, like her Earth-616 counterpart, her story also concluded tragically after she was killed and consumed by Carnage.
7. Funko Spider-Woman (Earth-TRN835)
Earth-TRN835 is interesting for us because all the Marvel characters on it, including Spider-Woman, are depicted as Funko Pop figures. The animated series ‘Marvel Funko Shorts’ can be streamed on Disney+, and we included this on our list mainly because we saw the LEGO universe in ‘Across the Spider-Verse.’ So, if the ‘Spider-Verse’ franchise can depict LEGO variants of Marvel characters, maybe we could see Funko variants in future installments as well.
8. Bryce Dallas Howard (Spider-Man 3)
Even though ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ managed to assemble three live-action Spider-Men on the big screen, ‘Across the Spider-Verse’ raised the bar even higher, not just by the number of Spider-People in the movie but with all the references and easter eggs, which also reflected previous live-action movies in the Spider-Man franchise.
‘Across the Spider-Verse’ depicted both universes with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Men, and since Bryce Dallas Howard played the first-ever Gwen Stacy in 2007’s ‘Spider-Man 3,’ it isn’t impossible that we could see some reference to her as well when ‘Beyond the Spider-Verse’ stars dealing with multiple versions of the character.
9. Emma Stone (The Amazing Spider-Man)
It wouldn’t be okay to mention only one live-action incarnation of Gwen Stacy. While Bryce Dallas Howard only had a minor role in ‘Spider-Man 3,’ Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy served as one of the main characters and the love interest to Andrew Garfield’s Web-Crawler. Stone’s portrayal of the character was praised by fans and her chemistry with Garfield.
As some sort of homage to the original Gwen from the source material, the story of Stone’s Gwen also ended tragically at the end of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2.’ While the planned sequel was ultimately canceled, we’ve seen how Garfield’s Spider-Man was still struggling with her death in ‘No Way Home.’
10. Various Gwen Stacy Clones (Earth-616)
We visited various universes in the Marvel Multiverse to put this list together. And since we’ve started on Earth-616, we will end it there as well. We know that the Green Goblin killed the original Gwen Stacy, but her death had numerous repercussions. Miles Warren, one of Gwen’s professors and the supervillain known as the Jackal, was so obsessed with her that he created a clone called Joyce Delaney.
After Jackal’s death, Joyce Delaney tried to have a normal life, but she was killed by another Gwen Stacy clone called Abby-L. Miles Warren created numerous clones of Gwen Stacy during the Clone Saga, and since ‘Spider-Verse’ deals with the Multiverse and alternate variants, how interesting would it be if it starts to deal with clones as well?
Which alternate variants of Gwen Stacy would you like to see in future ‘Spider-Verse’ projects? Let us know in the comments.