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SYFY WIRE Behind the Panel

Behind the Panel with Gerry Conway, the man behind Superman vs. Spider-Man

By Mike Avila

Within the comic book realm, there are few writers who have had made an impact like Gerry Conway. He broke into the industry when he was 16 and became the first writer to follow Stan Lee on The Amazing Spider-Man. He co-created the Punisher, Jason Todd, Firestorm, and several other memorable characters. But the thing that almost always comes back to Conway is his role in the death of Spider-Man's first love, Gwen Stacy.

In the latest episode of SYFY WIRE's Behind the Panel, Conway tells us how he broke into comics and why he ultimately decided that Gwen Stacy had to die. He also told us the hilarious way that Lee ducked responsibility for signing off on Gwen's death in the face of the initial fan backlash. Regardless, Conway doesn't hold any ill will over that and he's embraced his place in comic book history. He also said that his youth helped him take over for Lee without being overwhelmed by the responsibility.

"One of the great things about being young at the time is that I was completely clueless about what my competence level was," said Conway with a laugh. "I had been writing Thor for almost a year at that point. I was obviously given this book because Stan and Roy [Thomas] had confidence in me doing it. Fortunately, I had John Romita [Sr.] as the artist on the book, who was given first position on the credits because he was going to be guiding me. That really helped a lot in the first year that I was on the book."

Conway went on to describe the moment he realized that the Punisher was more than just a one-off character, as well as his experience writing the first modern cross-company superhero crossover: Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man.

Additionally, Conway tells us the unlikely character of his own creation that has gone on to much bigger things than he ever anticipated. But for those details and more, you'll have to check out the entire video!