When a character dies in comic books, it’s rare that they stay that way. There are few unshakable deaths in the medium and bar Uncle Ben, The Wayne’s and the Titular Character of this book, the majority of deaths are retconned.
That’s why I was so excited to pick this up. The graphic novel has a reputation that precedes it and even today remains consequential.
But does it still hold up?
That’s what I’m here to find out! Throughout this review I will be discussing The Death Of Captain Stacy in full detail so there will be heavy spoilers. Those who wish to go into it with fresh eyes should skip to the score and come back at a later date.
For everyone else, let’s dive into Spider-Man: The Death Of Captain Stacy!
Death By Doc Ock
The books opens with Spider-Man attempting to take Doctor Octopus in once and for all. It’s the usual affair of flying fists across the skyline of NYC and early on there’s very little to separate it from the norm.
However, that’s not to say it’s bad. I loved watching the two duel between the rooftops of the Big Apple and even though the book is 50 years old at this point, it still feels modern and invigorating.
Doc Ock is the classic villain and his rampage is enthralling to watch. There’s a classy feel to the work and it feels like the quintessential Spidey Story of the Silver Age.
Ock escapes and it’s during this refuge that we are introduced to Captain Stacey. Readers will instantly warm to him and this is critical in making us care about his eventual demise. For newcomers who have their first encounter with him in this book will instantly be drawn in by his kind demeanor and willingness to help all.
It’s expertly told and I loved seeing the character have a spring in his step before the final showdown.
The Death Of Captain Stacey
Stacey dies during a battle between Octavius and Parker as he sacrifices himself in order to save someone. It’s a fitting end for the old man and may bring a tear to the eye of many. In his final few moments, he confesses that he knows Spider-Man is Peter Parker and asks him to take care of his daughter, Gwen.
It’s incredibly bittersweet, especially with the hindsight that she was fated to die shortly after. His death feels like a real ggut-punch and one of the biggest losses for the Web-Head ever.
He failed as a hero to protect those who meant the most to him and the guilt that pours out of our protagonist can be felt far beyond the page. It’s a beautiful character-defining arc for the character that feels just as fresh here as it did on first release.
Bite The Bullit
Spider-Man gets framed for the death and when NYC loses one Of it’s most beloved citizens I really turns against the Web-Head. Gwen wants him off the streets, Jameson wants him out of the picture literally and crooked D.A. Runner Mr. Bullit wants to use the death to finally put him in a position of power.
Whilst there was a wealth of potential to show how Stacy’s death affected the city massively, the book goes rather off tangent and turns into the typical crime caper that devalues the book a lot.
Even when Gwen is put in the firing line it all feels by the numbers and makes for a disappointing final issue arc that left a slightly bitter taste in my mouth.
Death Of Captain Stacy still stands strong as one of Spidey’s best stories. However, age rears it’s ugly head ever so often and stops the book from being the timeless classic that many quote it as.
That being said, this is not bad by any stretch of the imagination and I had a lot of fun reading it. Whilst I wouldn’t recommend it to newcomers, hardcore fans will find a lot to love here and should definitely consider picking it up.
That’s why Spider-Man: The Death Of Captain Stacy gets a…