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Gerry Conway on His Comics Journey, Killing Off Gwen Stacy and Creating the Punisher

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Gerry Conway has too many accolades in his legendary comic book career to count. From killing off Spider-Man’s first girlfriend to creating the Punisher, Gerry has left an incredible mark on the fandom world. We sat down with the writer, creator and innovator at Terrificon 2022 to talk about his personal journey and so much more!

QWhat were some characters that inspired you as a kid and a young comics fan?

GerryI’m not sure that there were any specific characters, except maybe Spiderman cause I loved the idea of teenage, wise-cracking superhero and that led me to create Firestorm, who is also a teenage wise-cracking superhero.

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Q – Do you remember your first time creating when you were young and writing storylines and creating ideas?

Gerry – Shortly after I started reading Fantastic Four, which I think came out when I was just around nine or 10. I started drawing my own versions of the Fantastic Four comics … I think that was the first time I really sat down and tried to create something.

Fantastic Four - Nerd Initiative

Q – You’ve created so many iconic characters and storylines. Is there any that stick out in your head that you’re especially proud of?

GerryI’ve always been proud of the Death of Gwen Stacy storyline for how that came together. And that’s honestly I have no idea how that happened. And I was very proud of the run I did on Justice League.

Q – How did the Punisher come together and why do you think that character has had such an impact over the years?

Gerry He was originally designed basically as to solve a story problem. I wanted to introduce this character the Jackal, who would be fighting Spiderman and interfering with Spiderman’s life over five or six issues.

And one of the ways you can make a new character seem important is by giving him an interesting henchman that introduces him. So I wanted this interesting henchman and had this idea for an assassin, that develop into a hired killer who had his own moral code … then we had to come up with a name, Stan gave us the name. And as you start writing the story, it takes on a life of its own. I think the character is popular because he’s a, you know, basically a Rorschach of the era that he comes into. He can represent whatever the concerns are of that era and different writers and artists, you know, bring out different aspects of him.

Q – Are there ever any characters you’ve ever wanted to work on that you haven’t yet?

Gerry I wish I had been able to do a Green Lantern solo series. I’ve always loved the Green Lantern from the time I was a kid. I got to write him in Justice League, but never got to write the solo series with Hal Jordan.

Michael Rothman
Michael Rothman
Better known as “SuperheroTok” on TikTok, Michael is an Emmy Award winning entertainment reporter spending over a decade at ABC & Good Morning America, hosting shows like Inside Marvel! Michael brings his unique vision and passion to TikTok, where he also hosts “Shortboxed Presents,” a series focused on everything fans need to know about buying and selling comics in the grading age. He’s also a proud husband, and father to a little golden retriever.

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