Throughout the week, we'll be presenting the Heroes of the Year, our list of individuals who made a major impact on the comic book movie community in 2012.
Day two of our celebration is all about Gwen Stacy, budding scientist and Spider-Man's significant other, as played by Emma Stone in "The Amazing Spider-Man." Honoring her is lifelong Gwen Stacy super-fan and Comic Book Resources reviews editor Steve Sunu.
Gwen Stacy is one of the most important characters in the development of the comic book medium. The character's untimely death signified a loss of innocence both for Spider-Man and his readers — and when the character was announced as being the primary love interest in Marc Webb's "Amazing Spider-Man," the studio had to find someone who could portray Gwen with the positivity and spirit of her comic counterpart in a modern context.
Thank the Asgardian Gods for Emma Stone.
The "Easy A" actress is one of the Heroes of the Year for her incredible portrayal of my favorite character in the entire comic book medium. Not only is Stone a dead ringer for "Amazing Spider-Man" artist John Romita's depiction of Gwen Stacy, the actress brought a skill, dedication and gravitas to the role that stands out as one of the finest comic book film performances of the year and the benchmark by which all future portrayals of Gwen should be measured.
With a passion for science and a caustic wit, Stone's Gwen Stacy showed audiences the potential of the character and proved comic book female romantic leads don't have to be background players. Thanks to the strength of the script and Stone's convincing portrayal, movie Gwen played a large role in saving New York City and persevered through incredible tragedy — all without any superpowers. She even got her own hashtag on Twitter during the lead-up to the film, making every Wednesday turn into #Gwensday.
With such a strong foundation from which to build, Stone's return to the role in "Amazing Spider-Man 2" is all the more exciting and has me biting my nails in anxiety that she stays away from suspension bridges. Even if we lose Gwen in the sequel, we can be sure Stone will give the character one hell of an exit.
Adding to her awesomeness as one of MTV's Heroes of the Year, Stone supports charities Stand Up To Cancer and the Worldwide Orphans Foundation, two charitable causes that support finding a cure for cancer and enriching the lives of orphans worldwide, respectively.