5 reasons Spider-Gwen is the superhero we need right now

The origin story of Spider-Man is comic legend, but embedded in that universe is another story that yearns to be told.

Mild-mannered teen, Peter Parker, gets bit by radioactive spider and becomes superhero with the power to climb, jump, and zip through the city on webs of his own creation (or that he produces from his wrists, if you're going by the Tobey Maguire films), dates assorted blonds or redheads, and trouble ensues. You get the picture.



Spider-Man doing his thing at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images.

But Gwen Stacy — played by Emma Stone in the recent "The Amazing Spider-Man" films — is more than Peter Parker's first love (yes, sorry, Mary Jane fans, but she was).

In February 2015, the character returned in comic-book form as Spider-Gwen, an ass-kicking superhero from an alternate Marvel universe. "Spider-Gwen" #1 sold nearly 200,000 copies in pre-orders alone, and the one-shot offering was so successful, there's now a Spider-Gwen comic book series!

And while increased representation in comic books is amazing, a hero like Spider-Gwen deserves a place where she can truly shine.

And now we can actually see just how legendary a Spider-Gwen movie could be.

A fan swung in to the rescue with a convincing, fan-made trailer for a Spider-Gwen movie, which was created using clips from "The Amazing Spider-Man" and other Emma Stone films.

Director and fan Alex Coulombe created the three-minute masterpiece for New York Magazine's Vulture Remix series. The trailer imagines what would happen if it were Gwen instead of Peter who got bit by the spider.


Image from New York Magazine.

And it is just the swift kick in the pants this franchise desperately needs.

In fact, here are five reasons Spider-Gwen is the superhero we need right now.

1. If I see one more male superhero getting his own feature film, I will lose my s#!*.

Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, The Green Lantern, Superman, Batman, Thor, Iron Man, the list goes on. Male superheroes don't just get films, they get franchises. Sequels, reboots, toys, and more, whether the films are strong or not.

Yeah, it should make you mad, Hulk.

Like Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel — who are both getting their own solo films in the next few years — She-Ra, Black Widow, Supergirl, and yes, of course, Spider-Gwen would be fantastic additions to the film canon. A film about any of these badass lady superheroes could easily hold their own with the rest of the summer popcorn blockbusters, if Hollywood gave them the chance.

2. We have so many badass actresses to cast at this very moment.

Emma Stone is the natural choice for this role, but let's not limit ourselves. There are so many talented actresses who could carry the Spider-Gwen mantle with grit and grace. Stars like Zendaya, Chloe Grace Moretz, Amandla Stenberg, and Hailee Steinfeld would crush this.

Amandla Stenberg would make an amazing Gwen Stacy. Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Women in Film.

3. If it comes down to dollars and cents, female-driven films DO make money.

Lots and lots of it. And it turns out, the more female-driven films there are in a year, the higher box office totals are for that year. Yep, when the ladies are manning the ship, all boats rise.


4. Haven't we seen enough Peter Parker?

Apparently not, since we're getting ANOTHER Spider-Man reboot in 2017. How many different ways can we tell this story? Can we see it from a different perspective just once? If not Spider-Gwen, I will also accept bi-racial Spider-Man Miles Morales or Andrew Garfield's request for a pansexual Spidey. Please and thank you.


When the guy who played Spider-Man is like, "Hey, let's shake things up," maybe it's time to listen. Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images.

5. And won't someone think of the cosplay!

Kids and grown-ups alike deserve to feel this fearless and powerful. Put me down for a Spider-Gwen suit ASAP! That hoodie is amazing.

Cosplayer Julianne Cancalosi fills in for Emma Stone in the imagined "Spider-Gwen" trailer. GIF via New York Magazine.

It's time, Hollywood. The movie-going public is more than ready for a Spider-Gwen film.

We're just waiting on you.

Grab some popcorn and enjoy New York Magazine's "Spider-Gwen" trailer:

More

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

Culture
via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
True
Walgreens
via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture