Spider-Man’s list of ex-girlfriends is almost as lengthy as his rogues gallery. For a superhero who can barely make it to work at the Daily Bugle on time or have enough money saved up every month to make rent, Peter Parker certainly makes time and spends money (when he’s got it) on the ladies — both in and out of costume. In many ways, Peter Parker’s various love affairs, relationships, and flings have helped the character develop in new and interesting ways over the years. In fact, most of Peter’s partners are tremendously interesting characters in their own right and have found cross-series appeal in many of Marvel’s other comics and in their very own stories.
Much of Peter Parker’s life has been defined by true loves lost, unrequited love and the pain of heartache as he consistently sacrifices his own happiness to fight for the greater good, and he often lacks a certain way with the ladies because of his hectic crime-fighting schedule. Despite the trials and sacrifices of Peter’s struggles as Spider-Man, he has had some powerful and enduring relationships in his day. Spider-Man’s romantic history proves that with great power and responsibility also comes a great love life.
15. CAROL DANVERS
Although Carol Danvers (then still going by the name of Ms. Marvel) and Spider-Man had frequently met as superhero friends, in Ms. Marvel #34 the two of them agreed to go on a date. Well, it was more of a negotiation to maybe go on a date sometime, somewhere. Carol had recently been unable to utilize her powers and Spider-Man arrived on the scene just in time to help her get some much-needed dirt on Norman Osborn from an immortal girl called “The Essential.”
During their super date in Ms. Marvel #47, Carol offers to treat the hopelessly and endlessly broke Peter to a fancy upscale meal. He and Carol swap stories of how the Green Goblin wants to kill both of them until their dinner is interrupted by some bad guys wanting to take Carol down. Afterward, Peter and Carol share a couple of delicious chili dogs on a roof overlooking the city.
14. SILVER SABLE
The deadly mercenary Silver Sablinova a.k.a. Silver Sable first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #265. At the time, she was less concerned with Spidey’s good looks and more concerned with recouping her expenses for her company: Silver Sable International, after Spider-Man’s escapades in apprehending the jewel thief known as Black Fox. Sable reveals herself to be the leader of a group formed by her father called the Wild Pack that travels the world taking down war criminals. Sable’s father trained her in combat and international espionage after her mother was murdered.
The two often teamed up strictly on a professional level until the “Ends of the Earth” arc of Amazing Spider-Man. The threat posed by Dock Octopus’ latest plot to destroy Spider-Man and/or the world caused Sable to reveal her true feelings for him. Although, she then selflessly sacrificed herself for their victory and presumably, for Peter himself.
13. JEAN DEWOLFF
Jean DeWolff met Spidey in Marvel Team Up #48 where she became one of his staunchest allies and developed romantic feelings for the wall-crawler. Jean even kept a very personal collection of newspaper clippings and photos of Spider-Man (with Black Cat clipped out). In Venom Super Special #1 while Peter was off-world fighting aliens, Jean thought she had finally told Spidey the truth, but her words only fell on deaf ears as Spider-Man’s symbiote was masquerading as the real web-head.
Jean’s connection to Spider-Man was the healthiest male relationship in her life. Her brother was the criminal, Wraith, under the control of her father in Marvel Team-Up #50 and she was tragically murdered by her former love, the Sin Eater, in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #107. Jean was resurrected by the Jackal in 2016’s “The Clone Conspiracy” arc only to die once more, this time under more heroic circumstances.
12. DEBRA WHITMAN
Debra Whitman first met Peter in Amazing Spider-Man #196 while at Empire State University. Deb had come to New York to escape an abusive marriage and began dating Peter. Although most if not all of their dates were interrupted by Peter’s obligations as Spider-Man, there were dates, so for Peter that’s an improvement. Deb soon felt neglected and was driven into the company of her old friend Biff Rifkin in Amazing Spider-Man #216.
Due to Peter’s record-setting terrible boyfriend behavior, Deb suspected that he was Spider-Man. After hearing about her tragic past and in part blaming himself for her recent struggles, Peter decided to reveal his secret identity…only to get laughed at by a now very relieved Deb. The mere sight of Peter actually in a Spider-Man outfit was apparently so ridiculous enough that it convinced Deb he wasn’t really Spidey!
11. LIAN TANG
With Spider-Man book numbers refreshing faster than Marvel could put them out, Dan Slott introduced Peter Parker’s latest girlfriend: Lian Tang, in 2015’s The Amazing Spider-Man #1. Lian works for the Shanghai branch of Pete’s own Parker Industries and although their company designs tech for Spider-Man, Lian is as clueless as the rest of the employees when it comes to the wall-crawler’s secret identity.
Spider-Man learns that Lian had been stealing Parker Industries tech in exchange for medical treatment for her ailing mother, after which he offers to join forces to take down her blackmailers, the Zodiac. Even though she also offered to kill Spidey to get Zodiac off of her back. Spider-Man is a forgive and forget kind of guy if it means beating the bad guys!
10. KITTY PRYDE
In Marvel’s Ultimate Comic Universe, Peter breaks up with Mary Jane and he and Kitty Pryde of the X-Men start a rebound relationship. In Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #1, Kitty calls Peter out of the blue for a date and they have a totally awkward teenage conversation on their cordless phones. Remember when the Ultimate Universe was the fresh and modern revamp? Peter then creepily googles Kitty to probably make sure he picked the “hot” X-Man. After one date at the mall, some crime-fighting, and a passionate kiss, he and Kitty start getting serious.
The two’s crime-fighting escapades put a strain on their relationship and, when Peter and Mary Jane reconcile, Spidey and Shadowcat call it quits even though deep down Kitty still held Peter close to her heart. In Ultimate Spider-Man #200, Kitty imagined how the two of them could have been happy together as adults after Peter’s death in that universe.
9. LIZ ALLAN
Liz Allan was first introduced back at the beginning of it all in Amazing Spider-Man #1 as Flash Thompson’s girlfriend. The popular girl next door slowly grew a crush on Peter as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #13. Liz finally told Peter how she really felt during their high school graduation, but at that point “Puny Parker,” as Flash used to call him, was over it.
Liz would then marry Peter’s best friend Harry Osborne and the couple had a son together. After Harry’s villainy as the new Green Goblin finally killed him in Spectacular Spider-Man #200, Liz grew to hate Spider-Man after Peter revealed his identity during Marvel’s infamous “Civil War” arc. After the time-altering events of “Brand New Day,” Harry was alive again, but he and Liz were divorced in the new timeline. Recently, Liz’s been running a powerful technology company that’s swallowed Oscorp and Horizon Labs.
8. BETTY BRANT
Betty Brant first met Peter Parker while she served as J. Jonah Jameson’s secretary at the Daily Bugle. They started their relationship in a pretty old school way — Betty simply rested her head on Peter’s shoulder in the aftermath of an attack by the Vulture. While Pete and Betty hit it off, Spidey and Betty was another story. Betty blamed the wall-crawler for her brother’s death at the eight hands of Doc Ock in Amazing Spider-Man #13.
Like many of Spider-Man’s loves, Betty’s life was a tragic one. She’s suffered the pain of losing her husband Ned Leeds, has been embroiled in conflicts with several Hobgoblins, suffered a nervous breakdown, and even joined a cult. Things are looking up for Betty, as she has recently become a reporter for the Daily Bugle and even uncovered the identity of the real (and original) Hobgoblin in Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #3.
7. CARLIE COOPER
Carlie Cooper is a forensic specialist who first appeared in 2008’s Amazing Spider-Man # 545. Carlie is a tough as nails and intelligent paragon in Peter’s life who became his first serious girlfriend after things ended with Mary Jane following “One More Day.” In Amazing Spider-Man #647, it was actually MJ who motivated Peter to pursue Carlie and he promptly smooched Carlie while she was dressed as Black Cat for a costume party.
Their relationship lacked trust as Peter was often away for long periods of time. While Spidey and the Fantastic Four were off fighting the Sinister Six, Carlie almost angrily got a Green Goblin tattoo. She went with a Spidey one in the end, but that bit of ink didn’t save things. After “Spider Island,” she and Peter broke up. In Amazing Spider-Man #700, Carlie was the only one to know that Doc Ock had stolen Spider-Man’s body.
6. MICHELLE GONZALES
Lawyer and sister to disgraced cop/Green Goblin gang member Vin Gonzales, Michelle met Peter in Amazing Spider-Man #594 when the web-slinger returned from a lengthy inter-dimensional romp with the Fantastic Four. They butted heads until finally connecting when Michelle went as Peter’s unofficial date to Aunt May’s wedding in Amazing Spider-Man #600.
Things got a little rowdy and Peter and Michelle ended up having a fairly drunken one-night stand that, much to Michelle’s chagrin, Peter didn’t even remember. Michelle later offered Peter a plate of delicious cookies as a peace offering…but chained the fridge shut, barring Pete’s hopes of washing down the metric ton of cookies he scarfed with a refreshing cup of milk. Michelle would later return home to Chicago after Vin was released from prison.
5. ANNA MARIA MARCONI
Physics tutor Anna Maria Marconi met Peter Parker at a pretty inopportune time even by Spidey standards. “Peter,” whose body had been taken over by Otto Octavius a.k.a. Doctor Octopus, began a courtship (Otto’s words) with Anna and the two soon fell in love in the pages of Superior Spider-Man. As their relationship grew, Otto even considered proposing to her. He also revealed that the Peter Anna loved was actually Otto Octavius, something that she took relatively well.
Anna also took the real Peter’s return surprisingly well, deciding to “cook it out” as a form of therapy. Anna, besides being extremely chill and a great chef, has become one of Peter’s (and Spider-Man’s) most reliable allies at Parker Industries. She’s always got Pete’s back and constantly covers for the young CEO when he needs help the most. Not too bad of an outcome after a double body switch/love triangle romance.
4. GWEN STACY
Gwen Stacy is Peter Parker’s first love and Spider-Man’s greatest failure. A variety of Gwen Stacy stories are integral to the Spider-Man canon since her iconic and heartbreaking death at the hands of the Green Goblin (and possibly Spider-Man’s web line) in Amazing Spider-Man #121. The two lovers noticed a mutual and growing attraction in Amazing Spider-Man #41 after Peter bought a motorcycle and they subsequently grew much closer through the trials of Aunt May’s poor health and Spider-Man’s crime-fighting alongside her father, George.
She’s been the focus of deep ruminations about life, loss and strength, like in Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s Spider-Man: Blue, to action-packed clone-centered sagas which brought Gwen (or a copy of her) suddenly back into Peter’s world. Spider-Gwen, a spider-powered alternate version of the popular character, recently received her own ongoing series after a debut in the “Spider-Verse” arc.
3. BLACK CAT
Felicia Hardy met Spider-Man on the day she first donned her Black Cat costume in Amazing Spider-Man #194. It was also the first time Spidey and Black Cat shared a kiss. It wouldn’t be the last. While skirting both sides of the law and tangling with Kingpin, Doc Ock and Venom through the years, she and Spider-Man have built a mutual trust and a passionate, on-again, off-again romance.
While Cat is into costumed heroics for the thrill of it and tries to make Spider-Man unleash his wild side, usually it’s Peter’s strong moral compass and dedication to great responsibility that drives them apart again. In Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #87, Black Cat reveals she’s only in love with Spider-Man and not the man underneath. Doc Ock’s escapades as Spidey created a rift between the real Peter and Felicia, and the Black Cat has since returned to her criminal roots.
In 2014’s Amazing Spider-Man #1, readers everywhere learned that the radioactive spider that gave Peter Parker his spectacular spider powers also bit the hand of another student named Cindy Moon. Cindy’s powers drew the attention of Morlun, who hungered to hunt those imbued with spider powers. Ezekiel Sims, the protector of those with the powers of the “spider totem,” safely hid Cindy from Morlun in a bunker for 13 years.
When Peter learned of Cindy’s story and of the coming return of Morlun, his Spider-Sense went haywire and the two suddenly kissed passionately. A hot and heavy spider-themed, pheromone-fueled love affair ensued between Peter and Cindy, a.k.a. Silk, as the climactic reality-converging battle of the “Spider-Verse” event unfolded. Why? Spider Totems, baby! Cindy hopes to use her spider powers to one day find her long-lost parents. Fun fact: Cindy, unlike Peter, can producer her own organic webbing!
1. MARY JANE WATSON
Peter’s best friend and greatest love first appeared after a build up in Amazing Spider-Man #25. Since then, she and Peter have been through a lot together, starting with the fact that Mary Jane knew Spider-Man’s secret identity almost from the very beginning! It was Gwen’s death that spurred the seemingly carefree, life-of-the-party MJ deeper into Peter’s life. Peter finally and boldly kissed Mary Jane for the first time in Amazing Spider-Man #143.
The two finally got married in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21, braving countless challenges as well as boundless joys together for years. Their relationship is among the very best and most important story lines of any comic book series. Although the controversial events of 2007’s “One More Day” altered the timeline and erased their marriage, MJ and Peter will most likely be seeing a lot of each other in the future.
Spider-Man: Homecoming arrives in theaters on July 7th. Think it’ll show Spider-Man romancing anybody in it? Hoping it won’t? Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments!