In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Spider-Man, we’re doing four straight months of polls having to do with Spider-Man, culminating with the release of the Amazing Spider-Man film in July. Future installments will deal with Spider-Man creators and Spider-Man stories, but this month will be about Spider-Man’s supporting cast and his villains.
You all voted, now here are the results! We finish with Spider-Man’s supporting cast #1-3…
Here is a master list of all the characters revealed so far.
3. Aunt May Parker
While Ben Parker taught his nephew Peter Parker the power of responsibility, his wife, May, taught Peter the value of kindness and friendship. Aunt May and Peter grew up to have a fascinating relationship after Ben was killed by a burglar. May was sickly, so there was always a reason for Peter to need money, so he became a photographer for the Daily Bugle.
Aunt May has nearly died so many times that you can practically do a year-long calendar with her deaths and near-deaths.
She appeared to die for good in Amazing Spider-Man #400, where she revealed that she knew Peter was Spider-Man all along. That was a trick by Norman Obsorn, though. The real Aunt May was found. Eventually, she, too, learned Peter’s secret. However, after Spider-Man’s identity became public knowledge, a bad guy took a shot at Peter and hit Aunt May instead. Peter saved her, but the experience was enough for him to get his identity turned back into a secret courtesy of Doctor Strange.
Now with things back to sort of normal, Aunt May began volunteering at a food shelter. She eventually met a man and Aunt May got married…to the father of J. Jonah Jameson!
Here is a neat speech she gave Peter before her wedding…
2. J. Jonah Jameson
The handling of J. Jonah Jameson by writers is an interesting balancing act. On the one hand, he uses his newspaper, the Daily Bugle, to prove to the world that Spider-Man is a menace 2 society. He even created super-villains to take Spider-Man down! On the other hand, he is a well-respected journalist who employs some of the greatest and most ethical reporters and editors around.
It is a weird mix, indeed.
One of my favorite scenes of Jameson being cool happened in the pages of Uncanny X-Men, when Bastion tries to buy his silence…
Recently, after a heart attack, Jameson sold the Daily Bugle. He eventually ran for the Mayor of New York in as special election. He was elected! He is currently the Mayor of New York City.
1. Mary Jane Watson
Aunt May tries to set Peter up with the niece of her good friend, Anna Watson, for some time. When Peter finally stopped ducking her, he was pleased as the niece was a stunning redhead named Mary Jane (who greeted Peter with one of the greatest lines in Marvel history, “Face it, Tiger, you just hit the jackpot).
Initially, she was very much the secondary girlfriend in Peter’s life (to Gwen Stacy), but following Stacy’s death, she and Peter began to grow closer and closer until, well, here is one of their most famous sequences (I figure the top friend and the top foe can both have three-page sequences)…
Very cool. Gerry Conway really liked Mary Jane and did great stuff with her. She broke up with Peter for awhile but when she returned in the mid-80s, she revealed that she knew Peter’s secret! Eventually, the pair decided to marry.
After a long and happy marriage, their union fell victim to Aunt May’s aforementioned gunshot wound. A demon offered Peter and Mary Jane the opportunity to trade their marriage for May’s life. They took the deal and now their marriage has been erased from Marvel history (they were still together for the last X amount of years, they just were not MARRIED).
The two eventually broke up and they’re still separate, even though their friendship is still going strong.