Before their marriage was erased from Marvel history in “One More Day,” Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson were married for roughly two decades (in comic book time, that’s something like three years). For a young couple like Peter and MJ, they were bound to find time to get busy, and despite the various “Spider-Man” titles all being subject to the standards of the Comics Code, Peter and Mary Jane had a fairly vibrant sex life.
In fact writers would often go out of their way to spice up the love life of Peter and Mary Jane, giving us varying levels of “cheeky” behavior between the two lovers. Obviously, again, we’re talking comics meant for a mass audience (even today, “Amazing Spider-Man” is meant for a PG-13 audience), so nothing explicit, but it is pretty funny how good the writers got at implying stuff. Here, then, are the kinkiest moments between Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson.
15. PHOTOGRAPHIC TALENTS
It’s funny, even as we talk about the love life between Peter and Mary Jane, do note that, for the most part, things were pretty straightforward between the two. The Todd McFarlane years, however, are well-remembered for being the height of Peter and Mary Jane’s sexual adventures. We’re talking things like the following sequence in “Amazing Spider-Man” #303 (by David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane), where it is certainly suggestive, but just pretty normal behavior for a married couple…
Similarly, Erik Larsen is certainly not shy when it comes to characters having sex, but during his stint on “Amazing Spider-Man,” things were also straightforward, like when Mary Jane visited Peter for a quick lunch at home… and other stuff in “Amazing Spider-Man” #349 (by David Michelinie, Larsen and Randy Emberlin)…
So, while there were plenty of special moments between Peter and Mary Jane, the moments like “Sensational Spider-Man” #20 (by Richard Case and Todd Dezago), where Mary Jane and Peter take some racy photographs together, were relatively rare. Even here, the photography line is tame compared to some other photography incidents later in the list.
14. SOMETHING IS DEVELOPING
In 1996, the whole mess of the second “Clone Saga” was finally resolved. To briefly explain, Spidey’s clone, Ben Reilly, was killed off after taking over as Spider-Man when it seemed like he was the original and “Peter” was the clone. It probably had to be done for closure, but Ben was a fun character. Anyway, the creators of the four “Spider-Man” titles at the time tried to do a “get back to basics” approach with the series.
Both Peter and Mary Jane went back to school and, with Aunt May dead (she would later be revealed to still be alive due to some bizarre trick by Norman Osborn), Peter and Mary Jane moved in with Mary Jane’s Aunt Anna, who basically became the de facto Aunt May for the series. While living with Aunt Anna, Peter had his own little darkroom and in “Sensational Spider-Man” #18 (by Todd Dezago, Jason Armstrong and Ron Boyd), he and Mary Jane made extra special use of the room — with Aunt Anna right outside the door! You guys!!
13. GIVING AUNT MAY A SHOW
One of the problems that some readers (and writers) had with the marriage between Peter and Mary Jane is that things were seemingly looking too up for Peter at the time. For a character that sometimes seems to be defined by his hard luck, it was odd for him to be married to a gorgeous supermodel and living in a fancy condominium in New York City. Therefore, after a storyline where the owner of the building became obsessed with Mary Jane and actually kidnapped her, they were then shockingly kicked out of their condo by the psycho!
With all of their savings sunk into the condo, they had to move in together with Aunt May. Naturally, things were a bit different for Aunt May living with a married couple rather than just Peter (although, even with just Peter, you probably don’t want to burst in on teen boys alone in their room either, Aunt May). In “Web of Spider-Man” #50 (by Gerry Conway, Alex Saviuk and Keith Williams), we saw why that would be a problem, as Aunt May walked in on them having sex. They didn’t lock the door? It’s like they were asking to be caught!
12. ASSEMBLING IN AVENGERS TOWER
One of the biggest changes in Spider-Man’s status quo was when he joined the Avengers in 2005. It was the first time that Spider-Man was a full-time member of a superhero team. It also required him to sort of “step up” into the limelight a bit more as a member of such a famous superhero team. Well, in “Amazing Spider-Man” #519 (by J. Michael Straczynski, Mike Deodato and Joe Pimentel), that connection got even greater when Aunt May’s house was burned to the ground by a villain and Tony Stark offered to move Peter, Mary Jane and Aunt May (who had learned Spider-Man’s secret identity by this point) into Avengers Tower.
They quickly agreed. Aunt May met the Avengers’ butler, Edwin Jarvis, and they quickly hit it off. However, in terms of “quickly hitting it off,” nothing beats Peter and Mary Jane literally going from saying hi to everyone to going to their room and having sex right away, with everyone still outside the room. By this point, it seems like they’re actively getting off on this stuff!
11. NAKED LUNCH
In 1993, Spider-Man had been going through a lot of hard times, especially during the “Maximum Carnage” crossover, but things were about to get a lot worse when he discovered that his parents, who had recently shown up alive after being thought to be dead, were actually robots sent by the Chameleon (ah, comic books) to discover Spider-Man’s secret identity (since Chameleon figured that Spider-Man and Peter had some sort of relationship). Soon, Spider-Man would be all “There is no more Spider-Man, just a Spider!” and stuff like that (which is what made Ben Reilly such a breath of fresh air).
Thus, this scene in “Amazing Spider-Man” #381 (by David Michelinie, Mark Bagley, Randy Emberlin and Al Milgrom) stood out a lot, as Peter comes home for lunch and sees that Mary Jane was making him a gourmet lunch as a surprise and he decided to surprise her by instead getting down on the kitchen floor! Within 10 issues, he’d be sleeping in a web cocoon, so Mary Jane didn’t know what she was about to be missing!
10. A LITTLE ROLE-PLAYING
In general, in the early days of their marriage, it was mostly “Amazing Spider-Man” that saw Peter and Mary Jane be particularly adventurous, but there were some occasional exceptions in the other books, like the cute opening of “Web of Spider-Man” #36 (by Gerry Conway, Alex Saviuk and Keith Williams), where Spider-Man and Mary Jane do a little bit of light role playing, as he picks her up as Spider-Man and then they swing back to their apartment, where they get undressed and then go have sex in the shower.
That issue was about Peter dealing with a visit to his old alma mater of Mid-Town High, where he befriended a geeky kid who was the son of the man who made the Living Brain. However, that kid, Steve, turned out to be a villain and Peter couldn’t deal with how someone that reminded him of himself turned out to be such a bad kid, while Mary Jane assured him that he wasn’t like that kid. Once he fights Steve again, he and Mary Jane (who helped in the fight) return to their apartment for more shower fun (twice in a single issue!).
9. SEX ON THE BEACH… LITERALLY
After the marriage between Peter and Mary Jane in “Amazing Spider-Man Annual” #21, their honeymoon took place in “Spectacular Spider-Man Annual” #7 (by Jim Owsley, Alan Kupperberg, Jim Fern and Al Milgrom), where they were sent on a beautiful trip to France by an old flame of Mary Jane (who was basically supposed to be Bruce Wayne) after Mary Jane turned him down on his offer to run away with him instead of marrying Peter.
Peter was out of his element in the fancy scenes they were hanging out in, especially when Mary Jane’s friends made him feel dumb. Mary Jane tried to cheer him up by going swimming naked with him, but he was still a bit down in the dumps when they went for a drive on the beach and Mary Jane had them pull over so that they could better enjoy the other elements of the beach. They have a bit of an exhibitionist streak in them!
8. UP ON THE ROOF
The first five years or so of the Peter/Mary Jane marriage had a lot of romantic stories devoted to the couple, but the next decade or so were mostly spent either trying to break the two up (like the infamous “Peter thinks Mary Jane is dead!” plotline from the relaunched “Spider-Man” titles of 1999) or filling their lives with so much drama that it was hard to find time for romance (the “Clone Saga”). That made the one-shot, “I (Heart) Marvel: Web of Romance,” stand out so much. Written by acclaimed “real life romance” comic book writer Tom Beland and drawn by Cory Walker and Cliff Rathburn, the comic featured Peter trying to figure out what to get his wife for Valentine’s Day.
He eventually decided on getting her her own special webshooter bracelets. She loved them. They pulled a webbing prank on Human Torch and then laid on top of a rooftop, where Mary Jane decided that she wanted to get herself some! What did we tell you about this couple and their exhibitionist tendencies?!
In 1997, Marvel did a “Marvel Valentine’s Day Special” and the lead story was by Tom Peyer, Mark Buckingham and Kev Sutherland. It opened with Peter surprising Mary Jane by catching her in his webbing, where they then proceed to do some sexy web stuff. However, with Buckingham’s art style, it comes off as more adorable than kinky.
The story involved Peter playing matchmaker for a high school student that reminded him of himself by turning him into a “cool guy” to woo the girl he is interested in, but Mary Jane explained that she fell for Peter when he was a “nerd,” so the two sneak off and fix Peter’s meddling with some extra meddling from the two of them and it all ends up well (the girl wanted the boy because of who he was inside — awww). The issue adorably ends with Spidey and MJ swinging away from the library where their meddling took place, with Mary Jane wearing a webbing mask.
6. SEXY WAITER
“Amazing Spider-Man” #298 turned out to be a historic issue in retrospect, as it was the first issue penciled by Todd McFarlane, who would soon re-define Spider-Man’s look for a whole generation. This was very early in the marriage between Peter and Mary Jane and it seemed as though the main series, “Amazing Spider-Man,” was viewed as the main place to show off their adventurous side (although you’ll see another example in a contemporary title next).
In this issue (written by David Michelinie, penciled by McFarlane and inked by Bob McLeod), Peter is feeling weird about how it is Mary Jane’s career as a model that is allowing them to afford living in a nice apartment, so he decides to surprise her with a sexy French waiter routine when she comes home! Of course, Mary Jane happened to surprise Peter by bringing a friend of hers home to meet him!
5. HOME PHOTOS
“Spectacular Spider-Man” #134 was notable for three reasons. First off, it was the first issue of the series to be titled “Spectacular Spider-Man” rather than “Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man.” Secondly, it was the first part of the sequel to Peter David’s classic storyline, “The Death of Jean DeWollf.” Thirdly, and most importantly, it was the first issue of the series to be drawn by Sal Buscema, who would remain on the title until “Spectacular Spider-Man” #238 (missing just two issues, #213 and #214 that entire time!)
In any event, in the issue (written by David, drawn by Buscema and Vince Colletta), Mary Jane decided to spice things up by taking some sexy photographs for Peter while he was out. He, however, then surprised her by sneaking up behind her by crawling on the wall and then taking her to the ceiling where they had some sexy time… while still getting photographed.
4. UNIVERSAL KINKINESS
This one is a bit of a cheat, since it did not take place in the regular Marvel continuity, but it’s not like it was some crazy fantasy world, either. It was jut a typical “What If…?” issue and they even used the term “kinky”! At one point during the “Acts of Vengeance” crossover, Spider-Man was chosen by the Uni-Power, which is the cosmic power that would possess seemingly random people and give them the powers of Captain Universe. So, for a while there, Spider-Man was one of the most powerful beings on Earth (oddly enough, he didn’t do anything sexy with Mary Jane during this period).
In “What If…?” #31 (by Glenn Herdling, Scott McDaniel, Jim Sanders III and Sam De La Rosa), we saw what would have happened had Spider-Man been allowed to keep his Captain Universe powers! One of the first things he did was to use his powers to do something, well, kinky! It says something weird about Spider-Man that his idea of hot sex is to have sex with himself, though.
3. MAKING THE BEST OF A BAD SITUATION
For this moment to be put into proper context, do note that at the end of “Amazing Spider-Man” #299, Venom made his first appearance by terrorizing Mary Jane at her home (as Venom knew Spider-Man’s secret identity due to the connection that the symbiote had with Peter). This, naturally, freaked Mary Jane out completely, to the point where she could not deal with Peter wearing his black costume any more as Spider-Man, as that look just reminded her of Venom.
So what does she do? When she and Peter go looking for a new place (as she’ll never feel safe in their old place), she decides that she has to cheer him up! First, she has him do an impromptu fashion shoot at the empty apartment that they were looking at, and when that didn’t work, she takes her top off for him to take some nude photos for their private collection!
Oddly enough, even though his run on “Amazing Spider-Man” was noted for the amount of sexy time that Peter and Mary Jane spend together, when Todd McFarlane launched “Spider-Man” in 1990, which he wrote and drew, he surprisingly did not have all that much alone time for Peter and Mary Jane. Not that it was devoid of that stuff, but it was less prominent than his time on “Amazing Spider-Man.”
A notable exception occurred late in his run, in “Spider-Man” #13, when Mary Jane was complaining about how bored she was just laying around the apartment with Peter. Peter decided to liven things up by using his webs to tie her up and then have his way with her. He even notes as he is doing it that the whole thing is rather on the kinky side of things. It’s fun to see Mary Jane referring to Peter as “Yo, Home Boy.” Ah, the early 1990s.
1. RIPPED FROM THE TV HEADLINES
After being married for over a decade, Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry were cast together on “L.A. Law” as lawyers who fall in love with each other while working at the firm. Despite them being married in real life, part of the hook on the show is that they made for an unlikely pair, with Eikenberry a statuesque blonde and Michael Tucker being a short, seemingly wimpy guy. However, Tucker’s character, Stuart Markowitz, does some legal work for a bigamist who has a pile of wives and none of them want to divorce him! He tells Stuart that his secret is a special sex move called “The Venus Butterfly.” Stuart does the move on Eikenberry’s Ann Kelsey and the rest was TV history.
“L.A. Law” was a smash success and people all over the country were debating what, exactly, the “Venus Butterfly” was. Well, David Michelinie was likely one of those fans, as in “Amazing Spider-Man” #298 (by Michelinie, Todd McFarlane and Bob McLeod), which came out about a year after the “L.A. Law” storyline, Peter does it with Mary Jane. One of those pop culture references that has lost a lot of its meaning in the decades since.
What is your favorite Peter/Mary Jane moment? Let us know in the comments section!