Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and twenty-third week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
Just like the last few months, one legend today, one tomorrow and one Sunday.
Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz were already planning on Spider-Man getting married.
By now, I’m sure most of my readers know the basic history of the marriage between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson, but the simplest version is that Jim Shooter and Stan Lee came up with the idea for the Spider-Man comic strip and then said, “Let’s do it in the comics, as well!” The issue, of course, was that Mary Jane wasn’t even living in New York City (she was visiting her family back in Pittsburgh), but Peer proposes, she coems back and they get married all in, like, three months. The Annual where they got married was drawn by a non-Spider-Man artist, Paul Ryan…
Reader Will C. wrote in to ask if it was true that had Shooter and Lee not come up with this plot, the regular creative team on “Amazing Spider-Man” before the wedding (Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz) were ALREADY going to do the wedding.
The answer is kind of sort of, Will, but not really.
Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz WERE planning on a wedding storyline, but one where it would end poorly for our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
Tom DeFalco told “Back Issue”…
I guess you could blame the whole marriage thing on Ron Frenz and me. When we were on The Amazing Spider-Man, we proposed a story where Peter asks Mary Jane to marry im, she accepts, but eventually-in true Spider-Man fashion-leaves him at the altar. Jim Owsley was our editor and took the idea to Jim Shooter, who mentioned it to Stan…who thought the couple really should get married. Shooter agreed and went ahead with the idea after Ron and I were taken off Amazing.
Ron Frenz also discussed the concept:
One way to look at it is the best way to write a Spider-Man story is to make a list of all the sh*ttiest things that can happen to a human being, then you eliminate all the things that other writers have already done, and what is left are some story ideas. Certainly being left at the altar is the hugely shittiest thing that can happen to a human being.
Tom and I made Peter and Mary Jane best friends and we kinda left it at that, and then a lot of other writers started taking that into the romantic realm. We had talked about the idea that now that they were romantically involved, they would get engaged, and we would get to the point of the marriage. Spider-Man would then be off battling the Sinister Six or something like that, and be completely out of contact for several days, and Mary Jane would get the opportunity to reconcile with her sister who she was estranged from. Then Mary Jane would use that as an excuse to bug out, because she’s been having second thoughts. She would try to get a hold out of Pete, but he’s fighting for his life up to the last minute. [In the end], Pete would race to his apartment, throw on his tuxedo, and web-swing to the church where Harry would be waiting for him out in front. There would be a silent sequence where they talk for a couple of minutes, Harry would hand Pete the ring, and the ring would drop to the ground, and there is the end of the sequence.
So no, Will, it was not going to happen!
Thanks for the info and thanks to Tom and Ron for the info!
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Check back Saturday for part 2 of this week’s legends!
And remember, if you have a legend that you’re curious about, drop me a line at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!