Despite having an awful reputation with the ladies in high school, Peter Parker has historically had quite a bit of success with the fairer sex. Whether it be because of his sense of responsibility, goofiness or tight butt from wall-crawling, the ladies seem to throw themselves at this bookworm. But to Peter's detriment, maybe his spider-sense should have been triggered with some of the women on this list.
This list will dive into five of the best love interests that Peter Parker has had in his long history along with five of them that Spidey should a web swung away from.
10 Best: Debra Whitman
Compared to some of the knockouts, Debra Whitman is a rather ordinary girl. Introduced in the pages of Spectacular Spider-Man during the 1980s, Whitman was a classmate of Peter Parker's in Empire State University and while she clearly had strong feelings for Parker, his social ineptitude and aloofishness prevented any true relationship from coming.
Although she didn't have the energy of a Mary Jane, Whitman was absolutely a sweet, kind and caring woman that Peter would have been lucky to have. Unfortunately, she was shifted out of the books in a terribly confusing storyline that saw her almost discover Peter's secret identity before denying her own theory. Fans might also recognize her from the 1990s Spider-Man: The Animated Series where her personality was quite different.
9 Worst: Jill Stacy
Casual Spidey fans might think that Gwen Stacy was the only Stacy woman to pine after Peter Parker but they'd be mistaken. Years after the death of her cousin, Jill Stacy entered the Spider-Man books in the late 1990s and struck up a friendship with Peter and his wife Mary Jane.
However, once it appeared that Mary Jane had died tragically in a plane explosion, Stacy began to make some romantic advances toward Parker. Not only is it a bit weird for Jill to try and date her dead cousin's beloved, but Mary Jane was still warm in the ground when this was happening. Combine that with a bland personality and you have a poor love interest.
8 Best: Kitty Pryde
Diving into the Ultimate line of Marvel Comics, let's talk about Kitty Pryde. In this universe Mary Jane and Peter were broken up for a point and Spidey began to date this X-Men member.
Unlike most of his relationships, Peter never had to worry about Pryde being in danger because of her mutant powers. Not only that but the two were adorable together in a pretty accurate depiction of a high school romance. Ultimately the relationship ended due to Peter running back to MJ, but while it lasted it was fun.
7 Worst: Betty Brant
Just because she is Spider-Man's first girlfriend, that doesn't mean that Betty Brant was a good match at all for Peter Parker.
The first woman of his age group to really give him the time of day, Peter Parker and Betty Brant dated for a few issues early in the Stan Lee/Steve Ditko years of Spider-Man but Brant was pretty bland as love interests go. As a sign that they weren't a good couple, Brant not only blamed Spider-Man for the death of her brother (it wasn't Peter's fault) but she broke up with Peter because she feared that he loved Liz Allan more (not true). In later years she would also cheat on her husband Ned Leeds with Parker himself. It's best that these two stay apart.
6 Best: Black Cat
Call her a Catwoman rip off if you like, but Felicia Hardy a.k.a The Black Cat has been a supporting member of Spider-Man's cast since the 1970s and it's easy to see why. Not only is she a sultry, adventurous, and slightly troublesome feline, but she is one of Spider-Man's best love interests.
Introduced in the 1970s, the relationship between the two costumed individuals would really kick off in the 1980s which saw Black Cat come more around to the heroic side and team up with Spidey against some A-list villains like Doctor Octopus. While Spider-Man and Black Cat was certainly a winning combination, Peter Parker and Felicia Hardy isn't as Hardy prefers to spend as much time in her costume as possibly whereas Spidey still likes his civilian life. Even if they couldn't work out their romantic relationship, Hardy remains one of his closest allies and the two will risk their lives for one another without a second thought.
5 Worst: Silk
In 2019, Silk stands out as one the better spider-people hanging around in the multiverse. However when she was first introduced, this wasn't really the case.
Bitten by the same spider that bit Peter Parker, Silk was given similar powers to Peter and then some. But while she was cool enough visually, she and Peter share a pheromone attraction to one another which cause their hormones to skyrocket when they're around one another. This made for an extremely lazy and artificial relationship. Thankfully the plug was pulled on this one pretty quickly and Silk evolve into a better character, but man she was looking rough at the beginning.
4 Best: Gwen Stacy
Simultaneously one of Peter Parker's greatest loves and one of his biggest failures as Spider-Man, Gwen Stacy will forever be a part of Spider-Man's history for her death. That isn't to say that it's the only thing she should be remembered for.
No other person on this list can match Peter's love and expertise for science quite like Gwen could. Early in her history, she knew how to stand up for Peter and herself. Ultimately however poor writing failed her character and caused to become bland in comparison to her friend/romantic rival. Still, her undeniable chemistry with Peter and her tragic death will loom over Spider-Man until the day Marvel stops publishing comic books.
3 Worst: Michelle Gonzales
In another love interest from the late 2000s which went over like a fart in church, Michelle Gonzales was one of the worst women that Peter Parker ever had the misfortune of being involved with. Let's summarize their relationship (not in chronological order) just to show what we mean.
They have a drunken hookup on the night of Aunt May's second wedding. Gonzales destroys Peter's microscope. Gonzales punches Peter in the face. Gonzales pulls a gun on Peter (in her defense she thought Peter was in danger but still let's roll with it). Yeah, not exactly soul mate material there.
2 Best: Mary Jane Watson
Here we are at last. The only person in the main Earth-616 chronology to marry Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson easily makes it onto a list of Spidey's best love interests for multiple reasons.
The first person to ever discover his secret identity, these two childhood neighbors would finally meet face to face at the behest of their aunts and a spark was set right away. Mary Jane's energetic, upbeat personality serves as a great contrast to Peter's reserved and shy personality. MJ has always been drawn to Peter's sense of responsibility and caring nature while Peter loves her for how she accepts and loves him for who he is in and out of the costume. A match made in heaven deals with the devil be damned.
1 Worst: Carlie Cooper
Speaking of deals with the devil, Carlie Cooper was Spider-Man's first love interest coming out of the infamous "One More Day" storyline. While it's highly probable that the backlash would have been fierce no matter who was replacing Mary Jane in Peter's life, the fact that she was named after the daughter of the person largely responsible for Spidey's deal with Mephisto (Joe Quesada) added salt to the wound.
As well, Cooper was just never a great character despite Marvel's repeated attempts to have every character in Peter Parker's life tell him he should totally shack up with her. Despite her lacking any notable personality traits and being a complete Mary Sue with how perfect she is at everything. Let's just be glad that Cooper is mostly forgotten about nowadays.