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Knowledge Waits: Fifty Shades of Spider-Man

by  in Comic News Comment
Knowledge Waits: Fifty Shades of Spider-Man

This is the latest in a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me. Here is a collection of all of the installments in the feature so far.

When Peter Parker married Mary Jane Watson in 1987, the Spider-Man titles followed that story up with the classic Kraven’s Last Hunt and then followed THAT up with the less classic Life in the Mad Dog Ward. So it wasn’t until the books cover dated January 1988 that the Spider-titles really started dealing with the newlywed couple and a big part of the early treatment of the marriage was through Peter and Mary Jane’s sex life, presumably to highlight that these were still young, happy-go-lucky kids and not a boring married couple. Still, whatever the reason, it ended up being an interesting time in the Spider-books where every other issue for a couple of months seemed to involve Peter and Mary Jane pursuing different sexual situations, some kinkier than others. Here are some of them…

In Todd McFarlane’s first issue of Amazing Spider-Man, he and writer David Michelinie (and inker Bob McLeod) have Peter try something new for Mary Jane, not knowing that she had company with her…

Later, he and MJ try out the “Venus Butterfly,” which, as I noted in a Foggy Ruins of Time a while back, was a fictional sex position made famous on L.A. Law at the time.

In Spectacular Spider-Man #134 by Peter David and Sal Buscema, Mary Jane has some fun with their camera and it leads to some wall-crawling lovemaking…

The fun with photos continues in Amazing Spider-Man #300 by Michelinie and McFarlane. Do note that just earlier in the issue, Mary Jane was tormented by Venom so badly that she was huddle in a ball, consumed by fear…

But by the mid-point of the double-sized issue, she’s already using sex to make Peter feel at ease about making less money than her…

After all of this, Gerry Conway and Alex Saviuk’s little roleplaying game from Web of Spider-Man #36 looks very tame in comparison…

Sex continued to be a part of the Spider-books after this, but it was never as overt as these first few months. Instead, it was stuff like this bit from Amazing Spider-Man #303…

By the way, I really don’t get this bit from Amazing Spider-Man #304, what could we possibly supposed to be thinking the final panel is before the reveal on the next page?

EDITED TO ADD: Only once during his solo run on the adjectiveless Spider-Man title did Todd McFarlane do anything like this, but as reader Iam Fear noted in the comments, when McFarlane DID do it, he did it big! From Spider-Man #13, Spidey at perhaps his kinkiest…

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