Spidey-Month: The Women of Spider-Man

Spidey-Month: The Women of Spider-Man

Spider-Man often comments on his lousy luck, especially with women. But Peter Parker can’t seem to see past his heartache to realize that tons of people would kill to have his women troubles. Even the Human Torch commented that everytime he sees Peter, there’s always some gorgeous woman involved. Hell, even Spidey villain the Chameleon wondered about how Peter knew so many hot women. So, in honor of these women, let’s talk about the most significant love interests in Spider-Man’s history. Please note, this is only the most significant ones, not all of them.

Betty Brant

Not the first woman Peter liked, but the first he got somewhere with. When Peter first met J. Jonah Jameson’s secretary, it was shortly after he began his career as a superhero. As such, his confidence was slowly growing and it attracted Betty. It also helped that he never seemed to take any huge risks, something Betty didn’t like due to her brother and his gambling problems. Sadly, the relationship was doomed due to Spider-Man. After Betty’s brother died due to Doctor Octopus, she kept wanting something more stable, less daring. And when Ned Leeds, a rival for Peter started working at the Bugle, it seemed like Peter would have to reveal his secret to win. That’s when Betty told Peter that she couldn’t be with someone who could lose their life due to risks like her brother. Peter broke up with her, preferring not to hurt her. She eventually married Ned, lost him, and is currently dating Flash Thompson. She and Peter are still friends to this day.

Gwen Stacy

The name alone sends reverberations throughout the Spidey-verse. Gwen Stacy met Peter during a bad time in his life; his aunt was sick due to radiation poison brought on by a blood transfusion he gave her. As a result, Peter spent his early college days in a haze, ignoring new friends like Gwen and Harry Osborn. Somehow, being snubbed by Peter caused her to notice him and pine for him. As Peter finally ended his relationship with Betty, he soon started one with Gwen. Of course, there was romantic rivalry with Mary Jane Watson, but in the end, the two became a true couple. Things became complicated when Gwen’s father, Captain George Stacy, dies during the damage caused by a battle between Spidey and Doctor Octopus. After this, Gwen got… well, to me, annoying. She became incredibly overly protective of Peter, and distrustful of Spider-Man, blaming him for her father’s death. She eventually left to Europe to deal with her loss, and attempted to coerce a marriage proposal out of Peter. She returned, realizing her error in trying to pressure her boyfriend into marriage, and they started planning for their real future. And then the Green Goblin snapped, blamed Peter for all his problems, and kidnapped Gwen. During their battle, she fell off the George Washington Bridge. When Spidey attempted to catch her with his web, she ended up dying from the shock of her sudden stop. Gwen’s death sent shockwaves throughout Spidey’s life that would affect him for years. But this all happened after her death, and for Gwen, that’s when her story ended.

Mary Jane Watson

We all know this one, don’t we? When Peter’s Aunt May attempted to arrange a blind date with MJ, Peter was freaked out. After all, if this girl needed his aged aunt to hook her up for a date, she had to be a train wreck. And then Mary Jane appeared, stating her most famous line, “Face it Tiger, you just hit the jackpot!” and truer words were never spoken. Peter and MJ’s relationship was mostly on and off, and when he started dating Gwen Stacy, she dated his best friend Harry Osborn. MJ was often noticed to just be a constant party girl. No matter what, she always kept the party going, and always left when things seemed to get too serious. However, after Gwen’s death, Peter snapped at her, knowing she was just going to go off and party because she didn’t care about anyone. And MJ instead stayed to comfort her friend in his darkest moments. The two eventually start dating again, but as things got too serious with Peter proposing, MJ left because she didn’t want to be tied down. She eventually returns, and after Peter tries to make an excuse for his Spidey activities, she finally tells him that she’s known for a long time that he was Spider-Man. She finally tells him her life story, about her family problems, and how her carefree act was just a way to not let her problems get to her. They try to remain friends, but they resume their relationship on and off. Finally, he proposes a second time, and after finally settling her affairs with her past, she accepts. They get married, and live happily ever after… at least through problems like the Clone Saga, Civil War and the like until Joe Quesada, head of Marvel, decided to retcon the marriage out of existence. I hate comics some days.

The Black Cat

Felicia Hardy was a cat burglar, following in her father’s footsteps. No, I do not accept the retcon of her back story in Kevin Smith’s mini-series Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil that Men Do. Anyway, Felicia first encountered Spider-Man while trying to break her father out of jail. Over the course of their battles, Felicia started to fall for Spider-Man. In time, Black Cat became Spidey’s partner in crime-fighting. However, their relationship was rife with problems. She got bad luck powers that royally screwed over Spidey, part of her dirty dealings with Kingpin, and of course, her utter dislike of Peter Parker, who she considered not as important as the high-flying Spidey. They eventually broke up, but remained allies and friends, and if there’s one person Spider-Man can count on in a scrap, it’s the Black Cat.

Peter Parker has often been called the everyman of comics, the guy we can all relate to. In this regard, it’s true: we will love, we will be hurt by love, and we will rediscover love again. It may not be destiny like Superman and Lois Lane, or a likely life of loneliness like Batman, but it works.

Ahmed is not just a fanboy, but also a martial artist and an indie author who has published such fantasy adventure books as "Lunen: Triblood".

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