“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Uncle Ben
Hello Comic Fanatics,
Welcome to a new series, maybe, it might be a one off but I may also write more if it goes well and I have some more ideas, called “What if …?” In this series I will look at Comic Books, new and old, and look at possible stories that could have taken place. I am going to start this blog with what gave me the idea of this story and then the idea itself and if you ever see this pop up in a Marvel comic then please let me know.
And the first blog in this series will look at Spider-Man and the loves of his life, Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson. Probably one of if not the most popular and well know superheroes in the world is Spider-Man. Everybody knows him and at one point or another, if you have been a fan of comics and superheroes, then he has been your favorite.
I certainly fit into this category. Spider-Man was my favorite hero when I was younger and even as I have gotten older and started to love many more heroes in both Marvel and DC, Spider-Man is still one of my favorite heroes to this day. I read his comic books, watched his TV shows (Including my favorite show growing up, the 90’s Spider-Man cartoon, and in the 21st century I have gotten to see a plethora of Spider-Man movies too.
Peter Parker has had a number of love interests over the years too but the most notable and popular have been Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson. These two women have had Spider-Man fans arguing for decades over which one was really the love of Peter Parker’s life. Gwen Stacy and Peter started dating while Peter and her were Undergraduates at Empire State University. Both science majors and she was intellectually Peter Parker’s equal and she even wanted Peter to propose to her. Stan Lee stated that Gwen Stacy was meant to be Spider-Man’s central love interest “but no matter how we wrote it, Mary Jane always seemed more interesting!” The creative team that took over for Stan Lee, Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas, felt the same and wanted to bring Mary Jane Watson to the forefront because she still had her ‘edge’ and Gwen really didn’t. This led to “The Night Gwen Stacy Died” story where Spider-Man would accidentally kill Gwen Stacy while trying to save her during a fight with the Green Goblin.
Mary Jane was actually introduced before Gwen and was a running gag at first as Peter’s aunt May kept trying to set him up with her and he figured out how to avoid the blind date. As stated above, the writers tried to bring in Gwen Stacy as the main love interest but no matter how Gwen was drawn or written, Mary Jane always looked more attractive and was more interesting. Following Gwen’s death, Peter and Mary Jane became closer and eventually began dating and would marry, with MJ becoming Mary Jane Watson-Parker.
Whether you felt Peter should be with Gwen or MJ really came from the era of the character you read about with older reader still believing that Gwen was Peter’s one true love and he still holds a place in his heart for her, which he does, or if you came into the story when he was with MJ then you likely believe that this is who he is really meant to be with. For me I always believed that Peter and MJ were meant to be together, the Spider-Man comics I read had them together and the aforementioned 90’s cartoon had Peter and MJ together so as a result I never even knew Gwen Stacy existed and her story until many years later.
Unfortunately Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief at the time, Joe Quesada, felt that a married Peter Parker aged the character too much and would make him less appealing to younger readers and this led to a story I carry so much disdain for “One More Day”. In this story Marvel retcon’s Spider-Man’s marriage and curses Peter and Mary Jane that they will be doomed to never get back together. I loved the relationship, even as a kid, so doing this made no sense and didn’t make me want to read Spider-Man less. I honestly feel it was done because Marvel’s writers were lazy. Because the only stories they wanted to tell all involved Peter Parker being single and pretty much living as a perpetual teenager even though he is in his 30’s in the comics. They were too lazy to write a story including that he was married and grown up so thought of a story with which they could undo that and write the Spider-Man they wanted to.
Mary Jane was an extra character in Spider-Man following that, she Peter’s ex-girlfriend but they never seemed sure if they wanted a friendship or if they would try to become more again. It became a whole will they won’t they think which I think was meant to give the fans hope but it really didn’t since you knew until a new Editor came in that liked their relationship that it would never happen. But while MJ was in limbo, Gwen Stacy had a revival in popularity thanks to the Spider-Verse story where we seen the return of Gwen Stacy (albeit from another universe) as Spider-Woman, having the same powers as Peter and teaming with him and many others Spider-Men/Women to fight against The Inheritors. Her popularity exploded and she received her own stand alone series too, coming from a universe where Peter Parker had become the Lizard and been killed.
Marvel last year also released a series tied into Secret Wars called “Spider-Man:Renew your vows” which had Peter and Mary Jane married and with a daughter called Annie Parker. I had believed that Secret Wars would allow a re-imagining of the Marvel universe and we would see changes to the characters we know and love and create a new world with one continuity (What actually happened was nothing seemed to change at all that required Secret Wars as a catalyst) and would be one universe, destroying their multiverse and bringing over their most popular characters to one universe (This happened for some but there were other universes still in existence including Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman’s.)
My story was based on the hope that Marvel now having the Ultimate Spider-Man, Miles Morales (a younger Spider-Man from another universe), in the main universe that this would be the answer the writers that want to write a young and single Spider-Man and can only write Spider-Man stories like that. Miles younger version of Spider-Man who is completely new to this world having come from a different universe so you can create whatever connections and relationships with people in the Marvel 616 universe that you want. You literally have a blank slate surrounding his extended world so you can have a young and single Spider-Man to write about and for younger readers (if that was really the reasoning) to be drawn too.
This would mean that following Secret Wars, Marvel could continue the story from “Renew your vows” and have Peter and MJ married with their daughter Annie Parker. You can write mature Spider-Man stories that match with a 30 year-old Peter Parker about having a family and still fulfilling his responsibility as Peter Parker. And if Marvel had actually went with one universe this would now mean that there was a Gwen Stacy in this universe again and not only that but one who is also a Superhero AND has the exact same powers as he does. That’s at least a year or two worth of writing for Spider-Man right there. Have Peter’s life with MJ be getting rougher and then one night while fighting a big bad of some sort have Gwen get involved and help him. You can keep them masked and build up to them crime fighting together and have her be a confidante for him for his rough marriage and then have them unmask with each other and realize that under the masks is the love of their life, alive again. Or even have the reveal be immediate, have them recognize each others voices and unmask to each other. This can start a whole back and forth of will he choose his wife and daughter or go with his once dead now alive again love of his life who not only does he have feelings for but she will understand him a way his wife never will and they can also have a happy life at home and fight side by side too. After decades of fighting you will have fans fight some more but more importantly be buying comics as it builds up to seeing who Peter will choose, Gwen Stacy or Mary Jane Watson-Parker.
I think this is the chance for an amazing story and a great way to re-imagine Peter and Gwen together and also bring back the marriage of Peter and MJ and then have Peter actually choose which of the two he wants to be with with both roads available to him.
And the decision will no doubt ultimately be to the Editor which relationship he chooses to come out on top, as long as he picks one because the strange idea that Spider-Man needs to be single has never made sense to me as the character is most often defined by his relationship with one or the other of these women.
For me personally, I would end this story with him going back to Mary Jane, as much as Gwen being his crime fighting love interest would intrigue me and I kinda want to pick, I have a love for Peter and MJ together and Spider-Man, no matter what, is a character that seeks to do the right thing (which could be a good bit of the story as Peter wants to be with Gwen at one point and argues he always does the right thing and doesn’t the universe owe him one) and going back to his wife, keeping his marriage together and be there for his daughter is the right thing and you can end it with Peter and Gwen being friends and going their separate ways and lead to Gwen moving somewhere or have another love interest for her in the Marvel Universe somewhere.
So that is my story idea for Marvel that I would have loved to have seen, and how I would want it to end.
Thank you for Joining me and I hope you will come back to check out more stuff I am bound to write and ramble about!
In the comments below, let me know what you thought of my Idea, let me know any changes you would pick and also who you would like to see Peter Parker with; Spider-Gwen or Mary Jane Watson-Parker.