Spider-Man can do whatever a spider can, but can he achieve wedded bliss? In 1987 Peter Parker married his longtime love interest Mary Jane Watson in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. However, their happily ever after was not meant to be. In 2007 Spider-Man and Mary Jane allowed the demonic Mephisto to erase their marriage from history in exchange for Aunt May’s life. Of course, that was only the story reason. Behind the scenes Marvel editorial felt that Peter Parker worked better as a single character, so the 'One More Day' storyline was created to undo the marriage.
Since then, Peter and Mary Jane have had a tumultuous on-again, off-again romance. During Nick Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man run, Peter made plans to propose to Mary Jane again. He even bought an engagement ring, but he never had a chance to give it to her. In Amazing Spider-Man #93 (2022) Peter and Mary Jane decided to move in together, but their joy wouldn’t last long. Amazing Spider-Man rebooted with a new number one from Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr., and the issue revealed some major changes in their relationship.
A six-month time-skip had occurred, and Mary Jane was now married to a man named Paul and raising two kids. The circumstances of Mary Jane’s new status quo have not been revealed yet, but it’s clear that she and Peter probably won’t be getting married anytime soon. The circumstances behind the One More Day storyline, and the nature of Peter’s love life has caused some fans to question whether Marvel has an editorial policy prohibiting Spider-Man from getting married.
Marvel editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski addressed this during a panel at C2E2 2023. On April 1, Marvel held a panel previewing their 'Summer of the Symbiotes' crossover event, and the next phase of Zeb Wells’ Amazing Spider-Man run. During the question and answers portion of the panel, a reader asked Cebulski about Marvel’s stance on the Spider-Marriage. “Fans have debated whether or not there is a mandate that Spider-Man cannot be married. Is that a thing,” the reader asked.
“I would say that it’s not a mandate, but it’s a preference,” Cebulski answered. “The way that editorial works is that Marvel has always been a fan-friendly company, and a talent-friendly company as well. The Marvel Universe, the 80 years that it’s been there, and the 60 years of the Marvel Age has been a big soap opera. Things change. The thing that we do is that we always put our faith in the writers and the artists to come up with the best stories possible.”
Cebulski continued by explaining how the preference sometimes boiled down to when certain creators were introduced to the character. “Depending on when people grew up depends on who their favorite characters are, and their relationships.,” Cebulski said. “For some of us, Peter was never married when we were growing up, so we only knew a single Peter Parker. There’s another generation where Peter and Mary Jane were married, and there’s a generation that grew up with that. Now, after Joe (Quesada) and JMS did One More Day, he unmarried them because Joe felt that Peter was a character who was better single.”
However, Cebulski did leave the door open for Spider-Man to get married again, but only if it made sense creatively. “Should they be married, or should they break up? That’s not really a question we can answer. It’s not a mandate by any chance. In 2 years or 5 years, something could change, someone could have the greatest story – Zeb possibly – for why they should be married again, if they make it through their current trials and tribulations. There’s no mandate that any character should or shouldn’t be married, it’s just where the story takes us and what we think is the best for the creative team at the time, and what they choose to do with the stories.”
The reader pressed Cebulski to take a stronger stance on the marriage. “If I give my personal opinion people will boo,” Cebulski joked before moving on to the next question.
While Cebulski opened the door for a potential marriage between Peter and Mary Jane, it probably won’t be happening anytime soon. As we mentioned earlier, Mary Jane is currently married to a man named Paul and raising two kids. Spider-Man has gotten back together with the costumed adventurer the Black Cat, but they don’t seem like they’re ready for marriage.
During the panel Zeb Wells said that Amazing Spider-Man #31 (2023) will feature a wedding, but he didn’t specify who would be getting married. “Take from that what you will,” Wells teased. The likely candidates are Randy Robertson and Janice Lincoln, who got engaged at the beginning of Wells’ run.
Will we ever see Peter Parker and Mary Jane as a married couple again? Readers shouldn’t hold their breath, but in the soap opera world of Spider-Man anything is possible.
Re-live the entire Spider-Man and the Venomverse panel from C2E2 2023 here.