In 1987, Spider-Man tied the knot with Mary Jane Watson. In 2007, the marriage was erased during the controversial storyline One More Day. It’s been 16 years since the marriage ended, yet Marvel can’t stop talking about it. In fact, Marvel editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski brought up the marriage unprompted at two separate New York Comic Con panels.
During the Avengers Assemble panel, Cebulski asked Doctor Strange writer Jed MacKay if Stephen Strange and Clea were still married. When MacKay answered that they were, Cebulski replied “So Marvel doesn’t hate true love? Someone tell that to the Spider-Man fans.” Some members of the audience laughed, while other members groaned. One attendee yelled, “Too soon,” to which Cebulski replied “Too soon? It was almost 20 years ago.”
A similar moment happened during the Spider-Man: Gang War panel. During the panel, Cebulski asked if anyone had read The Invincible Iron Man #10. The issue features the wedding between Tony Stark and Emma Frost. “See, Marvel isn’t afraid to bring people together,” Cebulski said.
It’s interesting to note that in both cases, Cebulski was the one to bring up the Spider-Marriage. Why open that door? Was he just having fun, or is the marriage on his mind? Is this Marvel’s subtle way of hinting at the marriage returning (probably not)? Or is C.B. Cebulski tired of fans asking about the marriage? Whatever the reason may be, Cebulski bringing it up unprompted in two separate panels is curious.
To be fair, C.B. Cebulski isn’t the only one bringing up the Spider-Man marriage. Every time Marvel holds a Spider-Man panel at a convention, the obligatory “will Spider-Man and Mary Jane get remarried” question always comes up during the fan q-n-a segment. During C2E2 Cebulski was asked if Marvel had a mandate to keep Spidey unmarried. “It’s not a mandate, but it’s a preference,” Cebulski said at the time.
Why are we still talking about Spider-Man’s marriage 16 years after its dissolution? Perhaps it’s due to recent events in Spider-Man’s life. During Nick Spencer’s Spider-Man run, Peter got back together with Mary Jane, and there were pages of him planning to pop the question. Spencer’s run ended in 2021 without Peter giving Mary Jane the engagement ring, and when Zeb Wells’ run began in Amazing Spider-Man #1 (2022), the couple had broken up after a time-skip forward.
The first year of Wells' run revolved around the mystery of why Peter and Mary Jane had broken up, and how she had gotten together with her partner Paul. There were even some teases about killing Mary Jane off, but (instead Ms. Marvel died, but then got better). All of the drama surrounding Peter and MJ’s relationship has probably renewed talk of their marriage among fandom.
Is Cebulski poking the metaphorical bear by making these comments at panels? Perhaps, or maybe he’s just addressing the elephant in the room. Spider-Man’s marriage to Mary Jane may not have lasted forever, but it appears the discourse surrounding it will.