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Rider Paladin

Spider-Man has had some pretty iconic love interests in the comics and as represented by other media. As of the last couple of decades, a certain fiery redheaded bombshell named Mary Jane Watson has been seen as Peter Parker's truest love, at least by those who don't see the long-dead Gwen Stacy as such. Before I go into too much detail, I'd like to make a short history of Peter Parker's loves.

The first was Liz Allan, a popular girl in Midtown High whom the geeky Peter Parker could never hope to win, at least not until a spider bite and some nighttime costumed heroics gave him the confidence to start coming out of his shell. By the time Liz got interested in him, he'd already moved on to Betty Brant, a young secretary at the Daily Bugle where he worked as a photographer snapping pictures of his web-slinging alter ego in action. Alas, that relationship did not last much longer, as Betty grew fearful of Peter's safety and that he was taking too many risks that she could not bear to watch him die from. In college, he gained the eye of Gwen Stacy, whose ire he had earlier earned by unknowingly rejecting her advances while in the throes of deep depression over his Aunt May's worsening condition. Eventually, they would become college sweethearts, seemingly on the fast track to marriage and a relationship that would last the rest of their lives . . . until the Green Goblin interfered by kidnapping Gwen Stacy and hurling her to her death from the Brooklyn Bridge to spite his longtime adversary, something that would leave a deep psychological scar on Peter for years to come.

In the 1980s, he would make his acquaintance with a cat burglar in a skintight cat-suit going by the name of "Black Cat." As it turned out, the Black Cat had committed many of her thefts simply in hopes of gaining Spider-Man's attention, for she was madly in love with him. Spider-Man played on that to convince her to turn her life around and become a costumed crime-fighter and protector of the innocent like himself, but her thrill-seeking ways and refusal to accept the man behind Spider-Man's mask ultimately meant the death of their relationship.

Eventually, Peter would come back to Mary Jane Watson, whom he'd first met as a blind date set up by their aunts. They'd hit it off quickly at first, but Peter's secretiveness and seeming unreliability and Mary Jane's own flightiness and seeming unwillingness to commit continually drove a wedge between them, at least until the day both their secrets came into the light. Mary Jane revealed that she had known all along that he was Spider-Man and had been reluctant to maintain a relationship with him because she couldn't bear the thought of waiting for him to come home at night and finding out on the news that he had been killed by one of his enemies or by some crook who'd gotten off a lucky shot. She also revealed that her inability to commit had stemmed from deep emotional wounds caused by witnessing her father and her older sister's husband abuse her mother and older sister, and she had projected the facade of a party girl so that no one would see how much she hurt inside. As Peter was ultimately able to help her face down the ghosts of her past and move on from them, she decided to take a chance on him and marry him . . . a marriage that lasted 20 years in real time. Even after the editorially forced dissolution of said marriage by a deal with Mephisto, the Marvel Universe's resident Devil figure, to save Aunt May's life in the wake of a fatal gunshot by a sniper aiming at Spider-Man, Peter and Mary Jane still held deep feelings for each other, and many within the fanbase, myself included, still hoped that they would ultimately get back together.

In the wake of the dissolution of Peter and Mary Jane's marriage, Peter found himself with new love interests seeking his hand, from the unassuming forensic scientist Carlie Cooper to the fiery Michele Gonzales to the intrepid reporter Norah Winters to the sultry and mysterious Lily Hollister and to even a fellow superhero by the name of Ms. Marvel. Of course, the personality clashes between Peter and Michele ultimately drove them apart, particularly after the Chameleon's brief impersonation of Peter further complicated an already-strained relationship, while Norah ultimately got together with Randy Robertson and Lily Hollister had been seduced by Norman Osborn, whose mysteriously resurrected son Harry had been dating her. Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man went on a few dates and seemed to bond well with each other, mostly in tie-ins and her own series as penned by Brian Reed, but it was Carlie Cooper who won Peter's affections, much to the ire of many Spider-Man fans who saw Carlie as a shoehorned Mary Sue and would have preferred Ms. Marvel if not for him to get back with Mary Jane.

Speaking of that, Carlie and Peter's relationship came to an end when Spider-Island came, with Carlie gaining spider-powers of her own during the infection and later piecing together that Peter himself was Spider-Man all along, having been just "too good" at using his supposedly "newfound" spider-powers. Angry that he had lied to her just like his father and her former best friend Lily had, Carlie broke it off with Peter, whose connection with Mary Jane had been reignited by the events of Spider-Island as she, too, had gained spider-powers and worked with him and other superheroes to fight back the spider-infected controlled by the Queen until the cure to said infection could be disseminated to everyone. At this point, it is unknown where exactly Peter stands with Mary Jane or Carlie; he and Carlie are reluctantly working together, with Carlie as his contact on the force a la "Commissioner Gordon and Batman if they'd once been romantically involved" and Mary Jane having privately confessed to herself that she still loves Peter. Whether either of these relationships will be resumed is for another time, but here is where we can debate about them all, and while we may all have our opinions about which lady is ultimately right for our gallant web-headed hero, the least we can do is be civil to one another and debate with respect and courtesy.

3/13/2012 #1
I believe that unless the girl/boyfriend also has powers or something, a superhero/heroine should stay single.
5/3/2012 #2
KKD Silver

I see, so that way, the superhero/heroine doesn't have to fuss over protecting those with in the middle of the fight as much as they would for those without them.

5/3/2012 #3

That's way i liked Ultimate Peter parker and Kitty pride being a couple.

5/3/2012 #4
Kitty Pride? Like as in X-Men Kitty Pride? (Sorry; I didn't read the comic books.)
5/3/2012 #5
Rider Paladin
Uh-huh, the one and only. A lot of Ultimate Spider-Man fans even wished Kitty and Peter had stayed together as opposed to him going back to Mary Jane. (Or "Mary Plain," as the Black Cat once snidely called her out of jealousy.) Funny enough, according to some accounts, Kitty had a crush on Spider-Man in her early days on the X-Men in the main Marvel canon.
5/3/2012 #6

Really? i did not know that.

5/4/2012 #7
Rider Paladin

Well, that's by some accounts, which may or may not have been retcons or fanfics confusing Ultimate Marvel with Marvel-616 canon.

5/4/2012 #8

I see...Also Ms Marvel has been showing alot of interest in Spidey later and with her now Captain Marvel series i wonder if they'll explore more on her attraction to spidey.

5/4/2012 #9
Rider Paladin

Yeah. Issue 9 of Avenging Spider-Man is a team-up between Ms. Marvel, newly promoted to Captain Marvel, and Spider-Man, and the cover features Spider-Man hanging onto Captain Marvel for support while she hovers proudly in the air blocking bullets with her very invulnerable body with fighter jets in the background. It is going to be so awesome . . . I hope. And speaking of love interests for Spider-Man, as of Amazing Spider-Man #685, Part 4 of "Ends of the Earth," Silver Sable has admitted that she has strong feelings for Spider-Man, who is not quite ready to reciprocate because he's rediscovered his love for Mary Jane.

5/4/2012 #10

Seriously...wait i doubt he and Mary Jane will get back together mostly cause a certain deal they made with a certain devil is still in effect.

5/4/2012 #11
Rider Paladin

The deal can always be rescinded. Doesn't necessarily mean they get back together, or if they do, that it'll be in quite the way fans want, but it does seem to me that events in the comics are moving in favor of them getting back together.

5/4/2012 #12

Hopefully...don't get me wrong i like MJ but now that they're not married anymore its time for some options for the Web head.

5/4/2012 #13
Rider Paladin

Yeah. I'm cool with Peter and MJ getting back together if that's how it works out in the end, but I wouldn't be averse to some Spidey/Ms. Marvel or Spidey/Sable romance. Him being paired with either of the currently active Spider-Women (Jessica Drew or Julia Carpenter) would be pretty awesome, too. And I am somewhat a fan of Spider-Man/X-23 . . . albeit only when she's legal, or he's in one of his teenage incarnations.

5/4/2012 #14

Yeah matter of fact...What started the whole Peter and X-23 thing i mean ever since i discovered this website Spider-Man/X-23 is really popular.

5/4/2012 #15
Rider Paladin

Check out "Snikt Thwip" by Caike in the Spider-Man/X-Men crossover section. That's likely where it began, at least for me.

5/4/2012 #16

I did read that it was one of first X-23/Spider-Man story i read and honestly i could totally see Peter being like that to X-23 if they were a couple in the books.

5/4/2012 #17
Rider Paladin

Yeah. Speaking of Spider-Man/X-23, I'm personally into Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly or Kaine)/X-23, given that they're both clones and as such can relate to each other in that sense, struggling with their sense of identity and self-worth (Ben, Kaine, and Laura/X-23) and trying to find some measure of redemption for the horrible things they've done in their pasts (Kaine and Laura). I once had an idea for a story that would have been along the lines of, "What would have happened if Ben or Kaine had found Laura after she escaped from the Facility?"

5/4/2012 #18

I like that i mostly perfer Kaine only cause i find his background more realatable to Laura i can see if she met Kaine she might follow him around for awhile and something happens along the lines that cause them to part ways.

5/4/2012 #19
Rider Paladin

That would be interesting. They might even wind up as each other's only links to humanity after spending their entire lives used and abused and being made to kill, which would complicate things if Laura brings him to Debbie and Megan Kinney's home and whenever Laura gets around to meeting Logan.

5/5/2012 #20

Yeah if i get around to using Kaine in of my fics i think i'll pair him up with Laura.

5/5/2012 #21
Rider Paladin

That would be cool.

5/5/2012 #22
CMR Rosa

I like to see a Peter Parker and Jessica Jones story, they would go to the same school and team up as superheros.

6/21/2012 #23
Rider Paladin

That would be interesting, and I can't believe I forgot about her. She did have a pretty strong crush on Peter when they were in high school, although Peter was largely unaware of her existence and their paths moved in separate directions when they gained their superpowers. I did find it amusing when he unmasked for the New Avengers during Dark Reign to prove he was the real Spider-Man and not a Skrull impostor or something else like the Spider-Man on Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers (Venom using drugs to revert to "black-suit Spider-Man" form), and Jessica blurted out that she used to have a crush on him in high school.

Speaking of love interests for Spider-Man, the Ends of the Earth story arc in the current comics has sadly ended with Silver Sable's death, as Rhino drowned her and himself on the ship Doc Ock was sinking to spite Spider-Man for failing to save his wife Oksana during the arc introducing a "new Rhino" and reintroducing Aleksei Systeyvich (not sure how to spell his name) as Rhino. Also, Ock's real plan was to burn the world to a cinder; he was just going to leave a few tens of thousands alive to carry on his memory and establish his legacy as the world's biggest monster, and Rhino was in on it all along because after the death of his aforementioned wife, he'd come to hate the world so intensely that he'd rather it (and he) not exist anymore. Drowning Silver Sable along with himself was revenge on Spider-Man for his failure to save Oksana, to "take" something from Spidey the way Rhino felt the world had taken Oksana from him.

6/21/2012 #24

I think that Michele should come back, I mean sure Peter and her have had some ups and downs, but they left on good terms and whose to say they can't come back on good terms, right?

7/7/2012 #25
Rider Paladin

That could be interesting, especially since she's slated to reappear in Daredevil and Daredevil and Spider-Man are good buddies, so Peter might just encounter her again on his next visit to DD while wearing the webs. Would be absolutely hilarious to read Daredevil's interpretation of Spider-Man's reactions to her.

7/8/2012 #26
i have read some where that x-23 is actually in her 20's cause she has that healing factor and wasn't she a prostitute in her comic book or something??
8/1/2012 #27
Rider Paladin

Actually, X-23 is officially 16 years old and will likely remain as much for the foreseeable future because of her healing factor retarding her aging just like it did for Wolverine --- but then again, you'd think that would wait until she'd reached her full physical development by 20 or 21. All the same, due to the sliding time-scale, X-23 will likely still be 16 for the foreseeable future, anyway. And yes, she was a prostitute in the NYX comic book series where she made her debut, but afterwards it's not really mentioned that much if at all and considering that her specialty was cutting masochistic clients with her claws, who knows if she actually had intercourse with them?

8/2/2012 #28
CMR Rosa

While on comic vine I look up Joy Mercado, she was a reporter for the Daily Bugle and one-time partner and potential love interest of Peter Parker, they shared many journeys, and even a few dates, while working on stories together across the globe and due to Spider-Man's constant arrival in unusual places and Joy's keen investigative skills coupled with her constant alibis for Peter she may have been very aware of Spider-Man's secret identity, she just disappeared in the comics but I would like to see that character back, maybe in a alternate universe or a fanfiction or maybe the character can make a comeback, what do you think of her?

10/4/2012 #29
Rider Paladin

Thanks for reminding me. Joy Mercado could do well to make a reappearance in the Spider-Man comics, although perhaps it would be more interesting if she appeared in Venom or Scarlet Spider. The writer could just say that the reason we didn't see her anymore in the Spider-Man comics was that she moved to a different city, Philadelphia for Venom (since that's where he's going after Minimum Carnage) or Houston for Scarlet Spider. In both cases, having her interact with a "Spider-Man" that is starkly different from the one she's more familiar with while being an erstwhile member of Peter's supporting cast would make for some good character interactions, particularly with Kaine meeting Joy and being mistaken for Peter by her.

10/4/2012 #30
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