Mary Jane Watson

Happy Valentine’s Day

I’m busy pitching woo with the one I love, so to tide you over here are a bunch of comics or semi-comics pictures celebrating love and the Holiday That Hallmark Built. Enjoy!

Lois Lane debuts with Superman in Action Comics #1 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, June 1938. Clark Kent pines for Lois but she only has eyes for the Man of Steel. And the superhero genre's psychological issues with identity and romance are off and running.

Archie Comics #3, Summer 1942, art by Harry Sahle features one of comics' classic love triangles. Will Archie choose Betty or Veronica?


Uh oh. My marriage might be official again.

Over two years ago (!), Marvel Comics had a goofy story in Amazing Spider-Man where a devil-like demon called Mephisto basically erased Peter Parker’s marriage to Mary Jane Watson. They had been married for 20 years and just like that it was gone. Comic geeks across the world were outraged.

Not to be left out of the indignation, in an act of fever-induced inspiration I announced the erasing of my own marriage in protest. Both Spider-Man and I have been web-swinging bachelors ever since. (Yes, I can make webs. What of it?)

Well it looks like the gig might soon be up. Marvel Comics released a publicity image for a Spider-Man story to take place some time this year, and it looks like the marriage might live again. If so, I guess I’ll have to get “re-married”. Bummer. And I was having so much fun with my communicable diseases.

See, this is what’s great about superhero comics. If something stupid happens, just wait a year or so and it’ll be undone. Character arcs are for chumps.

(Click here to look at the enbiggified version at Comic Book Resources)

(Wait a minute, is that a baby in the background? Oh yeah that’s right. In the ’90s, Peter and Mary Jane had a baby who mysteriously vanished in some weird plane hijacking incident. Both parents got over it real quick because Marvel figured superhero fans might get bummed out reading about mourning parents for a few years.)

If Spider-Man is no longer married…

Late last year Marvel Comics released a storyline in their flagship Amazing Spider-Man comic book series that clumsily erased Peter Parker’s 1987 marriage to Mary Jane Watson. All sorts of geek outrage ensued at the time. I guess it sort of still rages. The whole thing was rather silly but hey, them’s comics. But sometimes you don’t really care enough until it effects you personally.

Last week, while lying in bed wishing I was dead from a pretty tough cold, I noticed two red boxes on top of our bedroom bookcase. I had almost forgotten about them. And then it all came falling into place in typical comic book melodrama.

The two red boxes each held one doll (or “action figure” if you prefer) of Spider-Man and Mary Jane from their comic book wedding originally depicted in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. The dolls were gifts. The occasion for the gifts? My wedding.

And now… looking at the dolls… and knowing that their wedding never really happened… it feels like my own wedding didn’t happen. November 10, 2006 was the happiest day of my life. But now… it just feels like an empty lie.

And that’s why, as of now, I’m single again. That’s right, if Spider-Man is no longer married, then neither am I.

I know this is probably an awkward way for everyone, including my wife – er, my girlfriend – to find out, but I thought it was the best way to get the word out, especially considering the late notice. Technically, this will be retroactively in effect since December 28, 2007, when the offending issue was originally released.

I hope all of the people at Marvel Comics will think long and hard about the next relationship they destroy.

I’d like to thank my flu for helping me see the light before it was too late.