Characters / Spider-Man: Love Interests

This page is for all the girls Peter has been with in the past and present of the Spider-Man comics, by order of appearance in the comic books.

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    Liz Allan 

Debut: Amazing Fantasy #15

Liz Allan is one of the first romantic interests for Peter in the Midtown High School. Unfortunately (or fortunately) for Peter, she is Flash Thompson’s girlfriend at the time and thinks next to nothing of Peter. However, after she hears an ailing Peter had donned a Spider-Man costume in order to save Betty Brant from Doctor Octopus, she develops a crush on him and clash with Betty Brant. By this time, however, Peter's interest has waned considerably, as he notes that Liz never showed any real interest in him until he began dating Betty Brant, and assumes that Liz's feelings are little more than a schoolgirl crush. At the graduation ceremony, Liz admits her feelings to Peter, and says she has come to accept the fact that they are unrequited.

See Spider-Man: Schoolmates more info.

    Elizabeth "Betty" Brant

Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man #4

Peter's first girlfriend. She's starts off as Jameson's personal secretary, a position she took after her mother's death, which made her to drop out from high school. She starts dating Peter shortly after he starts selling pictures of Spider-man to the Bugle, attracted to his serious and formal, yet sweet demeanor.

However, Peter's life as Spider-Man started to put a heavy strain on their relationship, specially after her brother got killed by accident during a showdown with Dr. Octopus. Eventually, they break up, although on friendly terms and their relationship evolves into a more sibling-like one. A few years later, she marries Bugle reporter Ned Leeds, who at first looked like he could provide Betty the quiet, uncomplicated married life for which she was looking. However, her marriage is a bumpy one due to Ned's constant work overseas, and she leaves him during a long assignment in Paris. Feeling alone, Betty tries to get back together with Peter, who at the time had just broken up with Mary Jane (for the first time), but Ned follows her back to New York and puts a stop to it.

Eventually, she manages to work things out with her husband and save their marriage, but their life together gets utterly destroyed during one of the first Hobgoblin sagas, in which Ned died and Betty almost went insane. However, she was able to recover; after that she decided to become a journalist herself.

Currently, she's one of the Bugle's boldest reporters and has a relationship with Flash Thompson.

  • Alliterative Name: Betty Brant.
  • Betty and Veronica: Literally the Betty to Liz's Veronica.
  • Clear Their Name: She cleared the name of her dead husband, Ned Leeds, when she revealed that Roderick Kingsley was the real Hobgoblin (Ned was brainwashed in believe to be Hobglobin by Kingsley).
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: She was really afraid of losing Peter to other girls during her earlier years.
  • Damsel in Distress: She has a habit of being abducted by supervillains.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Betty suffered a complete mental breakdown after the news of Ned's death reached her and suffered denial believing him to still be alive. In her state a young recruiter from the Cult of Love was able to persuade her to join their faction under a leader called the Teacher where she was programmed in their ways. The Teacher turned out to be nothing more than a con artist conning people out of their possessions. Fortunately Flash and Spider-Man figured this out and saved Betty, though she lost everything she owned and had to take up residence with Flash Thompson.
  • First Love: To Peter. Many people often consider Gwen Stacy to be Peter Parker's very first love, forgetting that Betty Brant dated him long before he met Gwen.
  • Important Haircut: Got a page-boy cut after her brother died.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Betty's new career and she easily rivals Lois Lane for her skill and fearlessness.
  • Lost in Imitation: She's Peter Parker's first girlfriend but don't expect to see that in too many adaptions since the idea of a high school student dating a secretary is a bit squicky (should be noted in the original comics she was younger than Peter because she had to drop out of high school to work but that's not really a thing anymore) though various adaptations play with it. In the Raimi films she obviously has a fondness for Peter and is sort of his cheerleader while JJJ bullies him. Also, Peter has a crush on her in the The Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon, but she turns him down gently because she's too old for him (in this adaptation, Peter is 16 and Betty 20).
  • Platonic Life Partners: Her current relationship with Peter. She consider him her best friend.
  • Satellite Love Interest: During her relationship with Peter. See the trope below for more information.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: In the early days of the comics, this was her defining characteristic. She didn't want to date any badboys or daredevils. She just wanted a simple relationship. This was the source of her attraction to Peter. When Peter, from Betty's perspective, start exhibiting bad boy traits, she dumped him.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: She had a brief affair with Peter and Flash Thompson when she was married to Ned Leeds (during this time Ned was much hostile because of the Hobglobin personality).
  • Took a Level in Badass: Following her husband Ned's death, Betty checked out for a while. Once she got her head together, she reinvented herself, going from the Bugle's harried secretary to a fearless reporter in her own right, willing to go toe-to-toe with supervillains and monsters if required. Recent adaptations that include Betty tend to start from this characterization, to the point where a lot of newer fans won't recognize her at all if they go back and read her pre-1989 appearances.

    Gwendolyne "Gwen" Stacy

Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man #31

Peter's first girlfriend during his college years. Although Betty Brant was his first formal girlfriend, Gwen was the first girl that Peter truly loved.

Ironically, in her first appearances she was way different from the character people remember. Formerly known as the "beauty queen" of Standard High School in New York City, Gwen Stacy went to college at that same city’s Empire State University, where she majored in biochemistry. Over there, she had half of the male population on campus practically eating out of her hand. All except Peter Parker, who didn't seem to mind her at all. And although that was because he was dealing with more important stuff (namely, Aunt May's life being in danger during the "If this be my destiny" storyline), Gwen took it the wrong way and interpreted it as Peter thinking she was beneath him. Nevertheless, she couldn't help but starting to feel attracted to the only man she couldn't charm right away.

Of course, this started to change when Peter sorted out his problems (for the time being, that is) and started to notice Gwen. However, this happened at the exact same time as Mary Jane entered the scene, which prompted the famous Betty and Veronica triangle that lasted for a while. Eventually, Peter chose Gwen and started a serious relationship.

However, although Gwen was madly in love with Peter and viceversa, she ended up hating Spider-Man, which put a lot of strain on the relationship. Specially after the death of Gwen's dad, Captain George Stacy, who was accidentally killed during a fight with Dr. Octopus. They started to drift apart and eventually Gwen moved to London, where she had an affair with Norman Osborn, giving birth to twins. Incapable of being apart from Peter, she came back after a few months, which strengthened their love more than ever.

And then, The Night Gwen Stacy Died happened.

Her death at the hands of the Green Goblin was a deeply traumatic experience for Peter. Not only because she lost the woman he loved, but also because he failed spectacularly at rescuing hernote . Just like Uncle Ben, Gwen became another ghost to haunt him, and it took years for him to fully recover.

See also Spider-Gwen, for her alternate reality counterpart who has become Spider-Woman of Earth-65.

  • First Love: Depending on the Writer. Despite Peter has dated Betty before her, Gwen is portrayed like his first real love by many writers.
  • Girl Next Door: Played. As portrayed in the comics, Gwen came from an upper-class background, her first boyfriend, Harry, was the son of a millionaire and in her first appearance she was introduced as a high-school beauty queen. However, as she became the Betty to Mary Jane's Veronica, she moved into this category and many fans remembering her with this status.
  • Hates My Secret Identity: Inversion. She love Peter, but hate Spider-Man blaming for the death of her father, George Stacy (killed by falling debris during a battle involving Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus).
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Trope Namer, obviously. Gwen's death is one of the most traumatic events in Peter's entire life, and the memory of it comes back to haunt him on more than one occasion.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: She is shown to have some pretty curvy hips and a voluptuous body that's nearly as sexy as MJ's body.
  • Killed Off for Real: She's pretty much the only major character in the whole series who has been killed and stayed dead.
  • The Lost Lenore: To Peter, especially since he was the one who accidentally killed her.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She is a very beautiful blonde haired woman who has a voluptuous body (that's nearly as sexy as MJ's body), well-endowed breasts, an Impossible Hourglass Figure, and has the tendency of wearing outfits and skirts (along with thigh-high socks and boots) that show off her body and well-toned long yet shapely legs
  • My Secret Pregnancy: Was retconned into having had one of these courtesy of Norman Osborn - the man who later killed her - during the "Sins Past" storyline. When Gwen learned she was pregnant, she decided to raise the children with Peter, so Norman killed her and raised them himself. Naturally for many, it's Fanon Discontinuity.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: One way to really piss Peter off is to besmirch her name.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: She was every bit of a science geek as Peter while still looking like an absolute bombshell.
  • Pretty Spry for a Dead Guy: It's teased that she's actually alive a couple of times, only for it to revealed to be a clone or something each time.
  • Retcon:
    • The infamous Sins Past story establishes that Norman Osborn and Gwen Stacy had a son and daughter, Gabriel Stacy and Sarah Stacy.
    • A minor one that changes a character's entire motivations in Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy. The Night Gwen Stacy Died is changed to reveal that, before the Goblin knocked her over, Gwen Stacy had woken up and heard Spidey call himself "Peter". She automatically hates both because of what happened to her father. In issue 4, however, when Peter finally confronts Gwen (or better, another clone with her last memoirs), she does say that she forgives him and, in a tie-in, she admits that she's still in love with Peter, but she feels betrayed by him being Spider-Man, though she understands why he does what he does.
  • Sex for Solace: When she had her affair with Norman, her father had recently died, her boyfriend Peter had become distant, and her friend Harry had overdosed on LSD.
  • She's Got Legs: Gwen has very gorgeous well-toned long yet shapely legs that are usually emphasized through the skirts, thigh-high socks and boots that she wears.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: For someone who's best known for being one of the first love interests killed in super-hero history, Gwen always seems to survive outisde of the comics (as seen in the Spider-Man Trilogy, Spider-Man: The Animated Series or The Spectacular Spider-Man).
  • They Killed Kenny: All her clones, created by the Jackal, end always killed. Even Joyce Delaney (her first clone) who, after many years, started finally a new life...end killed by another Gwen's clone, Abby-L, in Spider-Island.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: She is treated this way in retrospect. Before her death she was a more well-rounded character who was actually allowed to have flaws like a real human being, but the way she's spoken of nowadays has earned the sarcastic nickname "St. Gwen."
  • Tsundere: Her original characterization. Initially, with Aunt May in the hospital, Peter is troubled and ignores her advances. Furious, she dates both Flash Thompson and Harry Osborn.
  • Two First Names: Gwen and Stacy are both common given names.
  • Uptown Girl: What the character actually is. While Peter is a poor kid from Queens trying to help his Aunt May pay the bills and make rent, she's a well to do high society girl whose father, a retired NYPD captain, hangs around media tycoon J. Jonah Jameson and industrialist Norman Osborn.
  • Woman Scorned: Initially was upset that Peter gave her the cold shoulder upon their first meeting (which he did because he was worried about Aunt May's illness).
  • Your Cheating Heart: Hooked up with the middle-aged Norman Osborn during a time when Peter was being distant, among other personal crisis's and got knocked up with his twins. Womp. Womp.

    Mary Jane Watson

Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man #25

"Face it Tiger... you just hit the jackpot!"

Mary Jane (or MJ) was the wife of Peter Parker (for some people she still is). If anything, she has, by far, the most complex development throughout the series.

She was first mentioned on Amazing Spider-Man #15 by Aunt May, who wanted to set her and Peter up for a blind date. Aunt May's neighbor, Anna Watson, was MJ's aunt, and she and May both agreed they'd make a good couple. Something that Peter wasn't exactly thrilled about, since, first, he was dating Betty Brant at that point, and second, because he thought that Mary Jane "needing" to be set up on a blind date meant she had to be ugly, obnoxious or both. Hence, Peter tried to avoid the date for as long as he could.

MJ wouldn't appear until issue #25, although Lee and Ditko never showed her face as a tease. Something that would be repeated a couple of times until she finally appeared in issue #42, designed and drawn by John Romita Sr.

At first, Lee intended to use her only to be a rival for Gwen Stacy, who was his favorite of the two at the time. This created the famous Betty and Veronica love triangle between the three. When Peter eventually chose Gwen, MJ started and on-and-off relationship with Harry Osborn, serving as some sort of Beta Couple.

After Gwen's tragic death, MJ began to get closer to Peter, they fell in love and (after some on-and-off dynamics) finally married. Together they survived many crises, some of them really horrible.

Another noteworthy thing about her is that she always knew Peter was Spider-Man, even from before they officially met. She was visiting her aunt the night Uncle Ben died, and she saw Peter dressed up as Spider-Man leaving the Parker's house. However, she tried to convince herself that she had just imagined it, and it wasn't until much later that she accepted and, after knowing Peter, fell in love with him. Still, albeit she never revealed his identity to anyone, she didn't confess to Peter that she knew until several months after their first break-up (Comic-Book Time, that is. It was several years in Real Life, making this a Revision).

Her most well-known life period could be either as a girlfriend of Peter Parker in college aspiring to be an actress and model, or as the wife of Peter Parker where she is an actual model and actress. Sadly, after some unfortunate events at the end of Civil War, her marriage with Peter ended and she left New York after that, being the only person (besides Peter) who remembers the unmasking fiasco during the Civil War. (Long story, don't ask...)

Later on, she returned and she and Peter started to see each other again, but only as good friends. Eventually, she became the owner of a nightclub, but she got caught in the events of Superior Spider-Man, so that didn't last long. At the end of the storyline, she decided to distance herself from Peter in order to avoid his dangerous life and to finally start living her own. Thus, she moved to Chicago to start a new nightclub, hoping that in that city she wouldn't have to deal with superheroes nor villains.

After that plan... didn't work out either, MJ became a supporting character in Iron Man, as Tony Stark's new personal assistant.

  • '80s Hair: When Todd MacFarlane drew her in the late 80s
  • Abusive Parents: Her dad, Philip Watson, was a successful college professor who wanted to become a writer. Problem was he wasn't any good at it. He kept trying though. Meanwhile, bills for his daughter Gail's ballet lessons were getting more and more expensive, until one day Philip lashed out at his family, blamed them for his inability to write, and struck his daughter. His wife instantly took her kids and left him, being forced to move around from one unsupportive relative to another afterward. And then Philip actually went and sued her for desertion, before severing all ties with her and his daughters anyway.
  • Action Girl: She may not be a superhero, but it's your funeral if you try to harm this chick.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Got hit pretty hard by this in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man Trilogy. She got kidnapped so many times that people who aren't familiar with her original comic book portrayal think she's just another regular Damsel in Distress.
  • Affectionate Nickname: She often calls Peter "Tiger". Why does she call him that, despite him being more of a spider? No reason. She just likes it.
  • Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: Her counterpart in the Renew Your Vows universe is an Action Mom that fight villains, thanks to a suit that emulates Spider-Man powers, with Peter and their daughter Annie.
  • Betty and Veronica: Formed this, being the Veronica with the good girl Gwen Stacy being the Betty. Was actually the Betty when she found herself in this situation again with Black Cat.
  • Blind Date: How she met Peter and was introduced to the book.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: With Betty Brant and Gwen back in the day.
  • Big Bra to Fill: Mary Jane is one of the curviest non-superheroic females in the entire Marvel universe. In Sam Raimi's film series she was portrayed by Kirsten Dunst, who doesn't quite have the body Mary Jane in the comics does (but few real life people do). Maybe not quite, but as that scene in the rain proves Dunst is far from flat-chested. She's closer to her character's comic book proportions than just about any other Hollywood actress would be.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the storyline "Power Play", MJ dons the old Iron Spider costume to aid Spidey and Iron Man in their fight against Regent. Afterwards, she tells reporters catching her in action that that was her first and only play in the role of heroics (although she already played a similar role in Spider-Island).
  • Buxom Is Better: Mary Jane has some very buxom breasts.
  • Catchphrase: "Face it, tiger — you just hit the jackpot."note 
  • Character Development: One of, if not the most and best developed character in the supporting cast. The first notable moment occurs when she decides to stay with Peter whilst he is grieving over Gwen's death. Amazing Spider-Man #259 delves a good deal into her past.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Back in the Lee/Romita days, she was a bit... out there. Even the modern era she can have her moments, they just tend to be downplayed because we usually know she's kidding or what her motivations are.
  • Commitment Issues: Had this vice because of the bad relationships both her parents and her sister and brother-in-law had. Peter proposed to her about three times before she said yes. A large part of her character development was overcoming this.
  • Damsel out of Distress: She's not kidnapped very often (even if some adaptations might make you think otherwise), but when she does, she never stays put. There are even more than a few examples where she saves herself with no help from Spidey whatsoever. Or even better, she ends up saving him instead.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She's every bit as good at snarking as Peter.
  • Demonic Possession: On one occasion, she was possessed by Red Sonja and battled Kulan Gath, but she has no memory of those events.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Her later iterations frequently portray her barefoot and in torn jeans.
  • Dude Magnet: No surprise, she is one of most beautiful women in the Marvel Universe and a Running Gag (when she and Peter was married) was that Peter's friends or old schoolmates discovered that he was married to a supermodel and became jealous. Besides this, before Peter, she had dated Harry Osborn and, after One More Day, had some brief relationships. This has also become a problem when she attracts some dangerous stalker.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: During the Spider-Island arc.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The famous panel with her first appearance is pictured on the trope page for Comic Books.
  • The Faceless: For a while she was never seen or her face was obscured, not until Romita's Sr.'s run did we see the jackpot. As noted elsewhere, it took slightly longer to see her face than it did to find out who the Green Goblin was!
  • The Fashionista: Although as noted on that trope's page, she's an unusual example in that outside of her interest in fashion and her very girly appearance, she's a bit of a tomboy with an interest in sports. She has used her fashion design and sewing skills on many occasions to make and repair Spider-Man's costumes. She also designed the Hornet, Prodigy, and Ricochet costumes.
  • Fiery Redhead: Oh, boy, is she ever! Right from her very first appearance she stood out from the rest of the supporting cast due to her lively personality.
  • Fun Personified: Until some hidden depths were revealed and we latter find out it was mostly an act to hide the pain brought on by her abusive childhood, anyway. She's still a fun character though, just not in a way that it's her only defining trait or that makes her seem like she doesn't care about anything.
  • The Ghost: Early on in the series, she was mentioned for dozens of issues, but was never seen until the final panel of issue #40.
  • Girly Bruiser: A Model/Actress with self defense training from Captain America; you do the math.
  • Happily Married: For nearly twenty years in real time to Peter. And then Mephisto came. Stan Lee kept her married to Peter in the newspaper strip, whilst Tom DeFalco kept them married in the Spider-Girl books.
  • Hello, Nurse!: The exact thing that Peter was not expecting when he opened the door to her for the first time. Hit the jackpot, he did indeed.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Not only is she the Trope Codifier for comic books, she's also arguably THE most iconic example in Western popular culture.
  • Heroic Bystander: Many times (just check the awesome moments page!). Just some examples:
    • Spider-Man was being overwhelmed by a demonic Hobgoblin in the sewers of New York, until Mary Jane lights his cape on fire. While Hobgoblin is distracted, Spider-Man throws the flaming villain a large pile of demon-possessed sewage, causing an explosion that defeats both monsters.
    • When Mary Jane was kidnapped by a Stalker with a Crush named Jonathan Caesar, Spider-Man tried to rescue her. Caesar responded by sending a pair of mercenaries named Styx and Stone after our hero, who nearly killed him until Mary Jane escaped from Caesar and his goons on her own and used the gun she stole to scare away the mercenaries.
    • A fashion show Mary Jane attended was crashed by the White Rabbit, who was there to collect a debt she was owed by one of the partygoers. With no one else willing or able to do it, Mary Jane subdued the White Rabbit herself.
  • Hidden Depths: Up until she stayed with Peter after Gwen's death, she was never shown to do anything seriously. Readers would also later learn about her abusive father and that her party girl attitude was an act to keep people from finding out how screwed-up her personal life was.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: MJ has pretty curvy hips and a voluptuous body.
  • Ironic Echo: When May and Anna Watson were trying to set them up on a blind date, Peter resisted - thinking Mary Jane must be some pathetic teen that couldn't possibly get a date without help. Turns out in Parallel Lives, Mary Jane had said the same things about him. Interestingly, a Valentine's Day special published in the 90s revealed that despite thinking this, MJ had always had feelings for him.
  • Keep the Home Fires Burning: Many issues focus on her conflicted feelings of being supportive towards Peter and her fear that this could be the time he doesn't make it back.
  • Literally Loving Thy Neighbor: With Peter (though if you want to be technical about it, it's more like "literally loving thy aunt's neighbor").
  • The Medic: She was usually the person who provides first aid when Peter's injured.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Has the most voluptuous body of any non-superhero in the entire Marvel Universe, and knows it. Artists are repeatedly drawing her at the best angles to show us her... assets. Her case is justified: she's an actress/model, it's literally her job to be hot. Still, while most superheroines have an Impossible Hourglass Figure, MJ is almost always a Buxom Is Better crossed with Male Gaze and She's Got Legs, and doesn't have the superpowers to justify it.
    • Most fans will attest that Mary Jane fit the Trope most during Todd McFarlane's run on Amazing Spider-Man; he did several "cheesecake" shots of female characters, and as the most visible member of the supporting cast, she had most of them, the art during his run giving her a sudden preference for midriff revealing tops and dangerously daring necklines.
  • Muggle Best Friend: When she's not the Love Interest.
  • Official Couple: Was this with Peter until One More Day. Let's just say the fans were not happy with the end of their official couple status and leave it at that.
  • Only Known by Initials: Characters usually call her "MJ."
  • Outdated Outfit: Naturally, as the most fashion-conscious member of the cast, she falls victim to this the most as time passes.
  • Painted-On Pants: She really likes her tight pants.
  • Plucky Girl: Although she's gone through some rough patches and worries more than most examples of this trope, she still the type of character that will have no qualms about beating a B list hero with a baseball bat or bringing Peter out of slum with some helpful optimism.
  • Resigned to the Call: Mary Jane set up shop in Chicago, thinking it wouldn't get hit with super heroes. When a demonically-possessed Madame Masque attacks Iron Man and Doctor Doom, she's devastated over it, leading to Tony to give her a job at Stark Industries. As much as she hates the hero life, he needs a new secretary to manage his life.
  • The Reveal Prompts Romance: Subverted. When the reveal happened, they had already dated in the past and it was Mary Jane who revealed she knew the secret. They do resume their relationship shortly after that, but most stories make it clear MJ loves Peter Parker who happens to be Spider-Man, not Spider-Man who also happens to be Peter Parker.
  • Revision: The fact that she always knew Peter was Spider-Man, all the way back to the day Uncle Ben died. See Secret Secret-Keeper below. This might count as a plain old Retcon, but surprisingly enough, it only contradicts very few and far in between moments throughout her entire run up to that point.
  • Sad Clown: During her childhood. "Nothing's ever wrong with Mary-Jane Watson!"
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After the entire Superior Spider-Man fiasco, Mary Jane has had enough of superheroics and leaves New York. She ends up in Chicago, opening up a nightclub thinking "It's Chicago! There's no heroes and villains here!" Iron Man, Doctor Doom and Madamme Masque beg to differ.
  • Second Love: Peter's. Their wedding is the trope image.
  • Secret Keeper:
    • She knew Gwen had slept with Norman Osborn and gotten pregnant, and kept it a secret from Peter for years.
    • And of course, she keep's Peter's ID a secret (see below).
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: During Tom DeFalco's first run on Amazing Spider-Man, it was revealed -in Amazing Spider-Man #257- that Mary Jane was this. Parallel Lives elaborated that it was since the night Ben Parker was murdered (she had observed Peter returning home and then Spider-Man leaving through his bedroom window). Obviously, after Peter learned all this, Mary Jane was upgraded to Secret Keeper.
    MJ: You don't have to make up another one of your phony excuses, Peter! Not now—! I know the truth! The REAL truth!
    Peter: What are you talking about?
    MJ: I've known your secret for years! Up until today, I always thought I could cope with it if I ever had to experience it firsthand — but I can't! I can't—! I just can't cope with the fact that Peter Parker is secretly Spider-Man!
  • She's Got Legs: MJ has very well-toned long yet shapely legs.
  • Ship Tease/Ship Sinking: Ever since One More Day, the writers have been mercilessly teasing the possibility of Peter and MJ getting back together, only to sink the hell out of that ship...and make it float again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Both in and out of universe. Notable examples are the build up to One Moment in Time, the ending of Spider-Island followed up by Superior Spider-Man, and again the build up to Renew Your Vows and the "Power Play" story arc.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: At first, this was meant to drive home further her stunning, top-model-like beauty, in contrast to Gwen's (sightly) more Girl Next Door looks. Eventually, it doubled to reinforce her status as Peter's main love interest.
  • Smoking Is Not Cool: Mary Jane smoked as a teenager to "look cool" and quit later, but when Carnage first appeared, she started smoking out of stress, which only got worse when Peter's long-thought-dead parents showed up. After several arcs where she tried to "cope" using them, Peter used some "shock therapy" taking her to visit his one-time foil Nick Katzenberg, who was in the hospital with terminal lung cancer (having lost weight to the point of being gaunt, lost most of his hair due to chemo, coughing up blood — very typical of a cancer patient). It was enough for her to quit cold-turkey.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Peter, specially due to One More Day. Albeit they had to go through a lot of crap together since long before then.
  • Stepford Smiler: Put on the facade that she was happy when on the inside she was really upset with her childhood.
  • The Tease: Her original role in the series.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: In Superior Spider-Man she does not have the slightest suspicion that "Peter" is actually an impostor. This despite having lived (or married before OMD) with him and his alter-ego for a long time.
  • Totally Radical: In The '60s at least, to the point of nigh-incomprehensibility to some modern readers.
  • Transplant: She became a main character in the 2015 Invincible Iron Man run replacing Pepper Potts role as new Tony's personal assistant.
  • True Love Is Exceptional: MJ in her original form was not even intended to be a serious love interest by the creators. Here it took the tragic death of Gwen Stacy, which also affected Mary Jane deeply, and a few other twists and turns until the two realized how well they fit together and could finally tie the knot.
  • The Watson: Incredibly Lame Pun aside, her questions about Peter's current superhero crisis can be a pretty handy device for readers.
  • Wet Blanket Wife: She was often relegated to this role during her marriage to Peter during the 90s. Some stories had her complaining about Peter's dangerous lifestyle and often demanding that he quit. Others simply had her lamenting the violence and her husband's safety. This was especially the case in the "Maximum Carnage" storyarc, where she had no part in the plot except to cut back to her angsting in this manner. Of course, she had a good reason for her concern. Peter was endangering his life every time he went out as Spider-Man, and she was legitimately concerned for his safety. In the Maximum Carnage arc, she was angry at Peter for going out as Spider-Man only mere hours after he promised he he would take a break. And later in the story, MJ comes around and admits that what Peter does is important.

    Debra Whitman

Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man #196

A university secretary who became one of Peter Parker's love interests for a while.

  • Domestic Abuse: When she was married to Mark Whitman. One day her friend Biff Rifkin went to her house and saw Mark beating her. He rescued her and took her to the hospital, but she insisted Mark was a kind and gentle husband, locked in denial. Just a shock made Debra come to her senses and decided to leave New York to get a divorce.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: She was last seen moving out west with her new boyfriend Biff Rifkin. Considering everything she'd been through before that, the readers can probably take comfort in the fact that she found some happiness with him.
  • Extreme Doormat: Debra has a weak personality. This is evident if you consider that she had an abusive husband in past and how Peter treat her, running out on their dates more than any other of his love interests. Despite this, Debra threw herself at Peter issue after issue only to have him push her aside.
  • Foil: To both Mary Jane and Black Cat. She is not a supermodel or a person with a particularly strong personality, but just an average woman with a fragile mind.
  • Shrinking Violet: Although she's not necessarily shy, her aversion to conflict and reluctance when it comes to taking initiative makes her this in the comics.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: She disappeared completely after being written out of the early-'80s Spectacular Spider-Man book. Every other woman in Peter Parker's dating life tends to reappear from time to time as a member of his supporting cast, except for Debra.
    • She finally reemerged following Peter's unmasking in Civil War, having written a tell-all book about her time dating him, and promptly disappeared again.

    Black Cat 

AKA: Felicia Hardy
Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man #194

Felicia is the daughter of Walter Hardy, the world-renowned cat burglar who, before his arrest, encouraged her to never settle for second best.

Although she was a villain in her first appearances (or rather, an Anti-Villain), she became the third most prominent love interest in the series after Mary Jane and Gwen (some would argue she's more prominent than Gwen at this point, at least plot-wise). Although she has the particularity that, unlike those two, she was way more in love with the Spider-Man persona than with the Peter Parker persona, which was the main source of conflict in their relationship.

In her backstory in Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil that Men Do, it's revealed that she was raped by her boyfriend Ryan when she was a freshman at Empire State University. Hating the idea of being a victim, she trained herself in various fighting styles and acrobatics, intent on killing her rapist. Finally, after months of preparing, she set out for revenge, but before she could find him, Ryan was killed in a drunk driving accident. Furious that she was denied the chance for revenge, she decided to utilize her new skills to follow in her father's footsteps. After amassing a fortune in stolen items, Felicia adopted her costumed identity.

She first donned the Black Cat costume in order to break her father out of prison. On the same night, she met Spider-Man. Unfortunately for Felicia, her father died, and she then faked her own death. Despite her antipathy towards men, Felicia felt a kinship with this lone hero; Spider-Man was the first man she felt she could trust and she grew to believe herself in love with him. Felicia looked for a way to earn his trust and continued with the Black Cat persona as a misguided attempt to attract his affection. Seeing the good in Felicia, Spider-Man made every attempt to have her criminal record expunged.

For more information on her, please refer to her page.

     Jill Stacy 

Debut: Spider-Man #76

The cousin of the late Gwen Stacy, Jill moved to New York City from Hong Kong with her father and brother, Arthur and Paul. She befriended Peter (Spider-Man) and Mary Jane Parker, taking classes with Mary Jane at Empire State University (ESU). Jill sought to understand the events surrounding Gwen's death, and though hesitant, Peter eventually told Jill his side of the story.

  • Romantic False Lead: She was set up as a new love interest for Peter after MJ's apparent death. When Mary Jane was found to be alive, Jill withdrew her advances toward Peter and her entire character is put aside.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Jill's last appearance was around ASM Vol. 2 #31. She disappear without an explanation, maybe she has moved out of New York.

    Martha Franklin 

Debut: The Spectacular Spider-Man #263

The niece of J. Jonah Jameson and Spider-Man fangirl, Martha "Mattie" Franklin obtained super powers from the Gathering of Five and became the third Spider-Woman. She temporarily took Spider-Man's place during one of his brief periods of retirement, and became the third Spider-Woman with the blessing of Jessica Drew. When Mary Jane was assumed dead, Mattie attempted to initiate a romantic relationship with Spider-Man, but was turned down.

For more information on her, please refer to her page.

     Caryn Earle 
Debut: Peter Parker: Spider-Man Vol 2 #30

Caryn Earle was Peter Parker's neighbor while he lived in New Jersey. Both friendly dated after Mary Jane Watson returned to Los Angeles. After Mary Jane returned to Peter's life, their friendship distanced.

    Sarah Stacy

Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man #509

The daughter of Gwen Stacy and Norman Osborn. She and her twin brother Gabriel were raised by "Uncle Norm" to believe that Peter Parker was their father and had killed their mother as Spider-Man. Trained as assassins, Sarah and Gabriel attacked Peter and eventually learned the truth about their mother's death. While Gabriel became increasingly insane, Sarah was outraged and turned against her father, fell in love with Peter herself, and became an Interpol agent.

  • Cain and Abel: When they learned the truth about her mother's death, Gabriel - having been driven insane by a second dose of the Goblin Formula - kept on blaming Peter and became a super villain. Sarah denounced Norman and became an Interpol agent to bring her brother to justice.
  • Generation Xerox: She is physically identical to her mother, which gave Spidey a major shock when he unmasked her.
  • Half Identical Twin: She and her brother are mostly identical, except for their hair length and the fact that Gabe's a guy.
  • Heel–Face Turn: When she learned about the truth of her mother's death she turned against Norman and her increasingly insane brother, and eventually became an Interpol agent.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: She loathes her father for lying to and using her and her brother.
  • May–December Romance: She put the moves on Peter after he saved her life, made a little disturbing due to her looking identical to her mother, the extreme age difference between them, and that until recently she'd believed him to be her father. Made even worse when Mary Jane walked in on them making out.
  • Ms. Fanservice: As an attractive young lady, she's often been drawn in halter tops and other revealing clothing.
  • Professional Killer: She and her brother were trained as assassins by Norman.
  • Rapid Aging: The Goblin Formula she inherited from her father caused her to grow from a baby to a young adult in a few years' time.
  • Reformed Criminal: While no longer evil, she was still wanted for criminal activities when Interpol recruited her to hunt down some drug dealers and her crazy brother.
  • Rescue Romance: She fell for Peter after he saved her life and helped her apprehend her brother.
  • Retcon: Peter initially was going to be her father, but the Marvel execs kiboshed that, stating that Peter having a kid - especially a grown-up one - would make him seem old.
  • Super Cop: She is a superpowered Interpol agent.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: The Goblin Formula in her father granted her superhuman abilities and aged her to adulthood in a few years time.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: She is more or less Gwen Stacy 2.0 with assassin training and superpowers.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: While Gabriel reappeared during Dark Reign, Sarah hasn't been seen since One More Day.
  • Younger Than They Look: She's only a few years old but looks like she's in her late teens or early twenties.

    Carlie Ellen Cooper

Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man #545

  • Black Eyes of Evil: As Monster, her eyes are solid black.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Thanks the Goblin Formula as applied by the Green Goblin, she has become Monster, essentially a Distaff Counterpart to the Green Goblin himself.
    • And... possibly subverted. She was spying on Osborn while still crazy, but she was cured to an extent in the second annual.
  • Character Shilling: Lot of her appearances consisted of everyone talking about how super awesome she was -even those who had never met her before. If this weren't bad enough, she appeared in an issue titled "The Many Loves Of Spider-Man" before they were even dating. When they finally got together Peter declared it was "the rightest thing in the world" (despite the fact she was dressed up as his ex).
  • Composite Character: Probably not intentionally, but fans have noted a lot of her personality traits are from previous love interests (the Science girl thing is Gwen, the Daddy issues are MJ, the "regular girl" thing is Deb, her being a police contact is Jean Dewolff, her conflict of Peter vs. Spider-Man is Felicia etc.)
  • Depending on the Artist: Due to how frequently she falls victim to this, fans still aren't sure how long or even what color her hair is supposed to be.
  • Disappeared Dad: During the Mysterio arc of The Gauntlet, she finds out that her dad was a Dirty Cop who faked his own death.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Almost got one of the Green Goblin while drunk. The one she got of Spider-Man subverted this originally, only to play it straight when she found out Peter was Spider-Man and broke up with him.
  • Friend on the Force: She was this to Spider-Man.
  • Fighting from the Inside: As Monster after the Green Goblin sprayed the Goblin Formula on her.
  • Hot Scientist: She is a forensic specialist.
  • Important Haircut: When Carlie learns that her father was not the good cop he was made out to be, she has him arrested. She then cuts her hair and decides to be more assertive in her life.

    Michele Gonzales

Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man #592

  • Derailing Love Interests: She has been mutated into a total bitch and ended up technically raped by Chameleon, just so she could be removed from Peter's "girlfriend material" zone.
  • Hello, Attorney!: She is a criminal defense lawyer and is known for her volcanic temper.
  • Jerkass: Michele just really crossed the line at this, randomly destroying or selling Peter's stuff. Most people, having such a landlady, would seriously consider living under the bridge. Some would even choose it.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: In Amazing Spider-Man issue 601, she and Peter wakes up in bed naked. They apparently had sex after Parker had one too many at his Aunt May's wedding. It's later explained that, as a gag, Michelle kept filling his glass with cider when Peter wasn't looking, so he thought it was wine.


AKA: Cindy Moon
Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3, #1

"My name is Cindy Moon. Intern by day. Super hero by night. Actually, I fight crime by day, too. And I also intern by night—you get the idea. Ten years ago, I got bit by a radioactive spider. See Previous, Re: Super Hero. Shortly after that fateful bite, I was locked inside a windowless bunker. For ten years. I did it to keep my family safe. To keep everyone safe. Safe from jerkstones like Morlun and his family. But now that threat is gone."

During the Original Sin storyline, Spider-Man would be exposed to the energies of the Watcher's eye alongside his fellow heroes. As secrets began to flow into his head, Spider-Man saw that the radioactive spider that bit him managed to bite another before it died—a young female student named Cindy Moon.

After she was bitten by the spider, Cindy's abilities manifested but she was unable to control them. Some time later, Ezekiel Sims would approach the Moon family to offer his help and guide Cindy in controlling her newfound abilities. After six years since getting bit and training to use her powers, Cindy is locked up inside a facility by Ezekiel to protect her and the other "spiders" from Morlun and his family: The Inheritors. But she was later freed by Peter Parker, kicking off Morlun's biggest hunt ever.

For more information on her, please refer to her page.

     Lian Tang

Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #1

  • Asian and Nerdy: Lian Tang is a Chinese designer at the Shanghai branch of Parker Industries. She co-designed a new Spider-Mobile with Peter Parker.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Despite dating Peter, she disappears after the "Zodiac" arc.
  • Easily Forgiven: She tries to kill Spider-Man using the Spider-Mobile, but is talked down and helps him save Shen Quinghao from Mister Negative. Afterwards she expects to be unceremoniously fired, but Peter explains that if there's one thing he and Spider-Man understand it's that people will go to extreme lengths for family.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Lian is strongly implied to be in an intimate relationship with Peter, but hates Spider-Man to the point where she offers to kill him for Scorpio.
  • The Mole: She is in league with Scorpio, leader of the Zodiac, providing him Parker Industries' security codes in exchange for medication for her mother, who was sick with cancer.