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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Elizabeth "Liz" Allan
Debut: Amazing Fantasy #15
- Defrosting Ice Queen: She became considerably nicer to Peter as she got to know him. Especially in The Spectacular Spider-Man, where she developed genuine romantic feelings for Peter and was deeply hurt when he broke up with her (to be with Gwen).
- Demoted to Extra: She was one of Peter's love interests, but was demoted to a supporting character.
- Founder Of The Company: Founded Allan Chemical and became Horizon Labs' main shareholder, making one Tiberius Stone the site supervisor. Liz would subsequently amalgamate "AlChem" with Oscorp and what was left of Horizon Labs and rename it Alchemax.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Unlike the rest of Peter's love interests, Liz never officially hooked up with Peter. By time she developed feelings for Peter, he was dating Betty Brant. And when Peter had broken up with Betty she had already been Put on a Bus.
Elizabeth "Betty" Brant
Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man #4
- 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.
- 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 Adulteress: She had a brief affair with Peter and Flash Thompson when she was married to Ned Leeds.
- 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
- Alpha Bitch: Before Characterization Marches On
- Anyone Can Die: The poster girl for this trope.
- Betty and Veronica: Was the Betty to MJ's Veronica.
- Characterization Marches On: Started as an Alpha Bitch, then moved to a Nice Girl.
- Damsel in Distress: Takes this trope to its logical conclusion...
- Defrosting Ice Queen: She was initially cold towards Peter.
- Die for Our Ship: A rare non-fan example. Gerry Conway, who wrote "The Night Gwen Stacy Died", was very vocal that he thought the character was annoying and too-perfect and Peter belonged with Mary-Jane. Even though John Romita Sr. was the one who suggested to kill off Gwen to shake things up, Conway was very willingly to do it as it would allow him to move things along to get Peter with the girl he wanted him to be with all along.
- First Love: She was the first girl Peter truly loved.
- Girl Next Door: What many fans and writers remember her as even though she never was.
- 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 occassion.
- 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.
- 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. 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: Her incarnation in The Spectacular Spider-Man, mostly.
- The original incarnation as well. 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.
- Really Gets Around: When she debuted, she thought to herself that Peter was the only boy who hadn't "given [her] a tumble."
- 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 outside of the comics.
- Tsundere: Her original characterization.
- Two First Names: Gwen and Stacy are both common given names.
- Uptown Girl: What the character actually is.
- 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).
Mary Jane Watson
Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man
"Face it Tiger... you just hit the jackpot!"
Mary Jane (or MJ) was for a long span of years (20 years) the wife of Peter Parker (for some people she still is
) and she is considered by a large portion of the fan base to be Peter's one true love. She was initially created only to be a rival for Stan Lee's favorite girl Gwen Stacy but after the tragic death of the latter, MJ began to get closer to Peter, they fell in love and finally married. Together they survived many crises, some of them really horrible.
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. Eventually she returned and now she is the owner of a night club as well as the only person (besides Peter) who remembers the unmasking fiasco during the Civil War
. However, despite still being Peter's friend and still living in New York City, she has decided to distance from Peter Parker's life in order to avoid his dangerous life and to finally start living her own. Also, for a time she was the only person allowed to know who Spider-Man was. (Long story
, don't ask
- Abusive Parents: Her dad sucked.
- To whit: 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: By way of being a...
- Badass Normal/Damsel out of Distress: She may not be a superhero, but it's your funeral if you try to harm this chick.
- 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.
- 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.
- Deadpan Snarker: She's every bit as good at snarking as Peter.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Her latest iterations frequently portray her barefoot and in torn jeans.
- '80s Hair: When Todd MacFarlane drew her in the late 80s◊
- Empowered Badass Normal: During the Spider-Island arc.
- Establishing Character Moment: The famous panel with her first appearance is pictured on the trope page.
- 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 in-person fully 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.
- 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: 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!).
- 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.
- 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 valentines special published in the 90s revealed that DESPITE thinking these things, 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").
- Ms. Fanservice: Has the most bangin' bod 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.
- Muggle Best Friend: When she's not the Love Interest.
- 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.
- Official Couple: Was this with Peter until One More Day. Let's just say the fans were not happy with the end of their offical couple status and leave it at that.
- Although she's still Peter's main love interest in most of the spin-offs and adaptations, even those released after One More Day. The only notable exceptions would be Ultimate Spider-Man, where they are Just Friends, and The Spectacular Spider-Man, were he's more interested in Gwen (albeit according to Word of God, MJ would have become the main love interest eventually if the show hadn't been canceled, which would have been interesting considering it was also confirmed Gwen would not have died). She also has yet to appear in the Amazing Spider-Man films, but everything points to that it's only a matter of time. Supported by the death of Gwen Stacy in the second movie
- Outdated Outfit: Naturally, as the most fashion-conscious member of the cast, she falls victim to this the most as time passes.
- 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.
- Sad Clown: "Nothing's ever wrong with Mary-Jane Watson!"
- Second Love: Peter's. Their wedding is the trope image.
- Secret Secret Keeper: During Tom DeFalco's first run on Amazing Spider-Man, it was revealed 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.
- Ship Tease: The ending of Spider-Island suggests that she may get back together with Peter after One More Day and One Moment In Time. Sure enough, MJ finally decides to become Peter's girl again in the closing storyline of Amazing Spider-Man (although she remains oblivious to what has actually happened to Peter).
- By the end of Superior Spider-Man, she's decided that she needs a normal life, and she's NOT going to get that by hanging around Peter, so she has chosen to stay the hell away from him.
- 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. Eventurally, it doubled to reinforce her status as Peter's main love interest.
- 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/Sad Clown: 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 Spiderman 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 Sixties at least, to the point of nigh-incomprehensibility to some modern readers.
- True Love is Exceptional
- The Watson: Incredibly Lame Pun aside, her questions about Peter's current superhero crisis can be a pretty handy device for readers.
Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man #196
- 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.
- 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.
AKA: Felicia Hardy
Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man #194
- Absolute Cleavage: She's had several outfits that all tend to draw on the same basic design scheme, but the unifying factor is that they almost all tend to have an impossibly low neckline.
- Totally averted after she breaks out of prison following her defeat and arrest at the hands of the Superior Spider-Man.
- Action Girl: Even though she doesn't have superpowers that can be directly used in combat. She also counts as a Dark Action Girl, depending on where she is on the morality scale.
- Alternate Continuity: In the 90s cartoon, she was the Alpha Bitch at Parkerís school before becoming the Black Cat and ultimately gets paired up with Morbius the Living Vampire. She's also very different in the Ultimate Universe as well.
- Animal Motifs: Black cats, given her bad luck powers.
- Badass Biker: Gets a Cool Bike courtesy of Puma.
- Badass Normal/Empowered Badass Normal: Depending on the continuity or storyline.
- Becoming the Mask: In the comics, she starts dating Flash Thompson to get Parker jealous, but ends up falling in love with him (only to be dumped by him when he finds out and asks Was It All a Lie?).
- Betty and Veronica: She is the Veronica to Mary Jane's Betty.
- Bi the Way: Spider-Man/Black Cat: Evil That Men Do #1 and in Spider-Girl.
- Blessed with Suck: Her "bad luck" power, which caused misfortune on anyone near her, but also couldn't be controlled at all.
- Break the Hottie: Good one, Otto. Now Peter's got a scorned cat after his head.
- Building Swing: She uses a grappling hook to swing from buildings.
- Cat Girl: Despite calling herself the Black Cat, she has no cat-like powers other than bad luck, although for a time Dr. Strange accidentally gave her some.
- Classy Cat-Burglar: She is an attractive thief.
- Dating Catwoman: For a time she became Spider-Man's lover, and even tried to persuade him to give up his civilian identity.
- Deadpan Snarker: She and Spider-Man are a perfect pair when it comes to cracking sarcastic jokes.
- Designated Girl Fight: Often in team-ups.
- Domino Mask: The only thing she wears to cover her face.
- Evil Costume Switch: At the beginning of the All-New Marvel NOW! Amazing Spider-Man, she switches out the white in her costume for black and added some metal belts (or something), and is acting as the Woman Scorned to Spidey for what Doc did to her as the Superior Spider-Man.
- Evolutionary Levels: In some storylines/continuities sheís a low-level Mutant.
- Exposition Fairy: In the Spider-Man 2 game.
- Femme Fatale: She started out as an attractive female supervillain.
- Femme Fatalons: With villains based on cats, this trope is inevitable really.
- Green Eyes: Or blue, Depending on the Artist.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: She started out as a criminal before falling in love with Spider-Man. She wavered back and forth between being a thief and superheroine, but recent events have caused her to return to villainy with a vengeance.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Her costume is a black leather catsuit.
- Hypocrite: Shortly before their break up, Felicia would repeatedly lay it on Peter for keeping any sort of secret from her, even though she was hiding the fact that she'd gone to one of his enemies for help in giving her powers from him.
- Karma Houdini: At this point, Felicia is probably one of the single best professional thieves in the Marvel Universe, but she can walk right up to Captain America and say hello without a problem. This is the result of receiving a pardon in the mid-80's after helping save the city from Doctor Octopus and becoming Spidey's partner and a fully accepted member of the superhero community in her own right. Her swift defeat at the Superior Spider-Man's hands, and the subsequent fallout afterwards, subverts this HARD.
- The Load: When she and Spider-Man were together, she felt like this; she was a trained fighter, so she could take on ordinary criminals, but she had no super-powers, so she couldn't help him much against his super-powered foes. That's why she ended up getting her "bad luck" powers.
- Loves My Alter Ego: Becomes extremely weirded out when Spider-Man first reveals to her that he's Peter Parker. In Ultimate-Spider-Man, she goes so far as to vomit on him after lifting the mask due to him being a lot younger than she expected.
- Most Common Superpower: Apparently, they act as ballast◊.
- Ms. Fanservice: She is hands-down the bustiest of Peter's love interests and isn't afraid to show it.
- Oh Crap: When she makes her Face-Heel Turn apparent to Peter, he scares her off by pretending to be SpOck.
- Rape as Backstory: Retconned as her Freudian Excuse.
- Really Gets Around: Openly admits it to Peter during the Shed arc.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: When the Superior Spider-Man beat the snot out of her, knocked out a tooth, and webbed her up for the cops without so much as a backwards glance during a chance encounter, Felicia swore revenge and after Peter gets his body back refuses to let such a petty excuse as having his body hijacked dissuade her from it. To be fair, she lost everything as a result of being arrested and having her identity revealed to the public.
- Roof Hopping: By means of grappling hook.
- Satellite Love Interest: Played with; Peter dumps her because she only has interest in his Spider-Man persona.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: How does Peter get the now-evil Felicia to back off? By pretending that he's still Doc Ock. He later lampshades how he spoke with "Did I really sound like that when he was me?"
- Secret Identity Identity: Back in the day she identified more with herself as Black Cat than as Felicia Hardy, and preferred to think of Spider-Man as the same way, not really liking the idea that there's a person with his own life under the mask. The video game adaptation of Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man: Web of Shadows has her try to convince Peter to give up his civilian identity and become a hero full-time.
- The Smart Gal: In a recent Amazon Brigade run of Heroes for Hire, she was their infiltration expert.
- Start of Darkness: Her descent into new Spidey villainhood is because the Superior Spider-Man knocked her out and left her for the cops, humiliating her horribly.
- Sticky Fingers: Even when she was a hero, she was prone to stealing stuff.
- Stripperiffic: Her costume was designed to give enemies a distracting view.
- Winds of Destiny, Change: She had this power for a time, but Spidey had Doctor Strange get rid of it after he learned that it was permanently jinxing him. It cut off right in the middle of a life-or-death fight, and when she barely managed to get out of there and find out what happened, she was understandably pissed. Mr. Negative later had her bad luck powers restored, giving her increased conscious control over them.
Carlie Ellen Cooper
Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man #545
- 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.
Anna Maria Marconi
Debut: Superior Spider-Man #5
- The Beard: After Peter regains control of his body, Anna keeps up the facade that the two are engaged in order to help him run the company Otto started.
- Damsel in Distress: During the "Goblin Nation" arc she is kidnapped as a deliberate call-back to Gwen Stacy.
- It's Not You, It's My Enemies: In an odd way - Peter tells Anna Maria of the truth between him and Doc Ock and what their relationship was. She actually takes it in stride and doesn't get cheesed off.
- Morality Pet: For Otto.
- Nice Gal: Towards Peter.
- Plucky Girl: Part of what attracts Otto. The way she handles the truth shows a lot of signs of this as well.
- Shorter Means Smarter: She has dwarfism, but still manages to attract Otto with her intelligence.
- So Proud of You: She admits that while SpOck was more smooth and sexier than Peter was, the fact that he rescued Electro from Ock's workings and Brought Down to Normal to save his life makes her so happy to be his friend.
AKA: Cindy Moon
Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3, #1
A woman who was given powers by the same supernatural/radioactive spider as Peter Parker. She was put in protective custody by Ezekiel Sims
to protect her and every other individual connected to the Web of Life from Morlun, but was freed by Peter Parker, kicking off Morlun's biggest hunt ever
- Arachnid Appearance and Attire: Her costume is made entirely out of spider-silk.
- Bandaged Face: She's covered the lower half of her face with her costume.
- Cheap Costume: Silk quickly slaps together a costume using her webbing. Spidey laments having never thought of doing that himself, although considering his webbing only lasts couple of hours that might be a good thing. She later gets herself a proper costume, although she keeps the silk half-mask.
- Distaff Counterpart: She is this to Peter to a greater extent than any of the Spider-Women or Spider-Girls. Morlun even calls her "Spider-Bride".
- Finger Firearms: Like Ultimate Spider-Woman, she shoots her webbing from her fingertips instead of her wrists.
- Gilded Cage: The bunker Ezekiel placed her in, and intended to place Peter inside as well.
- Good People Have Good Sex: Her relationship with Peter has been very intimate, to the point where Anna Maria is uncomfortable around them.
- Meta Origin: She got her powers from the same spider that Peter did. Unlike him, she produces her own webbing.
- NaÔve Newcomer: Silk's naivety and enthusiasm for heroics would normally make her endearing, but when she teams up with Spider-Woman during the prelude to Spider-Verse, Jess finds it very aggravating.
- Red String of Fate: She and Peter were bitten by the same radioactive/supernatural spider.
- Remember the New Guy: She was one of Peter's classmates thirteen years ago In-Universe. Subverted in that he initially has no idea who she is.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Literally, as the second fight that breaks out between her and Peter ends with them making out due to their Spider-Senses freaking out due to Morlun resurfacing.
- What the Hell, Hero?: When Peter mentions that he's killed Morlun, she's relieved. When he mentioned that he's done it twice, she flips out, realizing Peter's doomed everyone.