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Did Spider-Man and Mary Jane have a baby?

Spider-Man, whose real name is Peter Parker, and Mary Jane Watson are fictional comic book characters who have had an on-again, off-again romantic relationship over many decades in the various Spider-Man comic book series published by Marvel Comics. As iconic characters, their relationship status and personal lives have been of great interest to fans. One question that often comes up is whether Spider-Man and Mary Jane ever had a baby together.

Quick Answers

– In the main Marvel Universe continuity, Spider-Man and Mary Jane were married for many years but never had any biological children.

– In alternate universe storylines and other media, they have sometimes had a daughter named May “Mayday” Parker, who takes up the mantle of Spider-Girl.

– Their lack of children in the main comics continuity was initially due to editorial mandate, and later to accommodate the dissolution of their marriage.

– However, they have taken on surrogate parenting roles at times, caring for baby boy Benjamin Parker, the infant clone Kaine, and fellow superhero Mattie Franklin.

So in summary, while Spider-Man and Mary Jane have never officially had a biological child together in the comics primary continuity, the idea has been explored in various alternate storylines and adaptations. Their status as beloved characters makes their hypothetical child a source of great interest and speculation among fans.

History of Spider-Man and Mary Jane’s Relationship

To understand this question fully, it is useful to look at the history of Spider-Man and Mary Jane’s relationship in the comics:

– Mary Jane Watson was introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man #25 in 1965 as a love interest and rival to Peter Parker’s main girlfriend Gwen Stacy. At this point she was a relatively minor character.

– After Gwen was killed off in 1973, Mary Jane took on a more prominent role in the comics and eventually became Peter’s most significant romantic partner.

– Spider-Man and Mary Jane dated seriously for years as Peter struggled with committing to her and balancing superhero life with his personal life.

– They finally married in 1987’s The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 in a milestone event for the comics.

– Spider-Man writers originally depicted them experiencing many ups and downs as a married couple, given Peter’s life as a superhero. However, they did not have any children together.

Why No Kids Originally?

There are a few reasons why Spider-Man and Mary Jane did not have children in the early years of their marriage:

– Editorial mandate – Legendary Spider-Man editor-in-chief Stan Lee did not want Spider-Man to have kids, feeling it would age the character too much.

– Tough to coordinate – Comics are created by many different writers and editors. Coordinating major life events can be difficult.

– Status quo preference – Publishers often want to maintain the status quo for major characters. Children would be a significant change.

– Storytelling difficulties – Having a child could make it harder to write Spider-Man stories where he freely fights dangerous villains.

– Appeal to young readers – Spider-Man stories were targeted at youth who might not relate to a parental Spider-Man.

So while it made sense story-wise for a married couple like Peter and Mary Jane to have children, real-world publishing concerns led the comics to avoid this for many years. The editorial mandate held firm through multiple writers and editors.

Baby Mayday Parker

However, the idea of Spider-Man having a child was finally explored in the MC2 imprint, a line of Marvel Comics taking place in an alternate future universe. In this world, Peter and Mary Jane had a daughter named May “Mayday” Parker, who debuted in 1998’s What If #105.

Mayday possessed powers inherited from her father, and would go onto star as the heroine Spider-Girl in titles aimed at younger readers. In this alternate universe, Spider-Man was allowed to age normally, get married, and start a family.

The Spider-Girl comics and Mayday proved very popular, showing there was an audience for stories about Spider-Man as a dad. Still, this universe remained separate from the main Marvel continuity.

Dissolving the Marriage

In the primary Spider-Man comics continuity, Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage was dramatically dissolved in the controversial 2007 storyline One More Day, where their history was rewritten so they never married. This paved the way for new love interests.

With the couple no longer married, any chances of them having a baby together in mainstream Spider-Man stories was seemingly erased. The dissolution of this iconic comics marriage generated huge debate among fans and critics.

However, the idea of exploring what a Parker family could look like had been planted, even if it hadn’t come to full fruition in the primary continuity.

Surrogate Parenting Roles

Despite never officially having children together, Peter Parker and Mary Jane have taken on surrogate parenting roles at times:

Benjamin Parker

– Peter’s clone Ben Reilly returned to life in 2020 and had a son named Benjamin Parker. When Ben died again, Peter and Mary Jane took in baby Benjamin and raised him as their own for a time.

Kaine the Clone

– Peter’s disfigured clone Kaine was reborn as an infant in 2015’s Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows. MJ pushed a reluctant Peter to take responsibility and raise Kaine.

Mattie Franklin

– When teen hero Mattie Franklin’s aunt died in a 2009 storyline, Peter and MJ took her in rather than letting her enter the foster system.

So while not their biological offspring, Spider-Man and Mary Jane have embraced opportunities to act as stand-in parents for children in need. These storylines allowed writers to explore their characters in parental roles without fully committing to making them bio-parents.

Alternate Versions

In addition to Mayday Parker and the MC2 universe, some other alternate versions of the characters have produced offspring:

The Amazing Spider-Man Film Series

– In 2007’s Spider-Man 3, Peter and MJ contemplate having a child but decide they are not ready yet. The movies ended before exploring this further.

Ultimate Spider-Man Comics

– In the alternate “Ultimate” universe, Peter and MJ had a daughter named Annie May Parker, who was secretly raised by MJ.

Spider-Man: Life Story

– In this alternate miniseries, Peter and MJ had a daughter, named Maggie.

So the subject has arisen periodically in various storylines, often in out-of-continuity tales that imagine a Spider-Man at different life stages.

In Summary

While Spider-Man and Mary Jane have never definitively had a biological child together in the main Marvel comics continuity, the topic has been frequently speculated about and explored in alternate timelines. The iconic nature of the characters ensures interest and theories will persist among fans regarding what a Parker family could look like. The surrogate parenting roles they have taken at times have allowed writers to explore family dynamics fictionally.

Ultimately, Spider-Man remains a perpetual teenager at heart in the minds of many. But the questions around his future, including children, will continue to provide storytelling fodder and fascinate fans.